CES is the birthplace of many gadgets and gizmos; 2012 seems to be the year of the tablet, as we see a number of companies touting to finally have an iPad alternative, worthy of you hard earned cash. This year we had a surprise announcement from Razer; Project Fiona is a full blown PC gaming tablet that claims to be powerful enough to run “current generation PC games”. After weeks of viral marketing, and insignificant teasing, am I supposed to be compelled by this new product?
Well Razer, I’m not. You would have to be crazy to purchase an expensive, computer-based device from a peripheral company, particularly one with a reputation as questionable as Razer’s.
Questionable reputation? Let’s take a brief look at the history of Razer, and their convoluted product line-up before we delve into their latest releases. Razer was a small company that started out in 1998, before falling into dormancy until the mid 2000s. Known for their flashy PC peripherals, Razer announced a launch into the console market in 2009, releasing two controllers for the Xbox 360 and a headset.
The issue is that more often than not, Razer’s peripherals are nothing more than overpriced garbage. The Razer Onza Xbox 360 controller asks for a premium price, however, it delivers a cheap and unreliable experience for gamers. Many blogs, review outlets, and rumblings online have reported issues with analogue sticks, audio feedback and button faults – an issue we experienced after just 3 weeks with our review unit.
Razer mice are notorious for tracking issues. The Viper, Copperheard, Microsoft Habu and Krait have all been reported to lose their tracking easily when being moved at high speeds. When you’re paying top dollar for a product, you want unrivaled performance. Along with their questionable peripherals, Razer’s software that comes bundled with their products, is nothing more than bloatware.
Not to mention that there was a huge debacle with the Copperhead and its customisable weight system. Razer promoted the use of weights in the product, yet voided all warranty claims for those mice that used official Razer weights.
To think that what is supposed to be a high performance gaming company, is now taking a hand at developing PC-based hardware is hilarious. If they can’t make their “high-performance” gaming peripherals function correctly, how are we supposed to trust them with a tablet computer?
Despite my lack of confidence about Razer’s ability to deliver a high-end gaming tablet that I’d be happy forking over my cash for, is there even a market for such a device? While it would be nice to get a quick game of Super Meat Boy in on the train ride to work every morning, would a hardcore PC gamer be even interested in this device.
PC gamers usually aren’t fans of console gaming for a number of reasons – graphical power, customisation, controls etc. Playing your favourite PC game on a touchscreen tablet, and using controller like inputs doesn’t exactly sound appealing from a PC gamer perspective.
I’m not saying that Razer can’t make good products – the Black Widow keyboard is one of the better mechanical keyboards on the market at that price point, however, I would never trust a shoddy peripheral company with something as important as a tablet computer.