Razer, one of the leading companies in computer gaming peripherals, landed at the 2012 CES with a little more up it’s sleeve than most expected. Not only did they have their usual fair of gaming mice, keyboards, and other accessories, but they brought the Blade. And even more important than the Blade, Razer brought Project Fiona to CES.
For those unfamiliar with the laptop, the Blade is Razer’s take on the gaming laptop, with a slim design, impressive specs including a 17 inch screen, and a crazy little trackpad/multi-touch screen.
We loved that little screen and the 10 buttons above it, collectivley apart of the “Switchblade UI”. All of the 10 buttons were screens that can display any icon needed for any game or task. When not in use, the keys went black. Just below that was the multitouch screen/track pad. The little surface can switch from a multi-touch screen that can display ig-game info or just about anything imaginable (we watched Youtube videos) to a highly sensitive track pad for on-the-go gaming.
The real secret surprise that Razer had under lock and key was Project Fiona, Razer’s ultra-portable gaming platform. Hands-on demos were being given behind closed doors and we got there just in time to play with the new system. Just to be clear, Project Fiona is a gaming PC in a 10 inch tablet form-factor.
There were plenty of spec related details that weren’t discussed due to the fact that the 2 units there prototypes, but there were some details that were nailed down. For starters, Fiona will have a Core i7 processor, the capacitive touch screen resolution is locked in at 1280×800 and its size is going to be 10 inches.
That’s about it, most other questions were answered with either “we can’t talk about that right now” or “this is a prototype and we’re working on that right now.” The big questions for us were the battery life, price and those controls.
Battery life isn’t going to be great. No official numbers were given, but with the hardware Fiona will have, more than 2.5 hours is going to be nothing short of a miracle. The price will depend on any hardware changes, but Razer is shooting for under $1000. And lastly, those controls. They look weird, but holding them, they felt surprisingly natural. There was software built in to handle remapping commands for any game, which is necessary if you want to play PC games without a full keyboard.
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Growing up the son of a West Coast Video Manager, Sean-Paul has literally been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Starting as a wee little boy in his room with a 7” black and white TV and his Atari 2600 with Tank Plus, not much has changed, just the room and television have gotten bigger. When not gaming, Sean-Paul is usually cooking, watching anime, or riding his bike around Singapore and dreaming up his next computer build.