CES 2013: Razer Edge

by: John -
Project Fiona is coming and it does look good indeed. Officially named Razer Edge, this gamer's tablet has a ton of flexibility and power for hard core gamers on the go and at home.
 
Razer Edge is an Intel third generation Core 10" tablet running a Windows 8 Pro OS. That means it will run both legacy and new Windows 8 programs as well. That's not all though. It's got a fully discrete NVIDIA GPU in it. Think about that for a second. It's a tablet with a dedicated GPU. I don't think there's a tablet out there that has that right now that. The GPU is a NVIDIA GT 640M LE, which when I was watching games from Steam being demonstrated, ran really, really well.
 
On the CPU side, there will be a few variations. The base model will have an i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Going Pro will net you an i7 with 8GB of RAM and either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. You're getting some fast CPUs here so I'm having dreams of running things like Visual Studio and Photoshop when I am out on the road and don't want to use my laptop to work on.
 
The screen looked great even though the resolution was 1366x768. At the 10" size, I was quite happy with how it looked. Thought it might not be as clear as say my Transformer Infinity for reading books, gaming wise it was more than acceptable. The resolution was picked for performance and power usage, but there's no stopping Razer from going to higher resolution panels for future iterations of Edge.
 
It's not just the power of the tablet that's impressive. There are some well thought out accessories being developer for it as well. You've no doubt seen the controller that the tablet sits in the middle of. It's comfortable and the controls feel responsive. Inside the controller dock is an area to hold an optional extended battery for longer gaming time.  $249 is the price of the controller and $69 will be the price for the 40Wh extended battery.
 


 
Keyboard docks are now pretty prominent and there will be one as well for the Edge, but released in Q3. The keyboard's design was still being finalized, but it was able to take the same extended battery that fit into the controller dock and extend the life of the Edge. The dock also folds up so you can keep the tablet and computer closed up into a nice tidy package. The one at CES seemed a little bulky, but we'll see how it ends up when it's finally released.
 
If you want to hook the Edge to a monitor or TV and use it as a computer, Razer is also releasing a docking station. While the Edge itself has a USB 3.0 connector, the dock has three USB 2.0 connectors, which seems a little odd to me. I would think you would want to keep all the connections 3.0, but the docking station's going with the slower 2.0 connection. HDMI 1.4, mic in and stereo out round out the available connectors for the docking station which can be had for $99.
 
Razer's stating you should get up to 8 hours of standard, non gaming use out of it, which to me is a solid amount of time for a tablet. Gaming, though, is going to knock it down a ton making it 2 to 4 hours with the extended battery. 
 
It's also going to heat up big time, but Razer's done some  work in helping mitigate that heat away from the Edge. The right backside of the Edge was pretty toasty with a unit that was running an hour on games, so I wouldn't keep it on my lap if I was playing something from, say Steam.
 


 
Oh yes, the Edge was able to play various games from Steam such as Dishonored and Dirt. The combination of a third generation Intel Core CPU and the discreet NVIDIA GPU really lets you play some of the top titles without compromise. One unit was connected to a larger screen with two Razer Sabertooth controllers making it one very powerful "console"  for gaming. 
 
The Razer Edge isn't cheap, but it's got a lot of horsepower and a lot of cool accessories going for it. It's not made to compete with the iPads or Android tablets of the world. This is a "full" PC that's in a very small form factor. Base price is $999 and it goes up quick if you go with the Pro version and larger SSD. I finally might have find my perfect tablet to do work on the go, play, and watch movies on. The Razer Edge will be released in Q1 of this year.

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