“Pee As You Go?” – Urine Can Charge Cellphones, In fact

What’s your favorite feature of the technological advancement? In my opinion, I like the design job – Its cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

Scientists working at the University West of England (UWE) in Bristol, United kingdom, have found out a way to power a cell phone with Human pee.

The company have been in a position to power a Samsung phone by placing the liquid through a cascade of microbial fuel cells. With this method, enough energy may be generated to send text messages, browse the World-wide-web and also make a short telephone call.

According to the scientists responsible, the next stage is to totally recharge the device with pee…Presumably cleaning their hands immediately afterwards.

Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos has labored for a very long time with microbial fuel cells; he’s believed to be a specialist in harnessing power from unusual options. The possibe purposes of his work are very appealing from an environmental standpoint.

Dr. Ieropoulos said, “We’re very excited as this is a world first, no-one has harnessed energy from urine to do this so it is an exciting finding. Using the final waste product as the source of energy to provide electricity is nearly as eco as it gets.” Eco-friendly tech is, obviously, the great doctor’s main area of curiosity.

The microbial cells work as a energy converter, they turn the natural substance directly into electricity, via the metabolism of live bacteria. The electrical power is the by-product of the microorganism’s natural life cycle, meaning that as they ‘eat’ the pee, they generate power the energy that powers the phone. Now that is what we call ‘pee as you go’.

Bathroom humour aside, the team have engineered a world first, as nothing as large as a mobile battery has ever been charged using this process before.

You’ll notice, at present, no plans to promote this technology on a sizable scale, but perhaps someday we can be signing a ‘P’ mobile contract, the trick, as they say, might be pissistance.

PS – I’m sorry about this one. The task and its implications are instead astounding. All credit to the UWE team. Though, I always needed to do one to those ‘And Finally’ type tales and now I conclusively get to. Please forgive me, one and all.



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Seemingly war necessarily involves at least two people who may or may not be playing out the same role.
At least one of the people waging war has to be an aggressor intending to defeat his/her ‘enemy’. The other actor will play the role of defender and in so doing will either be passive (surrendering) or active (counter attacking). Irrespective of roles chosen to be played (aggressor or defender) both sides are likely to feel justified.

Once begun, a war – whether between two people or millions of people – has a life of its own and is very hard to contain until both sides have had enough pain and suffering. Further, the bitterness that ensues stirs understandable passions for revenge and justice leading to a predictable re-enactment of archetypal Romeo and Juliet scenarios punctuating the entire sweep of history.

The question is raised: is the noble idea of sustained world peace no more realistic than a child’s life long fantasy of a perfect family experience or the newly wed’s fantasy of a perfect love, or a heroin addicts’ fantasy of a life of no conflict – perfesion – perfect ease?

A non cynical realist might be excused from shouting are you crazy answering this question by evidencing headlines drawn from The New York Times on an almost daily basis over decades – no centuries – of recorded history.

Then what are genuinely peace loving people to do?
Clearly God – if there is such a transcendent all powerful entity – is either incapable of or simply doesn’t particularly care about, or is playing some sort of mysterious chess game – or some other position too inscrutable for me to comprehend- in the failure to either prevent or put an end to seemingly endless cycles of all out destruction.

So if world peace is to happen the answer to de-fanging it must be in the hands of human beings.
The world was shocked enough by WWII that it created the United Nations which seems to have come as close to any other institution in being able to incrementally and effectively intervene on some occasions to reduce the tensions leading to war. But even the UN is periodically impotent in rising to this occasion.

Note the horrors of total chaos in such places as Syria.
So what can we do?
Psychoanalysis demonstrates quite convincingly that there is an definitive solution to the seemingly impossible quest for sustained world peace. A person becomes a patient when they confront the fact that they are at war with themselves. In fact many incoming patients indicate they are overwhelmed experiencing themselves fighting both a revolution (anti parents, ideas, culture) and a civil war between competing selves (good versus bad; libertine versus people pleasing).

