CNET First Look
The Razer Blade gaming laptopRazer's first laptop has a touchpad with a screen and customizable LED buttons--all to play games, of course.
Hi. This I'm Scott Stein, Senior Editor at CNET. Now it doesn't come along so often that we'll see a gaming laptop that attempts to redesign or redefine what's going on in the world of gaming laptops, but Razer has attempted to do just that with a laptop you probably heard about, the Razer Blade and we talked about this for about a year. Now it is coming out at a price that's not cheap at all. It's $2800.00. What do you get for that? Well, this laptop is under an inch thick. It's only about 6.4 pounds and has a big 17.3 inch screen and it is oriented towards gamers. The graphics maybe a tad lesser a bus then you get on some laptops like Alienwares or you know pumped up the (Gil?) origin laptops. This is Nvidia GT 555 graphics inside and it has got a Core i7 processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 256 Gigabyte SSD. Data is built in in one configuration. That's available on Razer site. Now there is no optical drive on this laptop. It's a solid state, no optical drive machine and the idea is that you're going to be connecting in the cloud with your steam and your origin downloading that way which a lot of gamers already do. The new hardware that this vrings to the table is this Switchblade UI and if you remember back a couple of CESes ago, we showed this concept device called the Switchblade that Razer had made. That was almost a gaming netbook. Had a touch screen that also work as the touch pad with a whole bunch of customize little buttons. Well that survive here and its off to the right hand side replacing where the number pad would be. Theoretically , what you can do with this is you can show anything on the second screen and use it as a touch pad, plus there are 10 buttons up here that have customizable graphics that pop up on them that can be used for anything from launching applications to being used for recording macros and also with some other functions. And not just those 10, but with the 3 fingers swipe across the screen, you can bring up many sets of 10. So, if you're playing some sort of in depth game with a lot of different transactions where you can nerd out your hearts content with recordable Macro's and all that stuff. Now certain games, maybe about 10 to 15 of them Razer says are going to be specifically designed with a certain number of buttons in mind and graphic assets that Razer is going to supply. However, you can customize your own looks for buttons and put in your own graphic assets. So that's nice that you can do that. As far as the screen goes, well right now you can pull up some apps that allow you to play Youtube videos or check Facebook or use Gmail, but other than surf, a glorified web browser on a second screen, the are really aren't any games yet that take advantage of that, which is a shame because you could easily see how that could be used especially for any sort of micro transactions system or any game that has a lot of strategy functions. It's gonna be a little bit of disconnect however if you're planning on using a trackpad and you're used to where it is. I kept reaching for this phantom trackpad over here and not finding it. It's over on this side. It's ergonomically fine to use it over here once you get used to it, but it just turned me off a little bit. Plus when it comes to ports. There are a bunch of ports on the left hand side, none on the right side. So, if you wanna plug in a mouse or something like that, you gotta funnel it over here on the left side to deal with that. $2800 is not chum change and that's a lot to invest in a concept type of device which in a lot of ways, this is and its a real gaming laptop, but you are sort of having this sacrifice a little bit for graphic robustness for in terms of a slimness of design, 6.4 pounds which is in the lighter end of gaming laptops, but its still not light compared to a regular laptop. The Switchblade UI syncs up with Synapse which is Razers cloud synching service for saving all of your customizeable macro settings. Now that idea is that you could save your settings and then plug in, they have one of this UI's in a gaming keyboard or plug in one of the other peripherals and be able to sync across devices. I'm Scott Stein and that's a first look at the Razer Blade