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CES 2013: Razer steps up its game with the world's first gaming tablet

At CES 2013, Razer unveiled the Razer Edge, the world's first tablet designed exclusively for high-end gaming. The new device fulfills an initial promise made by the game peripheral manufacturer at last year's tradeshow that it would deliver "PC gaming in an all-new form factor."

After a massive, yearlong crowdsourcing endeavor of tapping into Razer's fanbase for input on everything from chipset to physical dimensions, the previously codenamed "Project Fiona" has morphed from concept to full blown reality.

The Razer Edge is a 10.1in device being touted as the world's most powerful tablet, and a quick look inside both the base model and the souped-up Pro version show why. Both pack a third-generation Intel Core processor and a discrete Nvidia GT640M LE GPU. More specifically, the Razer Edge sports an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, and a 64GB SSD, and the Razer Edge Pro comes configured with a beefier Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, and the option for either a 128GB or 256GB SSD. Both models feature a USB 3.0 port, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and both run on a full version of Windows 8 with Intel architecture, in turn allowing PC games to run natively on the Edge without the need to be ported or optimised.

In addition to its considerable firepower, the Razer Edge also makes the most of its versatile form factor. It weighs a shade under 0.91kg and measures only 0.8in thick. The versatility comes from the fact that the Razer Edge can be used in four different configurations, depending on your accessories: Tablet mode, Keyboard Dock mode, Gamepad Controller mode, and Docking Station mode. Tablet mode is self-explanatory; Keyboard Dock mode morphs the Razer Edge into a laptop, complete with a traditional keyboard and mouse. In Gamepad Controller mode, the Razer Edge becomes a portable mobile console with a dual-controller interface featuring analog joysticks and haptic feedback. Both the Keyboard Dock and Gamepad Controller can be connected with a removable 40Whr battery that effectively doubles the Edge's battery life. Lastly, plugging the Razer Edge into the Docking Station turns it into a home console, with three USB 2.0 ports, mic-in and stereo-out, multiple gamepad controller ports, and an HDMI port that can connect the device to a bigger display.

While these accessories must be purchased separately, the Razer Edge Pro edition will be offered in a package that bundles in a Gamepad Controller. The Razer Edge gaming tablet will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2013. The base model will begin at $999 (£623).