PC Pancake: Razer’s Edge Is A Gaming PC In Tablet Form

By Craig Pearson on January 9th, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!Phabusl8te!
Did you know that there’s a term for a device that’s between a phone and a tablet? In one on the worst portmanteaus of our time, they’re called ‘phablets’. That is gloriously awful, and I applaud every ugly syllable of it. The new Razer PC gaming tablet, the existence of which was announced last year as ‘Project Fiona‘, isn’t a phablet, but I can’t see why we can’t come up with a new term for it. After all, it’s a Windows-based tablet with all kinds of other gizmos attached. It needs something memorable. What about ‘Tabsolutely Phabulets’? Hmm, it’s not quite torturous enough. Tablets used to be called ‘slates’, before the MAN got his marketing team all up in its grill. There must be a compelling combination of all those words… of course! I have it. A term that accurately describes the upcoming Windows-based slate from Razer, which does everything a flat gamey thing does, but also more. And is black and shiny, and runs a full copy of Windows. Razer have named it the ‘Razer Edge’, but I think from now on it shall be known as the ‘Tabslatelutely Phabusl8te’. The ’8′ is for Windows.

The heart of the Tabslatelutely Phabusl8te is a full Windows 8-toting Tabslatelutely Phabusl8te in a pair of configurations. The low-spec variant conceals a thousand dollar Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, and a 64GB SSD, while the Pro costs $1299 and is configured with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, and the choice of either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. Each has an Nvidia GT640M LE GPU powering a 10.1″ 1200×800 touchscreen. It means that it’ll play PC games out of the box, which the beefier versions of Microsoft’s Surface can also do. It’s Razer’s additions that they hope will make it a better proposition for gamers.

They include a keyboard, for easily tweeting about how amazing it is to be typing on your Tabslatelutely Phabusl8te, and a dock that outputs USB, HDMI and sound. But most intriguing is the cradle with controllers at either side of the screen. You have analogue sticks and buttons to control games with. The controller is an astonishing $250 if sold separately, but there are bundles coming.

It can be seen here in the semi-wild, running Civ 5 and Dishonored.

There are two sides to this. It’s clearly a very powerful piece of tech. The notion of having a chunky tablet that can simply play my library without having to hunt down a cut-down port is very compelling, and it’s not actually ugly. Not even with the sticky-out controllers. I’d happily play games on it, and I’d expect those with a surfeit of strategy games would find it a lovely thing to use on a train. My current gaming laptop is bigger and weaker than the Tabslatelutely Phabusl8te, but then it was way cheaper as well. So what I’m saying is IWANTONEIWANTONEIWANTONEIWANTONE!

On the other side, it’s a big ask. Portable kit has long occupied the second-tier of gaming devices when it comes to PCs. The cost is up there with a very decent desktop and aside from the external peripherals, there’s no upgrade route. Laptops at least have expandable RAM. I’d also question it’s use a tablet: it’s really chunky, and doesn’t look like it would work as an e-reader or casual queue-enhancing device. It’s hardly pocket-sized, but at least it’s not this monstrosity. Not that I’d want to stand in a bank reading my Kindle library with something so expensive, but this is really a modular, powerful laptop, with a few tricks up its sleeve. And did you notice the careful evasion of the battery life question by the Razer CEO in that video?

I still want it, though. What say you?

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81 Comments »

  1. wodin says:

    Tablets are the future..I’m starting to except it. Though we creid out for big screens, wide screens the bigger the better (and they do make a huge difference when it comes to wargames or anything where the bigger the screen space the better) yet now we all want tablets with 11inch screens!! I just don’t understand why people want to play games on small screens..certain games will be fine, but the ones I’m into it would be a nightmare.

    • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

      Meh, computers are the future. There are niches for many different devices.

    • Reapy says:

      There’s this huge push for mobile everything now a days, though I find that I’m still not a very mobile person. I am on a pc all day at work then I’m in the house with 2 small kids at night. Before the kids when I went out, I enjoyed being out with the people I was with and don’t need to text or surf the web or play games at those points.

      Basically the tablet is great for light cpu work, surfing, note taking etc, but when it comes time for games, as has always been the case, I want my cash to go as far as it can for performance, and that means plain old desktop hardware, everything else is an excess.

