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Razer's powerful, convertible Edge tablet is all things to all gamers — for a price

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Gallery Photo: Razer Edge convertible gaming tablet photos
Gallery Photo: Razer Edge convertible gaming tablet photos

Almost exactly a year after we first saw Razer's high-end gaming tablet Project Fiona, its final iteration has come back with a price, release date, and several new form factors. Now called the Razer Edge, it's evolved from a tablet with non-removable side controllers to a standalone 10.1-inch Windows 8 tablet with three separate peripherals: a keyboard, a stand, and a case with complementary game controllers. Razer calls it "the most powerful tablet in the world," and it's almost certainly right.

The Edge will come in two models, with no set release date for either. The standard version uses an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB or 128GB solid-state drive, and the Edge Pro comes with the i7, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of space. Both use an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics chip, the less powerful cousin to the 640M. The 640M LE is enough for most current-gen games — Razer, for example, promises an impressive 59 frames per second for Dishonored at "default settings" — but graphics-intensive titles will tax it. Like Microsoft's Surface, the Edge weighs two pounds, but it's quite a bit thicker: at 0.8 inches, it's double the depth of the new iPad and about a quarter of an inch thicker than the Surface.

While Razer is competing in the tablet space here, don't expect battery life to match. An extended battery, sold separately, will provide 8 hours of life as a tablet and 2 to 4 hours of PC gaming; we don't know what the tablet is like on its own, but all that processing power will clearly take its toll. Pricing is also well into the upper tier of tablets and convertibles. The base model of the Edge will sell for $999, and while we don't know the upper limit, Razer suggests it's between $1299 and $1499. And that base model doesn't include any of the peripherals — one bundle will include the Edge Pro and the gamepad case, but the keyboard and stand will still need to be purchased separately. Razer's tablet has certainly grown in scope since its inception, but taking advantage of all the possibilities will cost more than many top-tier gaming rigs.