The 2019 Valve Index vs. the 2020 HP Reverb G2: which is the gamer’s choice? VR gaming has grown in popularity and technology over the past few years. The introduction of virtual reality gaming has altered the imaginations of gaming enthusiasts by taking them in a new direction. It has also increased their interest in new gaming technologies in general.
Having a VR headset is crucial to experiencing virtual reality technology at its peak. HP Reverb G2 and Valve Index are two of the most popular products on the market. Does the Valve Index hold up its superiority due to a better refresh rate and screen size? Or has Reverb G2 become the customer’s choice due to its relatively affordable price and high resolution?
Both products have been on the market for over two years, and experts have rigorously tested them. As a result, we are in a perfect position to compare them. Stick around to learn all about how these two VR headsets compare and find which one is best for you.
Valve Index vs. HP Reverb: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Specs||Valve Index||HP Reverb|
|Display||Dual 1440 x 1600 LCDs||Dual 2160 x 2160 LCDs|
|Frame rate||Up to 144 Hz||Up to 90 Hz|
|Cameras||2 cameras for tracking||4 cameras for tracking|
|Connections||USB 3.0, 5m tether, and 1m breakaway trident connector||USB C|
|Field of view||130 degrees||2 cameras for tracking|
Valve Index vs. HP Reverb: What’s the Difference?
The most obvious difference between both devices is their price. The Valve Index is placed quite high on the price domain, but the question should not be about the price tag alone.
The appropriate approach should be to find the best value for money. Valve Index provides many unique specs that have not been seen in any other VR headset; the 130 degrees field of view is an example.
The HP Reverb G2 sure packs a powerful punch, owing to its high resolution and better connectivity due to the presence of USB Type-C. Based on the huge price difference, we cannot completely disregard any of these VRs. Let us dive deep into the specifics to find out which ticks all the boxes of necessities and which provides luxuries apart from the bare minimum.
Prices and Available Models
- Displays - Dual 1440 x 1600 LCDs, full RGB per pixel, ultra-low persistence global backlight illumination (0.330ms at 144Hz)
- Ergonomic Adjustments - Head size, eye relief (FOV), IPD, speaker positions. Rear cradle adapter included.
- Inter-pupillary Distance (IPD) - 58mm - 70mm range physical adjustment
- Optics - Double element, canted lens design
- NOTE - PC compatible with Valve Index is required
HP reverb G2 is available on the market at multiple price points. The official website puts a $599 on the VR, but customers can acquire it for as low as $447 from Amazon.
The Valve Index VR kit is available on both the Valve and Steam websites. Gamers can order their VR kit from Steam for $999; however, this is for the kit alone. Adding controllers, headsets, and base stations stacks the price cap to $1,375.
The Valve Index has a sophisticated design that prevents it from being flashy in your living room. Instead, it sports a subtle and understated look.
It has a beautiful aesthetic finish of slightly shiny plastic, and the front-mounted glass panel gives it the appearance of an astronaut’s helmet from the future. When you slide it over your head, it feels like you are entering a brand-new world, which is when all the sophisticated ergonomics come into play.
Valve has loaded its VR headset with super-soft fabric that provides extra comfortable sensation and keeps your face safe from plastic and sharp edges. It is perfect for gamers who play for longer durations. Most importantly, off-ear earphones eliminate the need to use headphones.
The HP Reverb G2 is a sleek yet elegant VR headset with a matte black plastic frame and gray fabric for the interior cushioning. It has four exterior cameras, of which two face anteriorly and two face sideways.
Next to the side cameras are the speakers. The interior is padded with memory foam, present in a sleek fabric. You can remove it to clean the headset and access the wire that links it to the PC. But even with all that padding, wearing this headset might get uncomfortable for longer durations.
- Clear lenses by Valve with interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment
- Full immersive VR experience with a mura-free
- Four cameras & internal sensors to track movements
- Compatible with Windows Mixed Reality, StreamVR
- Natural and comfortable controller,
- Valve speakers for a powerful audio experience
HP engineered the Reverb G2 to be a room-scale VR system, which explains the massive 6-meter cable it comes with. The performance of the G2 largely depends on the gaming PC to which you have it connected. Testing the VR with Half-life: Alyx and Half-life City 17 put forth extremely satisfying results as the VR was able to keep up with the stunning graphics and smooth frame rate of both games.
