Razer has unveiled portable gaming concept systems at the last couple of Consumer Electronics Shows. Two years ago, it was a netbook-like device called the Switchblade. Last year, it was a PC-based tablet with dual analog sticks dubbed Project Fiona. The Switchblade was never put into production (although parts of it did show up in Razer’s larger Blade notebook), but Project Fiona has been given the green light.
A couple of Facebook posts by Razer CEO and Creative Director Min-Liang Tan reveal that Project Fiona will come to market with a little help from the community. Razer will be sharing “high-level concepts” and soliciting suggestions on some design decisions. The firm appears open to input on features, specifications, and pricing. The underlying operating system has been decided, though. Neowin confirmed with Tan that Project Fiona will run Windows 8.
Project Fiona isn’t the only gaming tablet to tackle the problem of imprecise touchscreen controls, of course. The Wikipad combines a Tegra 3-based 10″ tablet with a docking station that features dual analog sticks, a D-pad, triggers, and a handful of buttons. That system runs Android and will cost $500 when it becomes available at the end of the month. There’s a lot to like about the Wikipad, including its microSD slot, 8.6-mm thickness (without the controller dock), and the fact that it’s running the latest Jelly Bean version of Google’s OS. The asking price is a little steep for a 16GB device with a 1280×800 display resolution, though.
Envisioned as a PC gaming tablet from the beginning, Project Fiona should be considerably more powerful than the Wikipad. The concept we saw was running a Core i7 CPU, and it seems likely Razer will offer at least enough horsepower to play blockbuster games with decent graphical settings. If Razer wants my opinion, it should offer a display resolution of at least 1080p, plus a docking system that supports both dual analog sticks and a Transformer-style keyboard—not necessarily at the same time. If Razer goes through the trouble of creating a PC gaming tablet, it would be nice if FPS, RTS, and MMO players had the option of using a keyboard and mouse instead of gamepad controls.