Design

The Edge will be pretty familiar to anyone who has seen or spent any time with Razer systems in the past – consider a tablet with the same design language as the Blade and you’ll be on the right track. Like the Blade that came before it, the design is clean and understated. The matte black anodized aluminum chassis looks actually like a shrunken version of the Blade lid, with the same vertical ridges flanking a glowing green Razer logo. The edges are all radiused, with two large vents on the right and left sides of the top edge (intake on the left, exhaust on the right). The sides of the tablet are unadorned, while the bottom has the dock/power connector located in the center and a pair of speakers located at the corners. The top edge of the tablet has buttons for power, keyboard, rotation, and volume, as well as a 3.5mm combo jack and a USB 3.0 port accented in the traditional Razer green. The front face is completely clean other than the webcam at the top and the circular Windows button located just under the display.

When you first pick it up, it seems pretty antithetical to the slim ARM-based tablets that we’ve gotten used to over the last few years. Even Intel-based tablets like Surface Pro have tried really hard to reach that level of thinness, but the Edge practically flaunts its chunky design. The thickness isn’t the problem I thought it would be going into the review, because quite honestly, the size doesn’t make it uncomfortable to use. The curved sides make for a good in-hand feel, and the Edge feels more comfortable than Surface Pro does. My biggest issue with Surface Pro is that it felt really heavy, but because the Edge weighs just as much and has a significantly larger chassis, it doesn’t have that same dense feel to it. The ridges on the back also play into the in-hand feel, the subtle curvature acts almost like a grip that helps you hold the tablet. It just has a nice, solid, reassuring feel to it when you pick it up.

Razer made a big deal out of the speakers when I last saw the Edge at CES. Tablet audio has been overlooked for the last few years, though it’s finally starting to get its share of attention. The Edge has enough room in the chassis to pack a pair of surprisingly good stereo speakers. Any time you get solid midrange and any semblance of bass out of a tablet or ultrabook, you should be thrilled – it doesn’t happen very often. The speakers on the Edge are clearly and distinctly louder and more defined than any tablet or ultrabook I’ve spent time with in recent times – iPad (even the mini, which has stereo speakers), Surface Pro, ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro, Zenbook Prime, Aspire S7, you name it. They’re legitimately better than any other prominent device in this class.

I have a couple of nits to pick with the design. The first is the bezel around the display – it’s huge. Tablets tend to have larger bezels than we like on notebooks, and the display edge gestures in Windows 8 also have a role to play here, but there’s something to be said for the elegance of a slim bezel. The Edge has a bezel that’s just over an inch wide all the way around. That’s pretty substantial, even compared to the healthy 0.75” width of the iPad’s bezel. The generous bezel means that you’re never worried about accidentally touching the display, but I’d like to see a display closer in size to Surface’s 10.6” panel in this same size chassis. I’m not sure how feasible it is for a company like Razer to get a somewhat irregularly sized panel, though. I’d also be interested in seeing how much bigger the chassis would need to be to fit an 11.6” display, and I’m sure John Wilson and his team kicked that idea around before settling on the 10.1” panel. It’s clear that the ideal display size for Windows tablets is somewhere between 10.1” and 11.6”, so it’ll be interesting to see if more manufacturers take Microsoft’s lead and start shipping devices later this year with displays in the 10.6”-11.1” range.

The other is the Windows sticker on the back – I think they’d have been better off integrating that into the power brick the way ASUS has been doing with their design-oriented systems for some time now. Perhaps I was spoiled by the sleekness of the Blade’s 120W brick, but in comparison the off-the-shelf Chicony 65W AC adapter is ugly and looks like a cheap touch on an otherwise very polished product. I’d like to see something slimmer, like a downsized version of the Blade adapter, with the product stickers integrated to really complete the clean aesthetic the rest of the device has.

Introduction The Gamepad
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  • randomlinh - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    This is how I envision a Steam box. Pick up and play anywhere... and if I have the time, dock it to a TV for big screen fun.

    Now I just need the price to cut in half....
    Reply
  • SR81 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    ... except Valve has the intention of it being a $99 set top box that streams your games from your PC, just like the NVIDIA Shield without a screen. Reply
  • Mumrik - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I have to assume this thing is for people looking to replace their normal stationary/laptop. Reply
  • Havor - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Yeah still, but for a starting price of $999, this is actually NOT pretty good value.

    Come on $1000 for a heavy tablet, with only a 64GB SSD ware a big chunk will be used by the Win8 OS, and then $250 for the gaming grip.

    Even the Razor Edge Pro with a 128GB SSD and a i7 instead of a i5 would be at $1000 to high to be useful!

    Not saying that the price is to high for what it cost to make the tablet, I say the price is way to high for the real world value of the tablet, think whit a efficient Haswell CPU they could make something lighter and more useful.

    But unless they get the price down to around $500~600 with a included game controller grip, i dont see lots of people buying this overpriced tablet.

    And I wonder if the reviewer was smoking pot, or is this is a Infomercial, instead of a real review, because even do its a wonder of engineering, i don't see the appeal, and a product like this would only find buyers if it had the Apple logo on it!
    Reply
  • perry1mm - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    I don't understand how you can say this is not good value. $1000 is not much if you're in the market for a laptop/tablet and are on the go enough to make it worth it...plugging in and playing games in a small profile for easy packing, carrying, and just general versatility, this is a dream come true.

