Pimax Crystal: Pimax's answer to compete with Varjo Aero (Premium on the cheap....er)

DouglasteR

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I will believe it when i see it.

The 8kX (after many many fixes and enhancements) is one of the most immersible HMD's out there.

Good luck for us and Pimax !
 

Vega

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I'm surprised not more talk about this. Yes, I know Pimax isn't know for quality, but the specs are noteworthy. Supposedly shipping by the end of the year. I ordered one and will post thoughts when it comes in.

H5_crystal_02.jpg





H5_crystal_03.jpg



The specs basically have it has a better version of the Varjo Aero. Supposedly the Pimax 12K is 70% complete, so more likely as of this writing that is more ~summer 2023 timeline.
 

DPI

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I'm surprised not more talk about this. Yes, I know Pimax isn't know for quality, but the specs are noteworthy. Supposedly shipping by the end of the year. I ordered one and will post thoughts when it comes in.

In a VR landscape dominated by Quest chatter, Pimax is just easier not to talk about. And it requires less energy not to try to qualify what people are missing out on with something like a Pimax 8KX. And I only say that for the same reasons I wouldn't bring up something like "memory subtimings" to friends that only play console games. Pimax is not a plug and play device like a Quest 2, Index, etc. Getting an 8KX properly dialed in could take 5-10min, or it could take hours or even days of fiddling with settings and reading forums. But when you do, you'll be rewarded with an experience where you immediately know there's no going back to any scuba-mask-fov headset. The greater sense of speed in things like flight and racing sims that comes with the extra periphery FOV is mind blowing.

And up until my own hands-on experience with a Pimax I just took all the internet noise about "Pimax is a shitty company" at face value, believing there must be something to all the complaining. Diving in deeper, learning more about them and their history, the reality is more nuanced. Their intentions are actually noble and they're taking risks trying to develop hardware with specs beyond what multi-billion-dollar companies with 2500x the budget are willing to. And so they get shit on for "delivering 6+ months later than they originally promised", they get shit on for setup being frustrating for many people, and they get heat for what in my view mostly just amounts to unavoidable growing pains transitioning from a kickstarter campaign to a functioning manufacturing operation taking home-run sized swings.

But Pimax is the utterly defining bleeding-edge enthusiast/tinkerer's VR brand, and I'm rooting for them. But if someone notices the hammerhead shaped headset on my desk I probably rather change the subject -- only because if they try it they're going to want one, and expect my tech-support for eternity.
 
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l88bastard

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When I got the Varjo, I went and posted about it on the M forums and got absolutely dog piled on by all the PITards, which was thoroughly annoying. I ended up just leaving that forum because the moment anybody gushed about any headset besides a pimax it was like this whirlwind of fanboi bitches rode your ass. It really left a bad taste in my mouth....

But anyway, ended up selling the varjo off because the barrell distortion drove me nuts, its subscription plan sucked, it cables were too bulky, the headset was too heavy, etc, etc...many things about the VR3 I did not like.

Ended up settling on two Quests for me and the kid to play with and its been great, even though I know the hardware is limited VS what vr is really capable of now. I was interested in the new Meta headset until I watched that dumpster fire of a presentation centered around shitty N64 graphics and VR MEETINGS!!!!

Then Vega pre-ordered this Crystal....and well...we gotta COPY HIM.....so I went ahead and pre-ordered one too!

I wont lie, I was highly skeptical of Pimax Pie in the sky claims back in May.....but it looks like they will really deliver the goods IMHO.....Crystal specs look fantastic and the 12k would probably be amazing on next gen GPUs
 
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DPI

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When I got the Varjo, I went and posted about it on the M forums and got absolutely dog piled on by all the PITards, which was thoroughly annoying. I ended up just leaving that forum because the moment anybody gushed about any headset besides a pimax it was like this whirlwind of fanboi bitches rode your ass. It really left a bad taste in my mouth....

That's too bad, especially when considering VR is not a zero sum game, and anyone's success in this space is everyone's success. Even Meta's misguided tens of billions being sunk into weird cartoonworld fantasy is still money that's lifting the VR space overall. There's a small, bizarre group of chronics - society's forgotten - that have been hanging around since the early kickstarter days with an elitist chip on their shoulder and they patrol that M forum all day as well as hang out in the Pimax discord bitching about mindless minutiae - they have too much free time and probably shouldn't be allowed near children.

