The Gamepad

The gamepad controller is obviously the game-changer here, since it really does redefine portable gaming usage models. That sounds like marketing hyperbole at first, but it’s actually true – you can take the Edge around with the gamepad and play real PC games on it basically anywhere, as though it’s a huge PSP or some crazy Ben Heck experiment to weld the two halves of an Xbox controller to a tablet. It’s simply awesome, there’s absolutely no question in my mind about that.

The gamepad controller is like a case that the Edge docks into, with a springloaded clip with the dock connector and two pins on either side to hold it in place. The inner surface of the gamepad features two rubber pads with springs behind them to pop the tablet up out of the case when the clip is released. Inserting and removing the tablet from the gamepad is a two-hand job, as both sides of the bottom clip need to be released before the tablet pops up.

The frame is made of anodized aluminum, with the controls and backplate being matte black plastic that looks very similar to the aluminum in terms of aesthetic. Everything attaches to the aluminum skeleton though, so the entire piece feels very solid in your hands. It actually reminds me a bit of the controller cases for iPhone that turned it into something resembling a high-tech Gameboy. The frame has contours on the inner bottom edge, redirecting output from the downward-firing speakers out towards the user.

With the extended 41.44Wh battery, the full kit weighs about 3.25 pounds. Ergonomically, this is a two-handed device – there’s too much weight and holding just one handle won’t work due to the rotational moment of inertia. Basically, it just wants to rotate around the axis of the handle unless you’re holding both of them. The weight means that the easiest way to game is to place the back of the tablet on your lap and just crane over it to play. It just isn’t feasible to hold upright for any sustained period of time without resting it against something. The IPS panel helps with the viewing angles, so thankfully that isn’t an issue. The nice thing about the gamepad controller is that it does shield the worst of the heat – the top right corner of the gamepad does get pretty toasty when gaming or benchmarking for a length of time, but it’s not as bad as touching the tablet directly.

The controller has two analog sticks prominently featured at the top of each side, directional buttons on and a back button on the left side, the four action buttons (A, B, X, Y) and start button on the right side, two sets of right and left shoulder/bumper buttons, and two analog triggers. It has basically the same controller layout as the Xbox 360, with one key difference – the right analog stick is placed above the action buttons instead of below. This is a little annoying, because the natural instinct is to put your thumb on the analog instead of the action buttons where they would normally be. If you don’t adjust the position of your hand on the right side, this can result in discomfort during extended gaming sessions (yes, I know this from experience.)

The system recognizes the gamepad as an Xbox 360 controller, so there are no questions about compatibility or setup. It just works. You can even install JoyToKey to emulate a mouse using the analog sticks, though I wish Razer had included a first-party way to do this. When properly set up, it’s pretty interesting to use the gamepad for standard Windows input.

In general, the Edge’s gamepad controller shockingly simple to use and easy to get used to, the adjustment isn’t nearly as much as one would think considering that your Xbox controller has suddenly mutated and grown a 10.1” display. You start playing games everywhere – buses, cars, planes, coffee shops, subways, libraries, basically anywhere you can pull out a tablet. Early on in the review process, I was driving to dinner with a friend of mine who was playing Half-Life 2 on the Edge in the passenger seat. It was incredibly distracting, mostly because I really wanted to play too. (A small piece of advice: don’t drive and play Need For Speed during stoplights, regardless of how tempting it might be to do so.) But it’s awesome – places where it would be awkward or impossible to play PC games are no longer so, you can just take the Edge and play Skyrim or Dirt 3 as easily as one would play Angry Birds on an iPad. Bam, mobile PC gaming, redefined.

Design Dock and Keyboard
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  • Havor - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    "And YOU don't see the appeal, but for someone like myself that travels regularly"
    I am a piping supervisor, and i really do see the potential, only my opinion of this device is, nice product but to heavy and to expensive, so no cigar!

    I stopped being a early adopter years a go, and learn to wait, as i done +40 years before with out them, so i don't really need it today aider, even do i would like to have it.
  • perry1mm - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Most of what you replied with was not only badly typed, but poorly worded, and incomprehensible. Your replies don't even accurately respond to what I stated.

    "I am very well off, I am a supervisor in the offshore, and my wife is a deputy director of a local part of the national institute.

    Still i think $1000 is way to mouths for what you get in return, like i said, not saying that the price is to high for what it cost to make a device like this, saying if you wait 1~2 generations, you get way more for a lot less."

