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Razer Switchblade Powered by Atom Z690

On Wednesday Razer revealed that its upcoming portable PC gaming device, the Razer Switchblade, will come packed with Intel's Atom Z960 processor clocked at 1.70 GHz. The company also added that key Chinese independent software vendors such as Tencent and ChangYou have pledged to support game optimization for the Switchblade User Interface.

"Intel is very excited to be working closely with Razer on the next generation of mobile handheld PC gaming," said Brad Graff, consumer marketing director, Netbook and Tablet Group, Intel. "The Razer Switchblade concept takes advantage of the Intel Atom processor, providing the performance needed to run 3D PC games in a small and light form factor to enable mobile gaming at significantly less power than a traditional laptop."

For the uninitiated, the Razer Switchblade is the company's answer to mobile PC gaming in a netbook form factor. The device made its first appearance at CES 2011 back in January, but at the time, it was shopped as a concept. As of this writing, it still appears to feature a multi-touch capable 7-inch display and a adaptive tactile keyboard that can be changed to suit different modes of gameplay.

"PC gaming on a truly mobile platform has not been possible before the Razer Switchblade," said Min-Liang Tan, CEO and Creative Director, Razer. "Our work with Intel allowed us to not only optimize the performance of the hardware on this concept device, but also lay the foundation for future products that will fully utilize the innovative technologies first developed on the Razer Switchblade concept."

According to the video seen below, the Switchblade is capable of playing a wide range of games including StarCraft 2, Quake Live, Left 4 Dead 2, World of Warcraft, AION and others. As Intel indicated, the Z690 is sufficient for desktop-style PC gaming on a portable device, offering 13-percent more processing power than its predecessor, the Z670 which is currently installed in the Fujitsu Lifebook TH40/D and other tablets.

Right now the specs outside the official Intel Atom CPU is unknown. Hands-on impressions stemming from CES 2011 said that the device ran Windows 7 with a custom Razer UI and featured a built-in webcam. Other tentative specs included a 128 GB SSD, Wi-Fi, 3G, a mini HDMI-output jack and a USB 3.0 port. At the time, the battery offered 4-6 hours of intensive gameplay.

Yet on Wednesday Razer still insisted that the gadget is a "concept," and has not provided a tentative release date or price. That said, we expect to hear more about this device in the coming months.

  • dalethepcman
    the Switchblade is capable of playing a wide range of games including StarCraft 2, Quake Live, Left 4 Dead 2, World of Warcraft, AION and others.

    At a blazing average FPS of 12! If this company really wanted a portable gaming machine they should have made a fusion based system, or waited for Kal-El / win8.
    Reply
  • the_krasno
    Still waiting on the graphics specs. But with atom... you would be better just buying a m11x from alienware.
    Reply
  • LuckyDucky7
    Z960 or Z690? Come on, Toms...

    Anyways. I still can't see the point in not using an AMD C-50 (or an E-350) in this machine since it's MUCH more powerful.

    Just throw one of those in there (still don't need a heatsink at 9 W), a snap-on battery pack to the bottom, and you have a much more capable device.
    Reply
  • jj463rd
    I definitively like the adaptive keyboard.It's like the ikey infinity concept.(Each key can be changed into symbols,icons etc.).Very cool and I am quite interested.
    Reply
  • liveonc
    I'd rather be Robocop, feeling as cool as an 80's Swede, with a desktop PC powered by a UPS in my backpack, playing games on a touchscreen attached to my wrist! (I saw this guy in Bali) ;-)
    Reply
  • molo9000
    mobile handheld PC gaming
    No, thank you.
    Even iOS/Android games are better entertainment than PC games on a 7" display with horrible controls.

    Why would you buy this thing unless you are a hopeless WoW addict?
    A Nintendo 3DS is cheaper, more portable and actually has controls and games designed for handheld gaming.
    Reply
  • warmon6
    atom and gaming? Are you sure those 2 things can go together? :lol:
    Reply
  • jamie_1318
    13% better than previous Atom? really? That is somehow supposed to provide adequate processing power for "desktop-style PC Gaming"?

    Don't get me wrong though. I love the idea of the "tactile Response" keyboard, providing that they use it right. It could really reduce the amount of surface area required to get a good gaming experience, provided they use it well.

    The Atom might be sufficient for some very GPU intensive gaming, but there is no way that they will be able to run Starcraft II fluently on an Atom CPU.

    Pop an E-350, or a low TDP llano and this would look great.
    Reply
  • palladin9479
    Yeah I'm laughing pretty hard here. Atom is perfectly fine for ultra lightweight devices, but gaming is something it completely sucks at. Should of used one of the AMD E series APU's. Their graphics system is sufficient to play games at the resolutions this device will be using.
    Reply
  • jj463rd
    palladin9479Yeah I'm laughing pretty hard here. Atom is perfectly fine for ultra lightweight devices, but gaming is something it completely sucks at. Should of used one of the AMD E series APU's. Their graphics system is sufficient to play games at the resolutions this device will be using.I checked at Passmark.Although the CPU (1.7 Ghz Atom Z690) isn't listed there (the Intel Atom Z670 @ 1.50GHz is there with a score of 294)the Z690 should perform at a level of about 333 in the Passmark score,The AMD E-240 has a score of 358 and the E-350 has a Passmark score of 731.
    The AMD C-50 has a Passmark score of 453 and the C-30 a score of 231.
    It's closest to the E-240 in terms of performance according to the Passmark scores.
    Probably TDP,especially cooling and power constraints limit it from using the much beefier AMD E-350 CPU .However it does apparently use ATI graphics don't know as of yet which graphics chip though but probably a pretty decent low powered version.
    Reply