The first generation of high-end virtual reality gadgets has arrived, but the VR experience is still far from perfect. One of our biggest issues is the lack of mobility that comes with strapping on a computer-powered headset. A new generation of backpack-shaped PCs may offer a clever solution for using your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive on the go.
HP recently revealed a few flashy renders of its first backpack PC. Taiwanese company MSI quickly followed suit with a physical model unveiled at the Computex expo, which you can see in the images above from Lowyat. Finally, Chinese computer-maker Zotac actually built a special backpack that holds and powers one of its small Zbox PCs.
Based on what’s we’ve seen so far, HP’s model sports the nicest design. It’s slim and polished with a cool red and black color scheme. The built-in battery only lasts an hour, according to The Verge, but you can swap it out without shutting down the PC thanks to a smaller backup power source. HP’s computer also comes with a wireless keyboard, mouse and display so you can use it for non-VR purposes too. However, the company hasn’t revealed any official launch plans and says the design still needs some iteration.
MSI’s PC looks more like a traditional backpack and also functions a bit more like a regular computer. It comes packed with ports for plugging in a monitor, headphones, a keyboard and mouse, along with a special power jack for connecting the HTC Vive’s breakout box. We still don’t know when it will launch, but this PC backpack looks ready to go.
Finally, Zotac took a slightly different route, stuffing a regular PC into a specially designed backpack case. The company actually released a demo last month showing the technology in action and it looks pretty sweet. We’re expecting more information this week at Computex, but for now check out the video below.