Another 8KX first impression for people who wants to know what to expect

Please note that I am basically comparing the 8K X to a 5K+ that I have.
Also for context, please note that I haven’t read most of the other people’s posts about their experience.
Edit : Added about IPD.
Edit 2 : Added about Pitool 1.0.1.264

  1. Hinges

The short answer is yes, there is a problem.
I haven’t read much about the hinges from other people so this is based 99% on my personal experience. Basically, if you look straight down to your toes standing, the HMD will fall off of your head since the backside of the strap rests too close to the top side of your (well, at least my) head. Also since the HMD’s weight makes it wobble around when you look left/right swiftly. So let’s say if there is an FPS which asks for quick head movements and asks you to pick up ammo from the ground, that would give advantage to other headsets in terms of gameplay, not to mention the chance of the headset being damaged.
I wear glasses, so I tried without my glasses and see if I can further tighten the strap to have it more securely mounted, but tightening the strap more resulted in the headset lifting off my head.
As a side note, it came with plastic hinges and not the metal ones (unit shipped on Sept 15th).

Edit: Interestingly, after I received the thick foam and replaced it, the strap seems to fit my head better.
Perhaps because it now has more give to how the HMD sits on my face angle wise.

  1. Face foam

Seems Pimax has decided that they will only include the thin foam? Mine had the one attached to the HMD and no other foam.
People that wear glasses might have a problem with this. I do wear glasses, but basically there is no clearance between your eyeglasses and the lens of the HMD. Depending on the design of the eyeglasses you wear and the length of your eyelashes, this may be a problem. My eyelashes barely touch my eyeglass lens when I have the HMD on, but if any closer, this could be distracting/annoying and might smear the vision while gameplay.
In comparison to my 5K+, the lens has definitely come closer to the eyes.

Edit: As it turns out, thanks to the many people who informed me, it was a mistake to have only one foam and there should be a thick and thin foam included. I have sent a ticket the same day I originally posted, and I have received the thicker foam together with the eye-tracking module today (Sept 30th).
So if you have only had one face foam in your box, I encourage you to create a ticket especially since there is a chance that the thick foam may make the HMD fit better to your face.
For me, the thicker foam not only makes the HMD fit better, now my eye distance from the lens has comfortable clearance while wearing glasses, and on top of that, the IPD matching seems to work better as well.
If I elaborate, I had no problem with my eyes focusing on the displayed image on the 5K+, but with the 8K X, after testing it for more than a few hours, I started to notice that my eyes had a harder time maintaining focus. As in, my eyes will lose focus every now and then when I lose concentration, which was not the case with the 5K+.
With the thick foam attached to the 8K X, I don’t need to concentrate to focus my eyes as well. So I believe it would be a good idea to ask for the face foam since you will never know until you try.

  1. Pitool

The Pitool with the 8K X is still a bit buggy (1.0.1.263).
The most frequent problem I ran into was that even though Steam VR will show you the “Display VR View”, the 8KX will not show any image (black screen) from time to time. At the moment, I would say close to half the time I tried to have it working. Mind you that I have only have used it for half a day or so. As time goes by, I will likely develop a ritual (do and do not) to avoid the cause so this rate should go down as time accumulates. Not to mention bug fixes from Pimax.
As a side note, I have found out that the headset does not like it when you plug the display port before the USB ports.

3.5 Tried out 1.0.1.264.

The colors are a lot better, other than that, I don’t see much of a difference with my usage.
This means for me there was not much of a reason to stick to 263.
The black screen still occurs frequently and I can’t make out what the cause is, but rebooting the HMD from Pitool fixes this issue so not a big deal. The older version’s (I’m talking about quite a while back) reboot headset never fixed the problems I had so I gave up on it, but good to know it functions now.

  1. Inherited Quirks

There were quirks from the pre-Vison models but they are also here to stay.
I have one base station fairly close to my playspace (seated VR) but the 8K X still needs some distance from the base station to recognize it, as if it has a minimal focal distance. Also, the lens side still seems to recognize the base station easier than the shell side. This may not be an issue if you have a large room with two or more base stations.

  1. Build quality

The build quality is improved from the 5K+. The HMD’s shell has less flex but doesn’t feel robust enough to the level of some headsets that will withstand multiple drops from standing heights. No, I have not done the drop test.
My 5K+ had cracked even though I have never dropped it, but likely the 8K X’s shell will survive my handling.
I also must add that my 8K X had it’s left cap fall off from the MAS. Nothing that a bit of glue can’t fix, but you might want to check them prior to using them when received.

  1. Visual quality

The visual quality is definitely improved from 5K+. I can still see the pixels, but my brain will not perceive it as I am seeing it through a screen door. The god rays and the distortions are still there. I have not noticed any improvements if the lens were revised. Personally, I do not mind the distortion/god rays, but if you were looking for improvements with these particular issues, skipping this generation could be a choice.
One new issue is that when your eyes are off the sweet spot of the lens, the blurriness of your vision stands out, not because of a fault, but because of the improved clarity from the 4K per eye native res.
As of the 4K per eye resolution, I feel that there is a need for even a higher resolution for optimal visual quality (not to mention advancement in lens technology and such) perhaps in the level of 8K per eye and above.
If we speak of let’s say audio quality, old school amps from the '70s can compete and in some cases surpass current models, but I do not see that this is the case with a 4K per panel resolution.

