We’ve all been there: We’re in VR, but we’re stuck in our living room and we can’t transfer our experience to the local cafe. (Were we all here? And are we sure we want to go? -Edited)
Zotac VR GO 4.0 Backpack PC hopes to change that. It is a fully developed gaming computer for portable workstations in the shape of a backpack. As its name suggests, it is Zotac’s fourth generation of laptops. It’s basically a slim computer with a desktop GPU that you can put on your back. It can sit at your desk like a regular computer and then log off for VR gaming on the go. It even includes heat-shrinkable batteries and an RTX GPU to boot. VR headphones are sold separately, of course.
What Zotac has done here is to build a small computer (SFF) and then attach it to a portable belt. It also adds the ability to disconnect it to run on battery power, although you will not spend hours in metaverse. The 6000mAh battery is only rated for 50 minutes of playback. Fortunately it comes with a second heat-exchangeable battery, but carrying extra batteries is probably not pleasant. However, you can buy as many extra batteries as you want, but it is not clear how much they cost. A similar battery for version 2.0 costs $ 149.
Despite its form, it looks like a pretty decent gaming computer, albeit with some unexpected elements. For example, it has an 11th generation Tiger Lake Core i7-11800H CPU, which is a 45W mobile accessory. Why Zotac did not go to a part of Lake Alder is a mystery. The GPU is weird though. It is a “business” card Ampere Nvidia RTX a4500 with 16 GB VRAM. We asked Zotac why it chose this particular GPU, but received no response. Suffice it to say that it is a very strange inclusion in a product that is commercially available for players. This is the type of GPU you use to run professional PC applications, not Beat Saber. The company also offers the same solution to a new SFF workstation. This may be a configuration in which the company has agreed on many projects – the workstation has the same specifications as the VR GO, but is not mounted on a braid.
Other specifications include 16 GB of DDR4 SO-DIMM memory, 512 GB M.2 SSD, Wi-Fi 6e and all the usual connectivity options. Enables USB expansion and features HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 for desktop operation. Of course, it also has RGB lights because you need them on a computer that you carry on your back. It’s great for battery life, after all.
Overall, this is a strange product from Zotac. The marketing copy he included is the PR word salad for breaking boundaries and envisioning new experiences. In other words, the same old caskets we’ve heard before. It even includes weird reports about “enhancing data science model training” and performing engineering simulations. We’re a little confused about that, to be honest. It is also difficult for us to envision a scenario where we would like to use a VR headset in an environment different from a spacious living room. Oh, and we said he weighs 11 pounds? Due to its size, Zotac includes a metal support frame and a support strap that rotates around your waist. Suffice it to say that you will know that you are wearing this thing despite the stated “comfort all day”. Maybe it’s good that the battery only lasts 50 minutes.