Meta announces the $1,499 Quest Pro

At Meta Connect 2022, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s latest virtual reality headset. But, after years of striving to bring down the cost of entry to the VR world, the newly announced Quest Pro appears to be all about pushing technical boundaries.

The new device shares the Quest name but has little in common with the more mass market-geared headset, which Meta will continue to sell, albeit at the $399 starting price that it recently announced. With a much higher price point of $1,499, Meta is pitching the Quest Pro as a productivity device.

The Quest Pro’s headline feature is full-color passthrough, which uses four cameras on the outside of the device to capture and display the space outside of the headset to users wearing the device. A black-and-white version of this is available on the Quest 2. The feature will allow for “mixed reality” experiences that overlay digital content onto the user’s real-world environment.

These use cases are enabled by a lot of significant hardware changes.

The new “pancake” lenses mean a significantly reduced size with a 40% thinner display stack compared with the Quest 2. The headset utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2+ chipset and 1800×1920 per-eye mini-LED displays. The headset comes with 12 GB of RAM onboard and 256 GB of storage. The Quest Pro integrates eye-tracking as well.

The headset also boasts redesigned controllers that lose the large tracking rings and instead include three onboard cameras that track the controllers relative to the headset.

The battery life is the biggest question mark here. Meta claims the headset will only last for 1-2 hours, which is likely a tough sell for a “Pro.”

The device goes up for preorder today and will ship October 25.

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