HP unveils next-gen VR Backpack ready to handle Unreal, Unity

The PC maker also announced new ZBook PCs aimed at architects, designers and other creators.

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HP is announcing the next generation of its VR backpack, with upgrades that make it ready to handle VR engines including Unreal and Unity. The wearable PC is aimed at the location-based entertainment sector, architecture and training use cases.

With its new backpack, combined with its recently introduced Reverb VR headset, HP "provides the ultimate solution for both VR creation and consumption," Anu Herranen, director of new product introduction for HP, told reporters.

Also: HP debuts convertible PCs made with authentic wood inlay

After venturing into virtual reality a little over two years ago, releasing a comprehensive product lineup and forging partnerships in the market, "HP is positioned well to capture and lead in the commercial VR market," Herranen said.

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The updated VR backpack is powered by the 8th-gen Intel Core i7 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, giving it a 30 percent performance boost and 25 percent more powerful graphics over the previous generation. 

It offers improved ergonomics, battery management and ease of movement. The free-roam, tetherless experience is key to the industries HP is targeting, Herranen said. For training scenarios, she said, customers need freedom of movement when training first responders and others in high-risk scenarios. In architecture, freedom of movement helps for larger-scale product workflows. And in location-based entertainment, customers need immersive experiences.

HP is also announcing new ZBook PCs aimed at architects, designers and other creators. The ZBook 15 G6 and the ZBook 17 G6 come with the choice of 9th-gen Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors, and next-gen Nvidia Quadro RTX graphics. Both ZBooks offer tool-less expandability to quickly upgrade memory and storage. The ZBook 17 G6 achieves full performance for simulation and GPU rendering. For color-critical workflows, it features the world's first 17-inch mobile workstation display with 100 percent DCI-P3.

HP is also introducing powerful entry workstations– the HP Z1 Entry Tower G5, the HP Z2 Mini G4, the HP Z2 Small Form Factor G4, and the HP Z2 Tower G4. The HP Z2 Tower has been redesigned to provide two times the graphics power and 41 percent more processing power over the previous generation.