HP’s New Commercial VR Backpack PC Smartly Docks to Double as VR Desktop
Scheduled for release in September starting at $3,300, the HP Z VR Backpack G1 Workstation is aimed at the commercial market, with high-performance components including an Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia Quadro GPU. It features a smart docking design for use as a VR backpack computer as well as a VR desktop, and includes two hot-swappable batteries for continuous tether-free VR use.
Unlike their gamer-centric Omen X VR Backpack (which was introduced last year as a concept and is now about to launch as the ‘Omen X Compact Desktop‘), the new Z VR Backpack adds to HP’s family of VR-Ready workstation-class PCs, making it suitable for business applications such as product development and employee training. Announced at SIGGRAPH 2017 this week, the system is described as “the most powerful wearable VR PC ever created”, and “the world’s first professional wearable VR PC”.
The professional-grade specifications centre around the vPro-enabled Intel Core i7-7820HQ processor, and Nvidia Quadro P5200 GPU with 16GB VRAM. The system can be configured with up to 32GB RAM and a 1TB M.2 SSD.
Despite the seemingly imminent wireless VR revolution, HP believes there is still a market for this form of wearable solution, perhaps for applications where it is unsuitable or difficult to mount a wireless transmitter, or where many VR users are operating in close proximity.
The aggressive cut in the video between dock and backpack in the footage perhaps highlights the rugged design of the system, which has been built for “extreme durability with 120,000 hours of HP testing” and is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G tests (a US Military Standard).
Much like the recently-announced Omen X Compact Desktop, part of the Z VR Backpack’s appeal is the dual-purpose design, meaning that it can quickly transition between desktop dock—which is capable of dual 4K monitor output—and backpack, for untethered, high-end VR. That makes it a much more practical purchase than an expensive VR backpack PC which would otherwise require lots of plugging and unplugging each time you want to switch between backpack mode and use as a regular computer—not to mention that mounting it upright saves plenty of desk space.
A full overview of the system and its specifications is available on HP’s website.
“Virtual reality is changing the way people learn, communicate and create. Making the most of this technology requires a collaborative relationship between customers and partners”, says Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, Z Workstations, HP Inc. “As a leader in technology, HP is uniting powerful commercial VR solutions, including new products like the HP Z VR Backpack, with customer needs to empower VR experiences our customers can use today to reinvent the future.”
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