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Zotac Launches VR Gaming PC You Can Strap to Your Back

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We were all there: we’re in VR, but we’re stuck in the living room and can’t bring the Metaverse experience to a local coffee shop. ((((Were we all here? And are we sure we want to go? -Ed)

Zotac’s VRGO 4.0 backpack PC wants to change that. This is a full-fledged workstation slash mobile gaming PC with a backpack form factor. As the name implies, this is the fourth generation of Zotac wearable PCs. It’s basically a slim PC with a desktop GPU that can be strapped to the back. You can put it on your desk like a regular computer and unplug it for VR games on the go. It also includes a hot-swappable battery and an RTX GPU for booting. Of course, the VR headset is sold separately.

What Zotac did here Small form factor (SFF) Attach to the PC and then to the wearable harness. It also adds the ability to unplug to work on battery power, although you won’t spend hours in the Metaverse. The 6000mAh battery is rated for a playback time of only 50 minutes. Thankfully, it comes with a second hot-swappable battery, but carrying an extra battery is probably not fun. You can buy as many spare batteries as you like, but it’s unclear how much they will cost. A similar battery for the 2.0 version costs $ 149.

Despite its form factor, it looks like a pretty decent gaming PC, despite some unexpected components. For example, it is equipped with the 11th generation Tiger Lake Core i7-11800H CPU, which is a 45W mobile part. The reason why Zotac didn’t go to the Alder Lake part is a mystery. But the GPU is weird. This is a Nvidia RTX a4500 “Professional” amp card with 16GB of VRAM. Zotac asked why he chose this particular GPU, but didn’t get a response. It’s enough to say that it’s very strange to have it in a product sold to gamers. This isn’t Beat Saber, it’s the kind of GPU you use to run professional computing applications.The company also offers the same solution with a new solution SFF workstation. This may be the configuration that the company has decided on in some projects. The workstation specifications are the same as VR GO, but they are not attached to the harness.

With VR GO, you can easily add memory or upgrade your M.2 SSD. (Image: Zotac)

Other specifications include 16GB DDR4 SO-DIMM memory, 512GB M.2 SSD, Wi-Fi 6e, and all normal connectivity options. It is expandable via USB and has HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 for desktop. Of course, there is also an RGB light because it is needed for a PC that is worn on the back. After all, it’s perfect for battery life.

Overall, this is Zotac’s weird product. The marketing copy included in it is a PR word salad about breaking boundaries and imagining new experiences. In other words, it’s the same old Metaverse fuss we’ve heard before. It also contains strange references to “strengthening data science model training” and running engineering simulations. To be honest, we are confused by it. Also, I can’t think of a scenario where I want to use a VR headset in an environment other than a spacious living room. Oh, did you say it weighs 11 pounds? Due to its size, Zotac includes a metal support frame and a support strap that wraps around your waist. You will find that you are wearing this outfit, even though it is reported to be “comfortable all day long”. Perhaps it’s good that the battery lasts only 50 minutes.

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