Razer Edge Pro PC Gaming Tablet: The Kotaku Review

Like many PC gamers, I've often wished a machine capable of putting the power of a gaming rig in a portable device. Gaming laptops are lovely and have their place, but that place is often on top of a desk. After a week with Razer's new Edge gaming tablet, I realise what I really wanted was to play Bioshock Infinite in the bathroom without burning my thighs. All hail Razer, deliverer of dreams.

Razer's only review guidelines before sending along a Razer Edge loaner was that I not tell them I used it in the bathroom. I am a review guideline freedom fighter, deep in the trenches, pants around my ankles, balancing a $US1,499 gaming tablet on the side of the tub before redeploying to less secluded front. And why not? I don't have to stop playing until the batteries run out.

Razer first introduced the Edge in early 2012 as an odd-looking tablet/controller hybrid with handles on either side containing buttons and analogue sticks. It looked pretty ridiculous, but there was promise there. Promise I was pretty sure would never be fulfilled &mdash a pipe dream.

Yet Razer stuck with it, tapping the PC gamers in its community to help design a gaming tablet that delivered everything they wanted at a reasonable price point. A year after it debuted, the final design was finalised. The Razer Edge was a real thing, and it was coming soon.

There are two models of the Razer Edge. The lower-end model runs $US999 and sounds like a capable system. It's got an Intel Core i5 instead of an i7, less memory and only 64GB of storage, but I can see it getting the job done, as long as you don't want to load too many games on it at once.

The unit I've been playing on is the beefier Razer Edge Pro. Here's what's inside:

Intel Core i7 Dual core w/ Hyper Threading Base 1.9GHz / Turbo 3.0GHz

Intel Core i5 Dual core w/ Hyper Threading Base 1.7GHz / Turbo 2.6GHz

8GB DDR3 (2x4GB 1600MHz)

Intel HD4000 (DX11) NVIDIA GT 640M LE (2GB DDR3, Optimus Technology)

10.1-inch (IPS, 1366x768) Multi-touch HD display

Windows 8

128/256GB SSD (SATA-III)

Intel WLAN (802.11b/g/n + BT4)

Stereo speakers Codec supports 7.1 (via HDMI through optional Docking Station) HD Webcam (front-facing, 2MP) Array microphones Dolby Home theatre v4 USB 3.0 x1 (green, SuperSpeed) Audio jack (3.5mm, 4-pole, stereo out / mic in) Approximate Size: 278.5 mm x 178.85 mm x 19.5 mm / 10.9" x 7" x .80" Approximate Weight: 962g / 2.1Lbs

Design

It's a tablet!

It's a rectangle, as one might have expected. The design is reminecent of the Razer Blade laptop, using the same ridged metal for the back and that damn glowing octopus thing. It's about as thick as a closed Nintendo 3DS XL, and about as big as it looks in this size comparison image I made using everyday household items (in my household, that is).

It's beefier than your average tablet, but it's nice to have something to hold. It feels quite solid, and at a little over two pounds it has heft without being too much of a burden for hands used to resting comfortably on gaming mice.

Display

The 10.1-inch IPS display is as bright and crisp as a sunny day. Just don't take it outside on a sunny day, or you won't be able to see a thing. This is not a device to bring to a picnic, unless it's the most depressing picnic ever. The Razer Edge Pro has made me appreciate my back deck as a place where I'm not meant to play the new Devil May Cry.

The screen resolution is 1366x768, which might seem low to someone used to nothing less than a 1920x1080 HD monitor, but then you don't hold a 1920x1080 HD monitor inches from your face. At least you're not supposed to. It's a good resolution for the screen size, and it means the unit's graphics card doesn't have to work quite as hard.

Performance

Downloading my normal suite of benchmarking games was out of the question, especially since I wasted a good several hours downloading Transformers: Fall of Cybertron because I was in a Transformers sort of mood. Were I to do this all over again I'd purchase a USB wired network adaptor for loading purposes. The Edge's wireless isn't slow, but nothing beats a wire.