      Also, what are “40 watt hours” sounds like as you’d expect, there is no magic battery in existence that can run software that pegs the gpu and cpu for very long.

  2. mrmalodor says:

    Comes with Razer’s new DRM, I’ll bet.

    • UncleSmoothie says:

      Didn’t that turn out to just be a misunderstanding?

      • trjp says:

        I’m all ears as to how demanding someone register online before they can install drivers for their mouse could be a ‘misunderstanding’.

        I posted the story on the forums here originally – and I didn’t follow-it-up with Razer’s reply – probably to keep my blood-pressure low

        Here it is

        http://www.pcgamesn.com/article/razer-ceo-responds-naga-2012-mouse-drm-debacle-its-not-drm-weve-had-issues-our-activation-server

        What a crock of shit.

        “It’s not DRM because the mouse works without the software” – tho it’s not 1 iota better than a $5.99 eBay mouse in that case – “it’s not DRM because we’re not taking anything away – we’re just offering premium features instead” – coughs – BULLSHIT

        Massive mistake on their behalf – and their defence only digs a deeper hole IMO

        I’ve always thought Razer kit was overpriced shit – it’s now overpriced shit which requires online registration – mugs game.

        • MasterDex says:

          Oh god! The horror! You mean you have to register online once after buying the mouse?! What kind of crazy world are we living in?!

          You’re making a mountain out of a molehill here. Save the indignation for when it’s really needed.

          • mondomau says:

            He’s being overly dramatic, certainly, but your casual dismissal is a bit ignorant. Point is, you shouldn’t need to connect to the internet to use a product that has never needed, nor can logically be argued will ever need to be, ‘digitally activated’. It’s farcical at best, worrying at worst.

        • Muzman says:

          It is hard to call it DRM. Still, I don’t really understand why the software needs some cumbersome online activation since it’s useless without the mouse it is made for.
          Wasn’t Razer’s little catch phrase “Control Freaks” once? That might explain it.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            It’s more than DRM, it’s data collecting so they can compile all your info and auction it off

  3. ap3 says:

    1200×800? So, less than 1/4 the resolution of Google’s tablet? Nothing screams “hardcore gaming” like those giant chunky pixels. And don’t tell me it doesn’t have the GPU power – pixel-doubling works fine for demanding games.

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      Forgive my confusion, but doesn’t doubling the resolution and then doubling each pixel in a demanding game produce the same result for more money?

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      You know, maybe it’s because I’m behind on the resolution game, but I’ve never understood complaints about resolution on mobile devices. When I’m running a 23″ 1680×1050 monitor, 1200×800 on a 10 inch display seems more than generous, let alone four times that (too lazy to look up specs, I’m guessing that’s four times the pixel density? A 2400×1600 display on a ten inch tablet is just silly).

      • Low Life says:

        As I’m running 1280×800 on a phone (4.6″) display, I’m really hoping that the next display upgrade on my deskop will bring me at least near to the quality of that. The 1920×1200 resolution at 24 inches really looks like shit compared to that.

        I know it’s a cliche, but you really have to see it before you realize what a difference it makes.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      1280×800 on a 10″ screen is hardly the end of the world as we know it though.

    • Lev Astov says:

      I’m calling troll on this one. No one is that daft. Right?

    • x3m157 says:

      I’m running 2 17-inch 1280×1024 monitors and I think the resolution is fine. If I look closely I can see the pixels, but that doesn’t bother me.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Fede says:

    Your name is ace, Craig, but I’d drop an L and make it Tabslateutely Phabusl8te, which rolls better on the tongue; at least that of a non english-speaker.

  5. serioussgtstu says:

    What the hell is going on in the games industry at the moment? Between this Fab8Tab, the Shield and Valves yoke, it looks like everyone is trying to reinvent the wheel at the same bloody time; and it all looks like cheap crap. Is it down to the outdated consoles that people want to buy this shit, or is it the more recent rise of mobile gaming? Perhaps this happens every year, but I’m just too jaded to notice.

    • Bhazor says:

      The Wii and the iPad.

