Pimax presented the Pimax Crystal in Paris on November 8th. I took this opportunity to test this new headset full of promises. My impressions :
Pimax masters the image. The sharpness of the image is really excellent, thanks to two square screens of 2880p x 2880p. The new Qled technology with local dimming allows a better color rendering with a higher contrast than before. The blacks in particular are of a remarkable depth. No distortion visible.
Concerning the FOV, of course it’s difficult to go back after several years with a 5K+ and then 8KX. I note especially that the rectangular aspect of the FOV is a little more marked than on the 8KX, especially because of the square screens. Indeed they have increased the vertical field of view, which is not necessarily useful for us in Sim Racing. In any case it’s enough, and if it allows to run the headset with a better smoothness/sharpness ratio, why not.
In terms of performance, it is obviously complicated to judge because the computers used were of varying performance. In any case, the headset does not seem to be necessarily demanding. It was set to 120Hz stable (the 8KX does not yet exceed 90Hz) and should then reach 144Hz (and 160Hz according to the site …).
In terms of comfort, it is more or less the same recipe as the previous generation with some improvements. Personally, I had no comfort problems with the previous generation and I found my marks naturally. I simply note that the weight of the headset is very correct with a better weight distribution, especially thanks to the battery located at the back. I also think that the weight is less overhanging than before (it is also smaller).
Speaking of battery: we were not able to test the standalone features. However, the headset has an internal battery in addition to the external one, which means that you can change the external battery without switching off the headset. For us Sim Racer, this is good news!
Finally, we were not able to test the eye tracking features that should allow a significant gain in FPS. The solution is provided by Tobii so no doubt it will be efficient.
The proposed experiments were seated so I could not stress the Inside Out tracking but it seemed obviously functional. On the other hand, unlike the previous headsets, the electronics are cooled by two fans. The room was quite noisy so it was difficult to say if you could hear them when using them.
To conclude on these first impressions: with the Crystal, Pimax progresses in all the fields. But to convince me to invest in this headset (1800€), the eye tracking will have to prove its efficiency, and thus guarantee me to gain in fps compared to the 8KX without having to change my graphic card. If Pimax succeeds in this challenge, it will be the best all-around headset ever!
Pre-order the Crystal on the Pimax store.
EDIT: I put myself in the same conditions with my 8KX: I confirm that the contrasts are better on the Crystal. What is more marked in reality is the sharpness: it is much more uniform than on 8KX.