Why I don’t want to return my Vision Pro


Selfie taken wearing a Vision Pro
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m actually wearing the Vision Pro in this picture! You probably didn’t notice because you can see my eyes so clearly.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The two-week return window for my Vision Pro is fast approaching, so I need to make my keep it/toss it decision in a matter of days. And I desperately want to keep it.

Many publications (including Cult of Mac) are reporting on the mass of people selling their Vision Pros after the two-week return window. A lot of it, I think, is for the drama — Apple is taking a big swing on a brand-new product, people aren’t keeping it, instant controversy. (I bet a lot of these people bought their headsets to produce content on the buzzy device and never planned on keeping it, no matter how good it was.)

Well, here’s the other side of the coin. My Vision Pro has fit into my life perfectly. I use it for hours every day. But justifying the purpose is a financial stretch.

Why I probably should return my Vision Pro

For various boring personal reasons, I need to move when my lease is up in May. All the options on the table will end up with me moving in a more costly location for the benefit of proximity to family and friends.

I’ve run the numbers, and barring any personal emergencies, I should have enough money to cover a deposit, first month of rent and various additional moving costs by the end of my current lease. My editors have agreed to a prolonged repayment plan that would let me keep the same Vision Pro I’ve been testing the last two weeks, should I accept.

Even so, it would be foolish to chisel away at my safety net when I have an impending deadline, right? But on the other hand…

Why I desperately want to keep it

Me, wearing a Vision Pro, sitting at a kitchen table with a bowl of pasta in front of me
I might look like an idiot, but I can watch videos on an incredible floating screen at my kitchen table as I eat lunch.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The Vision Pro is a transformative device for me in how it bridges the gap between work and leisure.

After working the morning on my Mac, I find myself putting the Vision Pro on around lunchtime. Watching YouTube videos on a gigantic floating TV screen in my kitchen that I can carry over to the table is truly special. My iPhone 12 Pro and its dust-filled speakers could never compare.

When I get back to my desk, I usually keep it on, working the afternoon in the virtual Mac display. Offloading some of the apps on the Vision Pro — Slack, Messages, Music, Podcasts, Mail — allows my Mac to stay more focused on specialized tasks in Safari, Final Cut Pro, Pixelmator Pro or Logic.

I really take advantage of my whole office, with these apps placed all around me as I swivel around in my office chair, keyboard in lap.

Then in the evenings, well, I’m already wearing the best TV in the house. I don’t have to sit on my living room couch facing the TV; I can watch shows and movies in my library armchair or even lying down in bed if I’m so inclined.

“Spatial computer” really is an apt descriptor for the Vision Pro. This is an all-purpose device.

The Vision Pro replaces a bunch of other devices

Safari and Slack in Vision Pro
If I need to travel, I can’t take my Mac mini and its many peripherals with me — but I can take a Vision Pro and a keyboard.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

I have an ancient TV, a desktop Mac and a pair of original AirPods that I’ve let degrade over time. I don’t own an iPad.

The Audio Pods built into the Vision Pro are simply brilliant. It’s incredible how the tiny speakers carefully positioned in front of your ears have such rich sound.

I don’t regret my purchase of a desktop Mac mini whatsoever — it’s been transformative in my work and I don’t travel enough to justify paying the premium for a MacBook. But if I happen to be traveling, I need to plan ahead to make sure I won’t need to do any work while I’m away.

And my TV is fine, but it’s really old. My fancy Apple TV 4K is internally crying, as it’s outputting to a crummy 1080p panel.

After two weeks with the Vision Pro, I’ve realized that it fulfills all of those roles in my life. Altogether, buying the three or four separate devices in comparable specs could cost $3,000 or more, and there are still Vision Pro-exclusive features I would be missing.

I really want to keep it. $4,000 is a hell of a lot of money — but I have a hell of a lot of love for this thing.

There is one more secret escape hatch. On Tuesday, I can begin the return process. That would actually buy me yet another week before I would have to box it up and take it to a post office.

Am I going to keep it or not? Prior evidence suggests I’ll keep kicking the can down the road of indecision for as long as humanly possible.


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