HP Inc reveals dockable, wearable VR workstation for the office

Backpack PC aimed at designers who move between metaphorical mice and VR


HP Inc has released a backpack PC for the office.

The company already makes the Omen backpack PC for gamers, but the newly-revealed HP Z VR Backpack PC is aimed at design pros.

The PC weighs 4.65 kg, including the harness. Should you shoulder that burden you'll be lugging around an Intel Core i7-7820HQ with four cores and the ability to hit 3.9 GHz if the standard 2.9 GHz isn't enough for your VR needs. An NVIDIA Quadro P5200 does the heavy graphical lifting. 32 GB of RAM and at least 256GB of storage (1TB is top capacity) round things out.

10/100/1000 Ethernet, 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 connect the machine to the world. Multiple VR headsets are supported.

HP says the machine has hot-swappable batteries but the PC's data sheet doesn't reveal their capacity, so it's hard to know whether the machine will be truly useful.

Details of the dock connector are also light on, as the product's spec sheet suggests it is proprietary. Thankfully it does also mentions that the dock comes with each Backpack PC, a welcome decision compared to the pricey extras required to get the best out of Dell's wireless-charging Latitude 7285 12-inch two-in-one.

Prices will start at US$3,299 when the machine ships in September.

HP's Z VR Backpack PC

HP's Z VR Backpack PC

HP Inc is pitching the machine at businesses: it reckons that designers and “creators” want a machine they can work with on the desktop, then throw on to experience their digital creations in glorious virtual reality. The Backpack has therefore been positioned as just one of several VR-ready PCs that HP Inc is entirely happy to have you acquire, with the Backpack suggested as a useful part 3D design efforts.

This is safe territory for HP Inc, which has long been the market leader for workstations. Adding a backpack PC to its range means it has all the bases covered in the million-or-so-units-a-year workstation market.

The new machine's also exciting gamers, who have quickly noted that the Z VR Backpack PC's specs are rather more powerful than the Omen range. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger
    Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022