PrismXR Carina D1 Charging Dock for Quest 3 review — finally, cordless!

1 month ago 77

My Quest 3 charging game was weak. I have a USB-C cable running to the Quest 3 headset, and another to the BoboVR battery pack for my headset. For my controllers, it’s rechargeable batteries. Inevitably when I pick up my headset I’ve forgotten to plug in and charge one port or the other, or my controllers will complain mid-game that they could use a top off. It’s suboptimal, for sure. Recently I picked up the PrixmXR Carina D1. You might recall we checked out the Puppis S1 wireless VR extender, and the Carina W1 power belt, so I had a pretty good idea that this would be a solid entry into their lineup already. Still, I was eager to see if it’d solve my forgetfulness and let me just finally get to playing some games without the hassle of thinking about charging ahead of time.

Inside the box is a large bowl-like structure with several recesses in the center. An L-shaped arm, a USB-C cable and separate wall charger, two batteries with metal strips on them, a pair of replacement covers with metal contacts on the sides, and a small circular piece are in the box, along with the instructions. Also inside the box is a strangely-shaped piece of plastic that I couldn’t readily identify.

Assembly is a breeze on the Carina D1. Grabbing the large dish object, the L-shaped piece simply slides into the ready port in the back. This will provide an adjustable rear piece for your headset to fit on, regardless of which strap you happen to be using.

The Quest 3’s controllers have a small compartment on the side where the batteries reside. The cover for this compartment is replaced by the Carina D1. Two small metal contact points located on the outside for charging. Inside the controller, you’ll place the pair of 1800 mAh specialized batteries, with the metal contact points I mentioned facing outwards. The case goes on top, allowing a frictionless charging method without a single wire. The batteries are maintained at around 90% to ensure they will stay healthy longer, with PrismXR suggesting more than 500 charges of useful life before you’ll want to swap them. A quick look at Amazon doesn’t give me an option to buy these as replacements yet, but the charging dock just came out, so that should resolve over time.

The only thing left in the box, besides the USB-C cable and wall charger, was this mystery plastic structure and the small round item. I recognized that the round item would go over the charge port on the bottom of the Quest 3 headset, and it turns out the mystery object was the guide that would help me place it. The instructions are very clear on how this is placed on the headset to ensure the charge port interface ends up in precisely the right spot. Sure enough, using the guide, placing the adapter is a breeze.

I was surprised to learn that the power connectors for both the controllers and the headset use a magnetic interface. The small pins on the charging dock line up with the ports on the controllers and the HMD, and they snap into place, reinforcing that you’ve got them in precisely the right spot. In addition, a small trio of lights at the bottom tell you that the headset and both the left and right controllers are charging. Removing the BoboVR battery from the equation for testing, we saw the headset go from empty to full in just over 2 hours, and the controllers topping off from empty to full roughly 30 minutes after that. There’s nothing stopping you from swapping in another set of rechargeable batteries if the controllers die on you as no permanent changes are made to either device. It also means you can use external batteries like the BoboVR, Carina W1, or other power-extending devices to let you game longer.

There is a list of incompatible items that you supposedly can’t use with the Carina D1, though my experience differs. They suggest you can’t use controller grips or grip covers, which makes sense as you just replaced the battery ports, so that tracks. They suggest you can’t use aftermarket facial covers, anti-leakage nose pads, or the VR Shell Cover. While I’ll agree with the latter–the Shell Cover would interfere with the charge port–I use an aftermarket facial cover and nose pad without a problem. I imagine there might be some out there that could cause issues, but as long as you’ve got good contact points with the charging systems, you might share the same experience I did.

Frankly, the incompatible accessories bit is the only negative I can think of with this charging dock, and frankly, that’s a non-issue for me. I don’t use the shell cover, and the wrist straps that came with the controllers have suited me fine. Your mileage may vary, obviously, but none of those are a dealbreaker for me.

All of PrismXR’s products come with an 18-month warranty, which is six months longer than anyone else. The PrismXR Carina D1 will run you $79.99–roughly $25 more than their competitors. So why pay the extra? The footprint. This dock is compact, storing everything inside that small circular dock without eating up so much real estate on my desk. The other piece is build quality.

Every other charge dock I’ve tested is accomplished by jamming the HMD onto a protruding USB-C port. That’s a recipe for a worn-out port on an expensive headset, so those are a hard pass. A few use inductive charging, but those tend to have trouble with aftermarket head straps. It’s always a tradeoff, and the Carina D1 is the first that I’ve not needed to wrestle with to work with my setup. The other problem with the cheaper docks is the build quality. I’ve thrown four of these back into the Amazon return pit for either not charging enough (less than 50% but reporting full), or feeling like they’d snap under the weight of the headset, or just not working at all. The PrismXR products have served me well, and the Carina D1 is no exception.

The thing I like most about the Carina D1 is that it allows me to store my entire VR setup in one convenient place, and it looks good doing it. It only requires one cord to the back of the base, meaning I can cut the number of plugs and power ports needed in half. It also means that my gear is ready to go whenever I’m ready to play.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!

With solid build quality, slick aesthetics, and a fantastic magnetic charging system for both the controllers and the headset, the Carina D1 charging dock is a must-have for any Quest 3 owner.

Ron Burke

PROS

  • Simple to use setup
  • Included guide ensures the port locks in properly
  • Compact design keeps everything in one place
  • Conditioning ensures long life for batteries
  • Solid build quality

CONS

  • Some third party accessories will be incompatible

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

See below for our list of partners and affiliates:

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

Continue reading