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HP entices VR creators with 'Pro' MR headset, Core X chips

It's the first time HP has added Intel's Core series as an option for its popular Z4 desktop workstation line.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
2 min read

HP's most popular desktop workstation, the Z4, has been the province of Intel's Xeon line of workstation CPUs. Now, in a push to reach more VR-creation pros, the company has added options for Intel's most powerful consumer-grade processors, the Core X series, along with a commercial version of its Windows Mixed Reality headset.

You'll be able to equip it with up to an 18-core Core i9-7980XE, which is a bit cheaper than its Xeon equivalent, the W-2195 -- because not everyone needs the extra security, ECC memory support or 256GB support of a Xeon chip (along with a few other features).

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The HP Z4 and Windows Mixed Reality Professional Edition headset.

HP

Or if you need the clock speed but not so many cores, you can configure it with an eight-core Core i7-7820X, which probably will be tons cheaper. The only pricing we have at the moment is that the cheapest model will start at $1,499, which is about the same as it's been (directly converted, that's roughly £1,060 and AU$1,895). The new options will become available in March.

Watch this: Eyes-on with HP's mixed-reality headset

HP will continue to sell the HTC Vive Business Edition, but it's tweaked its MR headset and dubbed it the "Professional Edition" for $449. (Directly converted, that's roughly £320 and AU$570.) That's the same price the consumer model launched at, and was considered overpriced. Now it's down to $399 direct from HP (still too high elsewhere at £380 and AU$800) and a rational $265 at Amazon (no discounts to speak of in the UK and Australia).

What's so pro about it? Swappable and washable face pads! I imagine those would be just as useful for a consumer model. Plus, a short cable for connecting to the commercial version of its VR backpack system. It will also ship in March.

Windows Mixed Reality Headsets blend real and virtual worlds

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