VR for cable cutters: A battery-powered PC gaming backpack

Free your VR with HP’s costly, muddled, yet in addition fun, battery-fueled Omen X knapsack.




It’s huge. It’s insane. It’s costly. It’s horrendously entangled. In any case, in the event that you contribute the time and exertion, it’s additionally exceptionally fun.

I’m discussing the HP Omen X Compact Desktop, which I’m utilizing to significantly improve my virtual reality encounter, by physically joining this full gaming PC to my back, connecting to a headset, and jumping into the universe of astonishing universes accessible in VR.

The enormous distinction is that I’m untethered from a work area bound PC or work area, and allowed to meander similarly as the floorspace of my test zone permits. This isn’t the first or best way to cut the links on PC-based virtual reality, however it’s surely the most full-included and adaptable arrangement I’ve attempted up until now.

This whole apparatus, which incorporates the PC, a work area dock, and a rucksack fix with batteries, is $2,999 – an immense sum, however anybody searching for a financial plan VR encounter is most likely going to go for a PlayStation VR ($207.50 at Amazon.com) or Google Daydream at any rate. It separates to $2,499 for the PC itself, which has an Intel Core i7-7820HK CPU, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 designs card, in addition to its work area dock; and $499 for the rucksack, which incorporates the knapsack edge and ties, four rechargeable batteries and a battery charging dock. In the UK, the bundle is £2,999 and in Australia, the framework isn’t yet accessible, yet you can join to “enlist enthusiasm” in future updates.

The Omen X work area itself satisfies its “Minimized Desktop” name – it’s under three inches thick and weighs around 5.5 pounds. It’ll help you to remember a thin lounge diversion support, similar to the Xbox One S.

What’s more, truly, despite everything you need to include your own VR headset. The HTC Vive and Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets ($264.27 at Amazon.com) are formally bolstered (HP’s variant is $449 for the headset in addition to two hand controllers). Utilizing an Oculus Rift would be extreme, as it requires the base stations to be fastened to the PC by means of USB links.

This isn’t the first or best way to cut the VR link. We’ve already tried the MSI VR One rucksack, which is reasonably comparative, however not as cutting edge, and a few remote transmitter arrangements, for example, the TPCast, are gradually coming to showcase.

More floor, more fun

In the event that you have the floorspace to exploit it, this is an altogether different affair than customary PC VR, where you’re continually moving around warily, perplexed of getting tangled up in the links, or notwithstanding pulling the work area or PC off the work area.

Truly, you’re hauling around 10 pounds of rigging around (that is simply the joined weight of the PC, the knapsack and two batteries), and the batteries just most recent a hour or something like that. In any case, the cushioned lashes help it from feeling too overwhelming, and there’s an additional arrangement of batteries that you can keep on the charging dock and hot-swap as required.


It’s uncommon that I have such a large number of volunteers to enable attempt to out some new innovation, however there was a constant flow of individuals arranged to try untethered VR out. Everybody was awed, including VR veterans, who are normally really bored about things like this. Most said they felt that wearing the knapsack didn’t feel excessively awkward, yet in addition that there was as yet a reasonable common tendency to move gradually and precisely, to abstain from colliding with dividers and furniture. You can see a greater amount of their remarks in our video.

I utilized the Omen X in investigation recreations, similar to the bewilder illuminating The Talos Principle, and additionally activity amusements like Gorn, a fighter battle test system. We utilized HP’s own Windows Mixed Reality headset for these tests, however the framework additionally works with the HTC Vive. The product accessible in the Windows Mixed Reality stage is constrained, most definitely, yet incorporates a couple of well known VR recreations like Space Pirate Trainer and Form.

There’s another workaround to play Steam VR amusements on the HP headset, despite the fact that it’s not 100% solid yet. It includes propelling an assistant application inside Steam to permit HP’s blended reality headset access to the substantially bigger Steam VR amusement library. When it works, it’s exceptionally valuable, and honestly the main way the Windows Mixed Reality stage bodes well at the present time.

Untethered, yet not untroubled

The greatest issue we kept running into is that the whole setup is simply so mind boggling and right off the bat in its lifecycle that I invested as much energy investigating as I did playing.

Simply going from work area to rucksack is mind boggling, and includes swapping out the more extended link associating your VR headset and the PC for an (included) shorter one, popping the Omen X out of its dock, sliding it onto the knapsack outline and interfacing the two wearable batteries by means of a couple of tighten links. On the off chance that utilizing a Windows Mixed Reality headset, you likewise need to plug a little DVI connector or some likeness thereof into the Omen X, so the framework accurately observes the VR headset as an auxiliary show. HP incorporated a smaller than expected DVI sham dongle for my survey unit, however you’ll need to locate your own.

Getting the rucksack on, alongside the headset and a couple of earphones, is less demanding with a companion to help. Solo, the procedure gets bulky.

What’s more, recollect, once you disengage the Omen X from the dock, you likewise lose the view from your work area screen, so any additional investigating may expect you to invert the procedure and set the work area back in its dock. That is not a sit out of gear cautioning, it transpired a few times.


Some portion of the issue is that the Windows Mixed Reality programming stage is new and not completely heated yet, and the genuinely necessary hybrid with Steam is greatly surrey at this stage. Furthermore, that is over ordinary VR misfortunes like moving limit maps and controllers that once in a while lose match up and skim far from you.

On the brilliant side, that is the reason you shouldn’t stress over virtual the truth being a detaching leisure activity. You’re basically going to require an investigating companion to hang out and go about as your VR caddy at any rate. Furthermore, likely in light of the fact that I was the one going about as the investigating VR aide, none of this appeared to trouble my partners, who still arranged for an opportunity to attempt this untethered VR encounter.

We’re proceeding to test the HP Omen X Compact Desktop and will refresh with execution scores in the not so distant future.

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