Razer’s announcements ran the gamut at CES, from updates to their beloved Blade laptop to their first PC case. Even more of their announcements fell into both the retail product and conceptual spaces, with the Raptor gaming monitor and Hypersense ecosystem, respectively. The Raptor is their first monitor, a 27-inch beauty with advanced display technology and some very clever physical design features. It will launch for $ 699.99 at an as-yet-undisclosed date later this year.
Hypersense, on the other hand, is more experimental and would theoretically involve several products working together. It involves putting haptic feedback in most, if not all, devices in your gaming setup for a more immersive experience, with peripherals vibrating in response to game play. I was able to demo Hypersense and check out the Raptor, so read on for photos and my impressions.
The Raptor Joins the Chroma Fray
First, the new monitor. As you can see here, the Raptor fits right in among Razer’s RGB-laden systems and peripherals. There isn’t quite as much lighting on the Raptor as some of the other products, but the base rim has plenty of jazz without going overboard.
A Big, Beautiful Display
The screen measures 27 inches diagonally, and is loaded with mouthwatering features. It’s an IPS panel that bears a 1440p resolution (2,560 by 1,440 pixels), alone a good starting point for gaming. On top of that, it offers a 144Hz refresh rate, currently a very sought-after feature in gaming systems. If you’re hooking it up to a powerful PC, you can see more than 60 frames per second, and it’ll make your games look and feel much smoother.
The typical response time is 7ms, while it can reach 4ms with Overdrive and 1ms with motion blur reduction. The brightness is 420 nits, while the color gamut covers 95 percent of DCI-P3.
In a nice surprise, the Raptor can recline fully horizontally with its physical connections facing forward. You’re not meant to play this way, but rather, it makes it easy to access the video connections when you’re trying to plug in or unplug cables. As anyone who’s tried to reach around the back to add or remove cables can tell you, it’s pretty annoying, and the screen rotating vertically can be clumsy when cables are plugged in. With this method, the connections are facing you, making it easy to swap them in and out. From there, they’re routed into a cutout in the stand, keeping the clutter away.
Innovative Cable Management
Speaking of cable routing, the rear holds one of the Raptor’s best features. The cables run from that cutout into discrete slotted rows, making them neat and organized with no wiggle room. Those skinny panels over them come away with a tug, giving you easy access to swap, add, or remove the cables. It looks cool and means your they won’t get tangled at the base of your monitor. The slots allow the cables to run from the port, out of the base, and drop behind your desk and out of sight. Razer includes the green cables you see here, covering the four total connections: Power, HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C.
A Fabric Finish
The rear holds a last surprise, which is a fabric material used for the back of the panel. It gives it a unique and premium feel than the usual plastic, and is at least something a bit different. I wasn’t too sure about it on first glance, but it grew on me.
Engage Your Senses
This next point of discussion will be a bit less visually obvious, as it’s all about your sense of touch. Razer already sells the Nari headset, pictured here on the right side of the photo, which has game-driven haptic feedback in the ear cups. Their next concept, called Hypersense, is about putting this experience into your whole setup.
For this demo, the keyboard wrist rest, mouse, and chair in the above setup all featured haptic feedback. It’s a prototype ecosystem right now, so outside of the Nari, none of these products are on sale.
Feel the Difference
Here, you can see me reacting to the haptic feedback as it happens. I was able to jump and shoot around in both Overwatch and Doom, with the devices rumbling as I jumped and shot weapons. It felt like a console controller vibration for the most part, but since they’re coming from discrete products, Razer was able to make the rumbles location-based. Shoot with the weapon in your right hand, and your right mouse hand rumbles. Jump with a jetpack, and your wrist by the spacebar rumbles. Razer has some game-specific profiles right now so the feedback is more tailored to exact actions in games, but the idea is it will at least have general feedback for every game out of the box.
Building for a Feedback Future
Making the feedback dependent on location was pretty immersive, and I think Razer may be on to something here. With the hardware always getting better and VR extending the experience away from traditional use, Razer is looking for a way to add immersion and make use of an under-utilized sense. The headset was the most interesting portion of ecosystem for me, but I’m not sure I love it on the mouse since you sometimes need precision. The wrist rest and chair were also cool, though, and I think there’s a future here for gaming.
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