Razer Blade “true gaming laptop” announced

Comes with a "switchblade" touch panel UI and a hefty price tag
Darren Allan

August 27, 2011
Razer Blade

Razer has announced what it’s calling the “world’s first true gaming laptop” over at PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) in Seattle. Alienware will no doubt be interested to hear…

The Razer Blade is apparently set to reinvigorate the ailing PC industry, according to the company. So what’s so revolutionary about it?

Essentially, Razer correctly points out that gaming notebooks which carry the chunky processors and graphics cards required to run modern games fluidly on high detail levels are pretty hefty beasts.

They’re essentially desktop replacement class laptops which are thick, heavy, and while they are still portable machines, these sort of notebooks require some lugging about.

The theory is that the Razer Blade is truly portable – weighing 7 pounds, and being 0.9 inches thick – while still packing enough grunt under the bonnet to give a slick games playing experience.

Min-Liang Tan, CEO and Creative Director at Razer, commented: “The Razer Blade was designed to give gamers a laptop they could truly use on the go. Its sleek, lightweight aluminium construction makes it the thinnest 17-inch gaming laptop available today.”

Hence the tagline as the first truly portable powerful gaming notebook. The next question you’re no doubt asking is exactly how much power are we talking about?

The Blade has a 2.8GHz Intel i7 2640M dual-core processor (with turbo-boost to 3.3GHz), an Nvidia Geforce GT555M with 2GB of Vram, and 8GB of system Ram, so a pretty speedy core spec.

The hard disk is 320GB, and the 17.3 inch display is, of course, full 1920×1080 HD. Wi-fi is also on board, along with a built-in webcam.

There’s another touch which sets this laptop apart from the rest, Razer’s “switchblade user interface” which sits next to the keyboard.

It’s a smart idea and this is a very cool looking machine, but unfortunately, there are a couple of potential stumbling blocks.

Well there’s one very definite obstacle to ownership, namely the price. In the US the Blade will retail at $2,800, so we can only imagine it’ll be two and a half grand over here. That’s a lot of cash and while the spec is certainly good, the graphics solution looks a touch weak for that sort of money.

We also worry about the battery life. A 60Wh battery has been fitted in this slimline machine, and how long that will last powering all this hardware – plus the touchscreen panel – remains to be seen.

We won’t judge yet, as the Blade might surprise us. But there are reasons why typical gaming notebooks are heavy, and one of those is the mighty batteries the manufacturer generally has to pack in to ensure at least two hours of life when on the go.

The Blade is set for release in the fourth quarter, and we’ll definitely be interested to see what reviewers make of that custom UI, and the longevity of the device away from the mains.


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