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Leadtek Xeye movie-viewing goggles

Films in your face

There are too many cables too. In order to wire your personal cinema up, you have to connect both power supply (via the mains or the supplied rechargeable battery pack) and video connection (Mini A/V and S-Video connections are available) to an interface box that dangles from the right-hand side of the headset. Wearing the Xeye is like being wired up to a school science experiment gone wrong and you always feel one wrong move away from knocking something loose, switching something off or disconnecting a cable inadvertently.

Leadtek Xeye

Second, the picture quality isn't fantastic. Though the Xeye does a passable job of processing both TV pictures, DVD movies and game signals, the image always manages to looks either over-saturated or washed out with nothing in between. And the relatively low resolution - 432 x 240 per eyepiece - is all too apparent with obvious pixellation in evidence whatever source you decide to connect it to.

Last, but by no means least, this not a device you're going to want to use for any extended period of time. After half an hour of watching telly on the Xeye you feel like the headset has been appropriately named. I'm no optometrist, but the feeling that your eyeballs are being slowly sucked out of their sockets can't be good for you. Lord knows what you'd feel like after using it to watch the entire extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring.

Verdict

Of course head-mounted displays like the Xeye are not really that new an idea. Other companies, most notably Olympus in recent times, have attempted to launch similar products to this without much success in the past and it looks, if the product ever reaches these shores - it's only available in the Far East right now - it could be much the same story with the Xeye.

Though the Xeye is a good idea on paper, in practice neither the technology behind it nor the design work to create a particularly compelling product. Put bluntly, this is not the next big breakthrough in personal cinema.

If you want to watch movies on the move, you're better off with a laptop or a halfway decent portable player. You'll at least be able to enjoy the action without having to resort to a bottle of aspirin afterwards.

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Leadtek Xeye
 
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