Psychoanalysts and patients who are successful in their quest for peace of mind) know that the answer lies in their continuing struggling with struggle to understand what makes them tick. The path to peace of mind begins with the realization that they have the Pogo Problem: ” I have met the enemy : it is me.”
In this view for world peace to be attained and sustained each person must face the fact that life is hard for everyone. That is difficult to come to terms with the reality that there is perpetual internal and external conflict in the form of ambivalence (love/hate) feelings at the core of each of us.

That Freud is right when he said (paraphrase: at core everyone one is a larval psychotic.) Pushed to the edge everyone is capable of doing the most monstrous acts imaginable both towards themselves and others.
Assuming I am accurate then what are the implications for a road map to attaining and sustaining world peace?
(1) Each person has to assume the adult responsibility of following Socrates’ prescription for attaining the good life: KNOW THYSELF.

(2) To know oneself requires a descent into inner space whereupon an individual identifies and expects the inevitable splits and divisions in his/her psyche – He becomes aware and accepts the fact of his unresolved problem coming to terms with his ambivalent feelings.
(3) Often in this undertaking there is the frightening knowledge that there is an insubstantial sense of self experienced as something at core missing, confused, empty, purposeless. A lack of an integrated self is a diagnosis that is reaching epidemic proportions and often is attributed to many who appear to be the movers and shakers in the world.

Apt examples of what I am referring to are lead characters in the TV drama House of Cards, or the movies: American Hustler, or The Wolf of Wall Street. These protagonists are all suffering from a lack of psychological infrastructure – in cohesive selves – experienced (when their guards are down) as holes in their souls.

(4) To reconcile these splits there must be an assumption of personal responsibility meaning that the buck has to stop here – that the final authority in a given person’s life is him or herself. That even if God is believed to be one’s final authority the truth of the matter is that a person cannot get away from the fact that it is he’or she who is attributing this self authority to some fantasized transcendent authority.

(5) If each person would assume the responsibility for reconciling the inevitable contradictions (splits) in themselves there would be no time and energy to force others to bend to their wills. World wide Peace would break out in 5 minutes if such a prescription were to actually be adopted.

(6) I am not naive to believe this will automatically happen but something like it has to be a part of mass consciousness for us to imagine that such a lofty goal would have even the slightest possibility to be attained and sustained.

Riveting, Nimble & Elegant Thriller ‘Grand Piano’ Starring Elijah Wood & John Cusack

Riveting, Nimble & Elegant Thriller ‘Grand Piano’ Starring Elijah Wood & John Cusack
When we found this post we were so pleased, having looked for over a year for this, discovering it on this blog was an exciting day for me.

A welcome reminder that high-concept thrillers neednt rely on stupid coincidences and even stupider characters in order to succeed, Grand Piano turns the unlikeliest of scenarios into a riveting battle of wills. The story of a concert pianist whose comeback performance gets hijacked by a sniper with a secret agenda, director Eugenio Miras latest film breathlessly combines artistic anxiety and personal desperation, providing its character with a journey as intense emotionally as it is physically. In fact, probably the best Brian De Palma movie he never made, Grand Piano expands the boundaries of single-location, real-time mysteries like Phone Booth and Panic Room with a brilliantly simple concept and nimble, elegant style.

Elijah Wood plays Tom Selznick, a master-class pianist set to play in public for the first time in five years. Having famously choked during a performance of a piece by his late mentor, he is understandably nervous about his return to the stage. But shortly after he begins playing, he discovers that someone has marked up his sheet music with threats to murder him and his wife Emma (Kerry Bish) unless he performs flawlessly. Receiving an earpiece that allows his would-be puppetmaster (John Cusack) to communicate with him, he’s confronted with a challenge that has multiple repercussionsnamely, in delivering a performance that not only saves his career, but his very life.

As loath as I am to describe the music in the film as another character, the concerto written by Victor Reyes is absolutely essential, providing a (no pun intended) meticulously orchestrated through line that frames and enhances each new development in the story even as it serves as a ubiquitous reminder of Selznicks past failures. That it occasionally allows him to depart the stage mid-performance constitutes great planning on Miras part, but the fact that it provides a parallel line for Selznicks emotional state as he embarks on this unexpected rollercoaster is truly masterful. There are few modern examples of music being truly integrated into storytelling, certainly as well as this film does, and even without an appreciation for classical composition, theres much to admire about its use and effectiveness.

