Razer Edge vs. Microsoft Surface vs. Nvidia Shield – a comparison.

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Razer Edge shown here with game pad.

I’ve noticed a pattern as of late. It seems basically all the designers of cool new gaming gadgets are trying to get PC gamers away from their desktop. Well, I found another one.

Razer Edge.
These guys made my six year old mouse (Razer Copperhead) and now are competing against the Nvidia Shield, kind of. Also, almost definitely the Surface Pro which is coming out during Q1.

The Edge, honestly, is mighty cool. At first, I looked at it with some skepticism, but I think I’ve gotten a grasp on just how nice it really is. According to the EventsNetwork coverage, the Edge “swept CNET’s 2013 “Best of CES” awards [...] the world’s most powerful gaming tablet [and] won all three categories for which it was nominated: Best Gaming, People’s Voice — as voted by the CNET audience — and the coveted Best of Show award.” Well, damn Razer, look at you and the things you did.

Lets look at this from a technical point of view. The Edge Pro (just for the purposes of comparing it to Surface Pro) runs true Windows 8, Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics, Intel core i7, 8GB DDR RAM (not sure the brand but I think Kingston), will either have 128GB or 256GB SSD, HDMI port for your TV, 10.1” display, 720p and comes with a keyboard and (optional, shown above) gaming pad case. Without the gaming pad, it’s $1,299; with $1,499. The tablet alone is $999. The Surface Pro runs Win8, 128GB HD, 10.6” display, Intel Core i5, Intel HD graphics 4000, 4GB RAM, microSDXC port which will add an extra 64GB of memory, AV or VGA port, keyboard and 1080p. Priced at $999. No gaming pad. Finally, the Nvidia Shield (which I will add just for the sake of it) has quad-core ARM A15 CPU, boasts the first Tegra 4 chipset, uses cloud to get games, runs Android, HDMI port, has GeForce GTX 650 graphics and has the controller built right in.

*deep breath*

Here’s the technical language in layman’s terms, comparing Surface and Edge.
Like any tablet, the Surface will be able to play games but it’s simply not as tailored for it like the Shield. It’s processor (i5) is only second best to the Edge (i7) and it has a slightly larger display (if something like that matters to you). Surface’s resolution (1080p vs. 720p) is higher, but there’s less RAM  (4GB vs. 8GB) which supports the ability to run multiple applications at the same time. They do seem to have the same amount of hard drive space, but an SSD (solid-state drive) is better than an HD because its reduces access time, latency and is less susceptible to shock.  Also, HDMI is better than AV/VGA because its digital rather than analog. The Edge graphics card is more suitable for games, while the Surface’s will play videos better. The 4000 is an integrated graphics card meaning its soldered into the mother board, while the 640M is a dedicated graphics card meaning its a standalone that handles graphics processing all by itself. Clearly, the Edge will be all about gaming. Check out my article, here, with more about the Nvidia Shield.

So, here’s where you decide which you’ll get more bang for your buck. Are you a gamer or do you like to watch cat videos?  If you’re like me and do both, go for the Edge. Do you want more storage from the Edge or the ability to add more storage on the Surface? Do you really, really want that gaming pad, or do you think you’ll be okay USB’ing your mouse up to the Surface? You still have the choice to use a keyboard and mouse with the Edge almost like a mini desktop but you can also put it on the TV and use Xbox-esque controllers to play with friends.  The game pad is a pretty cool concept but it adds $200 to all the awesome gears you’re already paying for. The Surface Pro is a solid $999. Now whether it’ll come with add-on options that will push up the price isn’t yet known. PC games are playable on the TV and you have Windows 8 with both. The only “edge” the Shield has is Android, which gives a gamer the access to games in the store, Wifi access around the house and games stored in the Cloud.

As a gamer (and if I had a decent refund check from my college), I’d get the Edge just because of how different it can be. It is one of those that are tempting PC gamers to get away from the desktop, but in the end, we’re all staring at screens.

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