    Ok, you basicaly contradicted yourself here: Earlier you say $1000 is not good value, I said it is not much if you're in the market for a laptop/tablet, and then you say it's too much for what you get in return...well for some there is no other option and future generations of the product can only be hoped for and anticipated for possibly a year or two. I mean, you might as well tell someone that wants the PS4 to wait for the PS5 since it will be greatly improved. It's not very logical when the competition is similarly priced, it does what it is intended to do, and is not even that costly. $1000 for any type of laptop that can be used for gaming is about average.

    And you say you're a supervisor for whatever and make good money...well then you're just a cheapass and shouldn't even be commenting because it's simply you personally that has an issue with money, not that this is actually overpriced or bad value. It's actually VERY GOOD VALUE in an objective look at the current market of tablets/laptops/portable devices. There are very few comparisons for the performance and portability. You're basing value off of "It's a lot of money for what you get" yet you can't tell me something at comparative pricing that offers the same, so the value isn't bad as you seem to think. You're just willing to compromise for a lesser experience because it appears you're probably cheap.

    "This tablet falls in the category as the first LCD TVs, they ware around $5000 for a 40", and just like this tablet, the asking price was not to high for what it cost to make one, I am saying, you have to be a idiot to pay $1000~$1500 for something that will be outdated in 2 years by way better devices."

    ROFL, NO IT DOES NOT. $1000-1200 is about on par with any other decent specced laptop that can play games nowadays with a mobile GPU. That analogy to LCDs is way off because they were exclusive products at the time offering completely new experience in displays, versus this simply being a more compact device with specs that can be found in other products (laptops) that have a basis for pricing...and it isn't much better for what they offer.

    "Got a ASUS G75VX for work, and a Transformer for on the road, ware i depending on use use the dock with, nut yeah i cant play FPS games on the Transformer, still there are lots of other fun games other the Angry Birds that i can also play on it.

    The G75 is a real desktop replacement, i can use when i am @work, I am "on the go enough" about +50% of the year, but i cant really see any real benefits over a normal tablet."

    Again, you're compromising for the sake of your personal experience in regards to portability and in-convenience. When you try something like the Edge or Sony Vaio Duo you'd probably learn it's much more efficient, convenient, and having multiple devices in most circumstances just aren't as compact, portable, or high-spec.

    "The Surface Pro with it's i5 and 4GB RAM is sorely lacking in performance.
    I never said the Surface Pro was a good deal, I say your a idiot or have to mouth money if you if you buy this, as you can be a early adopter of tech that is not ready for prime time, if you buy it anyway i and many others will think something of you, if you tell the total price of what you got in your hands."

    I wasn't saying you did. I was simply posting my own comments about the Surface Pro to put in perspective another device in relation to the Edge. It's not being an early adopter just because it's a Win 8 device that is "new." There have been plenty of high-end Windows tablets in the past few years. The one's we're seeing now are just more refined, and I'd even go as far to say suitable for most people in use and pricing.

    "you must be the one smoking pot if you think this would be $500-600 with a controller grip

    Read correctly, i did not say the device was was overprices for the tech you get, i say the its just not worth it, as in 2 years from now you get the same for half the price and weight, whit 50% more powerk"

    THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID!!! WTF DO YOU THINK "JUST NOT WORTH IT" and "But unless they get the price down to around $500~600 with a included game controller grip, i dont see lots of people buying this overpriced tablet." YOU LITERALLY SAID EXACTLY WHAT YOU JUST REPLIED YOU WEREN'T SAYING. You can't even follow your own damn comments, you obviously have trouble comprehending mine.

    Not only that but 2 YEARS to get it for half the price. Seriously, GTFO! Nobody waits 2 years for something that they can use now on a daily basis in a convenient way. It would be completely stupid to wait two years, hell even a year for many people, if they are in the market for a product like this or similar.

    You really need to re-read your own comments before you reply, cuz you are way off in nearly everything you continue to say. Just stop while you're already way behind.
  • Havor - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Damn man get a life, you act like i just insulted your mother or so.

    And if you are even to stupid to read understandably whats the point of arguing.