HP has advertised the minimum spec sheet which the VR headset requires to produce optimum results. According to it, The PC should at least have an NVIDIA GTX 1080 or AMD Radeon 5700, Intel core i5 or i7 or better, 8GB or 16GB RAM, A DisplayPort 1.3, and an Operating system of Windows 10 or higher.
Valve Index touches the height of perfection with graphics, frame rate, and displaying stunning game visuals. This VR headset is heaven for gamers who have a PC with the desired specs.
Playing Half-life: Alyx provides a breathtaking and out-of-the-world experience, especially when you can bump up those resolution and frame rate options to the maximum. Valve Index can handle them all.
The only thing that can slow down the Valve Index is your PC; we can’t emphasize that enough. Ensuring you have a good VR gaming PC is essential. Otherwise, Valve Index provides exceptionally smooth transitions and movements, crisp visuals, immersive graphics, and out-of-the-world sound quality.
It is compatible with all the games on the SteamVR library ranging from Beat Saber to Paslov to Blade&Sorcery. At a minimum, your PC should have 8GB of RAM, a GTX 970 or higher, and at least a dual-core CPU.
The Valve Index provides a 130-degree view and up to 144Hz refresh rate. This makes the gaming experience quite interactive and fun. The main theme of any virtual reality setup is to make the gamer feel as if they have been immersed in the game, and Valve Index does that without any effort.
The speakers present in the headset provide a dynamic sound experience. The sound quality is so great that gamers can easily differentiate between the directions from which the sound is coming. Also, aiming has become very smooth and precise. All these features make Valve Index the perfect headset for Battle Royale-themed games that support VR.
The main domain where HP Reverb G2 dominates is the screen resolution. G2 comes with dual 2160 x 2160 that can provide a sharper image quality and a better feeling of immersion. The highest frame rate it can achieve is 90 Hz, and the speakers are also good.
Battery life and controllers will never get in the way of an enjoyable gaming experience. The battery lasts for 10-15 hours, as advertised. The controllers are also relatively easy to grip and fun to play with.
Minor movements and instant aiming all worked extremely precisely, so you can expect this VR headset to provide good compatibility results with First Person Shooting games. The only nuisance can be that 6-meter-long cable, which might interrupt you repeatedly with its presence.
Now, for setting the headsets up for G2, all you need to do is plug in the cable, Install the Windows Mixed Reality Portal, and you are good to go. The Valve Index has many parts you need to assemble, and you are good to go.
Valve Index vs. HP Reverb: 6 Must-Know Facts
- Valve claims to have unlocked the most expansive field of view, at 130 degrees, whereas HP offers a 116-degree field of view on the Reverb G2.
- Valve Index is roughly twice the price of Reverb G2.
- Valve Index has 1.6 times higher frame rate compared to that of HP Reverb G2.
- Valve Index also has a 21.11% bigger screen, measuring 7″ as compared to 5.78″ for HP Reverb G2.
- HP Reverb G2 has 2.02x higher resolution than Valve Index, giving a better immersive experience.
- HP Reverb G2 is also 260g lighter than the Valve index, weighing 550g as compared to the Valve Index, which weighs 810g.
Valve Index vs. HP Reverb: Which One Is Better?
HP Reverb costs less, has a better display, and is easy to set up. On the other hand, Valve Index is expensive but provides better immersion, graphics, and sound quality, but is difficult to set up. So which one is the ultimate winner?
Valve Index is the perfect choice for hardcore gamers who like to enjoy games to the fullest. If you have built a PC with top-notch specs, have unlocked the SteamVR library, and want a VR Headset you can wear for hours, you should opt for the Valve Index, as the HP Reverb G2 is not loaded with specs good enough to quench the intense gaming thirst.
On the other hand, more casual gamers who play on and off, have a PC with average specs, and want to experience playing games without much hassle won’t be concerned about the mind-boggling refresh rate or immersive sounds.
The only thing that concerns them is the sharp display in front of them. If this describes you, then you should opt for the HP Reverb G2 because going for the Valve Index with a PC that cannot handle it will deliver a lackluster performance.