VR laptop

The first VR-Ready laptops hardly deserve the title. The hulking desktop replacements were hard to take anywhere and didn’t really have the battery life needed to enjoy the experience. Times have changed and several manufacturers now have thin, light laptops that can easily travel with you and handle VR without a hitch.

This leaves a lot of people planning their VR gaming spaces with an interesting new question — how easy is it to package up and move VR settings somewhere in a new direction? Can a VR setup be the center of a party when you don’t have it at home?

So many wires

Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

While it’s easy to look at a PC as the hardest part of moving a virtual installation, it usually isn’t. We’ve seen VR portable PCs before, but a smaller laptop is clearly more convenient. With new slim options from Razer, Alienware, Dell and more, you get one power cable and everything you need to run Oculus Rift on HTC Vive.

While neither solution is plug and play, the Rift is clearly easier to set up.

For the Oculus Rift, the biggest challenge is either having enough USB ports on the laptop, or having a USB hub capable of handling data from everything. While only the Oculus Rift will take up two USB ports and an HDMI port, adding an Oculus Touch requires a third or fourth USB port. The Oculus setup also immediately focuses on the laptop itself, unless you have USB extension cables to allow the laptop to be farther away. There is a lot of flexibility in setting up the Rift, but the more complex you get, the more extra wires and USB ports you have to consider when planning your gaming space.

Setting up the HTC Vive is more complex than the Rift out of the box and requires separate outlets for individual beacons and a sync box. This means that wherever you choose to take the Vive, there should be at least four outlets available so you can set everything up. Since only a headset needs to be connected to the PC, the laptop can significantly free up the gaming space without additional settings.

While neither solution is plug and play, the Rift is undoubtedly the simpler setup that can be quickly selected. If you’ve planned the setup at all, the Vive will be easier to customize to suit the needs of the space you’re in.

Handheld VR Rules