The VR craze is upon us.
Now, it’s all about making it portable. HP is tossing its cards on the table with an unnamed Omen PC that can be worn as a backpack. All we know of the name is it is part of the premium Omen X line HP announced recently.
And it looks like the Jaha’s backpack containing the chips for the City of Light. Hmm, not sure I want to be chipped. It didn’t end well for ALIE and company. Then again, nothing ends well for the characters on The 100. Talk about a bleak show.
HP Omen X
The backpack PC isn’t unexpected. Both MSI and Zotac announced similar machines in the past week. Specs are unknown, but its compatibility with VR systems like the Oculus means you can count on an Intel i5 or i7.
RAM specs hit up to 32GB, and while the GPU isn’t known, it has to be powerful enough for locked frame rates in upcoming virtual reality titles.
HP is promising to keep the weight under 10 pounds – giving it comparable weight to the VR-ready laptops like the Acer Predator 17x. Keeping the heat in check will be a pair of fans while a waist belt will incorporate two batteries to power the CPU and GPU separately.
If you’re expecting healthy battery life, check those expectations at the door. The company is promising around an hour, but both batteries can be swapped on the go. A third battery will prevent the unit from shutting down while you change batteries.
Evidently, no one wants to be tethered to a desktop and throwing a gaming laptop into a backpack is a recipe for heating issues. A backpack VR machine offers something that might be more ergonomic and maybe slightly more convenient.
It will come down to price, and all three companies are radio silent on that front. HP says it wants to make it accessible to everyone, but it’s not hard to imagine it being more expensive than VR-ready desktops that start at $1000.
Miniaturization to fit all the components will cost and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that the price hits something closer to VR-ready laptops. Then it becomes a matter of convenience. And are the rigs comfortable?
It makes sense for theme parks and other areas where walking VR makes sense. Your living room? Get a longer cable. Walking down the street? Hey, you could be the first to test out the Google flypaper for humans patent.
A lot of unknowns behind the HP Omen VR backpack, but expect that to change soon. The company is prepping testing units on what is by far the most literal interpretation of wearable PCs yet.