  1. Impact on (my) PC’s Performance

I have a Ryzen 1800x with a 1080ti atm, but it runs Elite Dangerous with close enough FPS that I cannot really see a difference between the 5K+ and the 8K X. As a measurement, I would say few frames might be lost (from mid-high 30s fps in a crowded environment to mid-low 30s). All the settings are left as it was on the 5K+ and unchanged in this tryout. The HMD was always running in native res.
As a side note, my M/B (Asus 370 prime something something) seemed to have a problem to run the headset on the top USB 3.1 port where the USB-C port is next to.

  1. IPD

I would say the function is generally the same, but I feel that the 8K X, at least the unit that I have has the IPD displayed slightly narrower than my 5K+. I set it to 60 on my 5K+ but 61 seems to fit me better with the 8K X. Could be tolerance between units. Or could be that it’ll settle down after moving it around for a while. In any case, not a big issue but might want to look into if you have trouble with setting your IPD.

  1. Conclusions

If you are expecting a near-perfect experience out of the box, Pimax is still not for you.
Just for the record, if you want prompt delivery or support, Pimax is still not for you.
If you are willing to bite the bullet for seeing the future for a hefty price tag, and if you don’t mind crafting/modifying certain elements, this is a very good base kit to get a hold of. I’d say I fall into the latter group.
Do I like it? HELL YES!

Hope this helps.

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Nice review - thanks. IMHO more hands on feedback is always good :+1:

Personally I’m waiting for the DMAS reviews and in the mean time hope Pimax sort some of the teething problems you mention (ie hinges, face foams, pitool etc). Also hoping by then some people on here will have both the 8KX & HP Reverb G2 and kindly A/B comparison before I make a final decision.

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Thanks for the first impression. I’m glad you liked it.

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Forgot to mention the IPD.
I would say the function is generally the same, but I feel that the 8K X, at least the unit that I have has the IPD displayed slightly narrower than my 5K+. I set it to 60 on my 5K+ but 61 seems to fit me better with the 8K X. Could be tolerance between units.

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Thanks for the balanced review, gives a realistic idea of what to expect :+1:

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So you got plastic hinges but they don’t hinge well either?

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My guess is that it depends heavily on the person’s head shape.
The problem for me is that the hinge only moves so much that the back side of the strap rests close to the top of my head and not supporting the headset from the rear of my head.
My head pretty far from ideal from what Pimax assumes as a human head.
I might be a space alien…

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i think the whole production went wrong…metal or plastic

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Funny how every aspect of the Pimax headset is somehow not ideal for many people

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I would call the MAS that they are sending out just plain faulty units.

There was a fault in the manufacturing that they didn’t check at all before sending out.

And even now that they know there is a fault (only after customers reported cause they don’t seem to be using their own HMDs at all) they are still sending them out.

This is their flagship, most expensive model.

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Great review. I would think most Pimax owners mod their headsets in some way or another. The people who choose not to likely tend to sell theirs. I’ll probably ditch the MAS on mine and swap to my Vive DAS, at least until the KDMAS arrives. I’ve always been an electronics tinkerer though.

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VR headsets are like gloves one size don’t fit all. Large FOV headset are more like bike helmet :wink: Add to that some cie learning ergonomic on the fly.

I think Pimax next iteration will be better, keeping the original KS design with the 8KX is like getting in legacy mode early. You have the quirk and the oups should done this better getting in the way the hinge design is one of them

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that’s right about the gloves, for this sum I get a pair of beautiful leather gloves made just for me and just for me. with the Hmd it looks completely different. There are so many simple technical solutions to get in comfort and ergonomics. Pimax is just bad when it comes to simple solutions.

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Like I said, let see the next design before final judgment but yes burden of proof is on their side…

Didn’t find the OD+ or the Vive deluxe strap that much ergonomic either. The better comfortable headset I have is the PSVR which is not that convenient for fast action game requirement fast body or head movement because the headset is not stable laterally. Is not so easy to have design not costing that much and fitting everyone heads but Yes Pimax doesn’t seems get first class grade in current version.

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thanks for the review @saraki , it seems there will be more of them in the foreseeable future. for me the journey and support will end with the arrival of the 8kx. I don’t want to know what pimax is coming up with marketing promises and which improvements are promised to make us pay money.

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Check #Pimax-pitool:Pitool-Notes there is pitool 264 there and I believe a new firmware release posted as well.

Congrats!

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True, but luckily (for me), they seemed to design it for my exact face shape. (I see no distortions). Time will tell, if the MAS fits my head. I expect I’ll probably have to make some sort of mods.

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Regarding the visuals. Did you set it up properly on the software side?

Also give Pitool 2.6.4 a try.

Lastly, take a look at the link below. Apparently theres a huge clarity difference to be had. You just have to take the time to configure the headset properly. The steamvr config file change seems to be the biggest thing for upping clarity. This should for the mostpart be an automatic process when Pimax Experience comes out, but for now the tuning is manual. Give it a look.

Also, check this link out too, scroll down to Software Adjustments.

These software adjustments might be able to help you if you havent done them already.

As far as comfort, getting a Vive DAS + Adapter + Face Foam Replacement (VRmust or VRcover) could help you significantly, might also help treat some of the god rays and distortion, it would also provide a better audio solution.

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Great review, I agree to pretty much all of it

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I would agree with the Review, if I could see it for myself.

But here I am still waiting for my unit…

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