One of Razer’s least kept secrets, the Project previously known as Fiona has been exposed at this year’s CES. The gaming accessory heavyweight has announced plans to release a Wintel tablet device targeting PC gaming and entertainment, this year.
Project Fiona, which looks like a cross between a flight stick and a tablet thanks to the Playstation Move-esque controllers on each side, will carry the Wintel standard well into 2012. The 10.1-inch tablet device will run on Windows 8 with an Intel Core i7 processor. But further details are scarce. Apart from the 1280x800 resolution, Razer has abstained from specifying what type of storage media it will sport, or even add-in card compatibility.
It does feature 802.11 b/g/n connectivity and Bluetooth 3.0, however, nothing awe-inspiring, but a minimum requirement for today’s mobile devices.
Clutching your tablet by the rods and waving it in the air will allow you to control your game characters through the 3-axis gyro, magnetometer and accelerometer feature with force feedback.
Razer reps say this can be yours for the one time only price of $1,000, which sounds a bit over the top to us for a tablet.
In concept, it works fine, you have these neat grips on your tablet that allow you some control over things just by waving it around, two analogue joysticks to move stuff around, multitouch capability and packing the power of a Core i7 CPU. However, strip it down to the bare facts and you have a rather heavy-ish tablet that needs holding in hand all the time and will require some serious battery power to stay alive for more than a couple of hours. From what we see, this tablet isn’t tablet-thin, but rather laptop-thin.
Fiona also brings to mind the need to have the entire game developer community code in custom controller support to take full advantage of the dual analogue joysticks and two-trigger/eight button controls, although company reps say it will be supported out of the box as a standard game controller.
At CES 2011, the company had presented another concept device which never saw the light of day. It was called Project Switchblade and involved a clamshell dual-touchscreen design, akin to the Acer Iconia.
So, if you fancy the idea of walking around with hands clutching something that looks like a Philippe Starck cafeteria tray, you’re all set.
If, on the other hand, some degree of common sense kicks your gadget addiction in the shins then you might consider buying a slightly more affordable Android phone with gaming capability and upgrading - or even buying a new - desktop gaming rig.