As the man behind the keys, Wood carries the film, finding a believable and compelling arc for a character whose default setting might in lesser hands be desperation. Selznicks paralyzing fears of choking a second time are echoed repeatedly in dialogue in opening scenes, first during a particularly contentious phone interview commemorating the performance, then from virtually everyone he encountershes not allowed to forget how grandly he flopped five years prior, even if he could manage to forgive himself. But through Wood, the character convincingly evolves over the course of the film, initially aiming for perfection out of fear, and then slowly building his confidence as he begins to devise a way to turn the tables on his unseen adversary.

Wood is an ideal casting choice for a role like thishandsome and obviously gifted, but overshadowed physically by the actress who plays his more-successful movie star wifeand he turns an otherwise self-contained journey into an opportunity for personal empowerment and professional redemption. Meanwhile, Cusack has less to do physically as the voice on the other end of Selznicks earpiece, but he nevertheless communicates a palpable sense of danger that his victim is right to take seriously. Together, they create a psychological duel worthy of the films theatrical pitch, cementing its intensity as the final, crucial notes of Selznicks performance rapidly approach.

Serving as more than a welcome contrast to the handheld, improvisational camerawork of too many other movies these days, Miras direction is a marvel of fluidity and poetry. The careful composition of each shot enhances the films melodramatic sweep without distracting from the story and performances; whether simply taking inspiration or outright stealing pages from (classic) De Palmas playbook, Mira distinguishes his film with a classical, muscular visual style that suits its high-society backdrop, and mirrors Selznicks mental scramble to focus on his performance and his potential murder at the same time.

Although hes occasionally distracted by expository or plot-lengthening devices such as the snipers accomplice and Selznick’s wifes obnoxiously self-involved friend, Mira makes a breakthrough here as a storyteller and visual stylist that should pay great dividends, regardless of whether or not he chooses to migrate from Spain to Hollywood. But regardless of his own future, Mira makes Selznicks comeback a remarkably immediate experience by dropping the audience into the middle of his implausible, heightened concept and then enabling them to identify with the characters anguish. Ultimately an expertly timed, painstakingly assembled and endlessly engaging game of cat and mouse, Grand Piano succeeds as a whole for the same reasons that Selznick doesnamely, because Mira brings all of its elements to work together in concert, and then executes them like a virtuoso.

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Oculus Rift: 2013’s best, most innovative hardware

With a great deal of information around the web about headset’s its hard to discover the best and largely honest articles. heres a piece from a reputable website that i believe to be veritable, don’t quote me on it but please read and enjoy

headphonesProgress and innovation. These are things we constantly aspire to in the technological sphere, and without a doubt there have been a number of innovations in 2013. Which of these have been the most momentous and profound however? You might think my first choice would be Playstation 4 or Xbox One, however one device stands out for me above all the others, partly because its a huge leap forward in what up until now has been a minefield of failed devices, and partly just because its really cool.

Yes, the Oculus Rift is the latest and greatest in virtual reality (or VR) technology.

It has already won awards including the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award as well as a Golden Joystick Award for Innovation of the Year, proving that Im not the only person who thinks that it should be at the top of the innovation list.

Oculus VR, a company founded by Palmer Lucky and id Software co-founder John Carmack, initially funded the Rift through an amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign. Their initial asking amount was US$250 000, which was funded in four hours. They went on to raise over US$2.4-million through Kickstarter alone and an additional US$13.6-million through other avenues resulting in a total of US$16 million. Money!

Whats it all about?

What is the Oculus Rift? It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, and I suppose it might well be exactly that. Its a Head-Mounted Display (HMD), which allows gamers to see in stereoscopic 3D, and provides an immersive gaming experience as players can turn their heads within the game and play in a fully 3D environment.

