Hands-on with Razer's gaming tablet, Fiona

We fell in love the instant we first laid eyes on Fiona, a gaming tablet made for something other than Angry Birds. Razer had a prototype on display at CES, but it was behind glass and inaccessible until we sweet-talked our way into a private meeting with the lead engineer of the device. Not only did we get a sneak peek demo of the device in action, but we even got to test drive it for awhile.

The specs, as reported earlier, are currently vague. It has an Intel i7 processor, a touch screen, and is running a standard version of Windows, but after that we don't have many specifics. What we did learn was that the battery life on the device is expected to be roughly two hours. Initially that sounds terrible, but when considering the power that's under the hood, it actually sounds pretty good.

One of the biggest selling points is the fact that developers don't need to code anything specific to work with Fiona; it's basically a standard PC in a non-standard package. The prototype looks large, but is actually very easy to hold and the controllers on either side are easy to use. It really seemed easier to hold for longer periods of time than a standard tablet becaue of the attached controllers. A docking port on the bottom can be used for various functions, such as a keyboard/mouse combo or a standard dock. In addition, a keyboard and mouse can be connected via Bluetooth.

Razer is currently looking for feedback from gamers to tell them what looks good in addition to what improvements should be made, so feel free to speak up in the comments section. If Fiona does turn into a real product, the company hopes to sell it for $999 or less. Catch the entire interview, including real game footage, below.

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24 Comments

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So when I get angry I can no longer throw my controller at the wall because it'll break the hole damn gaming system.

LOL @ "gaming tablet" because:

1. Bulky
2. Intel integrated graphics ... 'nuff said.
3. Battery life ... where?
4. $999 for a "gaming tablet" when you can get a new Xbox for half.

Nice try but no thanks! We're not there yet.

bjoswald said,
LOL @ "gaming tablet" because:

1. Bulky
2. Intel integrated graphics ... 'nuff said.
3. Battery life ... where?
4. $999 for a "gaming tablet" when you can get a new Xbox for half.

Nice try but no thanks! We're not there yet.


No integrated graphics, it's a nVidia graphics card.

as justin says.. I appreciate the idea of high performance tablet but this will definitely be:

1. Very expensive
2. Not very smooth for anything but gaming
3. Battery will be most definitely awful (main purpose of tablet's mobility)
4. It just looks ridiculous with those controllers sticking out

Boz said,
as justin says.. I appreciate the idea of high performance tablet but this will definitely be:

1. Very expensive
2. Not very smooth for anything but gaming
3. Battery will be most definitely awful (main purpose of tablet's mobility)
4. It just looks ridiculous with those controllers sticking out

1. They said they wanted it to be under $999
2. It's meant for gaming..... But since it's a tablet, it should be able to do more then that
3. Gaming tablet, battery life will most likely be long since most people play for at least 3 hours
4. Again, it's a gaming tablet. If you don't like it, get some other tablet.

[quote=Boz said,]
2. Not very smooth for anything but gaming/quote]

Not smooth for anything but gaming? If it's got an i7 processor and a graphics card decent enough to run some pretty decently intensive games, it's going to be pretty smooth for most computing tasks

[quote=~Johnny said,]

the CPU is not going to help it much because it's using Windows and trust me, I have used Lenovo's (flip netbooks that turn into tablets - their first run) and on a couple of devices. That OS was simply not designed for tablets. And when I say that I don't mean performance wise so much as interaction wise.

Even in his own video there it's pretty jerky going through screens and reacting to touch. This is not because of performance, but purely because Windows wasn't optimized for tablets.

Maybe this devices becomes really interesting with Windows 8.. but as it is now, it's a dud.

Tablet with a high spec for playing games.... it's going to be expensive, battery will be terrible, and it's going to be heavy to hold up for long periods of time... there is a reason why loads of money is invested into making controls stupidly light for console gaming! Nice idea, but I imagine it is going to be very expensive to buy (so buying the new one when it comes out will be a bigger question than considering a regular games console), you obviously won't be able to upgrade it (like you can with a PC).

The battery life is a massive deal breaker. There were only two things I wanted to know about this device that could be deal breakers for me - that's whether the controllers were detachable and how long the battery life is. Given that it's two hours.... yeah, no thanks. If I'm going to be tethered to a mains socket pretty much the whole time (using a proprietary connector cable to boot) I may as well get a gaming laptop with a touchscreen.

I'm sorry, but this "tablet" is completely atrocious looking and not practical at all for carrying around with you. I don't understand why so many media outlets are swooning over this thing. The hardware might be good, but its design is so terrible.

spacer said,
I'm sorry, but this "tablet" is completely atrocious looking and not practical at all for carrying around with you. I don't understand why so many media outlets are swooning over this thing. The hardware might be good, but its design is so terrible.

What do you expect? It's not meant to be a tablet, it's meant to be a controller with a touchscreen computer.

very cool Owen
good interview.

Fantastic machine.
I cant play with a controller.. FPS and all. But im sure console players are gonna buy this thing in a flash! i can imagine it being perfect for them on the go. Imagine online COD on the go... wow
bunch of friends sitting on a round sofa all playing online.. now that aint kool then i dont know what is.

Zain Adeel said,
very cool Owen
good interview.

Fantastic machine.
I cant play with a controller.. FPS and all. But im sure console players are gonna buy this thing in a flash! i can imagine it being perfect for them on the go. Imagine online COD on the go... wow
bunch of friends sitting on a round sofa all playing online.. now that aint kool then i dont know what is.

And that is the flaw with this, it is designed for PC gamers, not Console gamers
But I completely agree with you, I hate being limited to a controller

Zain Adeel said,
very cool Owen
good interview.

Fantastic machine.
I cant play with a controller.. FPS and all. But im sure console players are gonna buy this thing in a flash! i can imagine it being perfect for them on the go. Imagine online COD on the go... wow
bunch of friends sitting on a round sofa all playing online.. now that aint kool then i dont know what is.

This could very well rival a CoD experience on the PS Vita.

shadodemon said,
Wow that is cool I wonder what video card does this come with.

They wouldn't tell us, and they said it's subject to change anyway...