You wear Zotac's new gaming PC on your back

Zotac's sharing more details about its backpack PC that "untethers" virtual reality users.

Earlier in 2016 at least three PC makers revealed plans to roll out battery-powered backpack gaming PCs. Why? Virtual reality. Instead of being tethered to a desktop sitting on the floor, the idea is that users can strap on a backpack PC and walk around unfettered. Sure, there are still wires involved, but they move with you instead of restricting your movement.

Now those plans are starting to slowly become real devices. On Monday, Zotac officially announced the final specifications for the VR Go Backpack PC, which made its first appearance at Computex this summer.

gobackpack

Zotac’s VR Go Backpack packs some pretty sweet specs. The heart of the operation revolves around a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-6700T processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5 memory.

You’ll find three HDMI 2.0 and two DisplayPort 1.3 connections onboard. Zotac’s PC can power up to 4 displays, which doesn’t really matter if you’re carrying it on your back for VR. But the VR Go Backpack can also function as a mini PC for those times when you want to do some regular gaming or just fill out an Excel spreadsheet. Speaking of which, the PC case itself measures 16 inches by 10.63 inches by 3 inches.

As far as storage goes, there’s a 2.5-inch bay for either an HDD or an SSD, and the PC comes with a 240GB m.2 SATA SSD installed. Connectivity-wise you’ll find a 3-in-1 card reader, ethernet, 802.11ac/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2.

The VR Go Backpack includes two hot-swappable 6,600 mAh batteries so you can keep your wireless gaming dreams alive. Battery life during gameplay is about two hours.

To keep all that heat off you, Zotac designed the backpack to channel heat away from the wearer using dedicated exhaust paths on the back support.

Oddly, Zotac doesn’t say how much this base model weighs, which is a key specification if you’re going to be carrying it on your back. The company does say the weight is evenly distributed to make it more comfortable. Even so, weight matters for a device you’re going to be slinging around on your back regardless of how comfortable it is.

Zotac has yet to announce a price or official availability date for the new PC.

Zotac’s backpack PC isn’t the only one on the horizon either. MSI said in September that its backpack would ship before the end of the year, and HP is taking applications from developers and business partners to try out its Omen backpack PC.

The story behind the story: Zotac’s backpack and those from others such as HP and MSI are just a stopgap measure until wireless technology is capable of handling intense VR gameplay—and that’s already starting to happen.

HTC recently announced a $220 third-party add-on from TPCAST—initial stocks of which sold out in less than 20 minutes—that gives the HTC headset wireless capabilities. HTC says the TPCAST add-on increases latency by less than two milliseconds. There’s little doubt that wireless VR is coming even if its exact timeline isn’t clear. But even in a wireless world a PC backpack could still have value. Something weighing down your back would add that extra bit of immersion in a Ghostbusters VR experience, for example.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows 10

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?