The initial prototype was made using a 5.6? screen, but for a variety of reasons, Oculus VR changed their design to a 7? screen, which means the headset is somewhat bulkier than originally intended. On the plus side however the specs of the new panel means that there is less lag and motion blur when the player turns their head quickly as the pixel switching time is faster. The stereoscopic 3D is no longer 100% overlapping either, which means that the left and right eyes see a little extra either side and it mimics normal human vision in a much more realistic manner.

The field of view is 90 degrees, more than double that of many similar devices and its this that really sets the Oculus Rift apart from so many other VR HMDs. It is intended to entirely fill the wearers field of view and the real world is blocked out to such an extent that the immersive experience is heightened exponentially.

In the developer version, which is the only one currently available, the resolution is 1280800. In the consumer version which is still in development, the expected resolution is 19201080. The image for each eye is shown as a pincushioned image, a distortion that is then corrected by lenses within the headset, generating a spherically mapped image for each eye.

Hilarity intensifies

John Carmack, one of the legendary creators of equally legendary shooter Doom, requested a special firmware for the head tracker that makes it run at 250Hz as opposed to the usual 125Hz, as the tracker latency is vital for the realism in response time. The latest version uses a combination of 3-axis gyros, accelerometers and magnetometers making it capable of head orientation tracking without any resulting drift. This means you can look around naturally, much as you would in real life, and every movement of your head is tracked in real-time. This creates a subtle, intuitive and most importantly, completely natural experience. Its also designed to be comfortable to wear, and so is relatively lightweight, weighing only 369g, and Oculus VR compares it to the weight of a heavy pair of ski goggles.

It sounds very impressive, but its important to remember that games will need to be specially designed to work correctly with the Rift, and Oculus VR has produced a software development kit to assist developers in integrating the Oculus Rift into their games successfully.

Team Fortress 2 was the first game to add support for the developer version and a number of other well-known titles have since followed suit.

More importantly however are games such as The Gallery: Six Elements, which was the first game that was designed specifically with the Oculus Rift in mind as opposed to merely adding Rift support to an existing game.

Impressively the Oculus Rift also runs on Mac, Linux and Windows, so theyre not cutting out any operating systems. You can order a development kit for US$300 although costs for the consumer version are not yet known, but Oculus VR have insisted that Our goal is to deliver the highest quality virtual reality experience at a price that all gamers (and their parents) can afford.

oculus rift

Its important to note that I think part of what makes this piece of technology so exciting and accessible is the fact that Oculus VR has kept its Kickstarter backers informed every step of the way. Long after reaching their target it still posted links, tests and demos it was conducting, awards and press it had received, and updates with regards to how the development of the technology was progressing. Why? Well everyone who funded this campaign, and even those who didnt, have a vested interest in how this turns out, and their excitement and the hard work theyve put in to get here is infectious and well documented you cant help but get excited along with them.

For me the Oculus Rift is without a doubt the most exciting and innovative piece of hardware that has made its way onto the market in 2013, and its progressed even since I saw it at E3, so in 6 short months, theyve taken some major strides forward. Although only the development kit is currently available, a consumer version is due to hit the market sometime soon and I foresee a very bright future for this, the next step in immersive Virtual Reality technology.

Icom Earpieces – Show Them Some I.D or You’ll Have to Leave

Whilst many of our readers might be interested by some of my own writing, here is one i discovered while surfing around edu blogs it is much better written than I might ever hope to achieve. Maybe at some point I’ll get to this rank, you never know.

Flash back with me to a time in my life when I still hadn’t gotten my act together…

At age 20, I was shaggy haired, absent minded and into rock n roll in a big way (waitaminute – I’m still shaggy haired, absent minded and into rock n roll in a big way…). I was dating a pole dancer, singing in a grotty band and telling anyone who would listen that I wanted to get out of this crappy little town and really make something of my life. I guess, in some respects I was a bit like George Bailey of Bedford Falls, (if George Bailey was kind of a dick and made a point of saying the ‘F’ word in every second sentence…)

To make ends meet, while I waited in frustration for George Carlin to turn up in his time travelling phone box and help me usher in an era of world peace, I worked at a couple of jobs. Specifically, one evening a week, I was employed as a Youth Worker.

