The Future of Gaming Is Now- Meet the HP Compact Omen X Desktop with VR Morphing Ability


Is it a desktop PC, is it a notebook, or is it a VR backpack PC with special powers? It’s the latter, guys! HP’s Omen X Compact Desktop has been born into in an entirely new generation, actually, the generation that is now, where gaming on-the-go is possible, and VR is clicks away, and possible anywhere. As it began shipping in late July 2017, this nearly $2,500 desktop is configured with 7th gen Intel CPU processors, and an optional backpack harness (which could make the entire package cost up to $3,500). Additionally, this model features some design changes since HP’s backpack PC was first unveiled last year.

Illustrated as “VR for cable cutters”, the entirety of the machine has so many features it can seem complicated. Basically, put the idea of physically attaching a gaming rig onto your back, and enhancing your virtual reality experience anywhere you go, or don’t go. Because there are separate pieces, the compact desktop and the dock, this means zero tethering. Don’t forget the VR headset, which means if you did want to have some VR fun out on the streets, you could (it comes with a backpack, you know!). As HP’s prior release was in prototype mode, the once seemingly silly idea has not only a more toned-down style, but the biggest change is of course, the introduction of a docking station for the computer.

This is what transfers the device into a standard desktop PC, allowing the inventive device’s purpose to not only be for VR adventures, but for setting it down and using it as a real computer- for gaming and computing. Included in the dock is a monitor, keyboard, and whatever accessory the user may need for convenience. The inside of the compact desktop is actually made out of laptop hardware, featuring an Intel Core i7-7820HK chip, and the NVIDIA GTX 1080 with 8GB of video RAM. It also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB SSD. This could take on full size gaming, up to 120fps in 1080p, and 56fps in 4K, meaning it could deal with essentially any game or level of gaming you desire. The 5.5 pound desktop is quite light, and shares the familiar Omen desktop exterior. There is a plentiful amount of ports, more than enough you’d expect in a compact form-factor, including 2 USBs, a USB-C, an HDMI, a Mini DisplayPort, a headphone jack, and power connection for the headset.

The dock also packs a full load of I/O, even including a DisplayPort and HDMI, and a power connection for recharging the VR backpack battery. As for the headset, whose lenses inside feature a 1,440 x 1,440 resolution, it’s said to be light, and padded well for comfort, and has a visor portion to easily slip up the set to see the real world when you want to (other headsets usually require you to take the piece off). Besides the usual trigger and grab buttons the 2 mixed reality controllers contain, there are also special features such as spatial tracking, a thumbstick, and a trackpad.

So, does the idea of not being tied down to a desktop, and able to use VR without any tethering whatsoever sound lovely to you? Does it sound like something unnecessary and more of a luxury item is that you would never use? It is more of an niche product, hence its humongous price tag. As far as the battery life and performance, HP includes 4 batteries with the backpack so you can keep one pair charged while you're using the other. The built-in battery inside the desktop is said to last 1 hour and 10 minutes, so don't expect to use this thing unplugged for very long. Convenience-wise, this is made to swap out external batteries without it shutting down, which is something other VR backpack systems don't do. As far as performance comparison, it runs faster, and much longer than say, the Alienware 15 R3, the Alienware 13, and the even the Razer Blade Pro 2016. Essentially, the HP Omen X Compact Desktop is yet another tier of cutting the cables in the sense of smart devices and PC-based VR. There are no bounds when it comes to how flexible the device is, hence, HP has shown innovative thinking in an already cutting-edge environment.

Topics: Technology News Desktop PCs Inventions & Innovations Tech Reviews

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