January 11, 2012

Razer's Project Fiona: A Tablet for PC Gamers

Razer--generally known for its gaming peripherals--is working on a tablet called Project Fiona. Let's just file this under "wholly unexpected."

With smartphones and tablets becoming so popular, and more apps available than you can shake a stick at, mobile gaming is becoming an increasingly lucrative market. However, the problem is that most of the games being played on tablets and smartphones are of the casual variety. The mobile industry might have advanced to the point where we have quad-core phones and tablets, but hardcore PC gamers don't want to play Cut the Rope or Angry Birds.

At CES this week, peripheral maker Razer unveiled a concept that aims to change the minds of gamers unwilling to game on the go. Powered by Intel's Core i7 CPU, the tablet is dubbed 'Project Fiona' and is designed to play the most popular PC games of today with "an intuitive control setup for a phenomenal on-the-go gaming experience." Razer says that as a result of a partnership with Intel, Project Fiona is more akin to a fully functioning PC.

New Concept Makes Sense

Razer aims to adopt the same approach with Project Fiona--hence the code name, instead of a proper moniker. But where the Switchblade left me confused, Fiona makes a tantalizing amount of sense.

First, the hardware: Details are scant, largely because the prototype exists in something of a nebulous state. When I spoke with Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan late last week I was told that Fiona will be packing a Core-i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, a 1280-by-800 pixel resolution, and will support Windows 8.

The device will have a multi-touch screen, THX-certified speakers, force feedback support (with vibration motors in those controller arms), front- and rear-facing cameras, and a battery life akin to what you might expect from an Ultrabook, though we should likely lop an hour or two off for a focus on gaming.

Touchscreen Benefits

And then there’s the touchscreen. Like it or not, touch is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern computing experience. Windows 8 only makes the issue that much more pressing, with an interface wholly designed around you getting your hands on with your PC.

Razer's Gamble

As more touchscreen-equipped PCs find their way into our homes, it stands to reason that developers will see the light. And I’m willing to bet you’ll be hard pressed to find a PC that’s not an All-in-One in the next few years.

Razer is showing its cards early, but it’s a gamble the company is hoping will pay off. The logic is sound, and while the final product will ultimately depend on its performance, it’s an idea whose time has come.

"Project Fiona’s combination of high performance Intel-based gaming hardware and innovative tablet design is specifically focused for PC gamers. It will unleash the PC gamer to play their existing and future high-end games in one of the most exciting new form factors – a tablet," said Brad Graff, Director of Partner Marketing at Intel's Netbook & Tablet Group.

Razer didn't mention anything about a price or availability (considering Project Fiona is technically still just a concept, that's not surprising). However, the company did say that developer units will be made available soon, so this one may actually make it into production. Fingers crossed it does, and when that happens, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Credits: http://www.tomshardware.com, http://www.pcworld.com/
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1 comment:

  1. Razer will introduced it as the world's first gaming tablet that runs a windows OS.