Razer Edge Pro - A Tablet That Could Play The Role Of A Gaming PC (Part 1)

7/4/2013 9:14:19 AM

Mobile gaming is no more like what it used to be. Sure, you can buy a portable from Sony or Nintendo, but the video game industry has transformed into a more diverse industry today. There is no shortage of hardware choices for gamers: from tablets, smartphones, gaming laptops and purpose-built handhelds, all of which give a new definition for the mobile gaming platform. These wind of change must has been recognized by the CEO of Razer, Min-Liang Tan as he fabricated the Project Fiona, which is now known as the Razer Edge. The marketing document of this company records this curious device as an all-in-one gaming arsenal; it is a tablet, according to the product page, but is a PC and console as well. Above all, it is modular, a tablet with many small docks and cradle designed to satisfy the desire of playing game from all angles. In short, Razer has titled it the most powerful tablet in the world. Equipped with specifications that are seen in a mid-range gaming laptop, it might be that – but we cannot let that claim pass through without testing it ourselves.

The Razer Edge Pro

The Razer Edge Pro


At first glance, the Edge’s 10.1-inch screen and thick, generic bezel give a very familiar feeling. With the exception of two indentations which are placed on the center of the device’s north and south edges, Razer cannot freely go out of the dull standard design of a tablet. It leads to a boring result, but it’s practical. Fortunately, the aluminum backside, which is borrowed from the subtly ridged design profile from the Razer Blade laptop, gives the tablet a unique personality. Ornamented by a backlit Razor’s logo, the backplate slightly bends to the device’s outer frame, and therefore fits into users’ palms smoothly without digging in.

You might feel comfortable with the shape of the Edge’s chassis, but the fatigue is inevitable issue – There are some limits for how long you can hold a 2.1 pound tablet high. If you compare the tablet of Razer with the Surface Pro, you will note that it is larger in all aspects, at 10.9 x 7 x 0.8 inches. Heaviness is sure but its specifications are better than that of the Surface all around in return: 4 GB compared to 8GB DDR3 RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, an Intel Core i5 or i7 and discrete NVIDIA graphics card. The only aspect where Microsoft still dominant is in display quality: the Edge peaks at 1,366 x 768, while the Pro is packed with the display of 1920 x 1080. But at this time, let’s finish our tour around the hardware.

The backlit Razer’s logo on the backside

The backlit Razer’s logo on the backside

There is a 40-pin connector on the bottom edge of the tablet. Its sides are secured by stereo speakers and two peg holes, which are used to lock the Edge into its dock and accessories of the controller. Mirroring these holes is a pair of divots on the top edge of the device. These divots are accompanied by a blue Razer USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm audio jack, volume controls and a LED-equipped power button. There are also two buttons used to lock automatic screen rotation and activate the software keyboard of Windows 8. The latter one is extremely convenient because we noted that some games tend to activate the virtual keyboard of Windows 8 accidentally. There are two large vents one the Edge’s back-plate and they locate on the north of the company logo, while there is only one Windows button, 2 microphones and the 2MP camera on the front side of the tablet. In short, the hardware unit is well designed, although the tablet is still quite heavy.


Unfortunately, there is still one important component of the Edge product collection in this review: the keyboard dock. It is strange to think that the Edge is launched without but there is not any kind of its accessory is sold with every other Windows 8 tablet. It is said that Razer will introduce such keyboard sometime in the third quarter of the year with an undetermined price. We cannot predict how it will perform once it is launched, or giving any guess how much it will cost, but it can be said that we miss it now. If taking everything into a careful consideration, Razer Edge is mainly a PC, and it would be really inconvenient and complicated to install games, manage data and working from devices without a suitable keyboard. Such lacking accessory is still not available yet, so it feels like the Edge is incomplete. We will have another look at the device once it is fully equipped.

Display, sound and camera

Earlier, the IPS 1,366 x 768 display of the Edge is considered as one of its drawbacks, especially when it is taken to the comparison with the Surface Pro. Although the 1,920 x 1,080 display of the Surface Pro might be impressive, its resolution exceeds its panel size, so we have to switch between two different text-scaling configurations depending on the way we use the tablet. There are not so many problems for the small display of the Edge, which remains the 1:1 ratio in its default configuration. No change in scale, no tweaking, no trouble. It is also possible that the low level of life-like display has been chosen because of the need of reducing the demand on GPU and improving the game performance. Anyway, the smaller screen seems to be an advantage of the device, and it also looks nice, with strong color, pure white and deep black. There is nothing outstanding, but good. We dare to say that this is the best display among the Razer products, leaving the high-resolution display of the Razer Blade behind in terms of contrast as well as color quality. The view angle of the screen is a little distorted by the glossy surface of the screen – how bright the images look turns out to be unimportant if they are surrounded by unwanted reflections.

The Edge’s display

The Edge’s display

We do not expect much about the speakers of the tablet – it just needs to be loud, clear and undistorted. Fortunately, they sound just like that. They might be placed at the backside of the tablet, but their voices create resonates spreading throughout the device, filling the air vents as if by design. Its sound might not be the most decent one, but it is balanced with few of distortions. The speakers set of the Edge is absolutely fitted to one user, or even a small group of people gathering around the device. Gamers who wish to experience stronger sound would have to find an appropriate headphone, or lead the audio out through the tablet’s docking station, which supports the Dolby Home Theater 7.1.

The 2MP webcam is sufficient for chatting on Skype, but that’s all. The images created are grainy and muddled. The videos recorded by using Windows 8’s camera application stutter and lag, despite the resolution from 320x240 to 1,920x1,200. The applications done by the third party are better, but still it cannot produce smoother videos at higher resolution. Anything above 640x480 was a mess indeed.


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