Razer Prepares To Unleash The World's First PC Gaming Tablet

At last year's Consumer Electronics Show, gaming peripheral maker Razer debuted Project Fiona, a PC gaming tablet concept with a pair of control sticks affixed to the side. It looked ridiculous, but there was promise there. That promise is realised this year in the Razer Edge, a full-featured, crowd-sourced gaming PC with the form factor of a tablet, shipping soon and starting at under $US1000. You won't believe what they've packed inside this thing.

Razer promised a Fiona-like product out by the end of last year, but that was before the company opened up the design of the device to the people most important to the product — PC gamers. Thanks to the interaction of players via Razer's Facebook page and community website, Project Fiona transformed from an interesting idea to a drool-worthy piece of technology.

For starters, they got rid of those stupid handles. Well, not entirely.

The handles, with their oddly-placed buttons and analogue sticks, have been replaced with an optional dock, giving sensible people the ability to skip the silliness altogether, while those keen to sit in Starbucks pretending they are driving a black rectangle can spend $US249.99 for the privilege. Everybody wins.

Along with saving a little dignity, the sourced crowd was also instrumental in determining the final specifications and pricing of the Razer Edge. They told Razer the power they wanted and the price they wanted to pay. What they're getting is a Windows 8 tablet PC capable of running Dishonored on default settings at 59 frames-per-second, with models starting at $US999.

Before we get to the innards, let's look at the outtards.

The Razer Edge features a 10.1-inch screen housed inside a tablet that's two pounds heavy and .eight inches deep. Weight-wise it's right in line with the Microsoft Surface Pro, with a bit more depth. It's not an ultra-thin tablet, but it's not incredibly beefy either.

The tablet will be supplemented by a number of docking stations. There's the silly stick dock, which we've seen. There's also a keyboard dock ($US199), perfect for players of chat-heavy MMOs...

...and a docking station ($US99) that adds USB ports and an HDMI-out, transforming the unit into a PC gaming console for your television.


    So Razer beat Microsoft to the punch?

    I'll still wait for Xbox Surface. Though this thing will be tempting.

    Project Shield
    Project Fiona/Razer Edge
    And possibly Steam Box...

    Wii U
    Next Xbox (Durango)
    Next Playstation (Orbis)

    Why do I get the feeling the market is going to be saturated this year? And those are just the machines that are being marketed as gaming devices!

    Having said that, this does look quite nice. I'd be tempted if I didn't already own a Nexus 7.

    Last edited 09/01/13 10:59 am

      Let's simplify that list a little.

      Android (Ouya, Shield, whatever else comes out)

      Windows (PCs, Razer Edge, Steambox (if Valve has some sense))
      Wii U
      Next Xbox
      Next Playstation

      I don't think it's 'too' saturated yet.

        I wouldn't be so surprised if Valve didn't go with Windows. They are putting a fair bit of time into Steam Linux after all. Gabe himself said he doesn't care for Win8. I reckon it'll be a Linux box with a Windows Emulator maybe.

          I think MS would sue them to hell and back again if they used a Windows Emulator. I know WINE has existed for ages, but it's always been a niche program that doesn't really do any damage to Windows' market share, so not worth MS's time to chase down. However if it was in a mainstream product (like a Steambox) I think MS would go after it with full force.

            People have been selling products based on wine for years, both targeted at running office apps and games. Microsoft hasn't sued any of those companies out of existence yet.

            It would be necessary to avoid using any Microsoft authored DLLS though, which might limit its usefulness (or require investment in improving wine).

              Didn't Valve just announce that the steambox is running Linux?

        I don't think it's accurate to group Ouya and Shield into the same category, because one is a console and one is a handheld. Also despite the fact they will be running the same operating system you're still going to get games exclusively built for them that won't work on the other. Same story with Steam Box and Razer Edge. They are catering to different markets but at the end of the day they are all trying to get a slice of the gaming pie.

        Compared with the dedicated gaming systems last year, which basically only consisted of the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS and Vita (no, PC's are not dedicated gaming systems) - you're going to have about double the number of devices this year (that we know about, and the year is only 9 days old). That's not even counting the phones and tablets that are no doubt going to try to attract gamers to them this year as well.

        Last edited 09/01/13 12:03 pm

    Still waiting on the "innards"

      From the gizmodo article (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/01/razer-edge-tablet-an-entire-gaming-pc-in-a-tablet/):

      There are two models, the Razer Edge and Razer Edge Pro. The basic Edge has a Core i5 processor, a Nvidia GT 640M GPU, 4GB or RAM, and a 64GB SSD. The Pro has a Core i7, the same GT 640M GPU, 8GB of RAM, and either a 128 or 256GB SSD. The base Edge starts at $US1000; The Pro models go up to $US1500. Both will be available in Q1 of 2013.

    ...with models starting at $US999

    It's doomed already. No one in their right mind is going to pay that much for a tablet, especially when the accessories them selves are also hundreds of dollars.

    Hmmm... it's bloody tough to know what the next innovation in game-priority mobile will be

    But you gotta start somewhere. All this new reference design stuff that's happening with Win 8 hardware is good. Even if initial hardware might seem a bunch of crap, it helps to get the stuff out and then see what works and what doesn't. Then, refining out the bad and keeping the good

    This tablet might not be the beez-kneez, but it's a start. And that's good.

    I have a Samsung Ativ Pro tablet that I'm using right now (11.6 inch, i5, 4gb ram, 128ssd) Plays skyrim and walking dead fine, just nothing real taxing. My point is, for $1300 tablet you get a full snappy laptop experience and the ability to sit in bed and read digital comics or whatever. I can see the market for something with a real graphics card for sure. Though I'm a little concerned bout that thickness. Surface is already too chunky.

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