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on July 19, 2012
I had my eye on the Razer Blade Laptop since it was announced two years ago and bought mine in February. After owning the notebook for six months now would like to share my impressions. Having owned a plethora of gaming laptops over the years (DELL XPS 17, ASUS Gamers Republic G73 series, Alienware M15X, M17X, even the huge M18X) I can say without any reservation this is the lightest, sleekest, most portable gaming laptop I've ever owned, and the only one like it on the market as of right now.

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.
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on January 14, 2014
I bought this piece of junk a little over a year ago from the official website (order placed at the end of Nov. 2012), and in that past year let me recount my terrible experiences with this laptop.

Two weeks after I received the first generation Razer Blade, the hard drive came loose and I couldn't boot my computer. I didn't do anything to the laptop other than move it from my desk to my bed. Luckily, this was fixed by merely giving the bottom a good hard tap.

A week or so after that, I realized that the wireless card was faulty and would consistently drop packets. I tried this with 4-5 different routers in 3 different locations. The results were all the same. My friends, on their Lenovo/Asus/etc laptops, had no issues with the same wireless connection. This was the first time I sent my laptop back to them. It took over two weeks before they shipped it back. Luckily, I was on holiday, so this had no affects on my studies or anything.

Fast forward three months, and I get my first AC adapter failure. They sent me a replacement one after a week. That's a week in university without a laptop folks. The only access I had to the internet was my phone. Okay, I overlooked it.

Two months later, the switchblade interface stops working. I can't access synapse at all. Razer support tells me they'll get back to me and I quote, "We have forwarded the issue to our higher level technical specialist . They would be assisting you soon." They never got back to me. Whatever, I don't really need the Switchblade anyways.

November 2013. League of Legends season is ending, and I'm LITERALLY in the middle of my promo game to Platinum when all of a sudden, my laptop black screens and gets a red ring of death out of nowhere. It seems the adapter, once again, failed. This was right before my fall quarter midterms, and finals were soon to follow in two weeks time. I'm told to ship it back to them in the original boxing and whatnot, but unfortunately for me, the original packaging was back in my hometown (since I live in a different city for university). I send it back right before Thanksgiving (also right before my warranty ended). Suffice to say, I went through my midterms and finals without any access to the internet (again, save for my phone, which has pretty limited access). It was horrible. Not only was Razer Support curt and rude with their replies, they pretty much did NOTHING to help.

So I wait. And wait. Turns out, Razer sent my laptop back to my university address before I went home for Christmas break, but didn't email me that they did so, despite the fact they told me I would get updates. What kind of a company sends back a ~$2000 gaming laptop without notifying their customer that it's been shipped?!

I didn't get to my laptop until January 5th. I open it, excited that I can finally access the internet for the first time in a long while. I plug in the adapter. AND SURPRISE. THE ADAPTER ISN'T WORKING. They didn't fix anything at all. Seriously.

So I've contacted them again. And now they're sending me a new adapter. This will be my 4th adapter. I'm already expecting it to fail within a month. This is seriously frustrating and now, I don't have a warranty to fall back on either.
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on January 26, 2013
I recently purchased this from Tiger Direct for roughly 1499 US dollars, and I have to say, when looking at the specs in contrast to other machines this size, it was a steal that I couldn't pass up. Amazon is now offering this model as well for 1499, and their shipping and return policy is much better than Tiger Direct's, so I'd go with them.

