Asus Windows Mixed Reality Headset finally arrives for $429

The futuristic-looking HC102 headset follows the same spec formula as those from Acer, Lenovo and Dell.

Joshua Goldman Managing Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
Expertise Laptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and drones Credentials
  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Joshua Goldman
2 min read

The Asus HC102 WMR headset is available now. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

When does fashionably late become simply late? 

Asus RSVP'd to the Windows Mixed Reality Headset party back at IFA Berlin in August 2017 with the announcement of its WMR HC102 headset and controllers. While its competitors released their headsets back in October, however, Asus is just now releasing the HC102 for $429 in the US. (It's up for preorder in the UK for £450. No word on Australia, but a AU$799 price tag seems likely.) 

Certainly the most interesting-looking headset of current models, Asus said its designers used technology normally used to create digital architecture to make the pattern of hundreds of 3D polygons. It's lightweight at about 14.1 ounces (400 grams) and balanced to take pressure off your nose and cheeks.

Like the other WMR headsets (the name is meant to encompass augmented and virtual reality and anything in between), Asus' headset uses a pair of front-mounted cameras and a set of built-in sensors to map your physical position. Called inside-out tracking, the design allows for six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) movement tracking without the need to buy external sensors and set them up in a dedicated space. They're made to be plug-and-play for the most part, too, so you can be up and running in minutes just about anywhere.

The HC102 has the same basic specs as the other WMR headsets, too: 

  • Two 1,440x1,440-pixel LCDs with up to 90Hz native refresh rate 
  • Front-hinged display for quickly lifting the viewer up and out of the way
  • Built-in 3.5mm jack for audio and microphone support  
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 for video and data
  • 4-meter (13.1-foot) cable

While the Asus headset is nice looking, it's more expensive than all of the other WMR headsets at the moment. That includes the Samsung Odyssey, which has built-in headphones, higher-resolution displays and a wider field of view.