ASUS Launches VivoPC X Console
ASUS has announced that it is launching the VivoPC X console — a machine that will let you play PC games the same way you would on a regular console like the Xbox One or PS4, from your couch — and it is available right now from several major retailers for just $800. The gaming computer is VR ready and certain retailers are offering a special combo package including the VivoPC X and an Oculus Rift headset for a reduced price.
To make the VivoPC X small enough that it can sit in your living room and not take up all the space in front of the TV, it has been made by using mostly notebook components. A fringe benefit to this approach is that it has a relatively low power draw (230W) and makes less noise than a rig sporting an equivalent GeForce GTX 1060 would make. A drawback is that the VivPC X will likely be unattractive to DIY fans, as, much like with a laptop, switching out parts is a tricky operation.
The VivoPC X has a Intel Core i5-7300HQ CPU and the Nvidia GPU sports 3GB of DDR5 RAM (system memory is 8GB of DDR4-2400). Storage is provided by a 1TB 2.5-inch HDD and it has connection options galore: two HDMI 2.0b ports, one DisplayPort and six Type-A USB ports — four 3.0, two 2.0.
Taken altogether, the VivoPC is a great alternative for people that want the convenience of a console but want to still play PC games. The biggest drawback for that group is that at $800, the VivoPC is a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Xbox One or PS4. Against that, however, comes the fact that neither of those two options will give the same VR experience as a PC running a 1060 GPU will. Consumers will have to decide their own priorities in this case.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.