Gaming Accessories Razer has finally taken the veil off its latest device, which takes its name from an ill-fated gaming handheld launched nearly a decade ago. The original Razer Edge may have been ahead of its time, but today would probably have a better chance in light of the Valve Steam Deck. Unfortunately, that’s not the direction the company has taken for this resurgence, and it has designed the new Razer Edge as a true mobile device. Rather than just adding to the slowly growing number of Android-powered gaming handhelds, the Razer Edge’s design tries to offer something more practical, which just happens to put it in direct competition with the Nintendo Switch.
While many in the new generation of portable gaming devices try to emulate the magic and success of the Nintendo Switch, almost all of them follow the design of the Switch Lite instead. That means the controllers of these devices are fused to the main body and cannot be removed, unlike the Switch’s Joy-cons. That simplifies the design a bit, but Razer isn’t happy with that trend. Fortunately, it has the experience and expertise to change the game a bit.
The Razer Edge is actually an Android tablet that ships with a new version of the company’s Kishi V2 controller, now with a “Pro” attached to it. It’s a pretty thick tablet by today’s standards, but that’s mainly due to things like built-in active cooling. Regardless of the form it’s taken, it’s still an Android tablet at heart, which could even be its biggest selling point when compared to rivals like the Logitech G Cloud.
The Razer Edge has access to a wide range of games and apps sourced from streaming services and Google Play Store. Xbox Game Pass, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Steam Link are all pre-installed and cover most of these services. The outgoing Google Stadia is, of course, tragically absent. More than just the games though, you can use the Edge as a regular tablet for both games and everything else, with or without controllers attached. The latter opens the doors to more use cases than entertainment, such as reading, browsing, checking email or social media.
Admittedly, the Razer Edge will still be a tough sell for those with already gaming-worthy smartphones, especially those compatible with Razer’s own Kishi V2 controller (or the upcoming Kishi V2 Pro when it becomes generally available). However, for those with less powerful phones, it’s a better proposition than something like the Logitech G Cloud precisely because it can be used as a regular but sturdy Android tablet. The flexibility of its features, in addition to accessing games from almost all major platforms, gives it a very sharp edge (pun intended) over the Nintendo Switch. The Wi-Fi model of the Razer Edge will launch in January for $399, while a Verizon-exclusive Razer Edge 5G will also arrive with undisclosed availability details.