CES 2012: Razer Project Fiona
Razer is a name synonomous with gaming power. Their complete line of peripherals and gear is dedicated to bringing the best gaming experience possible to their customers. Here at Benchmark Reviews we have tried and tested many Razer products and found them to be built with high quality and effective gaming in mind. It makes sense, then, that Razer would go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to designing a tablet for gamers. Enter Razer's Project Fiona.
While the SOC's that tablets are built around are continually getting faster and more powerful, even the immense, quad-core NVIDIA Tegra III can't keep up with a desktop, or even a laptop, in terms of full-scale gaming. Add that to the fact that you won't be able to install Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, or any of your other PC games on an Android operating system and you are stuck with launching foliage bombs and zombies or angry birds at swine.
Razer's Project Fiona is going to change the way you think about gaming on a tablet. Imagine playing all of your PC games on your iPad or Android tablet with the all the functionality of your gamepad built right in. For those have you who, like me, have enjoyed the handheld portable gaming devices over the years like the PSP or Nintendo DS, the Razer Fiona is the next step up in that portable gaming. The only difference is, it offers a lot more in terms of processing power and gaming potential.
First off, Razer's Project Fiona Gaming Tablet is built around a third-generation Intel Core i7 processor. This isn't some dinky SOC. We're talking full x86 functionality on your tablet. Its really closer to a PC than any tablet we've seen so far. In addition to the Core i7 CPU, Project Fiona will be running a hybrid Windows 8 operating system. Since its Windows-based, it will run all of your existing game-pad enabled PC games right from the start. Any future games developed for the PC and playable with a game-pad will automatically work as well. In addition, since Project Fiona is a tablet with an accelerometers and a multi-touch screen, new games will inevitably be developed to take advantage of these features. Project Fiona comes with the game-pad built in.
On either side of the tablet you have a joystick and five buttons, with two triggers on each side directly behind that. While current tablet designs have taken gaming and made it controllable solely by the touchscreen, the CEO of Razer doesn't think that's the best way to play games, especially not the intense games we're used to on a PC. Both of the controllers on Project Fiona are equipped to deliver full force feedback, like your game-pad controller, so you can feel the explosions or recoil in the games you play. Project Fiona, while offering quite a bit in terms of potential, is estimated to release at under $1,000 and is expected to start shipping at the end of 2012. I know what's on my Christmas list this year.
Razer Naga Hex and SWTOR Keyboard
Project Fiona wasn't the only product announced by Razer during CES 2012, and the other two are available now. The first one is the Razer Naga Hex, a gaming mouse based off of the popular Naga design. The original Razer Naga was designed for MMO gaming and had a 12 button thumb grid. The buttons were small and well-suited to MMOs, but may not have been the best design for MOBA games or Action RPGs. With this in mind, Razer designed the Naga Hex with a six button thumb grid and right and left mouse buttons made for insane clickage. The right and left mouse buttons are made for up to 250 clicks per minute and have a life-cycle of up to 10 million clicks. The mouse is also Synapse 2.0 enabled, another CES 2012 release, meaning that your custom mouse settings and profiles can be uploaded to the cloud for easy access, no matter wherre you are gaming.
In collaboration with LucasArts, Razer has also released a keyboard designed completely for the recently released Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. The keyboard is fully mappable and, in place of the common keypad, has a customizable pad for your hotkeys. The hotkeys can be loaded with icons of your choice to match up with those on screen. The wristrest on the keyboard is swappable between Imperial and Republic factions. The SWTOR keyboard is one of three SWTOR peripherals. There is a SWTOR Naga mouse and a SWTOR gaming headset available from Razer as well.
All of the SWTOR peripherals, along with the Naga, the Naga Hex, and the Razer Blade gaming laptop are currently supported by Synapse 2.0. In addition to being a cloud storage for your profiles, Synapse 2.0 is also a unified driver. Now, rather than downloading a whole list of drivers for your peripherals and adjusting all the individual settings, you can do it all through one program.
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