To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Razer Edge gaming tablet review

Razer Edge tablet

Razer’s Edge Windows 8 gaming tablet has evolved from the original Project Fiona concept, and is gearing up for launch

Razer has revealed its Edge gaming tablet here at CES, finally bringing the crowd-sourced Project Fiona development to a close with an 10.1in Windows 8 device that can play PC games at high detail settings. We put the device through its paces, along with the accessories that will ship with the system when it launches in March.

Built around an Intel Core i5 processor, with 8GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GT640M GPU, the Edge has more in common with a gaming laptop than a tablet. It’s significantly thicker than an iPad, or even Microsoft’s Surface, and is unsurprisingly heavy. You wouldn’t want to hold it in one hand for long.

Razer Edge tablet

The Edge has a single USB3 input for attaching a mouse or keyboard, and has integrated Bluetooth for connecting wireless peripherals. Connect it to the optional docking station and you gain three extra USB2 inputs, along with an HDMI video output. You can output to a TV or monitor to turn the tablet into a portable gaming PC.

Razer Edge tablet

It runs the full version of Windows 8, meaning you can install any game, including the ones on your Steam account. Razer had demo units running the stealth-em-up Dishonored, racer Dirt Showdown and strategy Civilisation V, and all three ran incredibly smoothly with the image presets turned up to ‘high’. We’ve seen the GeForce GT 640M in laptops before and know it’s a capable chip, but this is the first time we’ve seen it put to use in a tablet.

Razer Edge tablet

The major downside is battery life – when gaming, don’t expect to squeeze much more than two hours out of a single charge. Razer had all of its demo units wired up to the mains to keep them juiced, so you certainly won’t be able to take one out on the road without the mains adaptor.

Games looked superb on the 10.1in display – it has a sensible 1,366×768 resolution that is well matched to the graphics card, letting you play even demanding games at high detail settings. The panel had excellent viewing angles and the screen was both bright and vibrant.

Razer Edge tablet

Although games look great, they aren’t exactly easy to play on a touchscreen – particularly with action and driving titles. That’s why Razer is creating a bundle that will pair the Edge with a controller cradle accessory. It’s when you pair the two that the Edge begins to make sense – it essentially turns the tablet into a portable console that’s more than a little similar to the Wii U. The controller is based around the Xbox layout, with two analogue sticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, two triggers and four bumpers covering all the bases, even for first person shooters, and with the touchscreen available too you’re unlikely to run out of inputs. It has a rumble pack built into each handle for extra immersion, and the face buttons light up with a trademark Razer green LED. Considering its weight, it’s far more comfortable to hold than we expected, and we quickly adjusted to the controls to make our way through Dishonored’s Dunwall city.

Razer Edge tablet

Razer is also working on a keyboard accessory that will dock the tablet and turn it into a hybrid laptop. It’s still in development, with the company not expecting to ship until the autumn, but it was on display on the stand.

We only spent a short time with the Edge, so it’s difficult to say how it will hold up to extended use. It’s actively cooled, with the graphics card and processor producing considerable amounts of heat, and although we didn’t notice any excessive fan noise, we’d be interested to see whether it could cope with all-day gaming. We’ll know for sure later in the year, when the device launches in the US. Customers can expect to pay $999 for the base Core i5 model, with prices reaching $1599 for a Core i7 version with a 256GB SSD.

Read more

First Look