CNET First Look
Cut the cables with HP's battery-powered VR backpackExperience VR minus the tether with the HP Omen X Compact Desktop.
Never fought in BR before. My God. Wu, wu, wu, go away, go away. Blog, yes. It's big, it's crazy, it's expensive. It's painfully complicated. But if you invest the time and effort, it's also extraordinarily fun. I'm talking about the HP OMEN X compact desktop, which we're using for the most extreme form of virtual reality. That's strapping a full gaming PC to your back, attaching a headset, and exploring the amazing worlds available in VR without being tethered to a computer sittin gon a desk. This entire rig, which includes the computer, the desktop dock, and a backpack with batteries, is $3,000. You've also gotta add your own VR headset, and those are now $300 to $600. If you have the floor space to take advantage of it, this is very different experience than traditional PCVR where you're always moving around gingerly, afraid of getting tangled up in the cables. Or even pulling the desktop or laptop off the The desk. Yes you're lugging a 10 lb backpack around, and the batteries only last an hour or so. But the padded straps help it from feeling too heavy. This is so much lighter than the laptop I schlept in this morning. Which is a gaming laptop. The wight is kind of distributed around my hips, so it doesn't bother me. It's kinda like a hiking backpack of sorts. It actually feels pretty light. Although, I will say maybe it is because I am not super expereinced in VR that I am still hesitant to walk around. And there is an extra set of batteries that you can keep on the charging dock and hot-swap as needed. It is really great in exploration games like "The Talus Principle" and action games such as "Gorn". We used HP's own mixed reality headset, but it also works with the HTC Vive. There's even a workaround to play Steam VR games on the HP headset, although it's not 100% reliable yet. The biggest issue we ran into Into is that the entire setup is just so complex, and so early in it's life cycle that there's often some level of troubleshooting involved to get everything working right, and even just going from the dock desktop mode, to backpack really requires an extra set of hands. So better keeps your friends around because you're basically gonna need one to act as your VR caddy.