HP to ship its Omen X VR backpack PC in June

HP will out with two versions of its Omen X VR backpack PC -- one for gamers and the other for commercial customers

HP will make a major virtual reality push in June, when it will start shipping its Omen X VR backpack PC.

The backpack PC has already been announced, but the company until now had not provided a shipping date. HP is accepting applications from gamers and commercial developers to test the product.

There will be two types of Omen X backpack PCs, Ron Coughlin, president of the Personal Systems Business at HP, said in an interview. HP will release a VR backpack for gamers, and one for commercial customers, he said.

Users will be able to carry the PC like a backpack and hook up a VR headset like HTC's Vive. Wearing the backpack PC allows users to move around freely.

Headsets like the Vive and Oculus Rift usually need to be wired to a desktop PC with powerful GPUs, which limits movement.

The Omen X VR backpack PC weighs about 10 pounds, or 4.5 kilograms. A belt carries two batteries, and they provide about an hour of VR use on a headset. The batteries can be hot-swapped, which allows the VR experience to continue without shutting the PC down.

The PC also has two USB Type-C, two USB 3.0 ports, and one HDMI port.

HP announced the VR backpack PC last year, and since then, the response has been tremendous, Coughlin said.

There is a lot of interest from gamers, and also from the military, the entertainment industry, and other companies.

"Think about military training as an example," Coughlin said. HP will work with customers like the military to develop content, and the company's workstations will play a big role in serving up commercial VR applications.

HP's backpack PC won't be priced low, considering its premium design and high-end components. It'll need a powerful CPU and GPU and lots of memory. Component prices are also high due to shortages, which could add to the cost.

After dropping its Voodoo line in 2008, HP is gradually reentering the high-end gaming market with Omen PCs. The backpack PC is an attempt by HP to innovate in the area and to attract gaming enthusiasts -- who are usually extremely dedicated -- to its brand.

Other backpack PCs are already shipping. A model of Zotac's VR Go is priced at US$1,750, while MSI's VR One is selling for $1,899. Dell's Alienware unit has also shown a backpack VR PC.

HP is chasing VR and augmented reality aggressively, and PCs are one part of a larger strategy. The company also plans to allow users to build custom shoes using its PC, scanner, and 3D printer technologies.

Users will be able to place a foot in a footbed with pressure plates and get a scan. Using the scan, a Jet Fusion 3D printer will spit out a custom insole, and eventually a custom shoe.

"That's the blended reality vision coming to life," Coughlin said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?