Razer's new Blade has mobility and power sewn up
THERE'S no question that Razer is aiming to have the best gaming laptop on the market with the Blade.
After two weeks with it I can confidently say that it's a serious contender.
The Razer we played with is the newest in its lineage and it seems to be getting more professional at playing games.
We reviewed a similar 14-inch Blade last year in Sydney and were shocked to find it wasn't useless.
We were surprised such a small form-factor laptop could house the gear needed to play the newest games as fast as it did.
We then spoke to Razer's CEO and founder, Min-Liang Tan, and realised it was entirely his fault. He does not compromise. He does not take the cheap option. He makes the best equipment for the job. And that's why this newest Blade costs a fortune.
At $3299.95 here in Australia, you could buy a performance PC and a car instead. Still, if you need mobility and power, you can't beat the Blade.
It's also cheaper than the Metabox W230SS, and doesn't make the more expensive machine's unbelievable mistake of trying to put a 4K display on a laptop.
You're getting the same monstrous GTX 870M graphics card you'd find in the larger MSI GS70 Stealth, and the two have similar design priorities, though the Blade is more portable and side-by-side the Blade feels more sturdy.
There are two types of gaming laptop. The first and usually larger is the type where you set it up like a normal PC and occasionally move it to a LAN party or a mate's place.
The Blade isthe second type. It's designed to go anywhere, anytime, and still game as fast as you need it to. This is where it beats contenders like the aforementioned MSI - it is small enough for a satchel bag and weighs next to nothing.
The whole thing weighs 2.03kg but feels sturdy enough that you think it should weigh more.
We've pack an incredible amount of power in here … It's thinner than a 5c coin. - Min-Liang Tan
The keys are deliberately placed and comfortable to use whether typing or gaming, and aren't too loud or too soft. The trackpad is fine but you shouldn't be using it. Get a proper mouse instead.
The screen is a sensible but high-def 1920x1080 and the multi-touch touch screen resisted the temptation to look grubby after we pawed at it over and over again.
At first it's tempting to blame Windows 8.1 for letting down what is otherwise a fantastic laptop. Fortunately, once Steam, Origin and Desura are installed, you've got a clear path to games regardless of OS.
The Blade starts at $3299.95 for the 128gb version and goes to $3699.95 for the 512gb version.
It's worth forking out for the larger hard disk unless you have all your media on a network or USB drive.
Who should buy this? Someone who requires proper power for gaming and can afford gadgets this high on the shelf. Should you buy this instead of a PC? If you're using it for work or uni then it might make more sense to have the mobility this offers.
Final Verdict: About as tight a gaming laptop as you're likely to get.
|Intel® Core™ i7-4702HQ Quad Core Processor with Hyper Threading 2.2GHz / 3.2GHz (Base/Turbo)|
|Mobile Intel® PCHM 8 series chipset, HM87|
|8GB onboard memory (DDR3L-1600MHz)|
|Graphics and Video|
|NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 870M (3GB GDDR5 VRAM, Optimus™ Technology)|
|14.0" QHD+ 16:9 Ratio, 3200x1800, with LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch|
|128GB / 256GB / 512GB SSD (SATA M.2)|
|Compact 150W Power Adapter|
|Built-in 70Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery|
|Built-in HD webcam (2.0MP)|
|Razer™ Synapse 2.0 Enabled|
|Multi-point touchscreen interface|
|Dolby® Digital Plus Home Theater Edition|
|Built-in stereo speakers|
|Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard|
|3.5mm microphone/headphone combo port|
|USB 3.0 port x3 (SuperSpeed)|
|HDMI 1.4a audio and video output|
|Intel® Wireless-AC 7260HMW (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth® 4.0)|
|Size and Weight|
|Width: 13.6" / 345mm|
|Depth: 9.3" / 235mm|
|Height: 0.70"/ 17.8mm|
|Weight: 4.47lbs / 2.03kg|
|Windows® 8.1 (64-Bit)|