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The Aussie Microsoft Store has really cheap augmented-reality headsets up for pre-order

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It’s no secret that Microsoft is hot-to-trot for augmented reality (AR), and starting today the company’s offering up two new Windows-based AR developer kits for pre-order to everyone – Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition for $649 (opens in new tab) and HP’s Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition for $599 (opens in new tab).

But while those pre-orders are open from today, customers will still to wait until October 17 this year before they can expect their wearables to be shipped, however.

Prospective buyer’s shouldn’t be thrown off by the “Mixed Reality” or “Developer” tags either – you don’t technically need to be a developer to be able to use the wearables, and ‘mixed reality’ is essentially just Microsoft-speak for augmented reality. Both the Acer and the HP headsets are similar in form and function to Microsoft’s own HoloLens, just without the four-figure price tag.

Both new headsets headset feature 1440 x 1440 LCD displays with a 95-degree horizontal field of vision and 90Hz refresh rates.

The Acer Mixed Reality Headset was first revealed at CES 2017, and was shown off again at an event in New York in April, where we got to go hands on and give it a try. Our reviewer found it to be pleasantly light, with pleasingly-sharp resolution.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.