We tried virtual reality backpacks Zotac and MSI

In 2016, virtual reality is omnipresent. At Computex, few PC makers stalls which did not offer to rub it. Those of MSI and Zotac, the VR slipped into backpacks dedicated. We tried them!  Virtual reality in the back, it's coming! But why would you need a bag? Simply to take advantage of its virtual reality headset without being impeded by cables lying around. A dream that seems to get a little more each day. This is certainly the feeling that was discovering the PC solution in a backpack and PC Zotac shaped back of MSI bag.  Two different approaches to the same goal: provide enough power to run games VR, for 1 hour at 1:30 ET, in order to move relatively naturally, without feeling like being chained to a PC.  The Zotac Mobile VR, a big miniPC in a backpack  Hard to miss the virtual reality and the backpack dedicated to him on the stand of Zotac. Prominently on a platform, the confreres of the Asian press gesticulate HTC Vive on the nose and backpack on shoulders. So much for our doubts that one day this prototype materialize in the real world. Here it under our noses just weeks after the release of the video which we mentioned here .  AS / 01net.com - Two minutes later, here we are harnessed! First observation, the Zotac backpack does not weigh very heavy. A view of shoulders, no more than 4 Kg, maybe a little more.  The VR program starts and we see that it is at the bottom of the bag that we find the hottest spots without that cooks either. Our test session went very smoothly, everything works well and the feeling of freedom of movement is there. We almost forget the backpack and mask.  After five intense minutes, end of the adventure. After removing the bag carefully, we ask innocently if we can take pictures of the inside ... not, it is we refuse. Can we see the batteries or at least how they are charging? No more. Zotac does not want to show us anything as its Mobile VR is still in the prototype stage ... A brand representative tells us instead that it is the future Magnus EN980, the more upscale Zotac small PC that provides the show.  AS / 01net.com - The Zotac EN980 Magnus, a small PC fairly upscale and completely doped steroid that is present in the backpack. Magnus EN980 is also not easily upgradable, detail that will matter. Inside are a Core i7-6700 (Skylake generation) , a desktop GTX 980 but at 3.0 MXM file (that of some laptops), up to 16GB of memory, an SSD format M .2 and, on some versions, an SSD or HDD 2.5 inches.  According to spokespersons for Zotac, the battery is given to hold an hour continuous play. This may seem little, but in addition to the PC, it must also power the HTC Vive headset module. However, you can not be confirm its exact location. The bottom of the bag is the most plausible, that's when we noticed the most hot spots and heat dissipation appears to be at the top and sides.   AS / 01net.com - The EN980 Magnus, without his robe. The cooling device is impressive but does not change the components easily. A hypothetical release date? No, not yet, no matter what region of the globe. However, our interlocutor tells us that Zotac is working hard and hopes to have the first units in final test at the end of the year. Appointment is taken!  The BackPack VR, the PC-shaped back of MSI bag  MSI, same goal but different approach. No way to drag a PC in a bag and attach the battery. The idea is good but does not provide enough collateral in case of shocks, slips us a hint a representative of the brand. That's why MSI has created a PC shaped backpack. Radical but effective, if one believes the statements of representatives of the stand to red and white dragon.   AS / 01net.com - The BackPack RV MSI is impressive and imposing. It's like with a jetpack in the back, once positioned. After showing their credentials, one finally reaches the backpack to try. First observation. Ouch! It is heavy ! And yet we are quite used to carrying backpacks full of PCs and other hardware. The communications officer hastens to give us the weight, about 5 kilos, and press to add that the brand is working to reduce the load on the final product.  MSI thus planning an exit! When? Unable to meet us but " soon. And it is even possible to change the battery because it comes with a small and a large model. Better, we plan to allow the user to change the components of the business model . " That's a good point that does not offset the rigidity of the whole, which resembles a biker backpack. It is far the relative flexibility of the device Zotac ... Fortunately, MSI instead of padding fabric all along the spine and even thicker elements at the lower back and on the shoulder straps. To ensure that the bag remains in place, it must also secure the straps around the waist and torso. We are ready to jump from the plane, like a paratrooper.  AS / 01net.com - This is on top as the HTC Vive just connect. Thus, the latter the cable falls naturally along the backpack without impeding movement or displacement. Chopped up in this way, we can start. Same game for Zotac, we manipulate a small vessel with a radius, you must destroy opponents while avoiding projectiles. Do not worry, it runs well. No lag or artifact.  Zotac at home, we try to see if it heats. But impossible to realize, the bottom is rigid and does not seem to let the air. Going up the hands to the sides to pretend to reposition the bag, the heat wave is felt: it is by the sides of the device that calories configuration dissipated. Configuration which, as we said, will be upgradeable in the future. We can therefore swap the GeForce GTX 980 of the device against a 1080 GTX or 1070 for example. For the rest, it features a latest-generation Core i7 processor, 16GB DDR4 memory and SSDs. The big battery model would be able to power - again - the configuration and headset module Vive HTC for 1 hour and a half.  A preference ?  The two solutions, which do we prefer? Hard to say after 7 minutes for each test. The relative flexibility of the backpack Zotac has seduced us and, paradoxically, the rigidity of the housing / back of MSI bag is reassuring. But the weight is to the advantage of Zotac now. Clearly. Regarding configurations, they are very close to the paper in the state. We will wait for the final versions and also their prices to settle.

In 2016, virtual reality is omnipresent. At Computex, few PC makers stalls which did not offer to rub it. Those of MSI and Zotac, the VR slipped into backpacks dedicated.We tried them!