You can play casual games like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope on pretty much any Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet. But you can play hard-core PC games on the new Razer Edge.
It’s a 10 inch Windows 8 tablet with an Ivy Bridge processor, NVIDIA GeForce graphics, and a starting price of $999.
If the Edge looks familiar, that’s because it’s the tablet formerly-known-as “Project Fiona.” But the tablet has graduated from project status, and it should be ready to launch in the first quarter of 2013.
The $999 model will feature a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an Intel Core i5 processor GeForce GT640M graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB solid state disk. Higher end models will offer Core i7 processors, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage.
While the tablet has the computational power necessary to run serious PC games, you’ll need to pair it with a mouse, keyboard, and/or game controller. Razer has a line of accessories including a keyboard case which you can use for traditional PC games, and a controller case which adds physical gamepad buttons and analog controllers to the side of the case.
The tablet alone weighs 2.1 pounds and the gamepad case adds a little weight — but the whole thing felt surprisingly comfortable to hold thanks to the well designed controllers which make the tablet easy to grip with two hands while you’re gaming.
There is a down-side to packing this much power into a Windows 8 tablet. You only get about 3 hours of battery life under normal use and less than 90 minutes when playing games. Razer will sell a secondary battery for $69 which you can pop into the gamepad accessory to double the battery life though.
But here’s the thing: the Razer Edge is basically a full-fledged PC in a tablet shape and size. While it’s pretty expensive, with prices climbing north of $1300 when you start adding extra options, you could use this tablet as a desktop PC replacement.
It supports touch-based navigation when you’re just using the tablet, works not only with the Razer gamepad case but also Bluetooth and USB game controllers, and Razer will also offer a docking station that lets you hook up the whole thing to a TV or monitor for gaming in the living room or desktop PC performance in the office.