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The World's First True Gaming Laptop
Introducing the Razer Blade – a full aluminum chassis gaming laptop designed to achieve the single-minded goal to give gamers the best gaming experience on-the-go with true portability, incredible performance, and an all-new revolutionary user interface.
Less than an inch thick and weighing less than seven pounds, the Razer™ Blade is the thinnest gaming laptop of its class. Each chassis of the Razer Blade is milled out of pure aluminum and packs the power of a full size gaming PC into an incredibly sleek and lightweight laptop form factor – delivering the perfect balance between performance and portability.
Developed in partnership with Intel, the Razer Blade delivers cutting-edge performance to run the most demanding games of today. Powered by an Intel® Core i7 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce graphics processor, and a 17" LED display, you'll be blown away by the immersive visuals of your games in crisp high definition 1080p.
Switchblade User Interface
The Razer Switchblade UI is an all-new innovative user interface designed from the ground up to make your gaming experience more efficient, intuitive, and exciting. Bind an infinite number of commands, skills, and macros to the 10 dynamic adaptive keys with matching icon overlays for the game you're playing. The Switchblade UI is fully customizable for users who prefer to define their own keysets and also comes with pre-defined profiles for games such as Battlefield 3, Rift, End of Nations, League of Legends and many more… The revolutionary LCD panel below the keys is capable of two modes: one mode that displays in-game informatioin in full vibrant color allowing you to stay ahead of the competition, and a second mode that functions as an ultra-sensitive multi-touch panel designed for gamers on the go.
Ergonomic Gaming Layout
The Razer Blade features an ergonomic gaming layout with a Razer keyboard and Switchblade User Interface positioned side by side, designed specifically for hardcore mobile gamer. It's also equipped with a green LED backlit Anti-Ghosting keyboard, so you don't miss a keystroke during hardcore game sessions day or night.
Razer Synapse 2.0
Razer Synapse 2.0 is a unified configurator for all next generation products from Razer. You'll be able to sync your custom settings in real time with key binds, macros, and preferences to the cloud. With Synapse 2.0 you can fully customize the Switchblade User Interface and sync other synapse 2.0 devices as well.
Razer Switchblade User Interface Apps
The Razer Switchblade User Interface will ship with the following applications that can be activated by pressing the corresponding Dynamic Adaptive Tactile Key: Trackpad, Numpad, Macro Recorder, Gaming Mode, Browser, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and Clock.
Aesthetically, the Razer Blade has all the sleek, unibody looks of the Apple Macbook line, thought it is a matte black aluminum laptop rather than silver. Razer has really designed this unit with gamers in mind. For example, the 17.3″ 1080P display is matte with excellent contrast and color reproduction. The keyboard has an anti-ghosting feature (I’m not sure what the other reviewer was complaining about as neither my screen nor keys have ever suffered from ghosting in any scenario). Even the side fans blow hot exhaust back away from the gamer which is a plus. With the aluminum construction the Blade is a solid, well designed piece of hardware.
The most unique feature of the Blade is of course the Switchblade UI, which includes a color video touchpad located to the right of the keyboard, and 10 customizable LED icons. While the location of the trackpad is awkward at first and takes a day or so to become accustomed to, it is a delight to use. Razer regularly updates the Switchblade software, adding new icons and customization features. I, however, have enjoyed more than anything, creating my own icons for apps and games and shortcuts. I press the game icon and my game list profile launches with a list of 20 games, each with their own launch icon. I can slide back and forth on the display using a three finger side scroll, and select Max Payne 3 (yes, the Blade runs it just fine), and then my Max Payne 3 custom profile launches. Bring this thing to a lan party and watch the folks “Ooh and ahh” as you switch back and forth using custom icons. It really does make this laptop one of a kind.
