MSI’s unveils the VR One: A thin and light “Backpack Computer” with killer specs

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At this year’s Computex computing trade show, we saw an incredible amount of new solutions being developed which help solve the problems that current high end VR systems now face. From screen resolution to affordability, there are a number of issues that still need to be solved. One of the more tangible issues however, is the thick and heavy cables that strand from popular high end VR headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Though systems like the HTC Vive offer more than enough cable to go around, this can often also be its downfall. Many have said that the weight and messiness of the cables can completely pull them out of the immersion of a VR experience, quite literally if one were to wind up with cables wrapped around their legs, an unfortunate problem that we have heard many a Vive user express. This particular issue is one that more than a couple of companies have attempted to tackle, and we have seen some pretty interesting prototypes of from the likes of HP and MSI. It has only been a few months since these companies showed off their first prototypes at the annual computing event, but MSI are already back with a solution that they think will knock the socks off anyone who tried the previous iteration.

The new iteration is called the MSI VR One, and packs quite the punch in terms of specs. The device uses an overclocked CPU and NVIDIA’s new Pascal graphics cards to get optimal performance. Along with these top of the line components, MSI seem to have put quite a bit of research into the cooling of the device as well. Upgraded with (2) 90 mm fans and a whopping 9 heat pipes, the new system should be as quiet as it is powerful. Heat and noise were one of the big complaints from the first iteration shown at Computex 2016, so it seems MSI have hit the ground running to make the system light, quiet, and powerful, all in one sleek package.

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Along with the massive specs come with some pretty intense power consumption. The device lasts only about an hour and a half on a singe charge, but includes hot-swappable batteries, meaning you could have one or more sets to switch out when the attached batteries die, helping to extend your virtual experiences into the wee hours of the night. Surprisingly, even with all these new features comes some pretty massive weight reduction as well. While the first iteration weighed in at about 12 pounds, the new device comes in at only about 7.9 pounds, meaning you can use it for much longer without getting fatigued.

If you were wondering about what ports the company has included with the pack, worry no longer. The PC has been produced to be optimized for VR gaming, and includes an HDMI Port, Mini Displayport, and the new Thunderbolt 3 technology through USB-C. Along with the essentials come 4 USB-A ports as well, meaning the user will have the option to plug in any accessories they may want to use in the future. While there are not very many accessories available which can be used with virtual reality through USB, it’s always great to have the ports for the future, along with also giving the option of using the backpack as a regular PC. The specs of the pack are pretty stellar, so if you were planning on buying one of these things, you may as well use it as your regular gaming rig as well.

What do you think about the redesign? The new look is certainly sleeker than the previous iteration. While these “Backpack PC” concepts may become less relevant now that full desktop NVIDIA GPUs are available in laptops, it’s still cool that a company took the time to make this, and it still eliminates some of the major issues such as long extension cords twirling around your feet.

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