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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.