updated 04:11 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2013
Razer Edge offers powerful, portable gaming
Razer has been showing off the Razer Edge, a new gaming tablet powered by Intel and Nvida technology, at CES so Electronista took the time to stop by and check it out. Based on the Project Fiona platform announced at CES 2012, the Edge is a Windows 8 tablet that has been designed to offer a full PC gaming experience in a portable form factor. The base configuration ail sport an Intel Core i5 processor as well as an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The display is a 10.1-inch capacitive touch screen that runs at a resolution of 1366 x 768 and offers wide viewing angles thanks to an IPS panel.
Alongside the actual tablet, Razer has also developed several accessories. The Gamepad Controller offers two side mounted handles with built-in analog thumbsticks, triggers, and action buttons. The controller is comfortable to hold, but the weight of the tablet brings up some concerns. Holding the device for long gaming sessions may become straining on the wrists and arms, but we will save final judgements until we get a chance to spend some more time playing. Picking up the controller for the first time is also somewhat jarring. Unlike more common modern game controllers, the design of the Gamepad places the hands a fair distance apart which felt a little unnatural especially when trying to move between the thumbsticks and lower buttons.Other accessories include the keyboard dock, which Razer says is still being tweaked, and a docking system that can be used to connect the device to an additional display and peripherals.
We got a chance to try playing both Dishonored and Dirt 3 on the tablet, and were mostly impressed. Dishonored ran smoothly and appeared to have most of the graphics options turned on, however, as one might expect the tablet wasn't capable of matching console-level graphics. Dirt 3 pushed the tablet a littler harder and the frame rate was hit pretty hard when more elements were rendering on screen. Cruising along a straight away was a smooth experience, but as soon as we started drifting through corners adding smoke and dirt spray elements to the equation, the frame rate began falling to the point where playing became difficult.
Razer claims that the Edge's built-in battery will offer around an hour of mobile gaming, while a $70 external battery pack will let players double the battery life. It is likely that battery life will be better for non-gaming uses, but Razer has not made any official statements.
Despite a few imperfections we are overly impressed in what Razer has managed to do with the Edge. The relatively small tablet offers a more powerful gaming platform than other portable devices currently on the market, however this does come at a cost. The Razer Edge starts at $1000, while the Edge Pro that includes the Gamepad, a Core i7 processor and more SSD storage will fall in the $1700 range.