Inspect-a-Gadget: Cinera 'IMAX' Headset

By Daniel Plafker, April 11, 2018

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Inspect-a-Gadget is a monthly segment where we feature a tech toy our editors have been playing with.

At this point, clunky VR headsets are a dime-a-dozen in China and at first glance you could be forgiven for assuming that Cinera is just another chinsy gimmick for trend-chasing gamers. You’d be wrong, of course. 

Rather, Cinera is a dual-screen, extra-wide movie-watching console from a Shenzhen startup that wants to change the way you enjoy cinema. 

Founder Peter Lin calls it “IMAX on your face,” and with an impressive 66-degree field of vision (compared to the paltry 54 degrees of most standard cinema screens), he’s not far off. 

The product, which is about the size of a science textbook, comes with an extendable ‘burden-free’ mechanical arm to hold the entertainment portal in place. It doesn’t go in for flashy gaming features, out-of-the-box convenience or extreme portability – unless you spring for the battery-pack head mount, Cinera is designed for use at home.

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Instead, as a product made by and for movie-lovers, Cinera focuses its firepower on video quality and viewing experience. Its dual 2.5k screens can display standard as well as 3D content, its lightweight body effectively blocks outside light and, with a pixels-per-degree count roughly four times that of the competition, Cinera easily leads the pack. 

But that image-superiority comes with a hefty price tag. This futuristic piece of video tech will currently set you back RMB5,057 on Cinera.net (though we recommend you wait till mid-April, when the product is rumored to start selling on JD.com at a significant discount).

Solitary cinephiles who are willing to fork over more than most of us spend on movie tickets in five years will not be disappointed with this product – it’s strikingly vivid and incredibly immersive. But those of us who still like the social aspect of sitting around the sofa enjoying movies with friends or, God forbid, going out into the world to enjoy popular culture in a public place will probably stick to torrent sites, Netflix and good old Wanda.

RMB3,998 Cinera; available on JD.com starting April 23.

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