CES 2013 CoverageBosco -
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As is an OCC CES tradition, we got to sit down with President Robert "Razerguy" Krakoff for a private meeting at the Razer booth. Whereas last year Project Fiona was relegated to a glass cube, this year we actually got to use it, and along with that was the unveiling of its new name, the Razer Edge.
The Razer Edge is purported to be the world's first tablet designed for PC gamers, by PC gamers. Using the power of the Internet, Razer posted polls on Facebook, allowing fans to vote on the components they wanted to see in the device. For the most part, the majority vote getter for each component type was selected. Put simply, the Razer Edge is an impressive product, albeit a bit pricey. The Edge comes in two flavors: the base model and the Razer Edge Pro. The base model features an Intel Core i5 processor, NVIDIA GT640M LE GPU, 4GB DDR3, and a 64GB SSD. It's priced at $999.99. The Pro model is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GT640M LE GPU, 8GB DDR3, and either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. It's listed at $1299.99, but with no distinction between the different SSD sizes. Both models feature a USB 3.0 port, an audio jack that supports both stereo out and mic in, a front-facing 2MP HD webcam, and 802.11b/g/n + BT4 Intel WLAN. The screens are 10.1" IPS panels sporting a 1366x768 resolution. Most importantly, the Edge runs a full Windows 8 operating system, which means all of today's popular PC games will run natively.
The Razer Edge features four different playable modes. Tablet mode is the standard mode, requiring no extra accessories. The caveat is that games would obviously need to support touch controls. The game Razer was showing off for this mode was Civilization V, which worked remarkably well - so well that you can see Waco's "oh my god, this is amazing!" expression in one of the images below. If you'd like a truer PC gaming experience, you can buy the optional keyboard dock for $199.99 and pair it with a mouse. For this mode, Razer was showing off RIFT. The next mode is what Razer calls "Mobile Console Mode" and is the one most of you are probably familiar with from all the Project Fiona photos in the past. The Razer Edge Gamepad Controller ($249.99) adds dual analog sticks, backlit D-Pad and A/B/X/Y buttons, and three trigger buttons for each hand. For this mode, Razer was showing off Dishonored, which looked outstanding. The last mode is referred to as "Home Console Mode" and features a docking station ($99.99) that adds three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a stereo out port, and a mic in port. This allows you to connect the Razer Edge to your HDTV, hook up two gamepads, and use Steam's Big Picture mode to play your favorite games. For this mode, Razer was showing off DiRT Showdown.
We were all very impressed, but the Razer Edge is clearly not a piece of hardware for everyone, as it would set you back a minimum of $999.99. Start adding in a few of the accessories and you're easily approaching the price of a decent laptop. Still, when you consider that a 64GB iPad costs $699, the price starts to make a lot more sense with all the additional features and support. You're never going to play Civilization V, RIFT, Dishonored, and DiRT Showdown on an iPad. There is a downside to all that heavy gaming though - battery life suffers. Though the Razer site doesn't list battery life at all, Robert stated it was roughly two hours with heavy gaming and 5-6 hours of general use, though you can buy an extended battery for $49.99 that supposedly doubles that.