What I used for benchmarks instead were a pair of new games, Bioshock Infinite and the latest Tomb Raider, both of which were considerate enough to include built-in benchmarks.

Out of habit I tried both games at the highest possible graphics preset first. Ultra setting was not kind to either game &mdash not that I expected it to be. Still, 17 frames per second on average for both titles is playable, just not very playable.

Cranking things down (you can totally crank downwards) to medium settings brought both titles to a lovely average of 56- 60 frames per second (I even remembered to turn off vertical sync). Not only is that playable, it's downright enjoyable, at least while it lasts.

Battery Life and Configurations

The Razer Edge uses low-powered Intel graphics to handle every day Windows 8 tablet tasks, and I'd assume the battery life for those is just fine, but there are dozens of less-expensive tablets out there if you just want to run Microsoft Word. This is about gaming, yo.

In full-on battle mode with its optional Gamepad Controller ($US249.99) loaded with an extra battery ($US69.99), the Razer Edge Pro ran Bioshock Infinite for one hour and forty-five minutes.

That's not a lot of minutes, all things considered, but then you probably won't want to be using the Gamepad Controller for that long anyway. With the extra battery it adds what feels like another extra pounds to the unit, and holding upwards for extended periods hurts. It works like gangbusters (though mine seems to have bugged out towards the end of my testing — Razer thinks it's faulty), and after a brief adjustment period (the screen, it moves with my hands!) it's a fun way to play. Just not a way you'd want to play for an extended period of time.

I much preferred playing on the standard docking station ($US99.99) with an Xbox controller plugged in, as you can see below.

The biggest obstacle the Razer Edge faces is its own innovation. It's not just the most powerful Windows 8 tablet on the market -- it's a revolutionary new way to play PC games. It's the revolutionary part I'm struggling with. I've been play PC games sitting in a chair with one hand on my keyboard and the other on my mouse for nearly two decades, so curling up on the couch with a handheld might be a little more intimacy than I'm prepared for.

Still, it's growing on me, and it's not like I can break up with it now that we've been in the bathroom together.

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Comments

    but then you don’t hold a 1920×1080 HD monitor inches from your face

    Tell that to my Transformer Infinity pad...

      Haha hi5. Thought the same thing when I read that bit >_> Love my infinity.

    before redeploying to [a] less secluded front

    —[;]

    the final design was finali[z]ed

    Cranking things down (you can totally crank downwards)

    it adds what feels like another extra pounds to the unit

      What are you doing? Trying to get an editing job or something? And finalised is correct for just about everywhere except America.

      You missed a lot of grammar errors to be homest. For example, since 'for' is a preposition a sentence like "curling up on the couch with a handheld might be a little more intimacy than I’m prepared for" should technically read "curling up on the couch with a handheld might be a little more intimacy than for which I'm prepared." But when an author on a gaming blog writes "This is about gaming, yo" I'm not bothered when I see sentences that end with prepositions, I just smile and look at the pretty things.

        I know, I was more pointing out the obvious ones that a second read of the article probably should have spotted :P

    I was excited about this product until i read this review, it sounds like a joke.

    For the insane asking price of what $1450 US for the best version and another $310 for the controller+battery (the whole point of it is to have those controllers). You then add the obligatory Aussie razor tax which is almost as bad as adobe and we aussies are looking at well over $2000 for a medium setting pc for 1 hour and 40 minutes of play time.

    I mean i could build a brand spanking new desktop to max out all but a couple games and a nice IPS display for significantly less. I dont see the point at all. Its outpaced by desktops and dedicated gaming laptops, it will be outpaced by the ps4 and next xbox (due to no OS and the rest). It has woeful play time considering the entire point of the machine and to top it all off its more expensive than every single one off the above?

    So i don't understand who is this marketed too? "hardcore gamers" Will prefer their cheaper and better running pc's. Console lovers wont want to spend 2-3x as much for a smaller screened version of their current console and the tablet market is all about casual games, so who is this product for?

    Last edited 29/03/13 2:16 pm

      Hell I use my tablet to stream games from my main windows gaming pc and it works fine, granted it not as portable being limited to the in house wifi. But then its like $1000 cheaper.

