The Razer Edge Pro is essentially a gaming PC crammed into tablet form; powerful enough to play recent titles such as Bioshock Infinite and Dishonored, and versatile enough for touchscreen classics like Angry Birds and Jetpack Joyride.
However, achieving such feats hasn’t been easy – the Edge Pro comes to nearly 2kg with the game controller, and provides a little over an hour of high-end gameplay on the standard battery. So is it a weighty, powerful treat, or a great idea that’s too cumbersome in real life? Let’s see…
The Razer Edge Pro packs an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and an Nvidia GT 640M graphics processor, making it a powerful PC under the hood. Games look gorgeous on the 1,366 x 768 pixel screen, but you need to use low-to-mid graphical settings on recent games such as Metro: Last Light to achieve 60 frames per second.
The Razer Edge Pro launches with a host of accessories, such as the official gamepad at US$250, the keyboard at US$200, and the dock at US$100. The gamepad setup may be the one Razer is pushing, but in reality, it’s the one we liked the least. The gamepad takes the overall weight of the device to nearly 2kg, and in a design that completely opposes most standard controllers – the right control stick is awkwardly placed above the action buttons for heaven’s sake.
The dock is the cheapest and best accessory for the Edge Pro. It will bear the weight of the device as long as you have a flat surface, and it offers a host of useful connections. There are multiple USB ports, so you can plug in standard Xbox 360 controllers, in addition to a HDMI port, so you can connect it to a TV.
Thanks to Steam’s Big Picture mode, you can effectively turn the Edge Pro into a games console wherever you have a display, such as your living room or a hotel room. But don’t even bother pumping the resolution up to 1080p on the latest Steam releases – it just ain’t that powerful. Stick to 720p and the low-to-mid settings, though, and you’ve still got current-gen console-baiting graphics from a device that can be undocked and taken on the train whenever you feel like getting out of the house.
The polygon-pushing demands of games such as Bioshock Infinite seriously tax the Edge Pro, so you’ll only get just over an hour of game time using the built-in battery. If you buy the gamepad, there’s an expansion slot for a separate battery, which doubles the life of the device, but that costs another $70. Better make sure you pack that charger.
The other major drawback to the Edge Pro is its weight. Even on its own it’s nearly 1kg, or 50 per cent heavier than the standard full-size iPad. That weight doubles to nearly 2kg when using the gamepad, which seriously takes its toll on the arms. You’ll end up needing to rest the device on your legs as a result, which isn’t particularly comfortable.
If you’re a serious gamer, Call of Duty certainly beats Candy Crush Saga, and there’s nothing quite like being able to play the latest PC titles on-the-go. However, the Razer Edge Pro has too many drawbacks, such as weight and battery life, to make it really worth a purchase over a similarly-specced gaming laptop.