Meta Quest Pro review: the future right on your face

Alan Truly is writing using a Quest Pro with a paiered keyboard and mouse.

Meta Quest Pro

MSRP $1,500.00

“The Meta Quest Pro is a fascinating piece of technology that will delight early adopters.”

Pros

  • Very comfortable & no face pressure
  • Top display clarity pancake lenses
  • Good contrast with mini-LEDs
  • Excellent controller tracking
  • Improved multitasking performance

Cons

  • Needs frequent charging or a power cord
  • Software is a bit glitchy at release
  • Very expensive

The Meta Quest Pro is not your standard VR headset. In many way, it’s a new category of product, meant as a device to replace your laptop for work.

Despite all the skepticism around the headset due to the company that makes it, I was fascinated by its claims to replicate the daily work experience on a headset. There’s much more the Quest Pro can do, but entering into my intensive days of testing the core features of the Meta Quest Pro, productivity was my focus.

While it still feels like the early days of headsets like these, I was surprised by just how many things it did well. If you can set aside your biases, you’ll find a fascinating piece of technology that impressed me time and time again.

The Quest Pro display Three browser windows are open in a Quest Pro.

When I start my day, I usually check my email, see what’s happening on Twitter, and browse the news. I currently use three different devices at my desk to handle this task. A desktop computer with three monitors would work also. With the Quest Pro, I can handle all of that from the Meta browser with three windows open side-by-side with a better and more flexible view than physical monitors.

The size and aspect ratio can be adjusted by dragging a corner, just like a window on your traditional computer, but in my view within the headset, they appear enormous. The size of a window on a traditional monitor is limited by its physical dimensions. On the Quest Pro, you can fill your entire readable view with a single window, and you can have two more browser windows like this on either side.

A huge browser window is filling the entire view.

You can either turn your head, twist your body, or drag the window control to see the others if you have them this large. Text is sharp and easy to read once the Quest Pro has been adjusted correctly, which is a very important detail that I’ll discuss in more detail below.

Perfecting the Quest Pro’s fit From a side view, you can see how glasses can be worn along with a Quest Pro.Tracey Truly

After you set up a desktop computer, monitor, and keyboard, it’s ready to go the moment you wake it up. That’s hard to beat, but the Quest Pro only takes a moment longer once you’re accustomed to wearing it and know where controls and apps are located. It’s similar to using a tablet for the first time. You have to accept that it takes a few days and possibly weeks to become fully acclimated, as well as build new habits and muscle memory.

When I first put on the Quest Pro, I was impressed with the bright, colorful display but disappointed to find that the screen didn’t immediately appear to be sharp. To be fair, I’m a bit nearsighted and expected that a screen that’s less than two inches from my eyes wouldn’t present a challenge.

My close-up vision is very good. As unintuitive as it was, I put on my glasses, which are shaped to bend light and help me see distant objects better. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the display was much sharper in the Quest Pro headset as soon as I put on my corrective lenses.

After making some refinements, the screen became incredibly sharp to my eyes.

It’s probably a side effect of the pancake lenses that bounce light around internally to allow a tight focus in a very narrow space, making the photons travel further. I’m not certain if that’s the reason for the apparent distance of the headset’s screen, but I’ve seen others agree that the Quest Pro might require you to wear your prescription lenses even if you don’t with other VR headsets.

In addition to that, I didn’t receive the notification to do a fit adjustment at first, and I was wearing the headset a bit too low on my forehead. I pushed it up, then it was too high, according to the fit adjustment app. That’s when I started making micro-adjustments to the vertical placement. The Quest Pro uses eye-tracking in its adjustment app to check for perfect alignment. I also had the lenses separated too far. An interpupillary distance (IPD) of 67 was best for my eyes.

This photo shows the three places to adjust the Quest Pro for the best display clarity.Alan Truly

With these refinements, the screen became incredibly sharp to my eyes. With attention to the headset placement, it’s fine for watching videos, exercising, and even light browsing without glasses. It takes a few tries to get the hang of the ideal position for the Quest Pro, but now it has become second nature. I put on the headset, push it up slightly, tighten the head strap, and it’s good to go.

If I’m working and need to read and edit text, I put on my glasses first. There’s an adjustment wheel at the front that provides extra room for glasses so they won’t bump into the Quest Pro’s lenses. The brightness, contrast, and color are wonderful to my eyes, and I have no complaints about the display quality. I actually lowered the screen brightness for more comfort and the side benefit is enjoying a longer battery life.

The battery life isn’t a problem Alan Truly tries to power a Quest Pro with an ancient battery pack.Tracey Truly

I’ve only been using the Quest Pro for about a week but I haven’t had any problems with the battery life. I can work for two or three hours, and when I take a break, I put the headset on the included dock to top it up while I have lunch or stretch my legs.

If I need to push through for several hours to meet a deadline and the battery gets low, I can plug the Quest Pro into a charger and keep working. The headset can also be charged by an external battery pack. Depending on the capacity, a good external battery can power the headset for many hours, even when working away from a wall outlet.

The Quest Pro can run for a few hours, but it won’t last as long as most modern laptops.

My old 10,000mAh battery pack with a USB-A plug doesn’t put out enough power to keep the Quest Pro going, but more modern versions that can output at least 18W should work to keep the headset running, and I have a newer battery pack on the way to test this idea. 18W is the lowest power output of the charger Meta includes with the Quest Pro, so I think it should work.

It seems like Meta missed an opportunity to sell a Quest Pro battery accessory on launch day. Perhaps Meta wanted to avoid drawing attention to the short two-hour battery life. The news broke about this anyway, and it probably would have been better to have the solution available in store in advance.

The bottom line is that the Quest Pro can run for a few hours depending on your usage, but it won’t last as long as most modern laptops. Battery life is, however, about the same as the Quest 2, Pico 3, and other standalone VR headsets. The good news is that extending battery life is easy if you need to do so.

Performance improvements Meta Quest Pro uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ chip

Meta upgraded the processor and memory in its Quest Pro, so it should outperform its previous best, the Quest 2. The Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ is based on the same design as the XR2 chip, but Meta claims the Quest Pro has a 50% improvement in performance.

The speed of a device is affected by more than the raw power of its CPU, of course. Thermal limitations can cause a device to purposely slow down to prevent overheating. Known as throttling, this issue shows up after several minutes or even hours of use. The Meta Quest 2, for example, is known to have a reduced clock speed and never reaches the full potential of the XR2 chip, a permanent throttling. Also, graphics and neural processors have a huge impact on modern computer use, particularly VR headsets.

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