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!
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on February 9, 2013
From my son:
::unintelligible whooping:: Boots up lightning fast (<5sec), more power than other gaming laptops at its price-point (in its class), perfect tool for crafting an indie game (its intended purpose in my case), and Windows 7 is a match for this machine's specs (next gen has newer graphics card, but its processor is downgraded due to Windows 8 inability to handle the i7 family of processors). Price difference from Razer itself and should be enough to sway anyone on the fence.
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on January 24, 2013
I recently purchased this blade because it Carries portability, large workspace, and power. The blade is portable and powerful, however there are three issues that buyers should know. First, with it's thin design and its long length finding a backpack that it fits comfortably in is difficult, initial startup on the blade 1st gen is glitchy for a couple of hours until the drivers and essentials are updated(battery would not charge for about 5hrs after booting, keyboard and sidescreen freeze up multiple times durring the first day, does still freeze when awaking from hibernate), does not include any for of Microsoft office. Those are the only problems I have ran into with my blade and with the 1080p matte screen and high contrast colors , amusingly slim design, and antimacbook look I would recomend this over an alienware m14x not because of power but because of efficiency, battery life is approx 2hrs gaming and 4hrs normal use. I use my blade for engineering hw, c++ work, recording and editing music, photo editing, and gaming I hope this helped in your desicion, thanks for your time
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on March 12, 2013
This laptop was not designed to compete with laptops like the Asus G75 or MSI laptops however the true design of this laptop was to make gaming portable. This laptop executed this phenomenally, i own it and i use it for schoolwork and in between classes i game with it. If you are looking for a truly portable gaming rig that you can take to a friends house or to a cafe this is the perfect computer for you. If you want a top of the line gaming computer buy a desktop...
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on January 27, 2013
The overall product is very nice and worth the 1500 dollars spent (in my opinion), but there are times when the trackpad bugs out and has trouble registering my cursor movement. Aside from that, it is hard to find support articles for the Blade, and I'm starting to get a little worried. Besides that there are no other problems, and I think this laptop is perfect for me. I would definitely recommend this to my friends.
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on October 18, 2013
Alright, I'll say it this thing is cool. It looks sleek, the charger is super tiny for a gaming computer, and its very thin and portable. I love this thing to death BUT this is the first console Razer has made, and it shows.

The sound board (or some sound component) died in my laptop, so headphones wouldn't reroute audio and it would play through both the headset and the laptops speakers, and I had to send it in for repairs. This was quoted to take 3-7 days, business days I assume. It took well over that time, about 13 business days, AKA 2 and a half weeks. I have a job that requires me to use a laptop, school which requires at least 2 essays a week, AND the League of Legends season was drawing to a close so I needed to play ranked. Needless to say it was 2 and a half weeks of miserable existence.

Then I got my laptop back. It worked for ONE, count it, ONE day, then the charger broke. I emailed razer support again, expecting to be given the run around, AGAIN. I was not disappointed. It took them 7 business days to ship a charger, AFTER the day it was quoted, so the whole process has taken about 2 weeks. It still hasn't gotten here, I'd wager to say something else dies and the process starts all over again once it does though.

TLDR: I've been laptopless for over a month because Razer customer support is awful. I paid $1,600 for an unreliable laptop with literally the worst customer support ever. I've had better experiences with Dell and being sent to someone in India and trying to overcome their super thick accents.
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on January 30, 2013
I would give it 5 stars, but after swapping 3 from amazon, I have to question the build quality. The laptop is very fun and very sleek. I would definitely get a warranty on it.
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on November 16, 2013
This is a very impressive machine. "Worked" great up until this morning (6 month mark) when I needed it. All I can hear now is my son's comment about staying with Apple...

Power unit died- now trying to see what kind of support I'll get from Razer...

System support replied back within a few days. Since I bought it through Amazon Warehouse it isnt covered by any warranty. So now I'm trying to get information on sending it back to be repaired. The quote so far is $100 to assess the issue. 5 days now and 4 emails form the Support folks... I'm beginning to believe that it will be a long and an expensive process to get it working again.

Will update once more happens..maybe 2014...

12/18/13- I stand corrected. Got the email 2 days ago from the Razer Customer Service folks that my laptop was being shipped back. I called and there was no charge and it arrived here looking and acting great. These guys did an awesome job and I'm glad I bought this. Definitely better than what my son recommended.... Will be looking forward to their next 17" to come out.

Thanks Razer!
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