Razr Switchblade concept aims to reinvent mobile PC gaming

Razr's Switchblade concept is a portable gaming system with a multi-touch display and an adaptive tactile keyboard that changes dynamically depending on what you're playing.

The gadget orgy that is CES always throws up some pretty weird tech concepts, and the 2011 show is no different. Razr has just come up with the concept for the Switchblade, a portable gaming system with a multi-touch display and an adaptive LCD-based keyboard that changes dynamically depending on what you're playing.

Razr developed the Switchblade idea because, in the words of chief executive Min-Liang Tan, PC gaming "has always been impossible in a portable form factor". Apart from, y'know, on laptops, netbooks, tablets and other devices that Razr seems never to have heard of.

The Switchblade is about the size of a netbook. It has a 7-inch multi-touch display and an unusual keyboard that's actually a set of transparent 'buttons' laid atop an LCD screen. The graphics shown on each key can change dynamically, depending on what's being shown on the screen. 

That would give the machine a number of advantages over the competition, according to Razr, particularly in games such as World of Warcraft, in which gamers could have all their skills and commands laid out for easy access. Where the Switchblade becomes "sheer genius", according to Min-Lian Tan, is in its ability to configure itself to suit the control system of any game.

It all sounds pretty clever and, at first glance, it would appear Razr has every box checked. The Switchblade looks good, is small enough to be seriously portable, and claims to contain next-generation Intel Atom gubbins that are quick enough to play demanding PC games at a decent lick. But there's one flaw: most PCs are designed to work with a mouse and the Switchblade doesn't even appear to have a trackpad.

Razr has yet to confirm a price or release date for the Switchblade concept, but watch this space for more info as we get it. In the meantime, check out the video below to see it in action for yourself.

 

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