Unboxing the HTC Vive Pre, and the Small Tweaks Needed for the Consumer Version

by Will Mason • March 7th, 2016

So we had two HTC Vive Pre’s arrive at the offices today ahead of the opening of the Upload Collective on March 15th and we decided to shoot a little unboxing video to show you what comes with the device, and also to outline some of our minor concerns with it.

On the inside of the rather large box that the Vive Pre ships in, are four separate packages containing the various pieces of the kit. In the first box inside our package we opened the headset itself along with an HDMI cord, USB cord and the video box that the cords pass through. In addition to all the necessary cords and the headset itself we also got a pair of in ear headphones with a push to talk button, and a second facial gasket that is more accommodating for glasses wearers.

One thing that we noticed on the HTC Vive Pre itself was a removable top piece that exposes the device connections, including an open USB port. We have experimented with it and can confirm that it can be used to power peripheral devices, like Leap Motion.

The other boxes contain the two Vive controllers and their USB power cords and the two light house basestations with their power cords and sync cable.

The HTC Vive Pre is not a final version of the hardware, and as such these cannot be considered judgements on the version that ships to consumers April 5th. That said, we have been playing around with a Vive for the last few days and there are a few things we see that we would love to see addressed about the hardware in an ideal world.

During the setup in my house, one of the first things I noticed was that the power cables for the Lighthouse stations are a bit too short for mounting them in the corners of your ceiling unless you have an outlet directly below. Measuring them they came out to 101 inches (8.4 feet) long each. For my apartment, I had to find an extension cable stretched across the floor to reach the power, creating a tripping hazard – as well as ugly clutter. A longer power cable might help prevent this a bit.

One of the other things that makes this an issue is the size of the AC adapter on the power cords. The power cords for both the base stations and the headset have large horizontally oriented AC adapters that have a tendency to occupy multiple outlets. When you are using a grounded power strip for your computer and have a number of powered peripheral devices, every outlet slot counts. It would be nice to see these redesigned slightly to be more accommodating for space.

Overall the Vive Pre is a fantastic piece of hardware, and despite the large box and number of peripherals it is fairly easy to setup – doing it in a way that doesn’t turn your room into a cord jungle takes a bit more finesse but we will get to that in another article.

 

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