Razer shows handheld concept gaming PC

Imagine our surprise when we walked into Razer’s CES booth last week and came across the Switchblade, a concept device designed to offer PC gaming in the palm of your hand. The product strays completely from Razer’s realm of gaming peripherals and accessories, and its premise is an interesting one. What if you could take your PC games in your pocket with you?

The Switchblade features an Intel Atom processor and discrete graphics (although Razer wasn’t willing to say exactly what GPU it was using). It also has a multi-touch display, a USB port for a mouse, an HDMI output, and a configurable OLED keyboard.

As you can see in the video below, the OLED keys change automatically depending on the game currently running:

Razer told us the device has built-in keyboard presets for certain titles, but users can customize them or even create their own presets.

So, when do these start selling? It’s not so simple. Razer explained that this is a concept product, not a prototype, and that public feedback will determine whether it’s shipped or not. The Switchblade “may or may not ever see the light of day,” said Razer president Robert Krakoff.

If you ask me, one aspect that might be tricky to get right with a device like this is battery life. I don’t see a lot of room to store a large battery, and components fast enough to run current PC games require a fair bit of power. Razer told us the devices on the show floor, which were functional hand-built prototypes, ran rather hot. This is still a work in progress, though, of course.

In other Razer-related news, the company revealed that its upcoming motion controller will ship in April. I think I heard Krakoff say a launch coordinated with that of valve’s Portal 2 was planned. That sounds about right, considering the videos of the game that were looping on the big screen in Razer’s booth.

Comments closed
    • Hallucinosis
    • 9 years ago

    Razer seems to be increasingly getting involved with vaporware products.

    I’ve been fairly disappointed with their ability to actually ship products around their release dates. I ordered two Razor BlackWidow (1 regular, one Ultimate) keyboards the day they were added to the site and listed as available (non-preorder) products. A few days later I got notifications that both products were backordered and the site changed the status to “preorder”. My Razer BlackWidow (regular) came about a month later. My Razer BlackWidow Ultimate came two and a half months later.

    The same problem repeated when I ordered the Razer n52te (I currently use the Belkin version, but was going to get a backup). The item was available, but then I got a notification that it would ship in February, so I cancelled the order.

    It seems like the company is taking orders to get a feel for demand, then sending out notifications that items are back ordered, and then going into production.

      • Farting Bob
      • 9 years ago

      May i suggest you dont order from the companies own site, but a reseller, and only when they say that they have them in stock at the time.

    • webs0r
    • 9 years ago

    How about, ditch the mobile thing entirely and just make an OLED keyboard with an open API for games to implement their own key icons.

    That would be 1337.

      • Farting Bob
      • 9 years ago

      Hey webs0r, ever consider getting an iPad? Sounds like you want one.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 9 years ago

    Look,
    I know this is a one of kind concept and not easily manufactured, but what we really wanna know is:

    Does it Blend ?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 9 years ago

      Forget that, we know it blends. What inquiring minds what to know is, “Does it fold?”

    • codedivine
    • 9 years ago

    Rather than Atom and discrete graphics, wouldn’t Zacate be a better choice?

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      here here.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 9 years ago

    But will it run Crysis?

    Any more details? Does it have a hard drive that you install Windows XP on and then install UT2K4/HL2? (I’m being generous given the Atom processor).

    Interesting concept, but I don’t think it’ll work. It’s not like you’re gonna flip this open and start fragging on the bus. And if you set this up at the library, you might as well just set up a laptop.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, a wow device is cool if you play wow, but I don’t see myself playing any conventional games on it, I’d be happy if it let me stumble around in team fortress 2, but honestly they should take this in another direction as I detailed. The tech could generate a very unique and powerful device for non-gaming users.

        • ReAp3r-G
        • 9 years ago

        The first thing that came to mind when I first saw this was, ok it plays WoW just fine but it’s being touted as a mobile gaming solution. I don’t think it has the horsepower needed to run games that I’d like to play anyway. It’d be impressive if they managed it but it’d be dreadfully impractical what with that small screen. You’d be squinting to see anybody in the game.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    I think it is a very unique little device. If it had webbrowsing I could be down for that. Wicked sick keyboard. I wonder if they would let you hold it like a book with your right thumb functioning like a mouse, that could be wicked. I think if they could make the device make a little more sense by showing how you’d replicate mouse input (like how I discussed) They could really offer something awesome. I’ve wanted to see a book device for a while. It would be awesome if the hinge let the device flip over completly to become a slate of sorts disabling the keyboard for certain apps. If they could make it like that it would be awesome.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 9 years ago

      Screw replicating windows pc gaming, make it android 3.0, with the book/slate functionality as I described that would be awesome.

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        why? what’s better about android? it has crap games. you want to trade the MS monopoly for a google one? some how the “openness” of android makes it better? it isn’t and it doesn’t. google will build a monopoly no different than the microsoft one, only better or worse, nobody knows. they have broken many a privacy law to get what they want.

        Devil you know, or the devil you don’t.

          • kamikaziechameleon
          • 9 years ago

          I simply love the approach google takes to buisness, they offer products and services without charging the product consumer but rather the person who wants to piggy back on the platform.

          Linux only needed a large company behind it to make it happen, Finally someone stepped up. I think you negate to see the nurturing developement platform that android is, and how until microsoft supports something of comparible quality their presence in mobile computing will be very limited.

          Without physical media it is very bothersome to acquire content for a mobile device unless their is a good agrigat for the games/music/movies/apps I think that android will quicker fill this space.

          Not that I hate microsoft, PC gamer here, just that I don’t see that device playing much besides D2 unless they really up the anti.

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 9 years ago

      It runs Windows.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 9 years ago

        hey i’m just dreaming.

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