Considering the plethora of gadgets, devices and new technologies that are showcased at the Consumer Electronic Show
, winning Best in Show is no mean feat.
This year, it was none other than the Razer Edge
which garnered CNET’s Best of CES nod. More illustriously, the innovative tablet/gaming PC hybrid managed to win all three categories for which it was nominated.
These included Best Gaming, People’s Voice—as voted by the CNET audience—and the coveted Best of Show award.
On the Edge of glory
Apparently, the Razer Edge received recognition for taking the concept of a tablet PC and applying it to gaming, as well as for demonstrating where tablets, computing and entertainment are heading in the future.
The device is certainly innovative, offering a 10.1” tablet sized form factor, that is accompanied by various control options. One of these resembled the Move controllers available for the PS3, and lends the Razer Edge a console friendly type control scheme.
However, the tablet hybrid’s real differentiating factor is that it accommodates PC games, and makes it possible to play PC titles on a handheld device.
No less innovative was the device’s genesis. First unveiled last year under the moniker Project Fiona, Razer initiated a massive crowdsourcing effort which enabled the target audience - gamers - to help determine final specifications for the tablet.
The community that showed an interest in the PC gaming/tablet hybrid were able to decide the final chipset, weight, thickness, features and even final price for the Edge (currently from about $1 000, or R8 300). The Razer Edge will be available for purchase in Q1 2013.
“The fact that PC gamers were able to make critical engineering decisions in designing the most decorated device at CES 2013 is amazing on its own,” commented Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director. “Razer didn’t win these awards alone – the PC gamers of the world have won it together with us. We’ve emphatically said to the world at large: PC gaming is alive and kicking!”
To the point
The Razer Edge’s warm reception is cause for another reason to celebrate, whether you are a gamer or not. It only affirms that there is still room for innovation, in an industry where all too often, there is a glut of ‘me-too’ products that don’t overly distinguish themselves from one another.
Hopefully, this year will continue to show products in that vein, where innovation is more than a catchphrase but a glaringly obvious feature of the new products that come down the pipeline in the months ahead.
Of late though, Razer hasn’t been the only company to surprise at the show, as both Polaroid and Asus showed tablets that challenged the pricing of tablets and offered those on a budget their fair share of hope as well, with offerings in the sub-R2 000 region, while Lenovo bent over backwards to catch businesses eye with its ThinkPad Helix.