      Companies are thinking “If something that ridiculous can sell then why can’t we?”. I tell you, theres going to be deaths from this gimicky fad as people try to be the next big thing. We’ve already seen the death of THQ from it.

      http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/02/boom-to-bust-thqs-revolutionary-udraw-now-filling-warehouse-shelves/

      • serioussgtstu says:

        I never even knew about THQ’s foray into hardware, that’s depressing stuff. It’s good to see that gaming is getting smaller, but I don’t think any of these products have a realistic chance. All of the prices I’ve seen quoted are about twice as much as the consoles will be at launch.

        • Bhazor says:

          I’ve always thought consumer technology leap frogs from success to failure to success
          VHS -> Laser Disc-> DVD -> HD DVD ->Blu Ray
          CD -> Minidisc -> MP3 player->MP4 player -> Ipad

          Sadly this and the Piston are very much destined for the failure generation

          • Brun says:

            Your sequences don’t make much sense. You’ve got a mix of successful and unsuccessful media formats listed as though they were successors, but in reality they were competitors:

            Betamax vs. VHS -> VHS
            LaserDisc vs. DVD -> DVD
            HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray -> Blu-Ray

            With a 1 hour battery life this thing is doomed for sure. Piston may be a different story, as it has much more going for it.

          • Bhazor says:

            I never mentioned Betamax which was an alternate standard to VHS.
            Laserdiscs were around almost 20 years before DVD and were long dead by the time DVDs rolled out.
            HD-DVD vs Blu-ray is trickier but HD-DVD was released first and the Blu-ray won basically because of the PS3 being released. But honestly, with the rise of streaming it’s tempting to lump them both together as failures in that DVDs still outsell Blu-rays and shops still stock around ten times more DVDs than Blu-rays. With streaming and TB hard drives physical media for movies is dying anyway and the true successor to DVD will be services like Netflix (but hopefully better).

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            I think the problem with drawing any general pattern from “consumer technology” is that it’s so general that you’re basically drawing a line through pure noise. You’re going to have to make some rather arbitrary decisions about what goes in what category, or what counts as part of the timeline (for example, including HDDVD as a precursor to Blu Ray is flat out wrong, and drawing a straight line from personal music players to the iPad is questionable [smartphones?]).

            There is something of a loose parabolic trend within a single category of consumer technology; roughly, too expensive to have more than niche appeal –> cheap enough to overcome the current king –> too outdated to keep up with current tech. MP3 players are a decent example; started too expensive and without enough reason to use to oust CD players, then got popular with the iPod, then got outmoded by smartphones. This is arguably on the peak of the trend (tablets being popular, with no clear thing that can dethrone them right now), though it’s also premium and trends don’t guarantee success. The Piston is probably a bit earlier on in the HTPC trend, and is premium to boot (though we don’t actually know pricing yet), so it’s a bit more troublesome.

            Edit: Also, according to Wikipedia, Blu Ray was actually developed as a format before HDDVD was; however, it’s early offerings were expensive and buggy, which is why HDDVD got a head start. Kinda a mini parabola there (but now I’m drawing silly trends from silly data <_<)

  6. zeekthegeek says:

    Probably weighs a metric tonne and runs non-stop on battery for 17 minutes before recharge from my experience in such things.

    • Luke says:

      So it’s a GameGear?

      • yogibbear says:

        I LOVED playing Eco the Dolphin on my gamegear… man that thing was the REASON why rechargeable AA battery kits made decent money. Used to get 3 of them all lined up filled with 12 AA batts and get ready for my 2 hrs of gaming bliss :)

      • Premium User Badge

        Andy_Panthro says:

        Ah, I used to have a Game Gear. It was amazing, except you pretty much needed to plug it in to the mains. I seem to recall it took six AA batteries if you wanted it to be “portable”, but can’t remember how long it would last (not long though).

    • Lev Astov says:

      Yeah, they really can’t dodge the battery question at all. If this thing is even remotely poised as a tablet, it needs at least 4 hours of battery life. That’s still half the competition, but for high powered gaming, I’d let it slide.

      • Bhazor says:

        Razer has quoted the Edge at roughly one hour of battery life when playing games without the aid of a power cord or extended battery and roughly four to six hours for regular use. Razer will be selling an extended battery, which can be housed in each of its add-on accessories for $70, which adds another hour of playtime, bringing it to a maximum of 2 hours of gameplay.

        http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/01/08/ces-hands-on-with-the-razer-edge

        Two hours.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I bet it gets pretty heavy by that point. What’ll your arms feel like after a couple of hours of holding it up?

