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HP Omen Lineup to Include Backpack PC

Yesterday HP revealed their new lineup of gaming PCs under the Omen name, but on top of the desktop and laptop machines already shown off, there is one more machine to join the Omen lineup, a backpack PC. The backpack PC is designed to be VR-ready, allowing VR players to free themselves from the tethers of a nearby desktop in order to fully immerse themselves in the VR world.

The details on Omen’s backpack PC are currently scarce, with the system still in active development, but it is known that this portable setup will include an Intel i5 or i7 processor, as much as 32GB of RAM. The graphics cards on offer for the system are currently unknown, if other Omen devices are any indication it will likely be one of nVidia’s offerings with enough power to comfortably run an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset.

Backpack PCs have one main downside though, battery life. In order to keep the system powered, a belt carrying two batteries will be required, one to power the CPU and the other the GPU, with the pair still lasting only an hour each. Fortunately these battery packs can be replaced without requiring the system to be shut down, thanks to a third backup battery to handle the switchover period. When it comes to weight, the full system comes in at under 10 pounds and includes a wireless display, keyboard and mouse as additional input for setup and troubleshooting.

HP aren’t the only company with a backpack PC in the works either, with MSI planning their own similar device which they plan to debut at this year’s Computex. Whether backpack PCs will catch on remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that such machines could become popular with PC afficianados wanting to walk freely around in their favourite games. They are likely an expensive proposition, but could beat tripping over your expensive desktop rig during an immersive VR session.

Alexander Neil

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