MSI's VR One Now Just A Short Step From Reality

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅11.11.2016 06:38:25

Debuting at TGS 2016 in September, MSI's VR One Laptop/Backpack was a proposed solution to one of the glaring problems with current implementations of premium Virtual Reality: the need to be tethered to a static PC. As a solution it is a perfectly logical one - utilise laptop-style hardware within a backpack, including battery, and roam as widely as your heart desires. Now that solution is coming to the market. in the US is taking pre-orders for two variants of the MSI VR One, starting from $1,999, with one model shipping immediately and the other with a not too distant release date of November 30th. Both models feature Intel Skylake processors and NVIDIA 10-series graphics of the mobile variety (although NVIDIA's mobile GPUs are nearly identical to their desktop counterparts), a high-speed PCI-E SSD, and at least 16GB of RAM. But before you reach for your credit card it's worth coming back to the underlying capabilities of the hardware.

Although it is being marketed as a laptop, that is something of a misnomer. The VR One has no screen, and effectively comes as one complete unit rather than sleek small form factor PC with backpack docking station; you shouldn't buy this with the expectation of being able to use it as a standard notebook in lectures or at home. It may double as a home PC but without an upright stand will take up an awful lot of desk space.

The VR One is powered by two 8-cell 90WHr batteries, which combined will power the system for an estimated 90 mins of uninterrupted gameplay between charges - however there is no information available on exactly which system configuration or use case this estimation is based. That's fine for a demo suite (especially if you have spare batteries to hand) but is also something you'll need to be acutely aware of if you're planning an extended gaming session.

All that being said, the VR One sounds great for Room Scale VR experiences such as those provided by the HTC Vive. It will also prove to be a necessary stepping-stone between ideal solutions of either self-contained VR systems or zero-latency wireless HMDs. If it can do the job in the field we wouldn't be surprised to see it in a great many VR showrooms next year, but it seems a little too specialised for the general consumer market.

The system specs of the VR One are as follows:


Operating System:- Windows 10 Pro

CPU:- Intel Core i7-6820HK 2.7 GHz

Memory:- 16 GB DDR4

Storage:- 256 GB SSD

Graphics Card:- GeForce GTX 1060

Video Memory:- 6 GB GDDR5

Dimensions (W x D x H):- 15.90" x 11.50" x 2.40"

Weight:- 7.90 lbs.

USB:- 4 x USB 3.0

Video Port:- 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x Mini DisplayPort

HDMI:- 1 x HDMI 2.0

Audio Ports:- 1 x Microphone Jack, 1 x Headphone Jack

MSI VR ONE 6RD-007US (as above except):

Storage:- 512 GB SSD

Graphics Card:- GeForce GTX 1070

Video Memory:- 8 GB GDDR5

The GTX 1060-equipped VR ONE 6RD-007US is being sold for $1,999, whilst the more powerful GTX 1070-equipped VR ONE 6RE-006US is a touch more expensive at $2,299. The VR One is not currently available in the UK.

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