- Page 1 Vuzix Wrap 1200 Video Eyewear
- Page 2 Performance & Verdict
Vuzix does its best to help. The Wrap 1200’s power box features navigational buttons for the onscreen menu and basic video controls, but that means having to regularly look outside the glasses while making adjustments. Surely building the power source into the arms of the glasses (which would balance the weight), charging them directly off USB and running a single cable directly to your device is the format which should be embraced.
Of course much of this would be forgiven if the Wrap 1200 could deliver the home cinema viewing experience it promises on the move. Unfortunately here it also comes up short. Vuzix is right to stress the importance of configuration because out of the box the viewing experience is poor. But spend time getting the focus distances and IPD right, adjusting the brightness, contrast, hue and colour saturation via the (somewhat clunky) onscreen display and the difference is sizeable. In fact we’d go so far as to say the end result is hugely enjoyable. In 3D (using YouTube’s 3D videos) the effect is only passable with the extra dimension somewhat jarring so close to the eyes, but the virtual 75in big screen effect does work and with a 60Hz refresh rate there is minimal motion blur. Colour reproduction is a little washed out, but the bundled earphones are good enough to lock you into the action.
The problem is you are not locked in for long enough. The Wrap 1200 has a battery life of just three hours so if you’re on a long trip you’ll need to bring plenty of spare AAs which only adds to the number of things to remember. That said wearing 85g glasses (roughly the equivalent of an old Nokia candybar phone) on your head for any longer than a few hours does become uncomfortable.
Then there’s the elephant in the room: price. £399.99 is a substantial sum to live out your Sci-Fi fantasies. It will put off the casual user and the long distance traveller will be cautious of the short battery life. Build quality isn’t great either, there are no springs in the arms and lenses pop out too easily meaning you need to pack it carefully as well as remembering all the cables. For £400 you can buy a tablet with a 10in screen, 10 hours of video playback and a wealth of other features. We’re sad to say it, but it’s a no brainer.
As technology gets ever more powerful and portable a better viewing experience is essential and video eyewear represents one of the best solutions. Unfortunately we aren’t there yet. The Wrap 1200 is an overly complicated and fussy solution which requires extensive tinkering to get the best from and is let down by weak battery life, iffy build quality and a sky high price. We’ve had a glimpse of the future and it is tantalising, but at present a glimpse is all it is.
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