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By 9 January 2013 | Categories: news

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At the Consumer Electronics Show, currently taking place in Las Vegas, Razer’s ambitious Project Fiona once again made an dramatic appearance.
 
This time though, the device has a new name – Razer Edge - and even more importantly for PC gamers who were intrigued by the distinctive device, a release window.
 
It has been almost a year to the date that Razer first revealed Project Fiona, the codename for its PC-tablet hybrid that pursued the ambitious goal of marrying PC gaming with a tablet form factor. At the time, it was showcased as a prototype of ‘what could be.’ Now though, the company has confirmed that the Razer Edge will begin shipping in the first quarter of this year.  
 
What makes the Razer Edge remarkable is that it represents a confluence of three gaming platforms – tablet, console and PC - as players will be able to enjoy PC titles on the 10.1”(1366 x 768 resolution) tablet-sized screen, while its distinctive controllers, which resemble two Move controllers on either side of the screen, are further evidence that it is unlike any other tablet.
 
Heart and guts
 
As for its specifications, the Razer Edge device will apparently be available in two configurations. The base model, the Razer Edge, will boast an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GT 640M LE GPU, 4 GB of memory and a 64 GB solid state drive (SSD). The premium model, the Razer Edge Pro, will up the ante to include an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of memory and either a 128 GB or 256 GB SSD, while retaining the same graphics solution.
 
Both models will further offer a USB 3.0 port and support Bluetooth 4.0. While you could be forgiven for thinking this is squarely aimed at gamers, apparently the device will be a bit more versatile than a one-trick pony.
 
The company explained that the Razer Edge will offer four dedicated configurations - Tablet mode, Keyboard Dock mode, Gamepad Controller mode and Docking Station mode.
 
Tablet mode avails the Razer Edge with multi-touch capabilities for full Windows 8 applications, movies and music playback, in a traditional tablet form factor. An optional Keyboard Dock then gives the Razer Edge a notebook flourish, with a traditional keyboard and mouse, along with a removable battery, enabling users to play keyboard and mouse reliant PC titles.
 
The Razer Edge in another of its docking solutions being used with multiple controllers.
 
Another way to make a handheld console
 
It elaborated that an optional Gamepad Controller turns the Razer Edge into a mobile console, much like the original Project Fiona was touted as being. The company further asserted that “a fully programmable dual controller interface with precise analog sticks is unique among all tablets,” while bringing the ability to play any PC game out of the box, along with immersive vibration-feedback.
 
Finally, the Razer Edge can be docked in the Docking Station as part of home console mode, which serves as a full desktop and charging station with three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 port, mic-in and stereo-out. In this configuration, the device can be connected  to a large screen with multiple gamepad controllers for a typical co-op play experience.
 
Additionally, an extended battery will apparently be made available, compatible with both the Keyboard Dock and Gamepad Controller, to double the device’s battery life.
 
To the point
 
While local availability has not yet been confirmed, the Razer Edge will apparently be available Stateside from $1 000 (R8 300). We felt that Razer was onto something innovative a year ago, and we feel that, even though it may be going under a new name, it still smells as sweet.

Indeed, Razer may not be the only company with its sights set on creating hybrid tablet/portable consoles, particularly in light of Nvidia’s newly announced Project Shield device and the growing popularity of tablets, but the Razer Edge certainly may be a device whose time has come  - particularly for the PC gaming faithful.    

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