Let's make one thing clear. The Meta Quest Pro is not the successor to the Meta Quest 2. While Meta’s latest VR headset borrows many elements from its older sibling, this device is aimed at an entirely different user base. If you’re a designer, engineer, scientist or frequently collaborate with colleagues online, the Meta Quest Pro could help you in your professional endeavors.
Though priced quite high at $1,499, it has the makings of being one of the best VR headsets.
I got extensive hands-on (or heads-on) time with the Meta Quest Pro at a recent press event in New York City. While I’ve been skeptical about VR gaming, I’ve always felt the technology held great potential outside of that field. The Meta Quest Pro gave me a glimpse of what’s possible in VR – specifically how it can be used to have more natural interactions with those I’m communicating with online. As things stand, Meta’s new VR headset lays down a solid foundation that future devices can iterate on.
In this Meta Quest Pro hands-on review, I’ll detail some of the Meta Quest Pro’s features, specifications and my overall thoughts based on my time with the device.
Meta Quest Pro: Price and availability
The Meta Quest Pro will be available to purchase on October 25 for $1,499. You can pre-order it now from the Meta Quest online store. Retailers like Best Buy and Amazon will also sell the device in North America. You’ll get the headset, Meta Quest Touch Pro controllers, stylus tips, partial light blockers and a charging dock.
A number of accessories will also be available at launch. This includes Meta Quest Pro Compact Charging Dock ($79), Meta Quest Pro VR Earphones ($49) and the Meta Quest Pro Carry Case from Incase ($119). The Meta Quest Pro Full Light Blocker ($49) is expected on November 22.
Meta Quest Pro: Design
The Quest Pro is as sleek and elegantly designed as the Quest 2. It features what the company calls “pancake lenses” in the front and a curved-cell battery on the back of the headset. These two parts are what come into direct contact with your head and I’m glad that neither felt uncomfortable when pressed against my noggin.
At 10.3 x 7.1 x 5.0 and 1.59 pounds, the Quest Pro feels lightweight and comfortable. In fact, it almost felt as if I wasn’t wearing a headset at all. That in itself is a huge victory since every VR headset I’ve ever used never let me forget I had a big plastic device strapped to my head. I can’t speak to how comfortable the headset is after extended sessions (I only ever had the Quest Pro on for about ten minutes per demo), but I think it should be easy to wear for long periods of time.
There are dials on the front lens and on the battery pack. The former lets you adjust the distance between your eyes and the screen between 2.16 and 2.95 inches, while the latter is used for tightening and loosening the device around your head. The dials on the headsets I used seemed a bit tight to turn, especially the front dial. I’m not sure if this will be adjusted before launch, but perhaps frequent use will loosen them up.
Meta Quest Pro: Specs
|Header Cell - Column 0||Meta Quest Pro|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+|
|Display resolution||1832 x 1920 per eye|
|Battery life||1-2 hours (rated)|
|Size||10.3 x 7.1 x 5.0|
Meta Quest Pro: Setting up
Configuring headsets was always a dicey proposition. If you didn’t do it right, older headsets wouldn’t be able to accurately track your movements. Thankfully, the setup process is extremely simple and straightforward on Quest Pro.
After booting up the headset, you’re asked if you want to configure it. Thanks to its inner cameras, it knows how far your eyes should be from the main VR lens to get the most optimal view. An animated tutorial displayed an image of my avatar (in this case, an alien girl) who also wore a Quest Pro. I turned the front dial or moved the headset higher or lower until the on-screen instructions flashed green, denoting that my adjustments were correct.
The Quest 2 recommended that you have 6.5 x 6.5-foot space for room-scale VR so that you’re free to walk around in a VR space without worrying about bumping into something. There is no such restriction with the Quest Pro because of its open periphery design. There is no need to make room around you when you can see everything in your environment and thus avoid it.
Meta Quest Pro: Open periphery
This may sound strange but one of the main reasons I don’t like wearing VR headsets is because they completely cut me off from my surroundings. It can feel very claustrophobic at times. Thankfully, the Quest Pro is specifically designed with an open periphery view, which is similar to the Quest 2’s Passthrough feature.
For example, I can see and use my laptop in the real world while also interacting with virtual elements. This mixed reality experience allows you to be present in your world while working in VR, which is something I personally find important.
