Magic Leap’s second attempt at an AR headset looks more promising

The Magic Leap 2 will be coming in three editions starting at $3,299, all aimed at enterprise use.

Magic Leap 2
Magic Leap

After a fairly disappointing first release, Magic Leap is going to launch its second AR headset that’s solely meant for enterprise use. The Magic Leap 2 headset is a lot slimmer and less bug-eyed than its predecessor, but it still keeps the puck-style attachment that holds the brains of the headset. This time, Magic Leap is going for a shoulder strap design for the puck, giving it a more modern look than the clip-on style of the Magic Leap 1.

If you don’t remember, the Magic Leap 1 was more hype than hit, bringing in mediocre sales. The company later pivoted away from consumer products and layed off staff. Magic Leap is in dire need of a rebound, and it seems like Magic Leap 2 could be exactly that.

The full kit of the Magic Leap 2.Magic Leap

There’s really only a few solid AR headset choices out there, like the Google Glass or Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. Unlike these two options, Magic Leap’s formula is based around offering high-end specs by offloading the bulk onto an accessory. We saw it first with the Magic Leap 1, but Motorola also proposed a similar solution in the form of a 5G necklace. While not being tethered has it benefits, Magic Leap 2’s puck attached via shoulder strap actually doesn’t feel too intrusive and offers a clean looking solution.

Magic Leap slimmed down the headset itself and gave us a shoulder strap to carry the puck addition.Magic Leap

Improved specs — Magic Leap is upgrading its second headset with a much larger field of view at 70 degrees. Each of the Magic Leap 2’s lens has a resolution of 1,440 x 1,760 with a fast 120Hz refresh rate.

The Magic Leap 2 has an AMD 7nm Quad-core Zen2 X86 core CPU and a AMD GFX10.2 GPU in its puck, called the Compute Pack. The AR headset itself offers a quite a few sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter and more.

The Magic Leap 2 still retains a somewhat buggy look, but it’s much improved from the first version.Magic Leap

The upcoming AR headset also has a new dynamic dimming feature that can adjust brightness so it can be better used in brightly-lit environments. According to Magic Leap, the headset will last about three hours in continuous use, but seven hours in sleep mode.

Even more expensive — Even though the pricing of the Magic Leap 1 was prohibitively high, the Magic Leap 2 jacks up the price to $3,299 for its base model. The Magic Leap 2 will also come in a “Developer Pro” edition that starts at $4,099 and an “Enterprise” version that starts at $4,999. Considering the price was a downside of the Magic Leap 1, either Magic Leap hasn’t learned its lesson or has hopefully made the Magic Leap 2 that much more powerful. Then again, the Magic Leap 2 is intended as an enterprise device, so maybe a few grand isn’t totally off base for a company with enough incentive to buy one.

The Magic Leap 2 kit comes with USB-C chargers, straps and cables to attach the puck, controller, and headset itself, and a carrying case.Magic Leap

The Magic Leap 2 will be available September 30 in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Saudi Arabia. The AR headset is expected to be available in Japan and Singapore before the end of the year.