To my surprise, I found the job to be really fun, as well as very rewarding. Since I was an expert in all things media (with a Uni Certificate to prove it), I began a project that would teach the kids all about film making, music and the media in general.

One of my best students was a somewhat troubled boy with a hard stare and a ‘brick sh!thouse’ build. When I wasn’t pulling him off various youths who may or may not have mouthed off his sister, we got along pretty well. After I left the job a couple of years later, we actually became firm friends. He has also become particularly close to my brother (who was also a Youth Worker for a while) and my parents.

Without a trace of sarcasm, watching this tough, conflicted boy grow up to become a decent, hard working man has been both an honour and a privilege. However, he floundered for a long time as he searched for work. It just seemed that there wasn’t anything he was able to apply himself to.

Then, all of a sudden, he found his vocation. My friend is now a fully certified bouncer, working the door at a number of pubs, clubs, venues and bars.

In order to communicate easily without causing too much of a fuss, bouncers like my friend frequently use Icom Earpieces. These earpieces come in several forms, with 3 pin, multi pin, straight pin and high angled forms all catered for. You can also find an Icom earpiece for almost any type of radio imaginable.

There’s no fuss, as the earpieces can be operated simply and discreetly and, being reinforced with Kevlar, they are every bit as hard wearing as the two-way radios they work with.

Icom have been trading in quality radio equipment since 1954, so they know what they are doing and how to make customers happy whilst doing it. Icom Earpieces are solid, reliable and high spec, so it’s no wonder that so many in the security industry choose to wear them.

As for my friend, it looks like he has got himself on track; he’s found a job that he is good for as well as one that is good for him. I may have made my share of mistakes back then, but I was certainly right about one or two things.

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Versatility of Bluetooth Headsets

I began writing posts in July 2008 based around the advice of an fellow author. The advice was this: Article writing is an efficient approach to deliver messages to readers, while at the same time establishing and building upon your brand. Years later, I have found this recommendation both truthful and sensible.

Bluetooth headsets, which were once regarded as high-end accessories, are fast becoming a compulsory accessory for cell phone users. These handsets enable uninterrupted hands-free calling; provided the cell phone is within a certain range and the headset is sufficiently charged. Typically, bluetooth headsets offer 2-10 hours talk-time or 25-250 hours standby.
Benefits of Using Bluetooth Headsets

A Bluetooth headset, due to its wireless nature, enables to multitask and thereby get more things done faster. Other reasons for considering a bluetooth headset purchase are:

* Facilitates easier communication while driving. Talking on the cell phones while driving is deemed illegal in most nations across the world. Regardless of this legal status, using a bluetooth while driving is a safe option. It prevents drivers from being distracted while driving and communicating. It helps them to avoid fatal accidents.
* Enables multiple usage. Bluetooth headsets can be used for several purposes besides cell phone calling, such as VOIP service and land hones. It can be connected with other devices, such as a computer for voice recording or teleconferencing. The greatest benefit of these headsets is that they effortlessly transfer from one device to another without any additional drivers, software or plug-ins.
* Comes with multiple cell phone compatibility. Bluetooth headsets can be used with most bluetooth-equipped cell phones. Therefore, you need not worry about matching your headsets to your phones, or purchasing a new headset if you replace or lose your old cell phone.

Purchasing Bluetooth Headsets: Important Considerations

While purchasing a bluetooth headset, it is important to remember that not all models are alike, some offer greater comfort, while others are more convenient or lightweight. Select from the following basic styles:

* Fits into the ear with an ear bud. These help to block ambient sound, but maybe uncomfortable if worn for several hours.
* Placed with a loop around the ear: These provide greater comfort, but offer lesser security, increasing the chances of the headset coming loose.

You can also opt for a headphone-like headset. These offer the wireless benefits of Bluetooth with the comfort of regular headphones. These may, however, may not be an excellent option if you are a frequent commuter, as they are bulkier to carry around.