And I wouldn't consider Pimax better than anything, because better-than declarations are idiotic since they're subjective and everyone's use case is different. I used to think clarity was king until I discovered less-clarity-BUT-wider-FOV seems like the best of most worlds - for me. Most people just want to pick up and play and aren't stopping to OCD worry about technicals like edge distortion or screendoor or frametimes or reprojection, they're playing Beat Saber or VR Chat or Onward, and being able to do it wirelessly with a Quest 2 is monumental. The fact we have options to argue over is probably a sign of things spinning in the right direction. And we haven't even seen Apple's entry into the space yet - and if Apple knows one thing, it is that execution and user experience are king, not technicals.
 
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Vega

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In a VR landscape dominated by Quest chatter, Pimax is just easier not to talk about. And it requires less energy not to try to qualify what people are missing out on with something like a Pimax 8KX. And I only say that for the same reasons I wouldn't bring up something like "memory subtimings" to friends that only play console games. Pimax is not a plug and play device like a Quest 2, Index, etc. Getting an 8KX properly dialed in could take 5-10min, or it could take hours or even days of fiddling with settings and reading forums. But when you do, you'll be rewarded with an experience where you immediately know there's no going back to any scuba-mask-fov headset. The greater sense of speed in things like flight and racing sims that comes with the extra periphery FOV is mind blowing.

And up until my own hands-on experience with a Pimax I just took all the internet noise about "Pimax is a shitty company" at face value, believing there must be something to all the complaining. Diving in deeper, learning more about them and their history, the reality is more nuanced. Their intentions are actually noble and they're taking risks trying to develop hardware with specs beyond what multi-billion-dollar companies with 2500x the budget are willing to. And so they get shit on for "delivering 6+ months later than they originally promised", they get shit on for setup being frustrating for many people, and they get heat for what in my view mostly just amounts to unavoidable growing pains transitioning from a kickstarter campaign to a functioning manufacturing operation taking home-run sized swings.

But Pimax is the utterly defining bleeding-edge enthusiast/tinkerer's VR brand, and I'm rooting for them. But if someone notices the hammerhead shaped headset on my desk I probably rather change the subject -- only because if they try it they're going to want one, and expect my tech-support for eternity.

Ya I hear ya. Pimax just sent me sword controllers from the Kickstarter 6 years ago lol. Granted it was laughably late, but to follow through like that after all this time, raised their profile for me considerably. Another reason with I reserved a Crystal. But at this point I wonder if I should just wait for the 12K. Has anyone heard about a Crystal to 12K upgrade/trade-in path?
 

DPI

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Ya I hear ya. Pimax just sent me sword controllers from the Kickstarter 6 years ago lol. Granted it was laughably late, but to follow through like that after all this time, raised their profile for me considerably. Another reason with I reserved a Crystal. But at this point I wonder if I should just wait for the 12K. Has anyone heard about a Crystal to 12K upgrade/trade-in path?
From what I've read from Pimax multiple times you won't be able to trade in a Crystal toward a 12K. Only the earlier headsets (5K, 8K+/X) will get the trade in credit. Understandable from a business standpoint since Crystal is a new headset and expensive to develop and produce, and a trade-up path to 12K would just create a free rental program for people that aren't serious and really just want a 12K but want something new to play with until then.

The Crystal looks interesting and I'm sure the clarity is amazing, but I assume I won't like the decrease in horizontal FOV after using an 8KX (Crystal seems to be targeting a different market) so I'd resigned to skipping it and waiting out the 12K. But then, I've been wrong so many times expectations vs hands-on reality, that it's possible I'd use a Crystal first time and immediately feel that "no going back to anything else" - even if the horizontal FOV is < 8KX.
 
