Razer jumps into the gaming laptop market with 17-inch Blade

By on August 26, 2011, 12:21 PM

Accessory-maker Razer today unveiled what it claims is the "world's first true gaming laptop," a 17-inch (1920x1080) system encased in a full aluminum chassis that's surprisingly thin and light for the category it competes in; coming in at 0.88" thick and weighing 6.97lbs. Developed in partnership with Intel, the Razer Blade is powered by a 2.8GHz Core i7 2640M CPU, 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory and 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 555M graphics with Optimus technology.

Razer's gaming laptop comes with a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive for storage and the usual array of connectivity options, including USB 2.0 and 3.0, HDMI-out, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0.

Perhaps its most notable feature -- besides the thin profile -- is the so-called Switchblade UI, which brings 10 customizable keys and an LCD screen to the right of the full-size keyboard. The latter can display in-game information when a mouse is in use or function as an ultra-sensitive, multi-touch panel designed for gaming on the go.

Razer took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal to announce its entry into the laptop market after building up a bit of suspense with its "PC Gaming is not dead" campaign earlier this month. As a manufacturer of PC gaming gear, it's clear that the company has a vested interest in the future of PC gaming, and now they're taking it to the next level.

In terms of hardware the Blade will not break any performance records as far as gaming notebooks are concerned, but we have to applaud Razer for trying out something different with its debut machine. As you'd expect, the Razer Blade won't come in cheap, though. The system is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2011 for $2,800. It's unclear if Razer will be offering any hardware configuration options to customers.




User Comments: 30

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

If only it was just a tad cheaper i would have added it to my "considering" list.

---agissi--- ---agissi---, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Haha that was a truely remarkable product until I saw the price HAHA. I just priced a Geforce 2GB Ti550 for $169.99 and its a $2,800 machine. $1,800 could be a ball park one might play in.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I just don't get the whole "gaming laptop" thing. Seriously..$2,800 for a laptop?? Everyone with a lick of sense knows it will be outdated in 2 years.

The way I see it, if you're a gamer - then you have a gaming PC at home. If you want to play games on the road, that's what handhelds are for.

I think the only people interested in "gaming laptops" (which is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned), are those with more money than sense. And it appears there are plenty of those around.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They had my interest with the original Switchblade design, compact general/casual gaming capable with that slick fully customizable keyboard setup. Not so sure I'm as interested in what actually developed here, though. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this unit will perform well, but the pricing is a bit steep for a rather soft market. And they have compromised the one feature that could have made it more of a "must have" product - to go from a fully customizable keyboard to just that limited right pad area may kill much of the momentum and excitement that the Switchblade stirred up.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Disappointing price for sure, the hardware is pretty solid, but not three grand solid. You could easily find yourself something comparable for significantly less on the laptop front. And anyone who seriously wants to game on a PC should be looking at a desktop to begin with. On the other hand the switchblade UI looks pretty interesting, maybe they will bring out a keyboard with it in the future.

TomSEA said:

I think the only people interested in "gaming laptops" (which is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned), are those with more money than sense. And it appears there are plenty of those around.

While that may be the case for some, I'm sure there are several gamers who use "gaming laptops" since it's their only real option. Sadly this Razor will likely appeal more to the former.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

TomSEA said:

I just don't get the whole "gaming laptop" thing. Seriously..$2,800 for a laptop?? Everyone with a lick of sense knows it will be outdated in 2 years.

The way I see it, if you're a gamer - then you have a gaming PC at home. If you want to play games on the road, that's what handhelds are for.

I think the only people interested in "gaming laptops" (which is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned), are those with more money than sense. And it appears there are plenty of those around.

Now I agree with you on this...BUT

This is probably one of the rare gaming laptops I would actually buy for the pure fact it is thin and light with fairly decent specs and with optimus it will probably last a little while on battery. However, the price is far to steep to even consider any more, which is a shame.

ramonsterns said:

Haha, gaming on a laptop.

That's some funny stuff.

Anyone with a bit of sense and $2800 would come here, ask the good people at Techspot for advice on how to build a decent desktop, then use the remaining money to buy a laptop if you so need one. Or use the money to buy video games to put that new computer to use.