Whether you are looking for an elegant design or a sporty look for your bluetooth headset, you can find it all at website The site offers headsets of multiple brands designed for multiple purposes, from noise cancellation bluetooth devices to music stereo headsets.

headphonesCant get over how inexpensive the headphone is, an incredible deal for any top-end product!

PC gaming is poised to break free from the desktopit just needs a device that delivers fast frame rates and lush graphics in an affordable, portable package. Enter the Razer Edge Pro, a Windows 8 tablet built expressly for playing PC games on the go. The hardware even comes with an optional controller accessory that turns the tablet into a handheld game console.

But Razer’s pitch goes way beyond gaming. The company is marketing the Edge Pro as a multi-purpose machine that can replace your laptop, desktop, tablet, and, yes, even your Xbox, PS3 and Wii. After using the premier version of Razer’s new tablet as my primary device for a week, I think it comes close to delivering on its multi-disciplinary promiseif you’re willing to make some compromises.

In terms of raw processing performance, sure, the tablet can do everything.
First, the good news: It works. Thanks to a Core i7 processor and discrete Nvidia graphics, the tablet is powerful enough to run Far Cry 3 and Dishonored at decent frame rates. And thanks to Windows 8 Pro, it can run legacy desktop applications, including essential gaming utilities like Steam, uPlay and the launchers for World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2. The Edge Pro also easily chews through productivity applications, handling the processor-intensive Photoshop with aplomb.

The bad news: Whether youre playing games, watching movies, editing images, or writing tablet reviews, the Edge Pro requires significant compromises. In terms of raw processing performance, sure, the tablet can do everything. But in terms of ergonomics, convenience, display quality and price, the tablet falls short of more specialized, cheaper devices. We reviewed the highest spec’ed version of the Edge Pro, and at $1450, it proved to be a luxury product for hardcore PC gamers only.

But at least it’s a luxury product that solves a nagging PC gaming problem: Finding killer performance in a reasonably portable package.

Durable chassis with a disappointing display

Compared to the Surface Pro, Razers matte black Edge Pro feels chubby. It weighs roughly 2.25 pounds and measures just over 20 mm thick, whereas Microsoft’s high-end tablet is just 2 pounds and 13.5 mm thick. Razers tablet is durable: it doesnt have the advantage of Gorilla Glass or a fancy VaporMg chassis, but it survived a week gallivanting around San Francisco in my crowded messenger bag without so much as a scratch. Its composite aluminum body feels cheap to the touch, yet holds up under significant wear and tear.

Even when using the Edge Pro as a regular Windows 8 tablet, sans accessories, the weight of the hardware is noticeable.
While certainly functional, the Edge Pro’s 10.6-inch, 1366-by-768 pixel screen is a letdown when watching movies, playing games or doing pretty much anything thats predicated on visual fidelityin short, everything that the Edge Pro is designed to excel at. Its a serviceable platform for playing Skyrim, but I cant help but envy the iPad’s Retina display or even the bright, 1920-by-1080 screen on the Surface Pro. The Edge Pro looks shabby by comparison, and its just not bright enough to use in direct sunlight. This is hardly a deal-breaker, but it does mean youll need to draw the shades during daylight gaming sessions.

Razer earns respect for cramming so much processing performance into a tablet chassis. But with PC power comes PC problems.
The 10-point capacitive touchscreen is big enough for playing games, as long as you run them full screen. I had no issues browsing the web or using Windows 8 apps, but I felt cramped while trying to manage multiple desktop applications on the Edge Pros limited real estate. Its a problem thats easily solved by hooking up the tablet to an external display, but youll have a difficult time doing so without purchasing the dock accessory, as the Edge Pro tablet itself sports just a single USB 3.0 port.

Bottom line: To use the Edge Pro as a full-fledged desktop PC replacement, an HDTV gaming console or a mobile gaming machine, you must invest in Razers portfolio of pricey peripherals.

If you choose to shell out $99 for the Edge docking stationwhich packs three extra USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI out port, a mic jack, a stereo port, and a jack for the power adapteryou wont have any trouble outputting to a full 1080p display. I connected the tablet to both a 24-inch Gateway monitor and a 40-inch Mitsubishi HDTV via HDMI, and it effortlessly drove each display at 1920-by-1080. To this extent, the Edge Pro actually doubles as a decent desktop gaming PCif youre willing to pay for the docking station and deck it out with a keyboard, mouse, monitor and headset.

