Pricy, Yet Powerful: Razer's Windows 8 Gaming Tablet Starts Shipping
April 1, 2013 7:19 AM
Relatively portable x86 gaming tablet is a dream for gamers, but very different from the iPad
Founded in 1998, gaming-electronics firm Razer built a strong name for itself in the
and has today branched out into its own branded gaming PCs. Its latest effort lands this week -- a gaming geared (x86) Windows 8 tablet named the "Razer Edge".
The tablet started shipping this week; the peripherals for it (read on to find out more) should be shipping in the next couple weeks. And while
Windows 8 tablets have struggled
in the market, this Razer tablet does provide an interesting alternative to the market leading Apple, Inc. (
or Google Inc.'s (
) aggressively priced Android-powered
The device is pretty thick and heavy -- but packs powerful hardware. It weighs approximately 2.1 lb (33.6 oz.) and measures 278.5 mm x 178.85 mm x 19.5 mm / 10.9" x 7" x .80".
The screen is a 10.1-inch 1366x768 pixel multi-touch display (a bit lacking compared to the 2048x1536 pixel panel found in the iPad).
Under the hood is an Intel Corp. (
Ivy Bridge Chip
-- either the
(dual-core; 1.5 GHz std.; 2.6 GHz turbo) or the
(dual-core; 1.9 GHz std; 3.0 GHz turbo). That powerhouse is paired with a
mobile GPU -- NVIDIA Corp.'s (
) GeForce 640M LE graphics chip (with 2 GB of DDR3 graphics memory). There's a 2 MP front-facing HD webcam, an 802.11 b/g/n adapter (no 802.11 ac support), and Bluetooth 4.0 support.
The Razer Edge packs a dual-core Ivy Bridge chip (quad-core die pictured).
[Image Source: Intel]
Overall, the Razer Edge comes up a bit short compared to the latest iPad in several categories -- battery life, screen resolution, thickness (the Razer Edge is almost as thick as three fourth-gen iPads stacked and weighs more than three iPads), and lack of a cellular modem option.
However, the Edge does offer some interesting opportunities. First, it's available with some unique gaming geared peripherals. The first is a
$250 USD handle-style
controller, which has handholds on either side of the screen, with buttons on the handles.
Alternatively you can pick up a
$100 USD docking station
, which charges the Edge, while offering two extra USB 3.0 ports compatible with either a keyboard/mouse combo or a pair of
$80 USD Razer Elite Windows GamePads
for multiplayer-gaming. The dock also has HDMI out, so you can game on your big screen.
Note, there's no shortage of
relatively cheap gaming controllers
for the iPad, but the experience of most iOS games is less geared towards them control-wise versus PC games (which often are made with controller-using gamers in mind). Also, the Razer Edge's handle's controller is pretty unique.
When it comes to pricing, there're three different SKUs.
buys you 4 GB of DDR3 DRAM, 64 GB, and the i5 CPU;
buys you 8 GB of DDR3 DRAM, 128 GB, and the i7 CPU; and
buys you 8 GB of DDR3 DRAM, 256 GB, and the i7 CPU.
Aside from the peripherals, the Razer Edge allows you to play full PC gaming titles -- offering you much more gaming-wise than the iPad. And the x86 CPU and Windows 8 means that you can install Microsoft Corp.'s (
) Office suite and get "real work" done between the gaming.
Here's a quick comparison with the 128 GB iPad:
(Click to enlarge)
that integration with Valve's Steam service will be fully supported. The tablet is capable of playing many titles that nearly no other tablet could -- such as DiRT 3, Civilization V, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Portal 2, and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
the battery life to be around 4-5 hours versus 15 hours with the latest iPad. Despite its high price and weaknesses,
's Vivek Gowri concludes, "The Edge feels like a PC-iPad-PSP mashup from the future, and it's incredibly exciting. As much as it was hyped up with all the CES awards and social media marketing push, Razer has created a fascinating gaming machine that could change the way we view portable gaming going forward."
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