Review: Vuzix Wrap 310XL Video Eyewear & Giveaway

Video eyewear company, Vuzix, has a new model in their Wrap line of video glasses, the Wrap 310XL. Here’s our full review after taking this pair for a test run. (By the way, we’re giving away this pair, so read on to find out how to enter to win!)

Vuzix Wrap 310XL video eyewear

First of all, what exactly are these? Well if you’re not familiar with Vuzix, they produce video eyewear for entertainment, military and medical purposes. In the entertainment field, it’s mainly to get video to your eyes from a pair of glasses that look very much like sunglasses. Think VR eyewear. Read on for the rest of the review.

The Vuzix Wrap 310XL is the next model up from the Wrap 230. The biggest differences are in the resolution and aspect ratio. The 310XL is able to display at 428×240 vs 320×240 for the 230. It is effectively like watching a 55″ screen from 10ft away. The 310XL can natively display 16:9 video.

If you want the effect of a 67″ screen (640×480 resolution) from 10 feet away, then you’ll want the Vuzix Wrap 920 model.

My Findings
I had the Vuzix Wrap up and running in a matter of minutes, plugged into an iPod via the included iPod/iPhone adapter. It also comes with a composite audio/video cable with female RCA jacks and you can get an optional adapter for Nokia N95/N96 smartphones.

I was pretty impressed by the video quality. It looked even better than it did natively on the iPod screen. However, I was still distracted by the black frame of the glasses themslves, although I have the same problem every time I get a new pair of sunglasses. I can’t help but looking at the frame, no matter how large the lenses are. In the case of the Vuzix Wrap, the display panels do need to be lined up pretty well with your eyes.

This brings up another point – these are not designed for much movement while you’re using them. So think about using them while relaxing at home, on a plane, or some other place where you want/need video privacy.

While under 3oz, I still found the weight noticeable. Not unpleasantly so, but enough to give me pause. However, I don’t wear glasses, and wear some very light sunglasses when I drive, so I’m spoilt in that way. Most people used to glasses may not mind at all. I’m not sure I could wear these for hours at a time.

I didn’t bother connecting the included RCA A/V cables to my AV system, because I didn’t quite see the point of doing that when you could be watching a real TV without a pair of glasses in the way!

One nice feature was the ability to easily adjust the video’s aspect ratio and zoom – 4:3, 16:9, full and zoom, much like your HD TV. While the 310XL (and many other Vuzix models) support 3D formats, I did not have any decent media to test it with, not that there is currently a wealth of such material.

Conclusion
There is a lot to like in these Vuzix Wraps. It’s not quite inexpensive yet, as the 310XL lists at $250 (sells for about $200), but time will probably bring down the costs on this technology and make it more common. You may not opt for a pair of these if you have a large screen TV at home, but may consider some for your in-flight entertainment if you’re a road warrior. It’s certainly a lot more private than a portable DVD player.

PS: Vuzix, you should probably trademark ‘iwear’ before Apple does! 😉

Giveaway
We’re giving away our Vuzix Wrap 310XL review sample!
All you need to do is follow us on Twitter (@gizmosforgeeks) and then retweet the contest. We’ll draw a winner on Sun 12 Sep at 11:59PM Eastern. More info via the Tweets Win page.

Here are our general contest & giveaway rules.

(Disclaimer: Gizmos for Geeks received a complimentary review copy of this product.)