At CES, Razer rolls out tablet for gamers
Mobile gaming has become a staple for casual gamers looking for fun with friends or just a quick match while killing some time. Now, one hardware company thinks hard-core gamers are ready to take their action on the move, too.
Razer revealed a dedicated gaming tablet called Edge on Tuesday, the official opening day of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Calling it "a tablet, a PC and a console," Razer is convinced games like "Battlefield 3" now have a place on mobile devices.
The company has filled the new tablet with a Windows 8 operating system and hardware based on suggestions from fans and consumers. After the idea was announced at last year's CES as Project Fiona, designers asked more than 10,000 people what specs they wanted and how much they would be willing to pay.
The end result for Edge is a third-generation Intel Core processor, NVIDIA GeForce graphics and more memory than any other tablet currently on the market. The tablet will be offered in two different versions, the basic Edge and the Edge Pro.
The basic Edge will feature an Intel Core i5 processor, NVIDIA GT640M LE graphics and 64 GB of storage. The Pro upgrades the processor to an Intel Core i7 and boosts the storage to 128 GB or 256 GB, depending on the consumer's desired configuration.
But Razer wasn't satisfied with just a traditional tablet.
Saying that gamers want flexibility in how and where they play, Razer will offer optional accessories to allow players to customize their gaming experiences through hardware attachments. A keyboard dock with mouse port turns the tablet into a more traditional PC setup.
A Gamepad controller attachment can turn the Edge into a hand-held console capable of playing PC games that allow joystick and button configurations. The tablet fits inside the Gamepad with a joystick and buttons on the right and another joystick with a directional pad on the left.
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Finally, there is a docking station allowing for multiple controllers (looking very much like Xbox controllers) as well as USB ports and an HDMI port for hooking up to a television and treating it like a home console.
Both tablet versions as well as all the optional accessories will be available online during the first quarter of 2013. A bundle package featuring the Pro model and the gamepad controller is headed to retail stores.
Now the big question -- the cost.
During the crowdsourcing, Razer said, gamers indicated they would be willing to pay from $1,300 to $1,500 for a dedicated gaming tablet capable of playing PC games. The company announced at CES that pricing will begin at $999 for the basic Edge tablet, but did not indicate costs for the Pro or accessories.
Will hard-core gamers be willing to shell out more than $1,000 just to take their PC games with them when they travel? Brian Jang, a marketing manager at Razer, said during the pre-release briefing: "With more than 10,000 people in just three months telling us what they want in a tablet, we knew we were onto something. If just 1,000 people had responded, we probably wouldn't have made it."
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