Three years to the day (in certain timezones) after unveiling its first VR backpack at Computex Taipei, where I declared them actually pretty cool, HP is still at it and has announced the latest version. It doesn’t reinvent the concept, but it sounds like a pretty good upgrade.
The new VR backpack, which is now just called the HP VR Backpack G2, uses an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and an Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU to deliver what HP describers as 30 percent better performance and 25 percent faster graphics. Like the last couple of Omen X-branded backpacks, you can slot the latest model into a dock for use as a compact gaming PC.
My colleague and Verge VR expert Adi Robertson had a chance to check out the HP VR Backpack ahead of its announcement and told me “it felt reasonably good to use.” The battery locations are more convenient than previous versions, she said, while noting that you could remove the frame more easily for cleaning.
That’s an important point, since this kind of product is more likely to be used for public installations and enterprise workflows than at-home gaming. HP itself calls out “multi-user entertainment venues, architectural walk-throughs, and design simulations” as specific use cases that it targeted.
That said, if you do want to buy an HP VR Backpack for yourself, there won’t be anything stopping you if you have $3,299 to hand. It’ll be available this summer.