RH00D RH00D said:

TomSEA said:

I think the only people interested in "gaming laptops" (which is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned), are those with more money than sense. And it appears there are plenty of those around.

The *true* oxymoron is the "gaming netbook". Alienware M11x

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

RH00D said:

TomSEA said:

I think the only people interested in "gaming laptops" (which is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned), are those with more money than sense. And it appears there are plenty of those around.

The *true* oxymoron is the "gaming netbook". Alienware M11x

Yeah, if it was more like £500 it wouldn't be so bad, but for near enough £1000?! no way!

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

TomSEA said:

I just don't get the whole "gaming laptop" thing. Seriously..$2,800 for a laptop?? Everyone with a lick of sense knows it will be outdated in 2 years.

The way I see it, if you're a gamer - then you have a gaming PC at home. If you want to play games on the road, that's what handhelds are for.

I think the only people interested in "gaming laptops" (which is an oxymoron as far as I'm concerned), are those with more money than sense. And it appears there are plenty of those around.

Heh, I should just create a macro answer for this one, as it seems to always come up when gaming laptops are a topic... Some people (myself included) are gamers who spend more time on the road than at home. Gaming laptops are the only option for people like me, who would rather get in some decent gaming at night, rather than surf through whatever crap is on the hotel's limited selection of TV channels. A handheld console like the PSP works for some situations (I prefer that kind of gaming on a plane, for example), but nothing beats the larger laptop screen when you are relaxing and trying to blow things up. And nothing beats the comfort of being able to utilize key and mouse controls, avoiding the hand cramping associated with long hours of PSP gaming sessions.

All that said, I often shy away from actual marketed gaming laptops, and tend towards more mainstream systems that I can configure to be gaming-capable. Usually I get similar (if slightly lagging) performance, but can save a good chunk of money. And using this method, I find I spend about as much on a gaming-capable laptop every 2-3 years, as I put into building or upgrading my gaming rig in that same timeframe.

Guest said:

military gamers.

Inarius03 said:

I hate Apple, but my first thought when I saw the suggested price for this: "I could buy a MacBook Pro for less than that."

I'm one of the many who don't game on a laptop simply because I can't get the same experience and performance on a laptop. Plus, it's absurdly more expensive even if I could.

*sigh* Razer, good try though.

Guest said:

I like it. If it can hold a couple SSD's and you can opt the CPU out for a 4-core i7 than this could be a powerful laptop that can be comfortable at work and play, look nice, and not weight a ton. The custom keys and display could have professional uses too. Email/chat in the display, work on the big screen / Map Adobe keys and so forth...

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is stupid. With such a price they will never break through in this market. Who enters a market where there's no customer loyalty for that specific product and decides to price their product higher than the competition? That makes no sense.

Although, the specs are indeed pretty decent for a laptop, and the size and weight are great, overall it's just not justifiable.

DeliciousPie said:

A product that will mainly appeal to people who have more money than sense.

Even if you want to spend $2800 on a gaming machine, you can do far, far better than this.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Good article. The title can be a little misleading xD

SPI said:

Lets put a price cut on that face... hehehehehehhehe :/

fpsgamerJR62 said:

That's a really cool laptop but, as other have stated, the price is a real deal breaker. That and a few other details like the default HDD being a bit small for a $2,800 laptop and the included GT 555M graphics, which in its best configuration runs GDDR5 on a 128-bit bus, is comparable to a desktop GT 440 and probably won't be able to run BF3 with acceptable frame rates at the default resolution of 1920x1080.

Guest said:

2GB Ti550 is NOT a gaming GPU, esp. not for a 1920x1080. Price aside, this is a fail from the start for a "gamer". If you want a price competitive laptop with a good GPU, you'd want an HD6970/6990 and NOT an NV overpriced mobile offering.

Guest said:

Quick update to my previous post: The GTX550 is barely faster than the GT540.

http://www.geforce.com/Hardware/GPUs/geforce-gt-555m/perform
nce

The GPU is at least 3x slower than the HD6990 which can be had in the Alienware M17x for $1854.

