Razer Switchblade: In The Future, Gaming Should Be All Screen

The Razer Switchblade is a hybrid between the Nintendo DS and the Optimus keyboard in that it adds a keyboard full of customizable screens for open-platform, hardcore PC gaming in a small tablet size.

What makes the Switchblade (which is presently a working concept) different from the rest of mobile gaming platforms is the keyboard. You can touch the screen like a DS or iPad to command your troops or cast your spell, but you can also eliminate all of that clutter from the standard HUD of a game like World of Warcraft by assigning the in-game icons to each individual key.

The 7-inch display looks good and coupled with the Intel Atom processor which runs both games at solid settings at a good clip—there is a good amount to like in a fairly slim package.

By default, the “keyboard of screens” displays a good-sized qwerty keyboard so you won’t be twiddling thumbs like on a blackberry to get your game on. However, on display were World of Warcraft Cataclysm and Warcraft 3, both shown using custom graphics and icons to replace the letters on the keys with representations of normally on-screen spells, attacks, and more. Want to stick your WASD controls on the right-hand side? You can. Any button you want can be in any location and game developers or players can make their own custom images to fill your once letter-filled typing device with a plethora of pretty pictures.

During my time with the Switchblade, I was impressed by how portable and easy to use the device was, but at its heart, this is an open PC platform custom-tailored for hardcore gamers and it sure feels like the future.

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