Virtual Reality

VR Hardware

Omen HP X VR Backpack TESTED

I was invited to the Omen by HP Next Gen Athletes event. The event took place in East London’s Village Underground venue on Thursday July 27th 2017, the event was focused around the future of eSports, including a discussion about VR eSports. Following the panel was the unveiling of HP’s new Omen by HP range of products; including Windows’ mixed reality HP headset, and the Omen by HP X VR backpack.

The Omen X was not yet launched or available to purchase, and also the only one available in Europe, shipped from the US just for the event, and I was given the opportunity to try it out. The product felt comfortable to wear, weighing only 10 lbs, and I actually forgot that I was wearing it whilst playing the game Superhot VR. The product is a compact PC, that comes with a harness that allows it to be worn as a backpack which is portable and powerful, with an Intel Core i7 processor, a GTX 1080 GPU overclocked, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD.

The Omen X comes with two hot-swappable batteries, allowing for around an hour of VR gameplay before the backpack needs re-charging via a battery charging dock. Although an hour may sound like a short amount of time, but this is because the backpack does not compromise on performance, providing high framerates of an estimated 90fps throughout this hour. The product can also be docked for use as a regular PC, and the dock comes with two 3.0 USB ports, which allows for accessories such as a keyboard and mouse. Other ports include an audio port, one HDMI port and a DC power out port.

The price has yet to be confirmed, but it is rumoured to be around 2800 US dollars. This unlikely to appeal to the average user (especially not those who have recently upgraded to or bought a new VR ready PC), but has potential for VR game developers or the niche market of people looking to buy the ultimate VR ready rig, and has a home in the VR eSports vision. It is designed for room-scale VR, and provides a more immersive VR experience, as the design has removed the link box and power cables. The product enhances VR gameplay, is one of the best wireless solutions currently available for VR, and the price point is reasonable for such high end technology.