Apple Vision Pro: The first Apple mixed-reality headset is unlike any headset you have worn before. Did we mention it starts at $3,499? If you have an extra $3,499 lying around, grab it and head on over. Or maybe not. That price—the starting price—isn’t realistic for most of us, but there is a way you can order the device for free.
In essence, Apple’s Vision Pro is the company’s first mixed-reality headset. According to CNET’s Scott Stein, it is a “full iOS-enabled computer in the form of a VR headset, capable of blending the real world with virtual objects.”
During his review of Vision Pro this week, Stein also described it as one of the most difficult products he has ever evaluated. However, because it is so expensive and there are so few VisionOS apps at launch, he is not recommending it to his friends and family yet. However, he praised it as his favorite wearable display.
Apple Vision Pro: What You Need to know
The initial reviews
Although this device is extremely expensive, CNET’s Stein praised its remarkable micro-OLED display, fluid hand-eye control interface, and the ability to blend virtual and real worlds. “Playing back personal 3D memories feels transporting,” he says, calling it “the most advanced blend of mixed reality in a standalone device that I have ever experienced.”
According to Bridget Carey of CNET, the launch of the Vision Pro is reminiscent of the launch of the Macintosh computer in 1984.
A high price tag for a new machine may cause consumers to wonder, “Is it worth it for what it can do? What will it feel like to operate? What programs can I run on it?” writes Carey.
Take a look at the demo
Apple stores offer free demonstrations of the device, in which staff members carry the headset around on a platter as if it were a gourmet meal.
The demonstrations are 25 minutes long and guided by employees. You will have to sign up for a demo at your local Apple store on Feb. 2–4, which is the first weekend the device will be available, and expect long lines. As soon as you arrive at the store, visit the Vision Pro display area, scan the QR code on the sign-up iPad, and schedule a time for your demo.
The process can be made easier if you wait until next week. Go to either Apple’s Vision Pro page or the retail store page and click on the “Book a Demo” button. The dates are currently Feb. 5–8.
Vision Pro applications
At launch, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, Disney Plus, ESPN, Zoom, and others will be available.
The headset supports two kinds of apps. The headset doesn’t optimize compatible apps, but it still works and displays them in a window. VisionOS, the device’s operating system, specifically builds native apps.
There are no apps for Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Meta, nor do these companies appear to be creating any. You will need to use a web browser to view Netflix on the Apple Vision Pro.
What is included in the pricing?
Prices for the Vision Pro start at $3,499 for 256GB, $3,699 for 512GB, and $3,899 for 1TB.
The headset includes two head straps: a solo knit strap and a dual loop strap. It also includes a pair of light-sealed cushions, a front cover, a polishing cloth, a battery, a USB-C charging cable, and a power adapter.
There are additional options available, such as a travel case and a battery-pack holder, if you haven’t spent enough money.
Eyeglass wearers must insert prescription lenses
It’s been a while since VR headsets could be worn over glasses, but the Vision Pro does not.
The cost of Zeiss prescription lenses is $149 for prescription lenses and $99 for reader inserts. The lenses snap in magnetically and you can change them easily.
Stein, a CNET reviewer, says he was able to get lenses for his nearsightedness, but other people have not.