Cutting-edge Razer Switchblade

Alison Young
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February 09, 2011
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Handheld PC gaming is on the horizon with the Razer Switchblade. This little wonder won the People’s Choice Award at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. The cool thing about the machine is the programmable keyboard with its tactile, transparent keys and a crisp display underneath.

“The main problem with mobile PC gaming so far is that no one has been able to port the full mouse and keyboard experience onto a small-size portable solution,” says Min-Liang Tan, CEO and creative director, Razer. “By combining adaptive on-the-fly controls and display, we managed to maintain the full tactile keyboard in a miniature computer while saving valuable screen estate.”


The Razer Switchblade is a little smaller and much more powerful than your typical netbook. Since it’s a concept prototype at the moment, I don’t have all the details on the machine. I do know that it has a seven-inch capacitive multi-touch screen and Intel Atom processor, runs Windows 7, and as mentioned earlier has a programmable keyboard. It is capable of playing video and games at 30 frames per second.

“With our established focus on human interface devices, moving the mouse and keyboard experience to the next level was a natural step,” continues Tan. “Razer isn’t just about bringing innovation to the PC, but creating products that will change the future of gaming. The Razer Switchblade is one such product.”

At this time Razer does-n’t have preliminary pricing or a release date. Although the prototype model it showed at CES looked fairly polished, Razer claims the final device may not look similar to it. The Switchblade is a great concept, but the challenge will be getting the PC gamers to step outside the box. Visit razerzone.com/switchblade for more information and to watch a video of the programmable keyboard in action.


Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Starbucks Card Mobile

Initially launched in September 2009, the Starbucks Card Mobile App for iPhone/iPod Touch allowed you to manage your Starbucks Cards through your device.

A couple weeks ago, the app was updated so you can pay with your iPhone/iPod/iPad or BlackBerry right at the counter (a barcode is generated and the cashier scans it from your device).

With Starbucks Card Mobile, your card balance can be reloaded directly from your device (or on starbucks.com from a computer) with your credit card or PayPal account, you can check your Starbucks Rewards status or find nearby Starbucks locations near you. If you have multiple gift cards to keep track of, this app is great to organize them. I’m still trying to use up all my Starbucks cards from Christmas, so it’s nice to have them in one place.

I’m disappointed that this app is not integrated with the functions of the myStarbucks app, which only offers a drink builder, menu and nutrition information. Hopefully this will be fixed in future app updates. Other than that, this app works smoothly for me and I love the ability to buy coffee with my iPhone.

Download your Starbucks Card Mobile for free at the iTunes App Store or BlackBerry App World.

clickchick@ midweek.com

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