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?