Razer earns respect for cramming so much processing performance into a tablet chassis. But with PC power comes PC problems. Play a processor-intensive game like Dishonored for more than a minute, and youll feel the heatliterally.

Despite the integration of heat-dissipating grilles along the top-rear edge of the tablet chassis, the tablet consistently became almost too hot to handle during gaming sessions. I passed it around to a few friends and nobody found it painfully hot, but we all agreed that the Edge Pro is uncomfortably warm to the touch while running PC games. Its not a deal-breaker, but Razer might consider adding lap warmer to the Edge Pros already lengthy list of functions.

As far as fan noise, the Edge Pro emits a noticeable hum during processor-intensive use. I found it inoffensive and easy to ignore, but your tolerance may vary.

Best-in-class performance

The Edge Pros go-for-broke hardware helped the tablet earn top marks in PCWorld’s suite of performance benchmarks. Razer sent us the premium version of the tablet, so our tests were able to tap into a 1.9GHz Core i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a discrete NVIDIA GT 640M LE GPU alongside the standard Intel HD 4000 graphics chip.

Our review unit, which you can order now on Razers website for $1450, also came with a 256GB SSD. The standard $1300 Edge Pro comes with a more modest 128GB SSD. And if you want to spend even less money, a cool $1000 will get you the basic Edge tablet, which sports the same discrete Nvidia GPU, but comes with a Core i5 processor, a 64GB SSD, and just 4 GB of RAM.

The top-of-the-line Edge Pro tablet runs contemporary PC games like Crysis 3 at playable framerates.
The premium-priced Edge Pro delivers fantastic performance that helps justify its $1450 price tag. For one, we saw 73 frames per second running Dirt Showdown at native resolution. Thats more than twice what Microsofts Surface Pro was able to deliver in the same test, and confirms that the Edge Pro is the best gaming tablet on the market.

Razers beast also outperformed the Surface Pro, The Acer W700 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 in our PCMark 7 suite of productivity tests, including our Photoshop CS6 image editing tests and the 3DMark11 graphics rendering tests. Granted, the Edge Pro has a lower native resolution that the competition, and this makes it easier for the tablet to deliver high frame rates in games. But when you view all the benchmark results together, it’s clear the machine is purpose-built for performance.

The flipside of all this fantastic performance is poor battery life. The Edge Pro was pitiful in our battery rundown test, burning through a full charge in just under four hourssix with the extended battery attached. Of all the Windows 8 hybrids weve tested, only the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist fared worse. And thats just in our lab tests, which are actually a little forgiving because they rely on looping video playback and automated PCMark 7 tests to drain the battery. While running demanding PC games on the Edge Pro, I routinely ran the battery dry after two to three hours of continuous play.

This presents a significant problem for real-world use: The utility of a portable gaming machine that can only run for a couple of hours is dubious at best. The brief battery life isnt an issue if youre just puttering around your Steam library from the comfort of your couch, but its a complete deal-breaker if youre on a long plane trip or otherwise isolated from a power outlet for more than a few hours.

The 256GB SSD in our review unit was more than spacious enough to install Windows 8, a few productivity programs, benchmarking software, and a handful of games with large storage footprints (Skyrim, Far Cry 3, XCOM and Sleeping Dogs) with plenty of space left over. Even the 128GB SSD in the basic version of the Edge Pro seems spacious enough if you dont load it up with an excess of music, movies and games. The 64GB SSD in the base Edge tablet concerns us, though, given the storage requirements of Windows 8 and most modern PC games.

Accessories required

Its impossible to discuss the Edge Pro without delving into its accessories, which Razer sells separately at premium prices. Three are available at the time of this review: a $99 Docking Station, a $249 Gamepad Controller, and a $69 Razer Edge extended battery, which inserts inside the Gamepad Controller. Razer’s engineers are also working on a keyboard dock, which should be available by the holidays. Its price is still unknown, but it’s slated to support the extended battery.