          • Snargelfargen says:

            The buzz from from CES is that the cradle is basically only usable resting on your lap or a table.

          • Bhazor says:

            It’s almost like desks were invented for a reason.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            I can’t wait for next year’s Desktop Tablet.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            You’re thinking old school.

            Kinect Tablets! A portable touch-device that you can’t hold if you want to use it.

    • solidsquid says:

      Apparently it’s only slightly heavier than an ipad (half a pound iirc). That’s without the controller thing though

  7. InternetBatman says:

    How is it a gaming PC outside of processing power? I’m not being snide.

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      It’s a Windows computer with enough power in the right areas to run modern games at high settings, which is pretty much the definition of a gaming PC. It has USB and HDMI out, so you could hook it up to a monitor and M&K and use it as a traditional gaming rig if you wanted (though obviously you’d be stupid to do so). Or do you have some other requirement for something to be a gaming PC? (also not being snide :D)

  8. jealouspirate says:

    Not interested. I really have no interest in doing “serious gaming” while mobile. It’s just not the right setting. For example, they have a screenshot of Dishonored up there. Now, I loved Dishonored, but I’m not going to immerse myself in a game like that on my 20 minute bus ride to work or whatever.

  9. Hoaxfish says:

    The whole thing reminds me of a Bat’leth from Star Trek

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Warriors! Hear my sales roar!

      Is your laptop too unwieldy in battle? Does your iPad bounce off the foreheads of your enemies without leaving a mark? Does your phone snap like a Ferengi spine when you try to block a dk’tagh thrust? YOU WEAK P’TAQ!

      STORM your local electronic retailer and DEMAND a Razer’s Edge. Its computing power will allow you to lay waste to your enemies in battle-simulations such as Dishonored and DotA 2, while its sleekly curved outer surface has been BATTLE TESTED ON THE SKULLS OF ROMULANS! Chancellor Martok himself used one to slay a Jem’Hadar in single combat WHILE DOMINATING HIM SIMULTANEOUSLY IN TEAM FORTRESS 2.

      What are you waiting for? The Feast of Kahless? You dishonour your father with your delay! You will face him after death in Sto’Vo’Kor! Buy, or I will kill you myself!

  10. Mollusc Infestation says:

    Phablet? Why do they let people with so little respect for the portmanteau work in marketing? The two words ought to at least be represented equally. Thus, i propose phoblet. Or the cheap knock off, the fauxblet.

    • dE says:

      Phablet is actually a pretty accurate description. Phab is phonetically similiar to fap and with just a little turn of the words, it really does explain why some man consider smartphone apps as “toilet gaming”. Controller Issues are nonexistant too, after all: Joystick included.

  11. meelawsh says:

    The word phablet might be awful, Craig, but did you really expect them to pass on a portmanteaunity like that?

  12. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I fucking hate portmanteaus. Not the established useful ones (or even new useful ones, if they happen to exist) just the lazy marketing or journalist tendency to whack a couple of words together in the mistaken belief that is clever or cure or quirky or is going to be the next big hashtag or whatever the kids are doing these days.

    Look Around You is of course excused from this hate.

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      Fabulous, tablet. Phablet.

    • identiti_crisis says:

      Agreed. Although I’ll go one further: I fucking hate the word portmanteau itself, at least this particular association (I won’t say meaning). What does carrying your jacket around in a leather bag have to do with squishing two words together into one amorphous mess? Oh sure, most had two compartments, but they were still separate – you might as well call hyphenated words portmanteaux.
      I prefer “hybrid”.

      That said, I like that portmanteau is a portmanteau in itself, if only because I can legitimately hate it all the more. : >B

  13. Premium User Badge

    JiminyJickers says:

    Here comes the Razers Edge. That bit from the AC/DC song is now stuck in my head, haha.

  14. hitnrun says:

    “”Did you know that there’s a term for a device that’s between a phone and a tablet? In one on the worst portmanteaus of our time, they’re called ‘phablets’”"

    I was 90% sure you were doing an “RPS thing” with that opening sentence and I’ll wager everyone else who didn’t know that was an actual portmanteau was too.

