It's a tablet...It's a gaming PC...It's the Razer Edge!

4:17 PM, Mar 23, 2013   |    comments
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The Edge, a high-end gaming tablet/PC from Razer, has an i7 CPU, dedicated graphics, and runs Windows 8.

It seems these days that the video game industry is changing faster than ever with new consoles, advances in PC gaming, and the emergence of mobile and tablet gaming all grabbing headlines over the past few years.  Well, a new piece of high-end gaming hardware is due out at the end of the month courtesy of Razer.  It's portable, powerful, and full of promise.  It also has a price tag that packs quite the punch.

Razer, which began in 2004 as a brand of gamer-oriented computer mice and released its Razer Blade high-end gaming laptop last year, will be releasing a high-end gaming tablet on March 30.  While it's perfectly capable of running the latest, greatest version of Angry Birds, that's hardly what this Intel-equipped gaming PC in tablet form is made for.

Designed to run full-fledged high-end computer games, the 2-pound Razer Edge will have two builds: one running an Intel i5 CPU with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 64GB solid-state drive, and another that comes equipped with an Intel i7 with 8BG of DDR3 RAM and a 256GB SSD.  Either way, the 10.1" Edge also has a dedicated video card in nVidia's GT640M LE and runs Windows 8.  Those wishing it ran Windows 7 rather than the generally unliked Windows 8 cannot get the tablet with the former (and some would say superior) Microsoft operating system pre-installed.

"The main reason for that is Microsoft is trying to push forward towards Windows 8," Razer's Brian Jang stated before explaining farther.  "The thing is the tablet experience is far better on Windows 8 than on Windows 7.  If we were building a gaming desktop or laptop PC, I think we could possibly look into Windows 7.  But because [Razer Edge] comes off as a tablet, we wanted the Windows 8 interface."

It should be noted that on the Razer Blade gaming laptop, users have the option of buying it with either Windows 7 or Windows 8.

As shown in a behind-closed-doors demonstration in mid-March, the Razer Edge was able to run games through Valve's Steam virtual platform with seemingly little effort.  High-end titles such as Codemasters' Dirt Showdown (41fps on high settings) and Bethesda's Dishonored (59fps) looked great and responded well.  Furthermore, because this is technically a Windows 8 PC, users won't have to worry about whether or not there's "an app for that" because there are no apps - just programs.  Also, users won't have to worry about needing to rely on an app store like on the iPad or an Android device.  Edge users have the option of digitally downloading games from services such as Steam, GamersGate, and Origin, or can simply plug an external optical drive into the Edge's USB port and install from a disk.

When it comes to control schemes, Edge users will have few different options at launch.  In addition to controlling it as a standard tablet via its touchscreen, users can also attach official Razer accessories to modify that experience.  Popping on the Gamepad Controller adds handles on either side of the device that resemble PlayStation Move Nav controllers and provides vibration feedback.  Another option is placing the Edge into its docking station, then plugging that station into an HDTV that acts as a second monitor for Windows 8 - essentially turning the Edge into a home gaming console for PC games, controllable using a USB-connected gamepad.  And, planned for some time after launch, is a special tablet case for the Edge that more-or-less turns the tablet into a more traditional laptop-like computer.

If all of the above seems great (and why wouldn't it), the nitty-gritty truth of it all is that it's not cheap.  The i5-powered Razer Edge carries will cost a cool grand and the i7-equipped Razer Edge Pro runs from $1,299 to $1,499 depending upon setup.  Compared to traditional gaming laptops, those asking aren't too much higher.  Compared to gaming desktop computers of similar statistics, however, the Edge is quite pricey.  Of course, it's rather difficult to do gaming on the go when there is a computer tower to tote around.

So, what is the Razer Edge?  It's a fairly powerful gaming PC in tablet form, and that's a great thing for serious gamers on the go - assuming they can afford it.


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