While the rest of the crew were off having fun at the Tokyo Game Show, I went to Sydney for the announcement of “the worlds first true gaming laptop”, the Razer Blade. At the event we had the opportunity to test the limits of the device with Battlefield 3 as well as interviewing Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan about the Blade, Razer products and his passion for eSports which you can look forward to in our upcoming episode.
One of the biggest features of the Razer Blade is it’s SwitchBlade UI, which instead of the usual trackpad, you have a multitouch 4” LCD screen which can be used for ingame content or even applications such as youtube. Above the screen there are also 10 programmable macro keys that are little screens themselves so when you enter an MMO for example, all your hero’s spells can be bound there with the icons there as well. Razer has released a free kit for developers to include this functionality in their games but if a game isnt supported, the players can create simple profiles for themselves and there will probably be a community creating lots of applications and uses for the SwitchBlade UI like the applets for the G15.
The Blade also has some pretty decent specs as well as having a 17” 1080p screen. Its running an i7 3632QM (2.2GHz base/3.2GHz turbo), 64GB SSD, 500GB HDD, 8GB 1600MHz RAM and a NVIDIA GTX 660M, all of which you will generally find in top tier gaming laptops. The selling point for the Blade is the relative thickness and weight compared to other gaming laptops. The Blade is 0.88 inches thick and weighs 2.99kg, which is extremely impressive considering the guts of the laptop. When we were testing out the Blade with Battlefield 3, we were getting around 20-30 FPS with all the graphics settings on high so you cant expect it to play every game on ultra but it is still a laptop.
The Razer Blade is a really cool device and Its great to see something new like the SwitchBlade UI. However, it does not come without a hefty price. The Blade will cost $2999 when it launches, which you could essentially build 2 desktop PCs with the same specs for that price. You can find similarly spec’d gaming laptops for cheaper but they generally aren’t all that portable. For the gamer on the go, this might be the perfect device for you as it can play anything fairly well, its very thin, light and the charger is tiny.
The Razer Blade launches November 1 at JBHIFI Elizabeth Street (Melb), JBHIFI Pitt St Mall (Syd), JBHIFI Online and Razerzone.com