The recent focus on VR, coupled with the amount of graphics horsepower you can get in a small package, has led companies like MSI and Asus into the business of building PCs meant for gaming in the living room rather than the desktop. MSI's Trident 3 and Asus' G20ci both went on sale recently, and now Asus has another option unquestionably aimed at offering a console-like package with enough punch for driving a high-end VR headset: the VivoPC X. The system is now available after being unveiled in January, and we have the full details on it.
The VivoPC X packs an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, 8 GB of RAM (upgradeable to 16 GB), and a Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB graphics card. Asus had originally intended to offer a 512GB M.2 SATA SSD for primary storage alongside options for up to a 2TB spinner, but the system on the shelf simply comes with a 1TB hard drive. There's still a free M.2 slot, but you'll have to fill it yourself with a faster storage option.
While it has some measure of upgradeability, the VivoPC X has more in common with a laptop rather than a compact desktop. Most of the specs for the box are set in stone (or PCB, as it were) when you buy it. The GTX 1060 is a more-than-capable card for a VR system but may prove a limitation as the years move on.
The VivoPC X offers up a pretty good spread in terms of I/O, though, with four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 connectors, and a Gigabit Ethernet port. For video output, the system offers one DisplayPort port and two HDMI 2.0b ports. All the ports are on the back of the system, though. A front-facing HDMI connector would be welcome. The box's frontal dimensions are 10.2" x 3", and it's 11" deep (or 26 cm x 7.6 cm x 28 cm).
The system retails for $800 on its own, but Amazon has a deal going for a bundle with an Oculus Rift headset, a set of Touch controllers, and the VivoPC X for $1398 all told. The usual caveat emptor applies here, though. You can pick up the headset and controllers for $598 and the PC for $799 separately for $1397. It's just a dollar less expensive, but that's not exactly a great bundle.