CES 2011: Razer

If you’re a PC gamer, you know who Razer is and what they do. Razer has made superb gaming mice and keyboards since 1998, now they’re ready to show the rest of the world what they can do. For 2011, Razer is showing off the Switchblade and Onza.

The Switchblade is perhaps one of the most intriguing devices I’ve seen in a long time. At first sight, you might think it’s a laptop or netbook. Boy, you couldn’t be more incorrect! Since Razer is a gaming company, the Switchblade was created to deliver quality gaming experiences on the go. This isn’t a new platform, it is a PC at heart, however the design of the system is what makes it unique. The Switchblade has two screens, one in the ‘normal screen position’, and one under the keyboard. Both screens are touch sensitive. Now, you might be a little confused… a screen under the keyboard, touch sensitive, what? Basically, the keys are transparent, the LCD screen under the keys can morph into anything you want, or better yet, morph into the primary keys needed for a specific game. In other words, Razer is making outstanding use of the limited space on a mobile device. Keys can be letters, pictures, arrows, or whatever you want. So if you’re playing Call Of Duty: Black Ops on the Switchblade, you can have the WASD keys turn into up, left, down, and right arrows respectively. Also, your number keys are replaced by pictures of the actual weapon, so there’s no longer a need to remember which key represents a particular weapon. Finally, the Switchblade will be able to automatically know which game you’re playing, and instantly morph the keyboard for that particular game.

The Switchblade is still a concept, so there’s no official release date or pricing. Not to mention, the design might change. The only tech spec that’s solid is the Switchblade will be running on the Intel Atom platform.

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Razer isn’t only entering the mobile device market, they’re also attacking the console market. Onza is a controller for Xbox 360 and it comes in two editions, standard and tournament. The controller looks similar to the stock 360 controller, but it comes with the Razer logo and some other cool features.

Standard & Tournament Edition Similarities

  • Wired controller
    • 15 ft. cable
    • Enhanced D-pad (360 users will be thankful)
    • Hyperesponse buttons
      • The face buttons (A,B,X,Y), are more flat on the Onza than the stock 360 controller and also have a shorter travel distance.
      • Two additional programmable buttons
        • Between each shoulder button and trigger sits an extra programmable button. This might sound like a nuisance, but I didn’t even realize it was there till I looked down. Each button can be mapped to any key on the controller and completely on the fly.

Tournament Edition Only Features

  • Adjustable resistance on each analog stick
    • There’s a small wheel underneath each analog stick that allows you to tighter or loosen the stick. You can essentially have a new controller for every game you play. The sticks can get very tight allowing for more precise movement with an analog stick than ever before. This is by far the best feature of the controller.
    • Backlit buttons
      • Each face button (A,B,X,Y), and even the D-pad will light up. Most gamers won’t need the backlit keys, but it is a cool feature to have.

The standard and tournament editions will be available on January 17th, 2011 and will retail for $39.99 and $49.99 respectively.

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