Scheduled for release in September starting at $3,300, the HP Z VR Backpack G1 Workstation is aimed at the commercial market, with high-performance components including an Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia Quadro GPU. It features a smart docking design for use as a VR backpack computer as well as a VR desktop, and includes two hot-swappable batteries for continuous tether-free VR use.

Unlike their gamer-centric Omen X VR Backpack (which was introduced last year as a concept and is now about to launch as the ‘Omen X Compact Desktop‘), the new Z VR Backpack adds to HP’s family of VR-Ready workstation-class PCs, making it suitable for business applications such as product development and employee training. Announced at SIGGRAPH 2017 this week, the system is described as “the most powerful wearable VR PC ever created”, and “the world’s first professional wearable VR PC”.

The professional-grade specifications centre around the vPro-enabled Intel Core i7-7820HQ processor, and Nvidia Quadro P5200 GPU with 16GB VRAM. The system can be configured with up to 32GB RAM and a 1TB M.2 SSD.

Despite the seemingly imminent wireless VR revolution, HP believes there is still a market for this form of wearable solution, perhaps for applications where it is unsuitable or difficult to mount a wireless transmitter, or where many VR users are operating in close proximity.

The aggressive cut in the video between dock and backpack in the footage perhaps highlights the rugged design of the system, which has been built for “extreme durability with 120,000 hours of HP testing” and is designed to pass MIL-STD 810G tests (a US Military Standard).

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Image courtesy HP

Much like the recently-announced Omen X Compact Desktop, part of the Z VR Backpack’s appeal is the dual-purpose design, meaning that it can quickly transition between desktop dock—which is capable of dual 4K monitor output—and backpack, for untethered, high-end VR. That makes it a much more practical purchase than an expensive VR backpack PC which would otherwise require lots of plugging and unplugging each time you want to switch between backpack mode and use as a regular computer—not to mention that mounting it upright saves plenty of desk space.

A full overview of the system and its specifications is available on HP’s website.

“Virtual reality is changing the way people learn, communicate and create. Making the most of this technology requires a collaborative relationship between customers and partners”, says Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, Z Workstations, HP Inc. “As a leader in technology, HP is uniting powerful commercial VR solutions, including new products like the HP Z VR Backpack, with customer needs to empower VR experiences our customers can use today to reinvent the future.”

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • NooYawker

    Knocking your controller around is one thing, slamming your PC against a wall is another. you’re asking for trouble with this. Not to mention the balance issues. But I’m sure there is a small group of people who would want this.

  • Duane Locsin

    I think this could be good marketed as “portable” desktop class VR.

    I mean it would be great if I want to take this with me when traveling somewhere and really the only thing you need to set up and plug in is the lighthouses.

    But it if mobile VR becomes more powerful it may face stiff competition.

  • serkankral

    I want smthg like nervegear they have to work on it This are so ugly and big

  • yag

    “VR backpack computer”

    “backtop” is shorter