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Razer Edge: hands-on with Windows 8's most dockable tablet

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razer edge
razer edge

Nvidia's not the only company bringing unconventional gaming hardware to CES this year — PC peripheral maker Razer is out in force with its new Windows 8 tablet, dubbed the Razer Edge. Besides running a proper x86 Intel Ivy Bridge processor and the full, non-RT Windows 8 experience, this tablet differs from the legion of other Winslates thanks to Razer's trifecta of accompanying hardware docks. One is a pretty standard docking station, another is a thick and chunky detachable keyboard with integrated battery, and the third, most striking one, is a two-handed gamepad controller that wraps around the Edge. It too has an added battery cell to extend the device's endurance, and it too is thick and weighty.

Given the Edge's thickness, its name feels like an act of self-parody

In fact, the entire Edge seems to have been named in an act of self-parody. There's nothing particularly edgy about this meaty, hefty tablet. It comes with two big vents at the top, which heat up quite appropriately once you fire up a demanding 3D game like Dishonored. Still, other than the generous proportions and weight, there are few complaints to levy at the Edge's physical construction: as I say, those vents do their job very efficiently, everything feels solidly put together, and the gamepad itself exhibits great ergonomics. Moreover, performance when playing Dishonored or Civilization V was extremely fluid and responsive. Though I didn't get to play them myself, Dirt and Rift were also being shown off and their frame rates were similarly silky.

Starting at $999 for the Core i5-equipped, 64GB variant, the Razer Edge isn't cheap, but Razer doesn't seem to have skimped on quality. There's an Nvidia GPU inside it, beefing up the graphics, the base spec features 4GB of RAM (maxing out at 8GB on the Edge Pro), and though the screen resolution is only 1366 x 768, the display looks to be of a decent quality. Look for the Razer Edge to arrive in Q1 of this year, alongside the $249 gamepad dock and $99 docking station, with its keyboard dock coming up in the latter half of 2013.