The docking station resembles a sleek USB hub. Along the rear are three USB 2.0 ports, audio out and mic jacks, an HDMI 1.4 port, and a power jack for the Edge power supply. The idea is to set up the station next to your PC or TV, plug in all the requisite cables for your display, mouse, keyboard, and so on, and then just plop the Edge into the dock when you get home and use it as your desktop PC or gaming console.

Plug the tablet into the docking station (sold separately) and use it’s suite of ports to hook up three additional USB devices and drive external hardware via HDMI and audio out.
I did both, and Im happy to report the Edge Pro performs very well in either capacity. Its a little challenging to find decent PC games that support multiple players using gamepads, but my friends and I had a fantastic time playing through Double Fines The Cave on a 40-inch HDTV. The Edge Pro performed equally well when docked with my mouse, keyboard and 24-inch monitorthe extra screen space and input control make the Edge Pro shine as a desktop replacement.

Of course, if youre away from the docking station and want to play anything other than simple touch-based games on the Edge Pro, youll need to either plug a controller into the tablets sole USB 3.0 port, or jack into the optional $249 Gamepad Controller, which cocoons the tablet in a considerable amount of extra hardware.

The Gamepad Controller gives you console-style button controlsa welcome feature when playing many PC games. But the accessory is also a hefty investment in terms of both price and poundage: When you slot in the extended battery, the machined aluminum chassis adds more than two pounds and almost four inches to the tablet. This expanded form factor is manageable, but I needed to curl up on a couch when using the Edge Pro in all its mobile gaming glory for more than 15 minutes at a stretch. The ergonomics are challenging, and many seating positions just won’t work.

The Edge Pro is at its bestand heaviestwhen jacked into the gamepad chassis (which conceals a slot for an extended battery.)
The chassis is sturdytheres no danger of snapping the thin supports that link the hand grips to the shelland conceals motors that deliver surprisingly satisfying vibrational feedback during game play. Razers design clearly duplicates Microsofts Xbox 360 for Windows gamepad, with two analog joysticks, a directional pad, four face buttons (A, B, X, Y), and the requisite Start and Select buttons.

Six triggers crown the two cylindersthree on either sideand all are within comfortable reach of your index fingers. Using the directional pad and face buttons isnt as comfortable, because each button cluster is nestled about an inch beneath an analog stick. This is a cramped arrangement, and when you’re quickly moving your thumbs back and forth between the controls, fatigue sets in quickly. Given how much real estate is available on each cylinder, its hard to understand why Razer built the buttons and sticks so close together.

Can a tablet really fulfill all your gaming needs?

The Razer Edge Pro is the most powerful Windows 8 tablet PCWorld has ever seen. Sure, its not as sleek as the competition, but the extra girth is an acceptable compromise in exchange for the power of an Nvidia GPU and a Core i7 processor.

More importantly, its solid proof that Razer can successfully build a Windows tablet that runs the latest PC games at playable frame rates. The Edge Pro is expensive and cumbersome, but it works: It lets you play Skyrim in bed, and that alone makes it a must-buy for a subseta very, very rich subsetof PC gaming enthusiasts.

My biggest problem with the Edge Pro is that its so clearly a luxury product. Razer built a Windows 8 tablet that only gamers could love, and even then only if they shell out almost two grand for the premium model with all the optional accessories. For that price, you could pick up an Xbox 360, a Nexus 7 and enough hardware to build your own gaming PC, and still have a little cash left over for games. The Edge Pro simply isnt a practical replacement for any device save perhaps a Windows tablet, and even there it cant match the price, portability or convenience of the Microsoft Surface Pro and its Type keyboard covers.

The Edge Pro is an amazing piece of kit, but it’s hard to recommend it to anyone but a hardcore PC gaming enthusiast. If you want a Windows 8 device for any other purpose, you’d be better served by a Surface Pro or a Windows 8 hybrid, at least until Razer improves upon the Edge Pro’s design shortcomings. It’s just a few ounces, inches and dollars from being a game-changing product.