For a company that hasn't attended CES in years, it sure does love making announcements during the annual tech event. This year proves no different with Apple firing off a press release this morning announcing that its hotly anticipated headset, the Apple Vision Pro, will be available on February 2 in the U.S.
If you've been saving up for the $3,499 "revolutionary spatial computer" (don't call it a VR/XR headset), then you've still got a little time left as pre-orders won't go live until January 19 at 8 a.m. EST.
The future of computing
I haven't had the opportunity to use the Apple Vision Pro yet, so it's hard for me to weigh in on Apple's assertion that it "transforms how people work, collaborate, connect, relive memories, and enjoy entertainment." It feels like a reach, given that wearing any headset for an extended period of time isn't an ideal experience. I've tried most of the existing VR headsets, including the Meta Quest 3, and while things have improved drastically over the years, I never forget I have a headset on and I certainly couldn't spend a full work day in one.
I have no doubt that at launch Apple will sell as many Apple Vision Pro headsets as it has made, but this is one of the most interesting and important launches in Apple's recent history as this is an unproven market and Apple is launching at a price point that vastly outstrips its competition. To be clear that isn't pure "Apple tax," the Apple Vision Pro offers more capabilities and higher performance than the competition, but the unanswered question is whether that difference is worth thousands of dollars to a large enough audience for developers to throw their weight behind it.
While the AI PC is going to be one of the defining trends of 2024 in tech, XR headsets like the Apple Vision Pro and more affordable challengers like the XREAL Air 2 Ultra are sure to be right up there in that same discussion. It's a thrilling time to be in tech, and I'm excited that Apple's Vision (Pro) is finally going to be available to the masses soon, but I'm not quite ready to break open my piggy bank and drop $3,499 on January 19.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.
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