      I can still play games under android on the road.

      You wrote all that yet were still stupid enough to miss the fact that portability makes things cost more.

      Portability - makes - things - cost - more.

      I'm not sure why people seem to misrepresent price in their arguments. Even people i generally thought of as smart can't fathom why Steam's pc would cost a staggering $1000 because consoles don't cost that much. I mean are you people all just against paying money for anything? It seems like it. Aus has a ridiculous markup, granted. Yet, people complain about the pricing, even when it's perfectly consistent with other products sold in Australia, even when compared to American pricing schemes, even when it's consistent with the economy. We always get this question of who could possibly buy this thing because the sheer outlandishness of a modest portable gaming pc for around 50% more than a generally expensive tablet is too insane to comprehend.

      How much would you say this thing costs to research, produce and sell?

        Thank you mr random moron who is in fact so mis informed, that you ranted at me without realising how incredibly wrong you are. I always love it when some stupid little shit comes along and gives such false information.

        I never stated the price wasn't "Fair" or what is actually cost to produce. No i simply stated that to aussies in particular its not worth the money they are asking, at all.

        If the product was actually portable then that would be different. But if the best version money can buy gives a mediocre medium settings for 1 hour and 40 minutes WITH AN EXTRA BATTERY SOLD separately that's a fucking joke.

        My entire point was why would anyone want it over other choices?. Its called OPPORTUNITY COST, learn what it means before you come here and start ranting about steam boxes (WTF) or just because something is expensive that its worth its asking price.

        To most people spending $500 on console is too much, $500 for a tablet is too much, hell most people only want to spend $500 on a PC. So explain to me how 99% of the population (the ones that make up the actual consumer market, not the 1%) can justify this as a purchase?

        The point is if I bought the best version with ALL the accessories, it would be better value for money to buy a better PC and IPS monitor, i could still get a 360 (connect it to said monitor) and a 10 inch tablet and the razor tablet would still cost more, its fucking insane.

        IT doesn't matter that "oh its portable", or "it cost alot to develop wahhhhhhhhhh we have to charge more", there is a limit to what people will pay and its up to razor to make a product that people want and can afford.

        There is no point in making a semi portable tablet/console/pc hybrid if its barely portable and cost more than all 3 combined. So i shall state it again, just because it was or is expensive to make it doesn't mean its a worthy product. Which is why those of lesser intellect such as yourself can't comprehend what i originally wrote.

        ********Side Note********
        Total cost is $1870 for everything bar keyboard, which is probably another $200, making it $2070.
        This is the US price and without these accessories it wont do half what is advertised making them mandatory.

        Given the literal 50% increase over US prices on the Aussie Razer store, I can expect here in Australia to be paying ....... $3105

        WHAT A JOKE

        Last edited 29/03/13 5:55 pm

      It makes complete sense for a portable product to cost a lot more than a non-portable product of similar capabilities, as long as its genuinely portable. I agree with you that the short battery like makes the entire product fairly counter intuitive. If you have to charge the thing ever few hours you might as well just have a kick ass desktop like you said

    My only comment on this is I am not the target market for this thing. I'd rather build a new PC, buy a Tablet and get a Vita/3DS and still have change for games. Especially if this thing is super expensive.

    It's an amazing tablet, right on for the gamers.. may be priced high, but hey the specs are great.. nice review..came across another descriptive review..http://www.gadgetride.com/review/razer-edge-gaming-tablet-review.html

    Thats funny, i have an XBOX360 2nd gen, a decent desktop, and am sitting here on my laptop thinking that i'd like to buy this for the portability and donate the latter 2. if you were to get a gaming PC, you need a desk and power anyway and its not portable. A gaming laptop wouldn't run to much longer on full power, full graphics settings either or be as easy to take anywhere. This tablet i would be willing to pay for to take it with me where ever i go, so what i have to find a power point to use it. better than trying to take an ipad and desktop pc and console to do all of what this little unit can achieve!

    From someone who travels a bit i'm sold!.

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