    There are other options out there that I personally think are more feature rich and fit my personal use better in the same price-range and versatility, but even so the Edge fits the same type of device I'd want...and for comparable laptop performance you'd pay the same.

    I wouldn't need anything but the keyboard dock if I did get one of these, though I personally have the Vaio Duo 11 that play games great and is much better out-of-the box feature-wise, port-wise, and display-wise. Plus I got the highest spec'd one with 256GB SSD for $1300 after a promo and $100 credit back with the Sony Card.

    The main issue would be regular on-the-go battery life but if you can stretch it on power mode to get 4-6hrs, I think that is suitable, since anyone who is getting this should already expect to plug in for heavy game usage unless they're on a flight and want a couple hours of it.

    If they packaged the keyboard dock when it is available with the Pro i7, 256GB, 8GB RAM model, for $1500, it would probably be one of the best value gaming laptops for portability on the market.

    The Surface Pro with it's i5 and 4GB RAM is sorely lacking in performance. The only real downside for me is the resolution, as my Vaio Duo has spoiled me in that department and all the games I've played (DmC, HL2, Dota 2, WoW, Borderlands 2, Bastion, SC2, Portal 2, L4D2, FC2, and numerous others) all ran smoothly at 1080p if I turned down most settings and looked great at solid 30+FPS if not better.
    Reply
  • Havor - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    " $1000 is not much"
    I am very well off, I am a supervisor in the offshore, and my wife is a deputy director of a local part of the national institute.

    Still i think $1000 is way to mouths for what you get in return, like i said, not saying that the price is to high for what it cost to make a device like this, saying if you wait 1~2 generations, you get way more for a lot less.

    This tablet falls in the category as the first LCD TVs, they ware around $5000 for a 40", and just like this tablet, the asking price was not to high for what it cost to make one, I am saying, you have to be a idiot to pay $1000~$1500 for something that will be outdated in 2 years by way better devices.

    "for $1500, it would probably be one of the best value gaming laptops for portability on the market."
    Got a ASUS G75VX for work, and a Transformer for on the road, ware i depending on use use the dock with, nut yeah i cant play FPS games on the Transformer, still there are lots of other fun games other the Angry Birds that i can also play on it.

    The G75 is a real desktop replacement, i can use when i am @work, I am "on the go enough" about +50% of the year, but i cant really see any real benefits over a normal tablet.

    "The Surface Pro with it's i5 and 4GB RAM is sorely lacking in performance."
    I never said the Surface Pro was a good deal, I say your a idiot or have to mouth money if you if you buy this, as you can be a early adopter of tech that is not ready for prime time, if you buy it anyway i and many others will think something of you, if you tell the total price of what you got in your hands.

    "you must be the one smoking pot if you think this would be $500-600 with a controller grip"
    Read correctly, i did not say the device was was overprices for the tech you get, i say the its just not worth it, as in 2 years from now you get the same for half the price and weight, whit 50% more powerk
    Reply
  • rviswas11 - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    i don't think you realise that the only in this thing that is going to get outdated in the next 2-3 years is the battery. as far as the performance goes even you anus will be outdated in the same time frame Reply
  • rviswas11 - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    sorry i ;meant asus. Reply
  • truthbeacon - Saturday, April 06, 2013 - link

    Again, it still depends on your perspective - As a consultant in a field where I am working the same places as you (and at the slope among other places which are out of touch with the world) and I never go anywhere without my $1400 (two years ago) SB slate.

    What you are glossing over with regards to value is that even when flying at the front, it is infinitely easier to get more work done with a tablet or slate pc because they take up so much less space (even this chunk). If you throw in the ability to do a good job of playing games for those exceedingly rare occasions when you don't have reporting or bureaucratic nonsense to deal with, you don't want to have to pull out a 15" {even ultrabook although they suck for gaming compared to ones with discreet cards} to do anything.

    Where the slate PCs come in at far handier than a tablet is that when I am leaving a site with a 6 hour flight to my next destination, I can pull out my slate and begin working on reports and generate graphs using the same proprietary software that I just collected data on. I am not limited to almost-office software, at the mercy of what is (or more appropriately what is not) available for my ARM-based device and can even bring along a full ergonomic keyboard if I wish. Further, when I am flying out, I can prepare my data collection software so that when I arrive I am not scrambling to meet the always over-optimistic "we're going to start up this afternoon" hopes, because you know how bad critical path is during a startup.
    Reply
  • perry1mm - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Oh, and to add with your last couple of comments...you must be the one smoking pot if you think this would be $500-600 with a controller grip. Are you f***ing serious, lol. That barely gets you an iPad, Surface RT, Nexus 10, or a laptop with s*** specs. To say it should be that price WITH the controller grip is absolutely asinine.

    And YOU don't see the appeal, but for someone like myself that travels regularly, is on-the-go for work almost everyday where I spend an hour or two sitting down in various locations, travel regularly for family, vaca, or just to get away with my wife for the weekend, it is perfect. The tablet versatility, performance when needed and I can plug in, plus the small profile for easy carrying/storing/space-use constraints, it really is awesome.
    Reply

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