CES 2017 | AMD teases Avalon mini PC VR backpack powered by two Li-ion battery packs
There are already some dedicated VR backpacks available for purchase, but why spend thousands on a high-performance PC that can't do much else other than sit on your back?
AMD showed off its Avalon mini PC at CES this year that also comes standard with a special backpack for converting into a portable VR machine. The small 2.5 kg unit integrates an Intel Kaby Lake 45 W TDP CPU with an on-board RX 480 GPU and 2x M.2 slots for SSD storage. Other connectivity options include RJ-45, 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio, HDMI, and USB Type-C (sans Thunderbolt 3).
Another unique aspect that distinguishes the Avalon mini PC from the rest is its two removable Li-ion battery packs at 99.5 Wh each. Both units are required to run the system without an outlet and AMD is promising at least an hour of VR playback before needing to recharge. The chipmaker is also reassuring us that the system will not throttle at all when running on batteries unlike on most gaming notebooks available today.
Expect the Avalon to come to market this second quarter for a starting price of $1800 USD from at least one unannounced OEM. Though pricey, this is actually much cheaper than current VR backpacks from MSI or Zotac. No word yet on if the Avalon will be refreshed with Vega GPUs set to launch later this year.