If you followed CES last year, then you probably heard a bit about Razer and their prototype gaming laptop, the Switch Blade. It was a laptop with a fully programmable keyboard made for portable gaming with complex games–including titles like MMORPGs–and it wowed pretty much everyone as people threw awards at it like apples throw themselves to the ground because of gravity. In other words, it was a hit.
The Switch Blade has undergone some significant changes as it prepares for a full retail launch in the next few months, but the prototype made good and will soon be on store shelves. If Razer has its way, the same will be true of the newly unveiled Project Fiona.
The Fiona is a prototype tablet made specifically for gaming. The hardware will allow it to play the vast majority of PC games on the market, but it is the distinctive controllers on the side that really give it its unique appeal and look.
Razer calls the device the “only tablet in the world designed specifically for PC gaming.” It runs Windows 7 (for now), and allows users to play the same games they play on most gaming laptops. Fiona utilizes the Intel Ivy Bridge chip architecture, giving it the processing power necessary to handle most games on the market. The tablet display will be a touchscreen, but the controllers on the side will not only allow you better PC gaming control, they also feature force feedback, just because they can. For good measure, it is also the first tablet in the world that is THX certified.
Fiona is not meant to replace a desktop, but it can be a solid stand in for a gaming laptop. In many ways, it shares a lot in common with the Sony Vita. Both devices can take your home games (on the PC and the PS3 respectively), and be transferred to a mobile device on the go.
Although the device is still just a concept, the technology is available today and it could be ready to ship as soon as the end of the year if the demand for it is there. If so, It will likely wait until Windows 8 is released, incorporate that OS into the device, then ideally ship for under $1,000. The name will probably receive an upgrade as well. Fiona is a lovely name and all, but it seems a bit out of place from a company named Razer that makes devices with names like “Blade.”
(Updated to correct a typo.)