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Razor Switchblade concept to take desktop PC gaming mobile

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January 7, 2011

The Razer Switchblade concept

The Razer Switchblade concept

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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.

The Razer Switchblade concept

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.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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4 Comments

While the \"adjustable\" keyboard concept is cool, I wonder how they will keep the price down (the only one of these I know of runs over $1kUS). Sadly, even if they get the price lowered and the concept ready to go, I think that this misses the boat on the good parts of tablet interface (good, easy to access touch screen, extreme portability and several unique control interfaces like GPS, direction, and accelerometer) the consul (consistent graphics processing, easy access to flexible but consistent controls that work well for most tasks, and easy set-up) and a full computer (nearly unlimited flexibility in interface or processing power, bounded mainly by imagination, budget, and program presets).

Now if this were just a mac/windows/linux compatible bluetooth keyboard, I would jump on the wait-list.

Charles Bosse
7th January, 2011 @ 11:44 am PST

I think it would be one of the coolest items to look forward to; IMO. I hope they make it quite affordable.

BigGoofyGuy
8th January, 2011 @ 06:34 am PST

acording to another article i've read about this device the ketbord is just an overlay ontop of a second touch screed rather then keys with mini lcd displays in them making the keybord less expensive then the current adaptive keybords on the market

broran
22nd January, 2011 @ 06:15 am PST

I too hope the price is kept down, but this unit will suffer most from lack of power, if power is what it truly lacks! I've been reading quite a bit about the advent of spintronics and how it will totally restructure electronics in a few years. A device like the Razer, in version 3.0 or 4.0 will likely see the inclusion of a SPIN-based CPU and RAM.

Spintronics will mean the end of memory leaks (even from sloppy programming), and the first-gen offerings should see CPUs from 1k to one million times the processing of today's hardware. Most exciting is that the CPU, the RAM, and the storage medium can, or likely will be, the same device! I read on one website that a single SPIN-based hard-drive platter will hold 1.32 petabytes (most hard-drives have ten platters).

I've also read about nano-ruby and nano-nickel crystals being used to store a terabit in one square centimeter (maybe inch), so RAM and data storage will soon jump to tens of gigabytes or terabytes, and if the RAM is SPIN-based, you can't lose data even in a sudden power outage.

And with companies working on wireless electricity, gadgets like the Razer will be powerful without ever being tethered to a wall socket! In fact, by 2020 I doubt there will be anything called a "desktop computer," and the distinction between fully-featured computers, mobile devices and gaming consoles will have become moot.

The future is bright; where are my shades!

Tom Hedlund
27th January, 2011 @ 11:06 am PST
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