Razer Edge Pro review
- Bioshock on the bus
- Tablet, PC and games console
- Steam Big Picture interface
- Arm-deadening weight
- One hour battery life
- Poor Gamepad Controller
The Razer Edge Pro is completely unrivalled in the tablet market at this point in time. Whereas most tablets pack roughly the same hardware as mobile phones, the Razer Edge Pro incorporates PC-level components, including an Intel i7 dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GT 640M graphics processor.
The Microsoft Surface Pro, the next-highest spec tablet on the market, doesn't pack anywhere near this level of graphical grunt; you'd have to look at a laptop like the Alienware M14x for similar performance.
Razer Edge Pro: Size and build
Measuring in at 278.5 x 178.85 x 19.5mm, the Razer Edge Pro is bigger and bulkier than any other tablet on the market. Tipping the scales at 962g. it's roughly 50 per cent heavier than an iPad 4 with Retina display at close to 1kg, and is over twice as thick as the iPad at nearly 20mm.
There are a number of optional peripherals that you can buy that will add to this weight when carrying it around--the Gamepad Controller ($249), the docking station ($99), or the keyboard dock ($199). In other words, you're going to need a backpack.
Razer Edge Pro: Features
The Razer Edge Pro runs Windows 8, so it can do anything a normal PC would, including playing games, browsing the internet, and even work, if youíre so inclined.
It's a touchscreen device, so it plays Windows 8 games such as Jetpack Joyride, and any other Windows 8 game as long as you connect the right controller. The device has one USB 3.0 port and a HD 2.0-megapixel webcam, plus support for 802.11b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.
The optional dock accessory adds three more USB ports and a HDMI output to send video to a TV or monitor. In this configuration, you can use Steam's Big Picture mode for a console-like interface. The unit we tested boasted 128GB of storage, but a larger 256GB model is available. Bear in mind that many games on Steam weigh in at 10-20GB these days, so either model will fill up fast.
Razer Edge Pro: Screen
The 1,366 x 768-pixel screen isn't retinal quality, but it compares favourably to laptop displays. The graphics processor will run most games at 720p resolution, but you'll have to knock the settings down to the low-to-mid level if you want to play games like Tomb Raider at a reasonable frame rate.
Razer Edge Pro: Controls
The Gamepad Controller features heavily in Razer's publicity for the Edge Pro, but we found it to be an expensive and poorly-designed accessory. First of all, the sheer weight of the device in this configuration comes close to 2kg, meaning it's way too heavy to hold for more than a few minutes.
Secondly, the right control stick is situated above the action buttons, which is the opposite of how most gamepads are laid out. We much preferred using the dock option and plugging in an Xbox 360 controller, which is supported by most PC games by default.
Razer Edge Pro: Performance
Razer's high-end components mean the Edge Pro will play games way in advance of other tablets on the market. Even recent PC games such as Bioshock Infinite are playable on the Edge Pro thanks to its Intel Core i7 dual core processor, Nvidia GT 640M graphics processor and 8GB of RAM.
The downside is that such demanding performance drains the battery in just over an hour. The gamepad houses an expansion slot for a second battery, which doubles that gaming time for a cost of $70.
Razer Edge Pro: Verdict
The Razer Edge Pro is one of those bold experiments that has to be applauded. Itís a tablet, a PC and a games console all in one, and playing Skyrim on the go certainly beats Candy Crush Saga.
But the Edge Pro also has many drawbacks, including a high price, hefty weight and poor battery life. We'd struggle to recommend it to anyone over a gaming laptop, which will offer even better performance for your money.
Razer Edge Pro release date: TBC (UK), Out Now (US)
Razer Edge Pro price: $1,299 (128GB), $1,449 (256GB)