But if you want full immersion, you can attach the magnetic partial light blockers that are included with the headset or buy the optional full light blocker attachment.
Meta Quest Pro: Virtual office experience
Virtual office meetings have become crucial over the past two years. While communicating via programs like Google Meets and Zoom works well enough, the experience can feel impersonal. The Quest Pro's technology enables it to better recreate the office experience and make meetings feel more genuine.
In one demo, I sat at a desk inside of a large office. A PR rep sat across from me while another rep attended the meeting via a virtual screen that floated in mid-air. In fact, it's possible to pull up multiple windows within the VR space that you and everyone else can see and interact with. People in the meeting can also use their controller's attachable stylus to write on surfaces such as a virtual whiteboard.
This is one of those situations you need to experience to properly appreciate, but working within this virtual space feels more intuitive than staring at my coworkers on a flat monitor. The fact I can continue working without switching between tabs as I do on my PC is a game changer.
Meta Quest Pro: Controllers
The Meta Quest Pro controllers are the company’s first self-tracking controllers. This allows for a full 360-degree range of motion since the controllers don’t rely on the headset for tracking. Even if you place your hands behind you, the controllers will always be tracked.
The controllers also have what the company calls TruTouch Haptics, which allow for finer motor controls. For example, you’re able to pinch objects and feel resistance on the controller’s buttons when doing so. I felt this in action during a demo where I squeezed a rubber ball. Thanks to the haptics and rumble, it was almost like performing the action in real life.
You can attach stylus tips to the controllers in case you want to write something in VR. As with squeezing a rubber ball, this action also felt true to life. I actually felt resistance when pressing the virtual marker on the virtual whiteboard. Don’t get me wrong, writing in VR is still awkward, but it was far more intuitive than I expected.
Overall, I found the controllers complimented the VR headset well. I also appreciated how easy they were to use. After all, fumbling around with a controller will not only pull you out of the VR experience, but it’ll slow down your productivity.
Lastly, Quest 2 owners will be happy to know the controllers are rechargeable – meaning you won’t have to stockpile AA batteries. If you want, you can use the new controllers with the Quest 2 since they’re backward compatible.
Meta Quest Pro: Performance
The Meta Quest Pro runs on the Snapdragon XR2+ platform, which Meta claims makes the Quest Pro 50% faster than the Quest 2. It also packs 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
All the demos I tried were snappy and responsive. Whether it was using a turntable, throwing darts, painting on a canvas or using a tennis racket, the VR headset and controllers tracked all my movements and gestures without a hitch. Granted, these were curated demos and were likely designed to work as flawlessly as possible, but I was impressed regardless.
Meta Quest Pro: Audio
Audio is just as important as visuals in VR. To that end, the Quest Pro has spatial audio processing that’s meant to deliver an authentic sound experience.
One of the more impressive demos I tried involved me sitting in the aforementioned virtual office meeting room with two avatar PR representatives. One rep stood up and walked to the other side of the room and their voice lowered as they got further apart. The opposite happened when they sat down beside me. Combined with seeing the avatar’s realistic facial and hand gestures, this made for a brilliant office simulation.
Meta Quest Pro: Battery life
Meta says to expect between one to two hours of battery life, based on the kind of content you’re using. You can check the battery’s status at any time in the Meta Quest App settings or in VR via the Home menu. And though this defeats the purpose of a wireless headset, you can connect the included 6.5-foot cable to charge the device while using it. According to Meta, it takes two hours to fully charge the headset.
Meta Quest Pro: Outlook
The Meta Quest Pro is a different beast. Yes, it can play games and perform the same functions, but it’s expressly made for a different audience – namely professionals. Because of that, you may want to stick with your current VR headset or opt for a more affordable option if all you care about is gaming.
And while the Quest Pro isn’t exactly for the average consumer, it shows Meta’s desire to make VR viable in fields beyond gaming. I suppose this makes sense given how hard the company is pushing the Metaverse. If you want to sell businesses and professionals on the idea of working in VR then you’d better be sure to provide a headset that can make working in a virtual environment more intuitive and appealing. The Quest Pro seems to deliver on that promise.
I’m not sure how the Metaverse venture will pan out, but I can say that the Meta Quest Pro is a darn impressive piece of technology. I look forward to bringing you our full-rated review once we're able to live with the headset.