Apple Vision Pro provides a glimpse into the future, but it’ll cost you close to $4K

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Apple’s long-awaited headset, the Vision Pro, which starts at $3,500, launched in the U.S. on Feb. 2.

It’s Apple’s first major product launch since the Apple Watch debuted in April 2015. The company says the headset marks the beginning of “spatial computing,” or a way to blend digital content with the world around you.

Person using Apple Vision Pro with computer

Apple Vision Pro

Not to be confused with gaming-focused virtual reality headsets like the Meta Quest 3 or PlayStation VR2, the Vision Pro is more of an entertainment device and productivity tool — not to mention it has the highest resolution display you’ll find on a headset.

So, what does that mean for you? Basically, you can strap a pair of goggles to your face and summon a gigantic 4K screen that feels 100 feet wide, use it to supersize your Mac display for work or capture and view 3D photos and experience content in a way unlike any other.

What it’s like to use Apple Vision Pro

What it’s like to use Apple Vision Pro

Although we haven’t gotten our hands on Apple’s Vision Pro headset just yet, a handful of early reviewers have described it as “mind-blowing,” “thrilling,” and “breathtaking,” adding that it delivers an “unparalleled sense of immersion.”

Apple Vision Pro stands out by offering the best of both worlds: immersive virtual reality to shut out the real world and explore digital landscapes, plus augmented reality that seamlessly blends digital elements with your surroundings, enhancing your physical space with interactive games and apps.

For example, Joanna Stern, a senior personal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, took the Vision Pro to a ski cabin in the Pocono Mountains and wore the headset to cook dinner with the Vision Pro recipe app, “Crouton.”

Although this is a bizarre use case, picture this: you’re in the kitchen, juggling multiple pots and pans. While you saute mushrooms, a virtual timer floats right above them, ticking down until they’re perfectly browned. At the same time, another timer hovers near a pot of boiling pasta, ensuring it hits al dente just as the mushrooms are ready. No more frantic peeking or juggling timers. They’re right there, in your line of sight, until you turn around to toast some garlic bread, but they’ll be there waiting when you go back to your stove.

The device doesn’t include remotes or controllers and is operated entirely by your eyes, hands and voice. It doesn’t sound possible, but you use your eyes to look at whatever you want to select and tap your thumb and index finger together to “click.”

You don’t directly control the Vision Pro with your eyes and hands. Instead, cameras track your movements and translate them into commands. So, given the slow speed of the eye-controlled, onscreen keyboard, you’ll want to type with your voice or a Bluetooth keyboard instead — which brings us to our next point.

Accessories and add-ons

Accessories and add-ons

If the Vision Pro’s $3,500 price already sent you into a sticker shock spiral, believe it or not, the actual cost of owning Apple’s latest gadget is likely higher when you factor in add-ons like accessories, memory upgrades and AppleCare+.

The official Vision Pro travel case costs $199, a spare battery pack to extend its two hours of runtime will run you another $199 (assuming you don’t want to be tethered to an outlet), a spare cushion to make the goggles fit another family member costs $200 and you’ll have to spend an additional $100 to $149 for lens inserts if you wear glasses.

After tax, opting for both AppleCare+ at $500 and the 512-gigabyte storage option for an extra $200 quickly brings the Vision Pro’s cost to almost $5,000. And that’s without factoring in high-quality headphones, which are essential for truly immersive experiences.

If you’re curious about what’s included, you get the following:

  • The headset itself: a sleek-looking but heavy headset for experiencing content in new ways.
  • A custom-fitted Light Seal: This conforms to your face for a comfortable and secure fit.
  • Two Light Seal Cushions: one standard, one thicker, for personalized comfort.
  • Two headband options: the Solo Knit Band for a relaxed fit or the Dual Loop Band for a more secure fit.
  • The tethered Apple Vision Pro battery: for powering up your AR/VR adventures.
  • A polishing cloth: to hopefully keep your Vision Pro sparkling clean and smudge-free.
  • A 30W USB-C Power Adapter: Plug in for extended virtual journeys or juice up.

What apps are available?

What apps are available?

Apple has said that the Vision Pro will allow users to download and stream content from Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, Discovery+, Disney+, ESPN, Fubo, Max, MLB, MUBI, Paramount, Peacock, PGA Tour, Pluto TV, Tubi, Red Bull TV, IMAX and TikTok.

Of course, Apple’s own apps, including FaceTime, Safari, Freeform, Keynote, Mail, Messages, Music, Notes and Photos, are available. Synth Riders, one of the most popular games on the Meta Quest 3, will be available at launch and for workaholics, Microsoft is bringing its Office 365 suite to the headset, while Slack and Zoom keep you connected to your colleagues.

How to preorder and experience Vision Pro yourself

How to preorder and experience Vision Pro yourself

The Apple Vision Pro has three storage options: a 256GB option starting at $3,499, a 512GB variant starting at $3,699 and a 1-terabyte option for $3,899. If you can afford it, we recommend opting for the middle storage tier — especially if you plan to download and watch lots of high-resolution videos. For now, the headset is only for sale in the U.S.

You can sign up to demo the Vision Pro at an Apple Store starting at 8 a.m. on Feb. 2 on a first-come, first-served basis if you want to experience it firsthand before committing to purchasing one of your own.

Given the steep demand and limited supply, you may receive your Vision Pro headset early in March if you order online today, so we recommend picking it up at a physical Apple Store if you want it sooner. There’s an option to finance your purchase with a 0% annual percentage rate with an Apple Card when you purchase via the Apple Store if you’d prefer to make payments.

Lastly, when you preorder your Apple Vision Pro, have your iPhone or iPad ready for a quick Face ID scan to ensure you receive the perfect head strap size.

Stay tuned to BestReviews for more coverage of the Apple Vision Pro, as we look forward to testing it and experiencing mixed reality ourselves.

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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