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Up close with the HTC Vive Pro

It's definitely improved.

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Sean Hollister
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
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1 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

We just got our first look at the HTC Vive Pro, a major upgrade to the HTC Vive headset that was just announced at CES 2018. The highlight: 78 percent more display resolution, which translates to way clearer images that make you feel more like you've been transported to another world.

But there's more. 

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2 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

It's also got a vastly improved headstrap with big, built-in headphones that can be adjusted to a wide variety of angles to reach your ears.

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3 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

With front and back padding (a carryover from the optional Vive Deluxe Audio Strap you could have added to the original Vive, but even comfier here) it felt way better on my skull. 

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4 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

It's easy to cinch down, too, with a PlayStation VR-like dial you twist once you put it on.

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5 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

The new headphones have built-in audio controls, with volume on the left earcup...

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...and a mic mute on the right. Vive headsets didn't previously have built-in earphones, but they've always had a built-in microphone.

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7 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

The lenses still use the same thin Fresnel design. Sorry we didn't get a clearer shot, it's a little dark in here.

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8 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

The Vive will support Valve's 2.0 tracking system when it's available, so you can use up to four base stations now.

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9 of 9 Sean Hollister/CNET

The Vive Pro will be available in the first quarter of the year, first as a headset-only upgrade for existing Vive customers.

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