VR is a difficult challenge; not only are the VR headsets extremely expensive – unless you have Lenovo’s prototype – but the hardware to power these headsets also needs to be top-of-the-line.
ASUS has today announced a compact PC that weighs merely 2.2kg, but packs enough punch to power a VR application – as long as you don’t want to max out all of the graphics options.
The size and weight of the VivoPC X brings it quite close to what you would expect from a gaming console; quite remarkable. That’s where the similarities to the consoles end, however.
Asus has managed to cram in an unspecified (though, more details will surely show up eventually) Intel 7th generation Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD for storage.
The graphics card, though, is what matters most; it’s also where ASUS mildly disappoints. This thing has an NVidia GTX 1060; the GTX 1060 is certified to be VR Ready; however, it is on the lower end of the spectrum.
ASUS is advertising the VivoPC X as a compact VR PC, but with that GPU it wouldn’t be giving a good enough experience with the more demanding VR applications. It’s more of a subpar experience.
It doesn’t seem like users will be able to swap out parts either; from the looks of it, the PC doesn’t seem to be upgradable.
Anyhow; ASUS has designed a custom thermal design with heat pipes and some special fans to vent the heat out of the PC – there’s no water cooling, but that’s probably for the best.
For ports, there’s four USB 3.1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet jack, the usual 3.5mm audio stuff, two HDMI ports, and a DisplayPort with support NVidia’s GSync. There’s also a power connector that is clearly not the standard one you will find on PCs.
Pricing & Availability
ASUS wants to sell this PC for a hefty price of $799; that’s $800 for a Core i5 with 8 GB of RAM and an NVidia GTX 1060.
It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s the price you must pay, if you desire the compact size and weight of a console, in a PC.
ASUS expects the VivoPC X to hit the shelves by March 2017.