Microsoft Showcases Windows Mixed Reality Headsets

Peter Han VP Partner Devices and Solutions at Microsoft shows the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro publicly for the first time during Microsoft’s Computex 2017 keynote

In the midst of another confusing chapter in its hardware efforts - the rollout of the Microsoft Surface Laptop family - Microsoft executives at the Computex 2017 show in Taiwan seemed to feel the need to clarify that their hardware strategy continues to be about driving growth and customer demand for the OEM partner ecosystem.

Microsoft had previously announced that Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo would be producing MR headsets, but today at Computex saw more details emerge of the Dell, Asus and Lenovo models.

Asus has added to its line of Oculus-ready ROG gaming desktops and VR-ready Vivo-PC X. The new head-mounted unit features a polygonal 3D cover panel and ergonomically adjustable strap that allows single-hand setup.

This one will be available sometime this holiday season. Mixed reality has to catch up with VR when it comes to consumer awareness and Dell plans on doing that with its new stylish white headset which is designed by the same team that makes their premium XPS and Alienware PCs.

Also showcased at the event were the latest collections in consumer, gaming, education and commercial devices from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba. Windows 10 VR headsets from HP and Acer have already been spoken of in the past and Microsoft in March made developer kits from these companies available. Microsoft didn't say whether this headset will be released in 2017 so it's quite possible that it may not arrive until next year. Lenovo's headset includes built-in sensors for inside-out tracking, and a rather basic design.

Finally, Lenovo went down the road of cost-effectiveness and simplicity, opting for an all-black design and no flashy features other than its "incredibly affordable" price. Whether or not this all works out as planned remains to be seen, but in the meantime, some of Microsoft's partners have already offered up mixed reality headsets for preorder. Expected to launch at an affordable price, this Windows mixed reality headset packs a sporty weight-balanced headgear, replaceable cushions, cable routing to protect wires from dangling and a flip-up visor. Acer ($299) and HP ($329) are now available for pre-order through the Microsoft Store for developers in the US (Acer, HP) and Canada (Acer, HP).

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