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Razer's Edge: Battery Life And Conclusion

Razer Edge: Hands-On With The x86 Gaming Tablet At CES 2013

The Edge can do what no other tablet can currently match, and that's a viable argument in favor of its price premium. The games Razer had out on display, DiRT Showdown and Rift, ran smoothly at high detail settings. In Home Console Mode on a large television screen, the Edge drove Dishonored at 1920x1080 with no performance issues.

With all of that said, we know a little something about PC gaming hardware, and it won't be difficult to find titles able to push a GeForce GT 640M LE beyond its limits at 1920x1080, or even at the display's native 1366x768. This is the best graphics processor you'll find in a tablet, but it's not a high-end component by notebook standards. On the desktop (one of this device's proposed usage models), the GeForce chip would barely be considered an adequate entry-level GPU. So, you can't expect miracles from the Edge.

How about battery life? Power is what makes or breaks a mobile device, after all. Razer tells us to expect between four to six hours of run time from the Edge if you're cruising around on the Windows desktop. It'll only last about an hour if you're gaming on it, though. The extended battery pack adds another 40 Wh of capacity, and can stretch you out to two hours of gaming, at best. Even then, using the extended battery means buying a Keyboard Dock or Gampad Controller to mount it in.

Alas, physics catches up to the dream of 3D gaming during a cross-country flight. Razer, your customers were willing to buy a device two times heavier and two times thicker than an iPad. I think they probably would have accepted a nice, big battery to keep the party going a little longer.

Despite its idiosyncrasies and compromises, I still want Razer's Edge more than any other tablet that exists. The reason is simple: it's the only one capable of playing enthusiast-class games, and I'm a gamer.

For me, the ideal application of this thing would be keeping it on a docking station with a keyboard and a mouse as a lightweight desktop, with the versatility to take out for short jaunts whenever a tablet could come in useful.

But as with most innovative ideas, I'm more excited about what the Edge might become in a couple of generations as Intel and Nvidia further improve performance at lower power ceilings. If Razer were to bundle an Edge 3.0 with a docking station for the same price and give it a few hours of battery life in games, it'd be the home run I thought it'd be the first time I saw it.

Razer says the Edge will be available for purchase before the end of this quarter. We're looking forward to taking it for a spin, and getting a better sense for how it compares to the Shield and Surface Pro.

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