Razer Edge Gaming Tablet – Worth it or Wasteful?
It looks like tablets are trying to win the hearts of PC gamers yet again, with the release of the Razer Edge Gaming Tablet, courtesy of Razer. This nifty little gadget is specifically designed as a mobile unit with the PC gamer in mind – and it’ll cost you $1000 or more for it. If you’ve got the cash, they’ve announced today you can pre-order this little bundle of joy starting March 1, 2013.
The specs are pretty decent: a 64GB Solid state drive, an Nvidia GeForce 640M LE card, an i5 dual-core at 1.7GHz, and 4GB of DDR3 RAM. Add in the 10.1 inch touch display running on Windows 8, and you’ve got yourself a mid-range gaming tablet you can take with you wherever you may roam. If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, you can order the Razer Edge Pro, which will include more RAM (8GB total) and an i7 dual-core 1.9GHz.
Another interesting thing about this tablet is that there are multiple ways you can use it. They have Tablet Mode, Keyboard Mode, Mobile Console Mode, and Home Console Mode. Tablet Mode is pretty straight forward – it is a fully functioning tablet all by itself. If you just can’t drag yourself away from the keyboard, there is a Keyboard Dock that will convert the tablet into a netbook-style PC. There is also a gamepad controller that you can add in Mobile Console Mode, which allows for use of both hands, complete with analog sticks, and multiple buttons for all you FPS fans. If you still aren’t satisfied, there is a Docking Station that will hook up to all your home PC peripherals, completing the Home Console Mode. To add to its resume, Razer Edge Pro has already won the Best of CES, People’s Choice, and Best of Show Awards at the CES convention this year. It does certainly look impressive, and is absolutely more overpowered than any tablet on the market, but will it sell?
With a tablet such as this, alongside the announcement of the PS4, rumours of the next-gen Xbox, the large quantity of touch-style notepads and tablets released in the last year, and newcomers like the Android console OUYA (which has already announced annual hardware updates and yearly releases), it feels like this is a purchase that may not be able to hold its own. I’m sure it will do well enough for itself, especially with kudos from CES and the power of Windows, Nvidia, and Razer behind it, but it may cater to a different crowd than intended. With the ever-changing game engines and requirements, a big component of PC gaming for many is the ability to upgrade a graphics card or processor as the need arises. With a tablet that is simply not a possibility, unless they offer this ability in the future (which would be incredibly difficult to do as it is a fully-concealed tablet). Add on the nominal fees of $1000 plus, and this system may be no more than a novelty or an add-on for those who don’t already own a tablet.
I certainly am impressed, though on a practical note, I would most likely not add this to my rather large console collection or in place of any PC I own. The idea behind this tablet is that it is powerful enough to play any game on the market today, but what about tomorrow? Will the streamlining of Windows 8 rid us of the age-old pattern that (much like a car) a computer is outdated almost as soon as it leaves the factory? This is what makes me hesitant to scream “just take my money already” and jump on the bandwagon. With consoles, game companies often cater to the limitations of each generation, finding ways to “make it work” with what is on the market. Will this be the way of Windows 8 PCs? If this is the case, a tablet like this could end up in almost every gamer’s home, but only time will tell. It may end up just catering to a small, specific group of gamers – though at least it will still allow you to game any which way you would choose, be it by keys, touch, or twin sticks.
If you want to take a look at it yourself, visit the Razer website for specs, galleries, purchase information, and more!
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