Review HTC Vive Cosmos VR Headset Review: Solid Upgrade

It's a decent read and is making me consider the Cosmos over the Index.

Any comment about black levels and screen door compared to the index?

Your average frame time graphs didn't list unit of measurement. I assume it's ms? (11.1ms = 90fps)
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May 11, 2014
I'm still at the first section, but why is a second generation headset being more expensive than the predecessor at launch a "glaring problem"? The original headset even debuted at $799
The Cosmos controllers require two AA batteries each, and the charge lasts approximately 2 hours. A few sets of rechargeable AA batteries would be a good investment if you buy a Cosmos.
That's bad, if accurate. It seems like it will be common for controllers to power down during a VR session if they only last a couple hours, and there will be a lot of fiddling with swapping and recharging AAs constantly. Even if you won't actually be in VR for more than two hours at a time, you will feel the need to pull out the batteries and put them in a charger after every time you use the device, so that they don't run out the next time you're using it. I actually like the flexibility of AA rechargeables, but not so much if it means the run-time will be terrible.

I'm still at the first section, but why is a second generation headset being more expensive than the predecessor at launch a "glaring problem"? The original headset even debuted at $799
I'd say it's not particularly attractive pricing, especially for anyone considering it as an upgrade over the original Vive, since they will have base stations already, making the pricing of Valve's Index more reasonable. I wouldn't exactly say the Index is priced to move at $1000 for the full kit, but $500 for the headset upgrade alone or $750 for the headset with the superior Index controllers seems at least somewhat more palatable than $800 for the Cosmos with some janky controllers with poor battery life. I don't have first-hand experience with either headset, but based on this review compared to prior Index reviews, it sounds like the Index is superior in almost every way. Better field of view, higher refresh rate, a more accurate tracking system, and more advanced and ergonomic controllers with several times the battery life and a simpler charging procedure.

About the only notable thing the Cosmos has going for it is the relative ease of moving it from one location to another without the need for setting up additional tracking hardware. But unless you're constantly moving it between systems, that's probably not much of a concern. The price of the full kit is technically a bit lower too, but for the vast majority of people who haven't already got into VR, I kind of doubt they will be looking at a headset in this price range anyway. It seems more likely that they would be looking at one of the many headsets priced around half as much, like the $400 Oculus Rift S, or a "first-gen" headset, or an even less expensive Windows Mixed Reality headset. Functionality-wise, it seems a bit questionable to even consider this a true "second generation" headset. Exactly what new features does it bring to the table? The resolution is about the same as what Windows MR headsets were doing for half the price a couple years ago, and the controllers are not as good as the Oculus Touch controllers from nearly three years ago.

And what kind of review was this that doesn't dive into the quality of the experience, outside of ergonomics and software compatibility at launch? It feels more like a first-impressions piece. How does the image quality compare with competing headsets, or audio quality? Almost nothing was said about these things. Measuring performance seems kind of pointless if you arbitrarily adjust the render scale to make the performance useable on all the hardware you are testing. At least go into detail about how that affects visuals. There seems to be no mention of how a 44% render scale on the GTX 970 makes things look. Probably pretty bad, is my guess. You might as well get the original Vive for a few-hundred dollars less if you are going to do that.