While mobile devices have attracted a large part of the casual gaming market, PC games still offer a depth and adaptable user interface that is impossible to match on mobile phones, tablets, or even consoles. With that in mind, gaming-oriented peripherals manufacturer Razer has unveiled a concept device at CES 2011. Called the Razer Switchblade, it looks to bring PC desktop gaming to a portable form factor.
With the keyboard and mouse interface being one of the major strengths of PC gaming but a major problem when it comes to portability, Razer has given the Switchblade a dynamic tactile keyboard that adjusts its configuration based on current game being played. This is accomplished through the placement of transparent keys over an LCD panel, meaning the keys can display game-related icons as well as letters and numbers, and the layout can even change dynamically based on the situation in-game.
Meanwhile, to replace the mouse the 7-inch upper display boasts an ultra-sensitive multi-touch screen. Although, for those that prefer to use a mouse, the concept device also includes a USB 3.0 port. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, mini HDMI and mic ports to give you the option of playing on a larger display with better sound.
Designed from the ground up by Razor’s designers and engineers in collaboration with Intel, the device is based on the Intel Atom processor and is conceptualized to cater to all game genres and run Windows 7. It is also designed to include both Wi-Fi and 3G. It measures 172 x 115 x 25mm (6.77 x 4.52 x 0.98 inches).
Although it's still just a concept and Razor is better known as a gaming peripherals company, the company seems to have invested quite a bit of time and effort into developing the Switchblade, which could bode well for its eventual release.
Two years ago Razor says it made a secret acquisition of the engineering team of “a global award winning ultra mobile handheld brand” whose key lead engineers joined the company and have been working for the last two years on the project with the aim of bringing the design to life. We’ll be waiting and watching.