With the launch of Windows 8, there have been some really decent tablets such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, Lenovo Yoga, and the Dell XPS 12 but none of these are meant for any type of hardcore gaming. Sure you can play Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja, but wouldn't you rather have Devil May Cry or Tomb Raider on the go instead?
Razer has introduced its gaming tablet, the Razer Edge, which is more or less the Surface Pro on steroids packed with some powerful hardware that will cater to those who wish to take their desktop PC games on the go with the least amount of compromise as possible.
Is the world ready for a device like this? Or should gamers stick to heavier laptops or continue to launch birds at pigs on their mobile device for portable gaming? Let's find out!
Build and Design
Coming from one who relies on the iPad as a tablet and Playstation Vita for portable gaming, my first impression of the Razer Edge is that it is blatantly thick and heavy with the dimensions of 10.9 x 7 x .8 inches, weighing at 2.1 pounds. Even though the tablet itself is just 0.1-lbs heavier and 0.3-inches thicker than the Surface Pro (0.53 inches thick, 2.0 lbs), you will definitely feel the difference in weight.
Still, I was quite impressed how well the Edge is constructed and the device feels like a premium tablet. Even the accessories such as the dock and controller or very well built. The Gamepad (which we will talk about later) adds some significant heft to the tablet.
I know the resolution may come to a disappointment for some, but although it has a lower resolution than the Surface Pro, which is at 1920x1080, using the Edge in desktop mode is a better experience for the screen size. On the Surface Pro, you have to scale it at 125% - 150% for the text to be readable, which makes some apps difficult to work with. On the Razer Edge however, no scaling is needed and everything works fine at 100% with its resolution.
I have been playing through Tomb Raider 3, Starcraft II, and Crysis, which all look fantastic on the Razer Edge. Just go ahead and try playing any of these games on the Surface Pro, Yoga, and the Dell XPS on similar game settings, they can't even compare regardless of the resolution.
The touchscreen was very responsive to my swipes, gestures, dragging, etc. with no issues. You can call on the on the standard Windows 8 on-screen keyboard with the touch of a button which is rather convenient and works as good as any touch screen device.
The removable Gamepad Controller practically sells the device. It's laid out similar to an Xbox controller with digital buttons and two analog sticks on either side of the display, has force feedback, and I love the fact that the buttons are backlit. What's interesting is that there is a removable panel which you can add an extra battery to prolong your gaming.
Like the tablet, the Gamepad is also very well constructed and it can take a beating.
The Gamepad is fairly easy to attach. If you can put on an iPhone case then you won't have any problems with this. It's a two-step 30-second process which you just slide the tablet into the Gamepad enclosure and then push the port at the bottom to lock in. The Gamepad stays on securely and is just as easy to remove.
My only issue with this accessory is that it adds a bit of weight to the device. When playing for about 45 minutes to an hour, my arms started getting tired and my hands started to feel sore. If you have carpel tunnel or any sort of hand injury, then you really need to take that into consideration before purchasing the device. It's also pretty bulky and I had a hard time fitting this and the tablet into a 15-inch laptop bag. You will need a 17-inch bag or a backpack if you want to take this on the go.
Other than that, the Gamepad Controller offers an amazing experience on just about any game such as Tomb Raider and Dirt Showdown. Razer did an excellent job in paying attention to the details and design for the best gaming experience. The Gamepad was very responsive and it felt natural thanks to the excellent layout.
Other Buttons and Ports
On the top left of the Edge you will find a single USB 3.0 port, standard mic/headphone jack, and volume controls. Moving towards the top right, there are buttons for orientation lock, on-screen keyboard, and power/sleep. I wish there was an SD card or even a microSD card to add some expandability but there isn't.
On the front of the device there is a 2-megapixel camera for video conferencing but there is no rear camera. And finally at the bottom is the accessory/power connector port in which you can charge, dock, and plug in the snap on Gamepad Controller.
I noticed that the power adaptor that plugs into the tablet is pretty flimsy and doesn't snap on securely. This is kind of an annoyance because when you have it plugged in and playing with the controller, it comes off rather easily because it is somewhat loose. Hopefully Razer will address this in the near future.
Don't stop now! Page 2 of this review covers the performance of the Razer Edge.
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