  15. iucounu says:

    I pleaded with Twitter this morning to come up with a better word than ‘phablet’, before it gets too established. My favourite suggestion was ‘tablerone’.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Phablet is already well established for near-tablet sized phones, e.g. the Samsung’s Galaxy Note.

      Not so much for this sort of thing.

  16. Jehuty says:

    Bah, they’re all still PDAs to me.

    • Bhazor says:

      Awwww I remember those. I had three phone numbers in it and one of them was the number for my own Nokia brick.

  17. Fallward says:

    Wait…what? Why would i buy this when i can buy a more powerful gaming laptop for less, then plug in an Xbox controller. I can also hook up a laptop to my TV with built-in HDMI out (rather than through a special dock), and the keyboard is conveniently attached at all times… it seems the only REAL difference here is the ability to attach a special ‘tablet’ gamepad which essentially gives it the form of a glorified PSP. I must say, i sense yet another tablet failure here.

    • Premium User Badge

      cqdemal says:

      The Edge’s failure will be due to weight, battery life, and probably price – not the reasons you mentioned. The tablet alone is lighter than a laptop (most laptops anyway), can be used for productive stuff just as well. Attached to the dock, it just becomes a laptop.

      The point of this sort of device is not what it can do. It’s how and where you can do it. Think of how people are now reading stuff or playing touchscreen games on 10″ tablets while traveling to and from work – e.g. standing on a train, sitting in a taxi. Would you lug out your powerful gaming laptop then plug in a controller and play? How would you do that standing up? With something like the Edge, you just fish it out of your bag and play. If you can stand the weight. And if it still has some power left, which it probably doesn’t most of the time.

      Arguing that gaming while traveling like that is idiotic would be reasonable from a behavioral standpoint, but from a technical perspective, if you can play a PSP/Vita/3DS/iPad on a train, you can do the same with this or something similar. Laptops cannot and will never be able to cater to this niche.

      • malkav11 says:

        As far as I can tell, to do anything gaming related that you can’t do with existing tablets (i.e., non-touchscreen gaming), you have to attach bulky separate peripherals to it that make it nearly as useless for that niche as a regular laptop would be. Except a regular laptop will have more battery life.

  18. Jenga says:

    Just how much time do you people spend in the bathroom sitting on the toilet?

  19. Persus-9 says:

    So on the bog standard model we are talking one hour gaming battery life and whatever if left of a 64GB hard disk after windows is installed for any software you fancy. This does not sound like the premium gaming experience the price tag demands.

  20. SominiTheCommenter says:

    TABSOLUTELYPHABUSL8TFACE!

  21. Iskariot says:

    Personally I cant think of any reason why I would want to play my games on this, but I am just an old fashioned PC gamer that loves his k&m.

  22. malkav11 says:

    The problem I have with this concept is that it’s only usable for Windows games when you’re loading it down with peripherals that you’re almost certainly going to have to use at a desk. At that point I guess it’s slightly easier to move from one desk to another than a proper desktop computer, but I don’t see how that’s worth dropping $1000-1300 for significantly less power than I’d get in a desktop for that money. And for tablet use, I already have an iPad that has tons of purpose-built tablet software, cost less than half as much, and gets over twice the battery life.

    In short, WTF do they think is the market for this?

  23. Qoppacabana says:

    Waiting for the street countdown version. http://imgur.com/yYhUk

  24. uh20 says:

    im ok with gaming tablets, but this one just looks horribly awkward, at least make some attempt to make the controls attack to the screen.

    i cant wait for more designs that integrate the freedom a computer should have with different main purposes, i still puke in my mouth though whenever they talk about windows and tablets, just leave android alone and admit you were never good, not even for desktops.

  25. DirtGunfrey says:

    It’s clearly a gamlet.

  26. fish99 says:

    That’s a fairly terrible design. There’s no reason for the control bits to be seperated from the body like that, bring them in another inch, remove the gap and your hands would naturally grip the underneath of the tablet. The controls should also be at the bottom of those sticks, not the top. Did they even try using this thing before settling on that design? Also the screen should have been about 7-8″ IMO, the whole device is just too big.