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learners permit

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Yea for some time I had to hear what a POS the Pimax 5K super is from people in this forum because the edge to edge clarity is crap blah blah blah. The Pimax headsets are far from plug and play. They require some dedicated effort to maximize clarity and performance but the horizontal and vertical IPD offsets via software really help as every individuals eye spacing H/V are different. No way I could go backwards on FOV either as I really hate the binocular view of most other headsets.
 

reaper12

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When I got the Varjo, I went and posted about it on the M forums and got absolutely dog piled on by all the PITards, which was thoroughly annoying. I ended up just leaving that forum because the moment anybody gushed about any headset besides a pimax it was like this whirlwind of fanboi bitches rode your ass. It really left a bad taste in my mouth....
I don't understand that reaction about VR headsets. I have seen the same thing on Reddit in the Vive Pro 2 threads. Say anything good about any other headset and you are immediately attacked. It's a strange mindset. VR is still at a stage where nobody can say that one headset is the best for everyone. Because it's not just about the hardware and the specs, it's about the many different head types, face shapes, eye shapes, eyesight etc. etc. It's why one person can put on a headset and go "Wow this is amazing" and another person can put on the same headset and go " this is crap"

DPI has said it best in the post below. The more VR that's out there, the better VR becomes for everyone.

That's too bad, especially when considering VR is not a zero sum game, and anyone's success in this space is everyone's success. Even Meta's misguided tens of billions being sunk into weird cartoonworld fantasy is still money that's lifting the VR space overall. There's a small, bizarre group of chronics - society's forgotten - that have been hanging around since the early kickstarter days with an elitist chip on their shoulder and they patrol that M forum all day as well as hang out in the Pimax discord bitching about mindless minutiae - they have too much free time and probably shouldn't be allowed near children.

And I wouldn't consider Pimax better than anything, because better-than declarations are idiotic since they're subjective and everyone's use case is different. I used to think clarity was king until I discovered less-clarity-BUT-wider-FOV seems like the best of most worlds - for me. Most people just want to pick up and play and aren't stopping to OCD worry about technicals like edge distortion or screendoor or frametimes or reprojection, they're playing Beat Saber or VR Chat or Onward, and being able to do it wirelessly with a Quest 2 is monumental. The fact we have options to argue over is probably a sign of things spinning in the right direction. And we haven't even seen Apple's entry into the space yet - and if Apple knows one thing, it is that execution and user experience are king, not technicals.
 

reaper12

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And up until my own hands-on experience with a Pimax I just took all the internet noise about "Pimax is a shitty company" at face value, believing there must be something to all the complaining. Diving in deeper, learning more about them and their history, the reality is more nuanced. Their intentions are actually noble and they're taking risks trying to develop hardware with specs beyond what multi-billion-dollar companies with 2500x the budget are willing to. And so they get shit on for "delivering 6+ months later than they originally promised", they get shit on for setup being frustrating for many people, and they get heat for what in my view mostly just amounts to unavoidable growing pains transitioning from a kickstarter campaign to a functioning manufacturing operation taking home-run sized swings.
Yea for some time I had to hear what a POS the Pimax 5K super is from people in this forum because the edge to edge clarity is crap blah blah blah. The Pimax headsets are far from plug and play. They require some dedicated effort to maximize clarity and performance but the horizontal and vertical IPD offsets via software really help as every individuals eye spacing H/V are different. No way I could go backwards on FOV either as I really hate the binocular view of most other headsets.

The ease of use is definitely something that Pimax have to improve. It's not just about the FOV and resolution. As VR grows, the User experience will become more and more important.

But that's not the main problem with Pimax. I have only two experiences with a Pimax headset. The first was trying to buy the Pimax 5K+, I had a terrible time. 3 faulty headsets in a row. I didn't bother with them after that until Lockdown. During lockdown I joined a local VR community that gets together every now and then for group buys etc. They decided to buy 10 Pimax headsets, the 5K super. Of the ten headsets, 6 were faulty in some way or another. From not turning on at all, to scratched lenses, or one side of the display not working. 2 of them seemed to work but no amount of configuring could get the picture quality right. Everything looked terrible. The last 2 headsets, however, were perfect. Even before turning them on, there was a vast difference in build quality between those last 2 headsets and the other 8.

I know my experiences are a small sample size. But it seems that how good of a time you will have with a Pimax headset will depend on how good a headset you receive. On the plus side of things, their support has got a lot better. Arranging returns was a right PITA when I bought the 5K+. Two years later with the 5k super, the group had a relatively painless time with their returns.

And it looks to be the same with the new Pico headsets, a large variation in build quality.
 
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DPI

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F it, I put in the $30 deposit for a Crystal preorder. But then the company had a "Frontier" event yesterday where instead of updating everyone on Crystal or 12K news like most were anticipating, there was zero on that and instead they announce a ... Steamdeck clone, but that also does VR. And not announcing it as a future product for purchase, but announcing a Kickstarter for it. SMH.

