The gaming world -- and the tablet world -- is buzzing about the Razer Edge Gaming tablet. Razer calls it a tablet, a PC and a console rolled into one, but leans toward PC status. The tablet comes with four modes designed for gamers and it can run all PC games and apps.
Razer on Thursday announced that its Razer Edge Gaming Tablet will soon come preinstalled with Steam's Big Picture by Valve Software. That will make it possible for gamers around the world to launch their games more quickly.
Steam is a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC and Mac games and digital entertainment. Steam boasts more than 40 million accounts around the world and more than 2,000 titles offered.
"Razer has one mission in mind: to innovate for PC gamers worldwide," said Min-Liang Tan, co-founder, Razer CEO and creative director. "Providing users with access to Steam will enable Razer Edge users to play their favorite games with greater ease than ever before."
A Narrow (Popular) Niche
PC gamers helped design Razer Edge. The tablet is billed as the only system of its kind to leverage technology from both Intel and Nvidia. The tablet uses third-generation Intel Core processors so that advanced, full-fledged PC games will function at full capacity. Meanwhile, the Nvidia GeForce graphics offer high performance.
Avi Greengart, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, told us Razer Edge is a fascinating concept.
"Razer Edge has a very specific focus and it's not right for everyone. It often makes for really good products when a design team has focused on creating a product that's fills a specific need," Greengart said. "Razer Edge is designed for PC gamers who want the ultimate in tablet gaming -- full PC games -- in a more-affordable-than-a-laptop package."
Greengart said it's not a perfect manifestation of a tablet: "very thick, fairly heavy and pretty expensive." But it's also going after a different consumer than the traditional tablet buyer. The target audience is not someone considering purchasing a $499 iPad or even a Surface or a Microsoft Surface Pro, which is basically a Core i5 laptop in a tablet form.
Worth the Price?
"Razer Edge is designed for people who want the ability to have street graphics, to play some of the higher end PC games. There's an accessory package that you are going to probably want to buy that gives you a full analog control," he said.
The accessory package frees up the screen so that gamers are not using the touchscreen for controls. Greengart said that's a good move because a lot of PC games aren't designed for touchscreen controls. Of course, all of this comes at a price.
"Buying these with the accessories you are going to need and the specs that you are going to want brings the price to somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000. This is not a mainstream product," Greengart said.
"On the flip side, people spend twice that buying PC gaming rigs. So is there a market for this? I think there is. Is it an especially large market? Well, it certainly doesn't include most consumers that are buying tablets or PCs. But could this find a niche with PC gamers who are looking for a unique portable gaming experience? Yes, it could."