HP’s latest VR Backpack swaps gaming for the workplace

The kit has been given a major performance boost.

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HP is still trying to make VR backpacks happen. But its latest offering, unlike its 2017 release, is intended for workplace scenarios such as training and VR development instead of gaming, and packs a powerful punch for tether-free VR creativity.

Again, the backpack is powered by laptop tech, but with an 8th Generation Intel Core and Nvidia GeForce RTX2080 the kit offers a 30 percent performance boost and 25 percent more powerful graphics than the previous iteration. There's a range of ports, including two USB 3.0s, a Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C, a HMD power port and a headphone-mic combination port.

Everything is powered by a pair of hot-swappable batteries, so users can keep going wirelessly for as long as they like, and when they're done, the slim PC can be taken out of the backpack and docked in a dedicated desktop station.

VR backpacks are a niche product -- and expensive, too. When HP launched its 2017 model with a $3,500 price tag, many questioned whether there's any place for them in the consumer market. This new release suggests HP has been pondering the same, because there's certainly more potential for it in an industrial scenario -- plus, of course, big companies are more likely to have VR backpack money than your average tech fan. It's slated for release this summer, with another hefty starting price of $3,300.

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