Performance-wise, the Blade is an upper-middle class gaming laptop. This means its somewhat comparable to the Alienware M14X (2011 edition). It features some of the best of last years tech, including a dual core Sandy Bridge i7 CPU, which is quite fast and capable, and runs cooler than the quadcore (also preserving battery life), as well as an NVIDIA 555M GT Graphics Card. With the most current driver, the Blade scores 12530 running 3DMark06. Of course, with the advent of Ivy Bridge and Nvidia’s Kepler 6XXX series GPUs, the question is, “Is the Blade still all that powerful?” Well, it was never the most powerful laptop to begin with. My M18X with crossfire outperformed the Blade in every test. Moreover, Ivy Bridge has better performance benchmarks, not to mention better integrated GFX and better battery life. The Geforce 650M has shown itself to be an impressive card as well (Macbook Retina anyone?). These are two upgrades people are hoping for in the next iteration of the Blade (maybe Q4 this year or early next year, no one really knows). As someone who typically keeps their laptop for less than a year, I had mulled selling my Blade a while back but have decided to keep it, at least until I see what Razer’s next big offering looks like. Here’s my rational for doing so, as well as my advice to those considering pulling the trigger and buying this unique laptop (on sale with 10% off for students right now BTW):
1. This is still a very powerful gaming laptop. Aside from Metro 2033, I have yet to find a game that I can’t play on this machine with respectable framerates, high resolution (nearly all my games I play at 1080p, and one or two I drop the resolution down to 1600P or 720p), and high textures. I play Skyrim at 1080P with the high res textures pack, and ultra settings, with only the filter lowered, and average 40+ FPS. Battlefield 3 I lower to 720P but play it maxed out, Dirt 3 maxed out at 1080P, Max Payne 3 at 1080P with low shadows, Spec Ops the Line maxed out, MW3 plays flawlessly maxed out. So all that to say this may have 2011 tech in it, but there aren’t any modern PC games that this unit can’t play well, leaving me with a satisfied smile.
2. This is still the most portable gaming laptop. The only laptop I would compare this one to as of right now would be the Macbook Pro 17, which was discontinued this year actually. The Blade is thinner than the 17 at less than an inch, is just as light, just as portable. You won’t simply won’t find another 17″ notebook with gaming specs as high as this, that is as portable as the Blade. I would also point out the Blade also comes with a power adapter that is also an inch thick, and weighs about as much as a TV remote. I can actually put the adapter in my pocket and carry the Blade under my arm. Coming from an M18x with a 3lb adapter, its a refreshing thing. I would say if you want a comparable 17″ notebook and like OSX, the Macbook Pro 17 2011 is really your only other option. But again, as of right now, you still won’t find a 17″ laptop with these specs and with this level of portability.
3. This is still the most unique gaming laptop. While you can’t change the color of the keyboard (ala Alienware and a few other models), the Razer Blade is still the only notebook on the market that allows you to change your actual keys and touchpad for that matter. You won’t find freedom to customize your PC experience anywhere else as of right now. Kudos to Razer for having the chutzpah to bring an innovative product like this to the market before anybody else.
So, is the Razer Blade for you? If you want the most powerful Ivy Bridge, Kepler-infused Gaming Laptop on the market as of right now, then no. Its not the most powerful, not by a long shot. That was never Razer’s goal. But if you are in the market for the most portable, most unique, and in my opinion, most attractive 17″ gaming laptop currently available, then look no further than the Razer Blade.
Design: Absolutely beautiful, albeit absolutely inspired by another fruit related company. However, I think that this laptop is even more aesthetically pleasing than Macbook Pro’s uni-body design. From the black aluminum exterior, green illuminated keyboard, to the totally cool, albeit slightly gimmicky Switchblade UI trackpad, this thing screams bad ass! It’s rigid, and feels perfect for toting around. Other 17″ laptops of this class are just monsters, and that makes carrying them around a hassle for sure.
Performance: Okay, this is where I would’ve been mad if I spent the full MSRP at launch (2899 US Dollars). With a dual core Intel i7, 8gb Ram, 256 Gb SSD, the specs looks pretty damn good, until you get to the GPU, which is a fairly mediocre GT555m. Now i’m not saying this thing can’t game, because it can, but you shouldn’t go into it wanting top performance out of every game. Yeah, I bought this wanting to game, but I also bought this to write papers on and what not. So in that sense, and for a moderate gaming machine, this is an absolute ideal laptop. As long as you’re not expecting the absolute best performance, you’ll be super satisfied with the laptop’s performance (and if “extreme” performance is your forte’, build a desktop.)
Software: Windows PC’s are notorious for their hard drive being inundated with crap software, but the Razer Blade completely shunts that ideal and instead has just the bare essentials on it; a clean install of Windows 7, their Synapse 2.0 software for customization and update management, to Windows Live Essentials, this thing has the perfect amount of usable software I’ve ever seen on a new laptop.
Overall: This has been my absolute favorite laptop I’ve ever owned. I’ve owned the prestigious Macbook Pro 15″ Retina, all the way to Dell’s business Vostro 13″ laptop, and this baby beats them all. Windows 7, IMO, is just so much more intuitive than OSX, and the Switchblade UI trackpad is truly cool, and adds such a unique taste to laptops that seem to just rinse and repeat. If you can snag this for the aforementioned price, this is an absolute steal, not only for a general purpose laptop, but for gaming and other heavy media stuff as well. I highly recommend it!