Feature Hardware Virtual Reality

DPVR E4 VR Headset – First Impressions and Unboxing

DPVR has kindly sent us a review unit of their DPVR E4 VR headset ahead of its UK launch. We will of course have a full review after thoroughly evaluating it (Update: Find it here!), but wanted to post some initial impressions first. As always, please keep in mind that this first article is only based on limited experience with the DPVR E4.

I was given the disclaimer that the firmware and software are not the final version yet. Those of you who have experience with PCVR; you know how it goes with new VR headsets.

DPVR E4 - Box

What Is It?

The DPVR E4 VR headset is a virtual reality headset for PCVR titles via SteamVR with 6 DoF inside-out tracking. It’s priced at a reasonable $549 USD and boasts some impressive features. It has a single panel with a resolution of 3664×1920 (equivalent to a 2 lens design of 1832×1920 per eye) using the same screen as the Meta Quest 2, with a default refresh rate of 120Hz and a slightly wider field of view at 116°. It notes that it’s very light compared to other VR headsets.

This is VR headset number nine for me, and I’ve tried some others that I don’t own at demos. I’m always excited to try out new virtual reality equipment, so I’m keen to give this a try and share my thoughts.

DPVR E4 - Open Box

Inside the Box

The DPVR E4 box came inside another box which was itself well-packaged with tons of bubble wrap. Inside the box were the VR headset, controllers, various cables, and the instruction booklet. This was all very well contained in some solid foam padding, that filled all gaps in the box. I have no concerns about it being damaged in transport. On top of that, the lens, sensors, and various other places had a protective plastic film covering them.

 

 

 


If you’d like to watch the DPVR E4 being unboxed and have a closer look at some of the connections, check out the unboxing video embedded above.

While the headset I received was noted as the UK version, it had an adapter for not only UK power but also various other countries.

DPVR E4 -Unboxed

First Impressions

My first thought on picking up the DPVR E4 VR headset itself was just how light it is. It’s one thing to read that it’s only 280gbut it’s another to experience it. It’s not a fair comparison as it’s a standalone and PCVR headset, but the Meta Quest 2 for all of its positives is quite a lot heavier at 503g. As a fairer comparison though, it’s also notably lighter than the Oculus Rift S, Valve Index, and HTC Vive Cosmos, which are all PCVR headsets.

The headset itself looks quite sleek. I quite like the white and black design. It has a light pulsing across the front too when playing. The halo design is used here, similar to the PlayStation VR. It also has a top strap seemingly made of rubber. This doesn’t look too strong, but it does have some good flexibility in exchange. The notches are a little far apart on the strap too. I personally don’t find the PlayStation VR’s halo design comfortable, but perhaps because of the added strap support here, the DPVR E4 feels much better.

DPVR E4 - Front Shot

The controllers themselves are very similar to the Oculus design in layout, which is convenient. The panel with the buttons and analog stick is slightly slimmer, which looks nice. I don’t imagine it’ll make much difference in gameplay though.

The cable is fairly long. I couldn’t measure how long precisely (cables that don’t go perfectly straight, short tape measures, and a 3m room don’t help), but it’s approximately 4m, so I had no issues moving about. One feature I appreciated here was that the connection to the headset is very secure. It connects to a port in a box on a short cable, then screws in like the old VGA connections. The computer side sports a breakout box where the power cable is inserted in the side and a continuing cable that split into a display port connection and USB3 cable.

DPVR E4 - Assistant

Set-Up

I connected all of the cables, slid the battery compartments on the controllers open to insert an AA battery each, and plugged the DPVR E4 in. Within 10 seconds, a new ‘drive’ popped up on the PC with the DPVRAssistant4.exe. That was really convenient.

I started running the .exe to install it, which runs a quick PC test, then downloads the software (with a bit of music and video showing someone enjoying VR experiences to keep the user entertained briefly).

After a painless install, it asked me to register or use visitor mode. Registration was easy but seemingly unnecessary. Visitor mode just sent me straight to the setup process.

It took me through the standard VR headset room setup process. Set the floor height, draw an outline, and so on. I did run into an issue where I couldn’t proceed at first, but this disappeared after updating the firmware. Aside from that, it was straightforward.

