HP’s Omen X Is A Gaming PC Backpack For VR Headsets

Got a shiny new Oculus Rift or HTC Vive? Then you need a powerful gaming-ready computer that can run your VR headset’s demanding high-res, high-refresh displays. But there’s a problem — your big, bulky PC isn’t exactly portable, and VR requires cables. Enter HP’s new concept Omen X, a gaming PC stuffed into a laptopesque form factor, moulded to wear as a backpack, and fitted with hot-swappable batteries.

Teased just after HP introduced its new Omen gaming brand, complete with desktop, laptops and high-end monitor, the Omen X is a concept, but it looks like one that’s already extremely close to becoming a reality. It certainly looks the part — I’d be happy to wear it plus a VR headset, as long as I also had a Ghostbusters vacuum close to hand.

Reports around the ‘net say the Omen X will be fitted with hardcore specs — a high-end Intel Core i7 CPU, DDR4 RAM and fast M.2 solid-state drives — but there’s no confirmed word on what the internal graphics card — the secret sauce for gaming and virtual reality rendering — might be. With the Omen X’s skinny form factor, it’s likely to be a laptop-grade GPU, and in the current generation that would mean something like the GeForce GTX 980M, roughly as powerful as a desktop-grade GTX 970.

According to The Verge, the Omen X design team is targeting a weight of about 4.5 kilograms, making it just about as heavy as a gutsy 17-inch gaming laptop. Its X factor is a pair of removable batteries in the waist belt which power CPU and GPU processing, with a third battery in the device itself functioning as a backup letting you hot-swap extras in and stay connected to your VR world.

But it’s the concept’s overall portability that is its massive selling point. Imagine slinging this across your shoulders, pulling a HTC Vive over your eyes, putting on some noise-cancelling headphones and being properly wireless within a room-scale virtual reality world. HP says it’ll be showing it off within the next month, so expect to see it turn up either at Computex 2016 or E3 a few weeks after. [CNET / The Verge]

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