Backpack PCs from HP and MSI are high-end, totally look like proton packs

VR headsets that stand in as goggles? Check. All that's left is your choice of a high-end backpack PC.


VR headsets are fun, but some of them lock you to your desk, seemingly ignoring the enhanced interactivity to be gained from the freedom to move around. A number of PC manufacturers aim to fill that void by introducing backpack PCs, letting you use your computer and accompanying VR gear anywhere, anytime.

Reports from The Verge and Gamasutra disclosed that MSI and HP are two of several manufacturers building backpack PCs. And don't expect this new form factor to sacrifice raw power for portability: HP's currently unnamed backpack unit is rumored to become part of its high-end "Omen" line of machines, and has the specs to prove it belongs.

According to The Verge, HP's unit will sport either an i5 or i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and a graphics card that hasn't been revealed just yet—all snugly packaged into a thin backpack-like case that weighs less than 10 pounds.

MSI's concoction, named simply "Backpack PC," promises greater immersion when used in tandem with VR gear, and boasts an i7 processor and NVIDIA GTX 980 graphics card. "Free from the restraint of a fixed VR platform, users get to move around and enjoy VR with big movements and total immersion. No more worries about accidently unplugging the wires between the VR device and the platform. MSI Backpack PC renders greater mobility and freedom for VR gaming."

Images used in this story courtesy of The Verge.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 27, 2016 3:05 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Backpack PCs from HP and MSI are high-end, totally look like proton packs

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      May 27, 2016 3:42 PM

      Hmm, not seeing the resemblance there.

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        May 27, 2016 4:03 PM

        Use your imagination! I bet these backpack PCs will be featured in the Ghostbusters reboot, so everyone will love them.

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      May 27, 2016 4:05 PM

      That's not bad in terms of specs

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      May 27, 2016 4:31 PM

      How would this even work? You still need to be tethered to USB cables for the room sensors. Not to mention power, if it's battery powered, you're looking at doing the VR stuff in short durations... if the battery power is long enough to run for an hour, then you're going to be fatigued from having 30lbs on your back.

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      May 27, 2016 5:27 PM

      Mmmm, nice and warm when the GPU gets cranked up.

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      May 27, 2016 5:36 PM

      Egon David, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head. Remember that?

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        May 27, 2016 5:36 PM

        That would have worked if you hadn't stopped him

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      May 27, 2016 6:07 PM

      If this was what over a year ago Ozzie would have probably been all over it since he was looking for a way to make his desktop portable.

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      May 27, 2016 6:53 PM

      I could see this working on later iterations, if the next gen Nvidia/AMD mobile GPUs are as good at VR as the desktop versions are trying to be. Basically the guts of a gaming laptop with a giant battery pack inside a hard-shelled backpack, with a Vive compatible power port, would be perfect.

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