    Basically the concept is nice, and the tech is cutting edge what you can make now, but he is still way to heavy, expensive and don't lest very long. (just like the Surface Pro)

    But if you wane buy one, go ahead, i wait 2 years or so, and get a faster one, for half the price and almost half the weight, till then i use what i got, as my Transformer dose everything this tablet dose except High End gaming.
  • perry1mm - Monday, April 1, 2013 - link

    ROFL, get a life. I work in the wireless industry and enjoy everything I do. That took me like 5 mins to reply to and since there is no "quotations" it doubled the length of the reply.

    Obviously you lack any real support for your criticisms and responses.

    I didn't get the Edge and I won't, I simply read the review and understand the product and it's purpose, use, and value for what it is capable of.

    Your Transformer tablet doesn't have an SSD, full desktop applications, games, processing capabilities, accessories, and as you use a laptop to compensate for that. Good job, my phone does everything your Transformer does, so that must mean it's as good as the Edge, right? Dips***.
  • Havor - Monday, April 1, 2013 - link

    Man if you don't get it, and only get a hard-on from the tech, thats to bad, but even for 99.999% of the readers this tablet will just not be a option.

    I use to own a Ferrari 328 GTS, as i was thinking it was cool, and yes it was, but it was a pain in the ass for daily use, and a normal luxury car is a much better option.

    Same go's for this tablet, i think my "Transformer Infinity" tablet is 600g, and i think its all ready pretty heavy for long use, the Edge is a other 50% heavier, what makes it really useless for any long use in on hand, and unless you lay it down or hold it with two hands, good luck holding it longer then 5min!

    "I didn't get the Edge and I won't, I simply read the review and understand the product and it's purpose, use, and value for what it is capable of."

    I get its purpose, don't get me wrong, and i am looking forward to it, but again.

    To heavy! (biggest problem)
    To expensive! (specially if with all the extra's you need, you will go over $1500)
    To short battery life!

    Al three on them self are more or less game stoppers for me, all three together is just just a total no go, till those problems are fixed, i am not gone get a Razor Edge like product.
  • perry1mm - Monday, April 1, 2013 - link

    I have no problems with the last half or that comment, but your pathetic attempts at insults or perspectives are pointless and unnecessary.

    Nothing I said implied I get a hard-on from tech. Literally nothing. I actually gave numerous reasons why there is nothing else on the market that can fit all-around usability of this device, and acknowledged the downsides if you can't manage a workaround or are in a situation where this isn't the product for you...that's fine, but don't say it's bad value because it isn't. You're comparing apples to oranges to clementines.

    The difference between your Ferrari example is that it offers NOTHING in usability for daily driving from a Toyota Corolla, so again you offer a terrible example and comparison from your supposed experience.

    Meanwhile this device I have repeatedly offered situations that someone would benefit from it, how it has abilities you simply can't get from other devices, along with various other examples of things that make it's value comparable to other so-called alternatives. I'd go into them again but it seems whenever I offer them you ignore them to spout garbage analogies rather than acknowledge what I f***ing say.
  • perry1mm - Monday, April 1, 2013 - link

    Oh and since you're going to come back and say, "I didn't say Toyota Corolla, I said a normal luxury car." I wasn't saying you did, I simply offered a random lower-cost vehicle in comparison. The difference is for someone that is in need of a laptop that plays particular PC games and wants to continue that on their travels (such as myself when I go away for work trips, travel to see family, or go on shorter vacations that I'd like to sit down and play a game for a couple hours a day...I can plug into an outlet and do so, while putting it in power saver for on-the-go browsing, and eventually someone could use an extended battery much like I do with my Sony Vaio Duo that adds little weight).

    You obviously are thinking on the basis of carrying it around and using it as a tablet on-the-go for hours at a time rather than from the perspective of a tablet for various needs with the whole package of versatility and options...instead you narrow your view and can't think of how someone would use it outside of yourself.
  • aNaNDaMiDe - Thursday, April 18, 2013 - link

    what's your problem with cannabis, friend? an MRI will show increased brain activity in the frontal cortex when high. Yes, cannabinoids affect short term memory (the most important function of cannabinoids in the brain is to forget, so you don't have to retain every mundane detail of every moment) but what does that have to do with a review? I almost agreed with your opinion, but I don't like you, you must be poking smot. oh yeah, that means what u think it means
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    "Pick up and play anywhere" - Wouldn't that be called a laptop?
  • Hrel - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    If your laptop weighed 3 lbs and had an integrated xbox360 controller.

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