Razer's Blade game laptop not the mini Switchblade we've been waiting for

Razer has officially unveiled its first foray into system-building. The new product, teased in a full-page ad Razer ran in the Wall Street Journal on August 22, is the 17-inch Razer Blade.

Razer

Following its " PC gaming is not dead " ad campaign, Razer has officially unveiled its first foray into system-building. The new product, teased in a full-page ad Razer ran in the Wall Street Journal on August 22, is the Razer Blade, which the company describes as a "full aluminum chassis gaming laptop featuring true portability, incredible performance, and an all-new revolutionary user interface."

This is surprising in a way, not because a mouse-and-keyboard maker is getting into the business of making and selling laptops, but because we were hoping the mystery product was the pocket-size Switchblade , a curious handheld prototype we saw and played with at CES 2011 .

Instead, this is a 17-inch gaming laptop, although Razer claims it will be only 0.88 inch thick and weigh under 7 pounds, which is impressive if you've seen any of our recent monster gaming laptop reviews . The unique part is the right side of the keyboard, where you would normally expect to find a number pad.

The Blade's gaming controls are unique. Razer

Instead, the Blade has a set of 10 programmable keys, which can each display custom icons on the key face (a similar concept to the Optimus keyboard), with a large touch pad below, instead of in its usual spot below the spacebar. When a mouse is connected, the touch pad acts as a secondary display, useful for in-game information, or it can also be used as a traditional touch pad, although we're not sure how awkward (or not) it would be to use in its nontraditional position.

The system's specs, as supplied by Razer, are as follows:

  • 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 2640M Processor
  • 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 Memory
  • 17.3-inch LED backlit display (1,920x1,080 pixels)
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 555M
  • Built-in HD Webcam
  • Integrated 60Wh battery
  • 320GB 7,200rpm SATA HDD
  • 802.11 b/g/n compatible
  • 16.81 inches x 10.9 inches x 0.88 inch (WxDxH); 6.97 pounds

Razer says the system, which can be seen on the company's Web site, will be available in the fourth quarter of 2011 for $2,799.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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