$1000 more form factor and some fancy keys.....

ghostchili said:

LOL a GT 555M! Thats a far cry from "The World's first true gaming laptop". You can get a 18" alienware with DUAL 6990's for less.

thewind said:

This laptop is Crap!!! [link] This laptop is UNDER $1000 and only a tiny bit thicker! and Kicks the ASS out of this Razor laptop... Sorry but TomSEA was right when he was saying "its going to be outdated in 2 years" cuz its already outdated and they haven't even started to sell it yet...

thewind said:

PS... Why is there not a SSD in this? and why only 320GB? come on people...

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

I think the biggest issue with any "gaming laptop" isn't that you can already buy a better product. It's the lack of adaptability. The thing that has always plagued gaming laptops has been that you can't upgrade them to keep up with the times. That's why they are always outdated in 2 years, and all the rest of it. Desktop PCs were blessed with the ability to simplify the swapping of parts, which is why they remain king of the hill as far as hardcore gaming and computing are concerned.

If Razer really wants to revolutionize the gaming laptop as we see it? They need to not only come out with a nice slim form factor, but they need to create a motherboard for their laptops that you can easily swap out the parts for. Newer i7s, newer mobile gpus, DDR4 memory which comes out next year, better HDD capacities and potential for SSDs...

What they have is a very nice product. It will do what it says it can do, it's well designed, it's sleek, it's pretty powerful for what's inside, their keyboard and touchscreen that they've integrated are pretty sweet, but they're also falling into the same hole that Apple fell in. They're trying to make their stuff an exclusive by pricing things highly while ensuring quality and a good brand name. That's where a good chunk of your money is going if you buy one. Their name.

To me, just as it is to you all, this isn't a gaming laptop reinvented. It's refurbished at best. All it is, is the slimmest in its class and one of the most overpriced. When you see a laptop that you can customize as freely as you can a desktop PC, you'll know that the world's first true gaming laptop has finally arrived.

Guest said:

Razer better wake the f up. Gone are the days when consumer tech/gadgets sold for around the $3000 mark in droves. If they wish to sell a considerable quantity of these the price should definitely not exceed the 2k mark.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

It's ridiculously expensive, but it is refreshing.

As much as I don't really care for Razer or gimmicky stuff in general, the laptop itself *looks* like it has been REALLY well thought out and hopefully built as good as it looks. I can't speak for quality without having handled one in person, but it *looks* like a very high quality machine.

We need more well-done products like this in the PC universe... just at half the price. Too many manufacturers are hung up on offering cheap s@#$ for ultra low prices. That toxic mantra has spread to mid-range and even high-end laptops too, cutting corners at every turn with plastic in places there ought not to be, insufficient cooling systems because the R&D and copper is too expensive to do it right, crummy LCD panels with awful viewing angles, poor attention to detail and any number of other things that make even some higher-end PC laptops suck.

So I, for one, am glad to see this product. I won't be buying it and I can't say it is worth the money, but I hope this laptop enables Razer to span into a lower price bracket or encourage other computer manufacturers to make decent s@#$, for once.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

If by that you mean you hope that Razer has just set the bar higher, then I think they have, but they haven't. Allow me to explain. There aren't very many laptop manufacturers that can boast this kind of attention to detail. As you said, it looks and feels well thought-out and from their demonstrations, it appears to perform quite well. In that sense, they've raised the bar in terms of (hopefully) a new quality standard.

But they haven't set it higher because of the price. It'll be so exclusive, not mainstream enough, that it won't have the desired effect on as many people. If more people could afford that sort of quality, and more people could then demand it, then more companies might follow suit. But the price-point (among other things) sort of spoils it.

bugsy siegel said:

Considering the shabby job Razer does supporting its existing hardware (are the drivers *out* yet for the Razer soundcard and Windows 7? They were still missing when I built my latest system a year ago and gave up on the Razer line of products,) I shudder at the thought of how dismal support will be for this "gaming laptop."

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Holy macaroni, three grand? They must be out of their minds if they seriously think that putting a LCD on the keyboard justifies that king of price tag. Gamers are still going to choose Asus, Sager and Alienware to get more machine for less.

Well, at least they did take one crown from Alienware - Price. I hope that everyone complaining about Alienware's prices get a load of this monstrosity.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yep nice except the price. Gpu isnt awesome either.

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