One nice thing is that as part of the process, it let me choose the refresh rate of 72Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz. The latter will be more demanding on the PC, even if it’s smoother.

Entering the Virtual World

I put the headset on. Again, just how light it is was immediately appreciated. After using the dial on the back to tighten it, it felt secure and there was no noticeable light leakage through the nose flap or anywhere else.

The screen looked bright and detailed. I adjusted the IPD which is done via a digital tool, but didn’t really have any issues before I did that.

One feature I’ve not mentioned yet is that the DPVR E4 flips up. It’s extremely convenient for taking notes as a reviewer or recording videos as a content creator.

I decided to start my testing with some exercise games. Beat Saber is a good way to test tracking and I didn’t have any issues here at all. It kept up with my playing hard mode. I didn’t experience any problems in BoxVR either. That said, do keep in mind this is a first impressions article and based on very limited testing. One thing I did try: When the controllers left the tracked area, they quickly reappeared when reentering it, even if moved completely elsewhere.

It is probably worth noting that some older PCVR games just aren’t designed for inside-out tracking (e.g. Creed: Rise to Glory for PCVR with its wide swings) or don’t work by default with the DPVR E4 controllers (or the Meta Quest 2 ones). The Wizards seemed to be one of them, but it’s great for testing out controllers due to its gesture-based spellcasting. It accurately detected all of my spells, without an issue. I tried out Sairento VR too, just as a nostalgic title; it’s actually the first game I ever reviewed for an outlet. I’m obviously out of practice if you watch this clip, but it seemed to work perfectly from a brief try.I spent some time in BigScreen Beta too, which lets you experience a cinema view of your desktop or video content — I once was given a lesson in video editing when someone shared their screen through it. The high resolution paired with the lightweight build enabling lengthy sessions was great here. I spent some time watching 3D trailers, which was an amazing experience. When I spend more time with the DPVR E4, I’ll try putting some regular games up on the ‘cinema screen’ to see how it looks with this headset as I do further testing.

BigScreen Beta

Sweat

I’ll keep an eye on this as I try out the DPVR E4 more, but the silicone facial interface might be a downside for exercise games. After an hour of rhythm games, it started to collect on the rubber. There is a new ‘Sweat Resistant Facial Interface’ coming out soon as a separate purchase, but we’re only evaluating what comes with it by default for now.

Sound

The DPVR E4 has built-in speakers. They’re comparatively better than the Meta Quest 2 I feel, though not as good as the Valve Index. I had no complaints when using them for gaming including music titles. I’ve not yet had a chance to use the microphone, but it’s on the list to check for the full review.

The headset itself is a little loud with what I presume are the fans being a little noisy, but it’s usually not noticeable when using it. This may depend on the VR experience being used at the time though.

Beat Saber

Some Things To Be Worked On

As a reminder, I was given a disclaimer that the firmware and software are not the final version. From my first few hours using the DPVR E4, I came across a few things that might be improved through software updates.

I may just be missing something obvious, but I couldn’t find where to update the firmware. It just seemed to appear on the screen at one point, but it’s not an option I can see in the settings and I’m still not sure how I activated it.

I’ve also noticed that when I turn off the DPVR Assistant, the controllers don’t turn off. Instead, I need to leave the Assistant software on, but not move the controllers. Then they turn off. The headset doesn’t completely turn off either – I can hear the noise from the fans even when SteamVR and the DPVR software is off.

Final Thoughts

Again, keep in mind that these are first impressions and that the full review will follow when I’ve tried it more thoroughly, but my feelings are positive so far. There are some nitpicks here and there, but that seems to be PCVR in a nutshell.

The standout point is the lightweight and comfortable design for regular users. I certainly have no complaints so far about the screen either and the ability to go up to 120Hz is certainly a benefit.

I look forward to trying it out further and bringing you more thoughts on it soon.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE POSITIVE FOR DPVR E4

Purchase Links:
DPVR – Coupon Code: Nookgaming40 for £40 Discount on UK Site

Thinking about buying a DPVR E4? Check out the full review first! And while you’re at it, why not check out our other Virtual Reality reviews? The Gal*Gun 2 -VR DLC may be of interest.

Many thanks go to DPVR for providing a review unit.

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