HP’s VR backpack PC doubles as a desktop

Will a desktop dock be enough to take this niche product mainstream?

Last year, HP revealed its solution to the trail of cables that plagues every Vive experience -- a VR powered-PC in a backpack. Aiming to make virtual reality a more immersive and portable experience, the latest in the company's Omen gaming range promised to transform users into a cable-free, VR-ready turtle. Now, a year later, HP has redesigned the Omen in an attempt to make it more versatile.

Thanks to the addition of a Nintendo Switch-like dock, The Omen X Compact Desktop now presents users with a much better value proposition. While previously this kit could only be used for VR experiences on the go, this dock solves the device's biggest problem, easily transforming the gimmicky kit into a regular desktop-friendly PC.

Spec wise, the Omen X Compact is a fairly decent PC in its own right, boasting a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card and a Kaby Lake i7 processor. Bizarrely though, the computer and dock are being sold separately from the backpack parts, with the pair starting at $2,499. If you want the Omen's key selling point, however, you'll need to shell out an extra $600 on top of that for the backpack accessory.

The Omen X Compact goes on sale in July. With virtual reality failing to take off in quite the way many hoped, HP's decision to future-proof the device seems like a wise one. Yet, with VR's killer apps arguably yet to come, the question is whether this impressive setup is worth $3,000 in the first place.