CES 2012: Razer

by: Sean Cahill -
One of the companies that made a lot of noise at CES 2012 was Razer with the announcement of the gaming tablet that is simply being called Project Fiona.  I had the chance to not only get a little time to look at this gaming tablet, but also spend some time with the Star Wars: The Old Republic accessories and a new gaming mouse known as the Naga Hex.
 
Star Wars: The Old Republic Keyboard
 
This was the main peripheral that I was looking forward to in the Razer booth, having seen the previews of it a week prior to the tradeshow.  This is one of the most unique keyboards you will ever run into, simply due to the addition of the LCD touchpad and ten hotkeys on the right side of the keyboard itself.  With Synapse 2.0 support that allows you to save your profile via a cloud, you no longer have to worry about losing your personal settings anymore.  The hotkeys, as previously mentioned, are integrated with the LCD panel that basically becomes a multi-media hub.  You can bring up a numerical pad if you wish or simply utilize the hotkeys to fully customize yourself in the game itself.  On top of that, if you are a little bored with what’s going on in game or are simply waiting on people in a group, you can also access sites such as Youtube and watch videos on the pad.  It’s that intuitive.
 
You will find over 100 fully programmable keys on the keyboard as well as a nice gold backlit panel for easy viewing on the board itself.  One of the coolest additions to the keyboard doesn’t necessarily do anything but add to the collector’s value of the board is the placement of Aurebesh lettering from the Star Wars Universe.
 
The SWTOR Keyboard will retail at $249.99 and will be available soon.
 
Star Wars: The Old Republic Mouse
 
Keeping with the Star Wars theme, we move to the SWTOR Mouse.  A very smooth and sleek mouse, it is very ergonomic and easy to get used to.  You will find 17 buttons that can be optimized for in-game use no matter the title.  The logo on the mouse itself is interchangeable, so no matter if you follow the Republic or the Empire, you will be able to show your allegiance.
 
The laser works at 5600 dpi and is a dual wired/wireless setup, so you can use it wireless if you choose, but the docking station allows you to easily charge it while you aren’t playing, or simply use the plug-in and use it while it charges for completely flexibility.  Battery life is approximately 12 hours while in wireless mode, so it will last you for those long gaming sessions without failing on you.
 
The SWTOR Mouse will retail at $139.99 and will be available soon.
 
 
Star Wars:  The Old Republic Headset
 
The final piece of equipment in the Star Wars: The Old Republic lineup is the headset.  For those of you who remember my review regarding the Starcraft II branded headset known as the Banshee, I feel that a direct comparison is in order.  The sound quality of the SWTOR Headset is very comparable to the Banshee, which makes sense since the frequency response is the same at 20-20,000 Hz.  The major difference comes in the feel of the headsets.  While I still love the comfort of the Banshee, the SWTOR Headset is definitely lighter, though my quick impression is that it does not feel as solid as the Banshee does, though a true side-by-side comparison is in order for that.
 
The microphone is a set piece of the headset instead of being detachable.  The nice little addition to this, though, is that the microphone actually slides up into the headset and can be tucked away when not being used.  Once again, the faction emblems can be swapped out between Republic and Empire just like on the mouse itself for full customization.  The headset, much like the past Razer headsets, is complete with a braided USB cable for easy plug-and-play capability.
 
The SWTOR Headset will retail for $129.99 and will be available soon.
 
Project Fiona
 
I wish I had more information than I do about this fantastic piece of equipment, but what we know is what was in the press release.  We know that there will be a Core i7 Processor inside of the fully functional tablet that supports both touchpad capability as well as the use of the dual joystick system.  The tablet will support 7.1 surround sound, Bluetooth 3.0, and Wireless B/G/N.
 
Other than that, this product is in the earliest of stages.  We are very eager to see how Project Fiona develops in the coming months.
 
 
Naga Hex
 
Finally, we come to the last piece of equipment on this trip, the Naga Hex gaming mouse.  Sporting a similar look to the design of the SWTOR Mouse, the Naga Hex has a fully customizable six button pad on the left side for quick commands and feels incredibly comfortable in your hand.  There is no real problem transitioning to this piece of equipment as it is perfectly ergonomic.  The 5600 dpi laser is a staple of Razer’s commitment to putting out quality gaming mice, but I believe the best guarantee that Razer gives us is the 10 million click life cycle.  It isn’t very often that you get a guarantee like that from companies regarding their gear.
 
The Naga Hex will debut at $79.99.

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