[Test] Zotac VR Go: a powerful VR PC to carry like a backpack

Who I am
Steven L. Kent
@stevenl.kent

Summary

  • Buy the Zotac VR Go Backpack
  • Features of the Zotac VR Go Backpack
  • Unboxing of the Zotac VR Go: a classic packaging
  • Design and ergonomics: an original form factor for a sober design
  • Power and performance: the Zotac VR Go has nothing to envy to classic PCs
  • Autonomy of the Zotac VR Go: two batteries for an honorable autonomy
  • Value for money: a high price for a unique product
  • The Zotac VR Go against the competition
  • Buy the Zotac VR Go Backpack
  • Conclusion

Brand: Zotac
Category: PC
Release Date: December 2016
Marketing price: 2 euros
Weight: 2,5 kilos alone, 4,9 kilos with the two batteries and the backpack module
Dimensions : 41 x 27 x 7,6 cm
Tested with an HTC Vive



Buy the Zotac VR Go Backpack

Features of the Zotac VR Go Backpack

Le Zotac VR Go is powered by a Intel Core i7 6700T quad-core processor clocked at 2,8 GHz (3,6 GHz in turboboost). The backpack PC integrates 16 GB of RAM in DDR4-2133, expandable to 64 GB. The VR Go is also equipped with a graphics card GeForce GTX 1070. Regarding the storage memory, Zotac chose a 240 GB SSD in M2 card format. A 2,5 inch slot is also available if the user wishes to expand storage.

Unboxing of the Zotac VR Go: a classic packaging

La Zotac VR Go box is gray cardboard and presents the product name in white capital. In the background of the product name, an upside down young man appears to perform a figure against a background of blue, pink and purple paint. The opposite side of the box provides some visuals of the VR Go as well as a presentation text. On one side of the box, the characteristics of the PC are detailed.



When opened, this box reveals two boxes with white plastic handles. One of these cardboard suitcases contains the frame of the backpack, a battery charging cradle, the power cable for this station as well as a CD-ROM (recovery of the Windows 10 operating system and drivers) and two booklets. Classic. Our Grail, the Zotac VR Go, comes with two batteries in the blue suitcase.

Design and ergonomics: an original form factor for a sober design

When it comes out of the box, the Zotac VR Go is separated from the backpack module. Theassembly is quite simple : simply attach the backpack part to the back part of the PC. The whole is held in place by a swivel button. The installation is solid. During our test, no fear of seeing the VR Go fallen from its backpack support.

The Zotac VR Go is mainly made of matte black plastic. On the front, we find the brand logo and two ventilation grilles, one of which extends to one side of the appliance. The brand has also thought of adding five LEDs in order to indicate the PC battery level. A round power button, circled by an LED, is present on the side of the PC. The set looks solid and, given the product category, light. Indeed, the competitive advantage of the Zotac VR Go is to be able to hold on the back of the user thanks to a system transforming it into a backpack. The PC alone weighs 2,5 kilos. However, once the backpack has been added as well as the two batteries, the device reaches a weight of 4,9 kilos. Beyond these figures, the weight of the Zotac VR Go is not too much felt.



PC hotspot: connectivity. That of Zotac has been well thought out. We thus find two DisplayPort, two HDMI ports, four USB 3.0 ports, two Ethernet ports (RJ45), two jack inputs (microphone and headphone) as well as an SD card reader.

Can be used as a “real” desktop PC, Zotac VR Go RAM and storage can be upgraded. Two memory slots are thus available: one allows you to add an SSD (M2 format) and a 2,5 ”SATA slot. However, it will be necessary to remove 5 screws to unlock the hatch giving access to these locations. The bravest who want to get their hands dirty can also access the motherboard after removing ten other screws. Note that the graphics card, GeForce GTX 1070, is a mobile version. It is installed on an MXM module.

Power and performance: the Zotac VR Go has nothing to envy to classic PCs

With such a configuration, the Zotac VR Go is, as the name suggests, a real PC optimized for VR. We will focus here on its performance in VR games and abandon the “classic PC” aspect, which the product manages very well (office automation, navigation, multimedia etc.). Whether it's HTC Vive VR games or Oculus Rift, the Zotac VR Go is doing admirably well.. When a game is launched, (as an example, we mainly used Arizona Sunshine on HTC Vive), it loads quickly. No latency is to be deplored. Zotac VR Go's ventilation system is extremely efficient : no feeling of heating is felt. When the product is touched after approximately one hour of play, its temperature does not seem to be much higher than when the product was turned on.



The GTX 1070 graphics card can display 90 fps for most VR games currently available. The mobile version of the component, which can be found on portable computers, present in the Zotac VR Go is not very different from the “desktop” version. We will be able to note frequencies a little lower but a greater number of units of calculation.

Autonomy of the Zotac VR Go: two batteries for an honorable autonomy

The wearable PC offered by Zotac benefits from a very good autonomy. During this test, we were able to hold more than two hours of consecutive games on HTC Vive. The brand announces two hours of autonomy in virtual reality.

Zotac has equipped its PC with two removable 6 mAh batteries. Each of them can be inserted or removed without having to switch off the product. Note that they cannot be recharged when using the PC since they need to be installed on a dedicated recharging station.

Value for money: a high price for a unique product

The recommended retail price of the Zotac VR Go is 2 400 euros. One could argue that it is easy to find a PC, laptop or desktop, having the same configuration for a cheaper price. However, by offering a “wearable” VR PC, Zotac is tackling a still almost virgin segment. Only MSI has already ventured there. On paper, the configuration, compared to the price, may seem light. Remember, however, that the Zotac benefits from more than honorable performance, a certain comfort for a backpack computer as well as a completely reasonable autonomy.

The Zotac VR Go against the competition

The world of the PC is vast. We will limit ourselves here to comparing the Zotac VR Go to a device which has also relied on the “wearable PC”, the MSI VR One. Available commercially since the same period as the Zotac VR Go, the MSI VR One has a similar hardware configuration. Hodgepodge, there is an Intel Core i7, 16 GB of RAM (DDR4). MSI's VR One offers lighter weight, 3,6 kilos batteries included, but announces lower autonomy : an hour and a half in VR game versus two hours for Zotac.

Good points

  • A comfortable product
  • Honorable performances
  • Better autonomy than advertised

Negative points

  • A high price
  • A little low basic storage

Buy the Zotac VR Go Backpack

Conclusion

THEVR gaming experience with the Zotac VR Go is smooth and efficient. The product, relative to the originality of its form-factor, is comfortable in use and enjoys pleasant autonomy. The performances are there. Only the price, which is quite high, could be a barrier to the purchase of the Zotac VR Go.

8.4

Features: The components and connections of the Zotac VR Go make it a truly optimized PC for the use of VR.


Unboxing : The packaging is classic and provides all the necessary accessories.


Design and ergonomics: The form-factor of the product is original, almost new. The design itself is rather sober; and it is appreciable.


Power and performance: In VR gaming, the product behaves like any PC. Efficient and fluid. No slowing down or overheating.


Autonomy: Autonomy looks very promising. The product managed to last more than the two hours advertised by the brand.


Price-quality ratio:It is difficult to comment on the value for money of the Zotac VR Go in the sense that it has almost no competition. On paper, the product looks expensive. Too expensive ? It all depends on the interest we give to its wearable side.


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