Razer Edge Pro Review: Powerful Windows 8 Gaming Tablet

by Reads (2,256)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Design
      • 9
      • Performance
      • 7
      • Features
      • 9
      • Total Score:
      • 8.33
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Excellent controls
    • Performs very well
    • Great hardware considering size of device
    • Would be awesome for LAN parties
    • Very well constructed
  • Cons

    • Thick, heavy and uncomfortable after long use
    • Charge port not secure and falls off easily
    • No microSD or SD card Slot
    • Not really a practical device

Quick Take

The Razer Edge Pro is a bold product targeted at a very specific type of user and early adopters. It's performance, design, and build are all top-notch, but its battery life is paltry and it's not as portable as Razer would want you to believe. If you just want a standard Win 8 tablet, look elsewhere, and if you want a gaming rig, check out the latest and greatest desktops and notebooks before considering the Razer Edge Pro.

The Razer Edge has been building buzz for a couple years now, and rightfully so. It’s an all-in-one device designed specifically for gamers – one that has promised to be not only a powerful Windows 8 hybrid, but a portable gaming console, a home gaming console and generally the most robust gaming tablet ever made as well.

\"RazerBut the time for talk has ended, and TechnologyGuide sister site TabletPCReview has issued its final verdict on Razer’s ambitious machine. So does it live up to the hype?

Well, yes and no. TPCR calls the Razer Edge “more or less the Surface Pro on steroids,” a hearty Windows 8 tablet that boasts specs capable of handling any PC game.

TPCR tested the Pro model of the device, which comes with a Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce 640M LE GPU, a 256 GB SSD and the Edge’s attachable gamepad controller for portable playing.

The cheapest base model comes with a Core i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce 640M LE graphics, a 64 GB SSD and no controller.

The former of those two models costs $1450, while the latter comes in at $999, both at launch. The controller on its own costs $249, and the optional docking station that lets the Edge serve as a desktop PC costs another $99. This baby isn’t cheap, to be sure.

Either way, the Edge comes with a 10.1-inch IPS display with a 1366 x 768 resolution. That’s not quite 1080p, but TPCR says that the screen’s relatively small size makes it so that lower res isn’t a big deal. It found the touchscreen very responsive, and says that games like Tomb Raider and Starcraft II look “fantastic” on the display.

\"RazerTPCR had no complaints with the Razer Edge’s ability as a Windows 8 tablet, saying that it’s more than functional and that navigating through the Metro UI was a breeze. It does the exactly what any other Windows 8 PC can do.

But anyone looking to buy the Razer Edge should be in it for the games, and it’s here where the device’s performance shines. More specifically, TPCR says that the Edge’s Xbox-esque gamepad controller “practically sells the device.” Its buttons are backlit, it comes with force feedback, it’s easy to slide on and off, and it comes with an optional battery slot for longer gaming sessions. All of that is good.

TPCR says that the Edge can capably handle any game on the market as long as it’s on Normal or High settings. Ultra and Ultimate settings will make the Edge “choke,” but given that this is a tablet, its ability is impressive.

Similarly, hooking the Edge up to a TV through its HDMI port and turning it into a console works fine as long as one doesn’t play in 1080p. The Edge starts to stutter when that happens, but TPCR found that turning things down to 1600 x 900 quickly smoothed things out. Watching 1080p video on either the tablet itself or when it’s connected to a TV “played beautifully” too.

So, the Razer Edge is a great Windows 8 machine, a more-than-capable gaming device and one of the most versatile machines there is. What’s not to like? Well, it turns out, plenty.

First, while TPCR found the Edge to be well-constructed, it also said that the tablet is simply too heavy to consistently be used as a portable machine. At 10.9 x 7 x .8 inches and 2.1 pounds, it’s too bulky and large for comfort away from the desk. Attaching the gamepad controller adds even more size and weight, and TPCR’s reviewer found his arms getting tired after only 45 minutes of use.

\"RazerAnother reason the Edge won’t be portable is its anemic battery life. Yes, expectations have to be tempered given that it’s a gaming tablet, but playing Tomb Raider on Normal settings only gave TPCR two hours and 25 minutes of play time. Again, the Edge is best served at the desk or as a console; don’t expect it to last through most flights or long car rides on its own.

TPCR had other minor complaints about the Edge too, like its flimsy charge port and lack of microSD or SD card slots, but the biggest issue the Edge faces is simply its practicality. Who is this for? As TPCR notes, gamers could get the Edge’s performance from a similarly- or lower-priced laptop with a controller hooked up to it. Those just looking for tablet functionality could spend a fraction of the Edge’s cost and more suitable experience. And those who want hardcore PC gaming are still better off getting a dedicated desktop.

But even with these existential questions, TPCR notes that the Edge does what it does very well. It lives up to almost all of its promises, and manages to be multiple devices all at once. It has both technical and conceptual flaws, but TPCR found it undeniably fun to use. It’s a “bold project,” TPCR says, one that could be great for anyone who wants to blend a Surface Pro and dedicated gaming machine into one.



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