Razer’s Edge Gaming Tablet Hands On, The Ungamer’s Perspective

I have to be candid and tell you that I’m not a hard-core gamer.  I have to also tell you that if I do game it’s on a console, not a PC or a handheld.  But with that in mind, you might be surprised to hear that I found Razer’s Edge gaming tablet a very compelling experience, even thought the battery life is good for a mere 2 or so hours before requiring a recharge.

The Razer Edge is a full-blown Windows 8 tablet.  Unlike other tablets, the Edge is a relatively chunky piece of kit that weighs well north of 1lb (I’m waiting on the official weight to be sent over) and is easily twice the thickness of Apple’s iPad.    So that said, the Edge is about power, versatility, and most importantly gaming.  There are a host of accessories that can be purchased separately or in a bundle, but the one you’ll want to know about is the Mobile Console (or Joysticks), which is drawn from the Fiona concept that we saw last year.

In addition to two analog sticks that offer an exceptional amount of sensitivity (better than a PS3 controller), there is a backlit d-pad, triggers and two shoulder buttons on each joystick.  I was told by the rep that there is an extended battery pack, but I’m not sure if that will be built-in to this particular accessory, though you can purchase 40Wh individual ones at $69.  It’s arguable just how portable the Mobile Console accessory is since it doesn’t fold up or offer individually detachable controllers, but there is no disputing the amount of usability it adds to the Razer Edge.  If one so wanted to, they could plug one of Razer’s game controllers into the tablet, but since this Mobile Console accessory allows you to hold the tablet with relative easy, it’s far more ideal for playing games on a plane, train, or a bus.

If the console like controller isn’t your thing, or your simply looking for more versatility, there is a Keyboard  that has been optimized for PC games and needless to say can be used for wordprocessing.  I didn’t make time to use it, but by all accounts it looks like a viable option for those seeking to ditch their laptop.  An optional dock is also available for charging the Razer Edge, which also includes 3x USB ports, as well as an HDMI and stereo output for connecting it to your big screen TV.

Configuration will start at $999 and top out at $1,299, though for a few hundred more one can score the bundle, which packs in the i7 tablet and a the controller module (bought separately the total price would be $50 more).  Other features include a 10.1-inch 1,366 x 768 display, NVIDIA GT640M LE GPU, 64GB to 256GB SSD storage, and 4 to 8GB of DDR3 RAM.

For more, check out 6 Things That Brought the Fiona to the Edge

In use, the Razer Edge remarkably straight forward, even for a non-hardcore gamer like me.  The controllers, as well as sensitivity, we’re analogous if not better than any console on the market today.  The weight of the Razer Edge is both comforting (it feels sturdy) and some what disconcerting (holding it up right for more than a minutes might result arm fatigue).  That said, it’s viable to rest the edge of the tablet on your lap and continue to play games.  Nevertheless, those are acceptable caveats, especially seeing as it can be jacked directly into a large screen display and controlled via a wired joystick. So imagine yourself traveling, playing a few hours of gaming on the road, checking into your hotel, and continuing that very same mission on your room’s large screen LCD TV.  Again, I’m not a hardcore gamer, but the Razer Edge, while much larger than any portable gaming console, is exceptionally awesome given its power and diminutive size.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

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