I do not understand this company. But they're the only HMD maker even interested in wide FOV, so I will keep hanging in there, waiting on 12K with ever-diminishing expectations- hopefully in 2023 and probably not even in the first half.

As I said earlier it's just easier not to talk about Pimax.

DqiiF7TU.jpeg
 
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reaper12

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Nevermind, I put in the $30 deposit for a Crystal preorder. But then the company had a "Frontier" event yesterday where instead of updating everyone on Crystal or 12K news like most were hoping for, there was zero on that and instead they announce a ... Steamdeck clone, but that also does VR. But not announcing it as a product for purchase, but announcing a Kickstarter for this product.

I do not understand this company. But they're the only HMD maker even interested in wide FOV, so I will keep hanging in there, waiting on 12K with ever-diminishing expectations- hopefully in 2023 and probably not even in the first half.

As I said earlier it's just easier not to talk about Pimax, smh.

View attachment 525721

It's a really odd decision. It's like they are just throwing out products to see what sticks or they are just building up a portfolio that will entice a bigger company to buy them out.
 

Vega

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The Pimax Crystal "launch event" was just 9 days ago.. you guys want an update already? lol
 

reaper12

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The Pimax Crystal "launch event" was just 9 days ago.. you guys want an update already? lol

For me, it wasn't the lack of updates it was the surprise at them launching a Steam Deck competitor. If I was interested in buying the Crystal I would be concerned about Pimax focusing their attention on a completely new type of product. They haven't exactly got the best record for quality control. What will happen when you throw another product line into the mix?
 

lostinseganet

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The Pimax Crystal "launch event" was just 9 days ago.. you guys want an update already? lol
The surprise is that I thought they was going to focus on the 12K version. Then they up and built the Crystal and the handheld. It seems they have difficulty handling one launch let alone three...
 

DPI

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The surprise is that I thought they was going to focus on the 12K version. Then they up and built the Crystal and the handheld. It seems they have difficulty handling one launch let alone three...

I want the 12K too, but In fairness the design and manufacturing reality is a bit more complicated than "gimme 12K now". The 12K will be the most bleeding edge VR HMD with the highest specs that a RTX 4090 won't even come close to maxing out - nor a 5090 - and that no other company has managed or even planned to produce anything close to. Pimax's manufacturing priorities therefore have to adapt and pivot to component supply issues, multiple-month Covid lockdowns in China that stranded Pimax employees at home, and trying to stay profitable or at least in business while waiting on whatever issues beyond their control are preventing 12K from reaching the finish line.
 
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l88bastard

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I went to the Pimax road show in Orlando and got to play with the Crystal a bit!

It's a beautiful headset...was able to test DCS and beatsaber on it.

I'm super impressed by the clarity, large sweet spot, colors, contrast, crisp resolution. They only had it running 90hz because things have to be ironed out, but damn its gonna be epic once polished in full 160hz glory.

They also had Varjo Aero, Oculus Pro and older pimax headsets on hand to compare and contrast. The crystal blows them all away.

All the pimax reps were awesome and was impressed with how hard they are working on the project to create something special. They literally want the same thing we do, a premium low compromise headset that checks as many boxes as possible.

1669872839645.png


On the issue of the 12k they had this older non working prototype that had aspheric lenses in the middle with fresnels on the sides.....not sure if that is what the final will use or if its gonna be 100% aspheric like the crystal.
1669873905181.png



Sadley its bradley was there and he was a good sport about taking pics with us and holding my chihuahahahahahaha lol
1669873545692.png



Obligatory dog walking video of my dog haha
 
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DPI

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^ Great report. Will probably hit up any SoCal or LA date they post. Also cool they actually had Aero and Oculus Pro on hand to compare to for yourself, rather just saying "trust us it's better than those".

The 12K lenses I saw once in an obscure OpenMR thread, where a Pimax rep posted all the 12K components laid out on a table to show how complex the componentry is. And yes they're absolutely massive. That horizontal FOV is going to be insane when we finally get it.
 
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l88bastard

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Yea I never tried the 8kx until that show and DAMM what a beautiful FOV!

Being able to test and experience the 8kx FOV and the crystals clarity helped me visualize the 12k.
 
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