As you’ve likely heard, Apple on Monday released its much-anticipated mixed-reality headset. Without having tried the Apple Vision Pro ourselves, we’ll keep our reactions at a high level for now, including commentary and analysis to come on the device’s impact, if any, on brand marketing and SMB SaaS.
Until then, there’s no shortage of punditry, most of it slamming Vision Pro’s price tag. Though that’s not entirely wrong, it misses the point. V1 isn’t meant for most people, but rather early adopters, tech influencers, and developers. Apple is hoping the latter does its thing and jumpstarts an ecosystem.
Or as Localogy President Bill Dinan said this week:
“It’s like the Mac version 1 of headsets. That first Mac was crazy expensive and a big box. But it was what it did that drew the users in… and then Apple refined and move forward from that old Mac and the original clunky iPod. For Apple Vision Pro, everyone is keying on the headset. It’s not about the headset. It’s about the tech in the headset. It’s a major step forward in spatial computing and unlocking the limitations of a computer screen.”
This notion was validated by one of our favorite hands-on reviews from Road to VR’s Ben Lang. Quoting Lang:
“With this first-gen headset, Apple has planted a flag in the ground with Vision Pro, saying, ‘we want the MR experience to be at least this good, regardless of what it costs’. From here the goal is clear: make it smaller, better, and cheaper. And if they keep doing that, future iterations of AVP will become increasingly valuable and increasingly accessible to more and more people. If this is the bar they’re setting for themselves (and by extension, the rest of the XR industry), then the future is looking very bright… even if it’s not quite here yet.”
Speaking of going hands-on, Lang is among a small batch of tech writers who got to try the device at WWDC on Monday. This is a key consideration as the world of Apple Vision Pro pundits is split between those who have tried it and those who haven’t. Be wary of haters in the latter camp. There are many.
So to save you some time and point you to the most credible commentary, we’ve rounded up our favorite hands-on reviews. These are from a mix of spatial computing experts (like Lang), and tech generalists who have experience and perspective with XR hardware (like WSJ’s Joanna Stern). Here are our top 3…
Scott Stein, CNET
Joanna Stern, WSJ
Honorable Mention (if you have lots more time): The Vergecast
Stay tuned for for more market level (as opposed to device level) analysis that we’ll unpack over the coming weeks…