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First impressions of Apple Vision Pro: a magical, imperfect glimpse of the future

It’s February 2, 2024, and Apple Vision Pro is finally in the hands of consumers. There’s been a lot written about the wearable “spatial computer” this week, and we’ve read through all the reviews we could find to bring you a critical consensus.

In short, reviewers seem to agree that Apple Vision Pro is a monumental leap forward for extended reality devices, but still lacking in some key areas. Reviews mostly follow the same format: it’s great, buuut…

Reviews roundup

The Verge says it’s “the best consumer headset anyone’s ever made” and “a technical marvel,” but still an inherently isolating experience with a lot of trade-offs.

Techradar notes that the near-infinite desktop when connected to a Mac is a game changer, but the front-facing EyeSight display and digital Personas used for Facetime calls were creepily “uncanny.”

Daring Fireball suggests that watching movies in theatre mode is Vision Pro’s killer feature, although it only really makes sense for people who routinely consume content alone.

CNET laments that despite the seamless integration with many familiar iOS apps, many big apps are missing and others aren’t optimized for visionOS.

Understanding Vision Pro

Finally, for a more visual approach, Marques Brownlee’s fantastic video essay explains the many, many all-new features you have to get your head around to fully understand Vision Pro. It’s a great watch if you want a deep dive into what the product is actually like and what it’s for, but to get a feel for it yourself, nothing beats trying it for yourself.

Apple Stores in the US are now hosting in-store demos, although beware the walk-in sessions are likely to run out fast. Reserving a slot is probably your best option.

The future

As with any first-generation device, there’s plenty of room for improvement here, from refining the user interface to expanding app support and making the technology more accessible to a broader audience.

While Apple Vision Pro is indeed a magical window into the future, it remains a work in progress, a first step in a revolution that is still unfolding. Here’s hoping version 2 is half the price, with twice the apps!