|Screen Size||17.3 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920x1080 pixels|
|Processor||2.2 GHz Core i3-2350M|
|RAM||8 GB SO-DIMM|
|Memory Speed||1600 MHz|
|Hard Drive||500 GB SATA|
|Graphics Coprocessor||NVIDIA GeForce GTX660m|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||2000 MB|
|Number of USB 3.0 Ports||3|
Razer Blade (Win 8) RZ09-00830500-R3U1 17.3-Inch Laptop (Black)
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- Intel Core i7 3632QM Quad Core Processor with Hyper-Threading
- CPU: 2.2GHz (Base) / 3.2GHz (Turbo)
- 8 GB SO-DIMM
- 500 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive, 64 GB Solid-State Drive
- 17.3-Inch Screen, NVIDIA GeForce GTX660m
- Windows 8
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Top Customer Reviews
-The build quality and attention to detail on the laptop is exceptional, rivaling the MBP. It's one of the only windows laptops in existence where you can tell a lot of thought and care went into the design and build.
-Fan noise level is decent even under load.
-It's light and thin enough to put in a bag and transport on a regular basis.
-It's got a powerful cpu and gpu capable of driving even graphically demanding games at smooth framerates, and completely demolishing anything system-friendly like Torchlight 2 or League of Legends.
-SSD caching makes many common tasks extremely fast.
-Battery life tends to be a bit short even when not gaming.
-No second audio port for my headset.
-Up/Down directional arrows are dinky. Games often use the d-arrows, so this is suboptimal. It could be solved by a 'directional arrow' setting for the switchblade, but they curiously omitted such a setting. Speaking of which...
-Switchblade UI is fairly immature and lacks vital customization options as of now. Seems like something that will be fixed eventually, but I would prefer a cheaper laptop without the switchblade. Most gamers are going to attach a gaming mouse, and gamers don't really need flashy optimus buttons because they memorize their hotkeys.
The Razer Blade fundamentals are strong--specs, build quality, design, portability. There is nothing else like it on the market. The immature and expensive switchblade ui holds it back from greatness.
I've found out how to customize the switchblade UI buttons, and the functionality I wanted (the ability to attach custom macros and pictures to buttons on a program-specific basis) is there, I just wasn't able to figure it out by messing around. This is interesting and negates a couple of my criticisms, but I think I still would have preferred a less expensive Blade without it. Also, apparently the audio jack is combined line-in and audio. Not as convenient as two jacks, but better than what I thought.
After using the laptop for a few weeks, I've definitely come around on the switchblade top buttons. I've created a variety of macros for games and normal windows applications, and being able to tag them with custom text and pictures has really upped my productivity. I've raised my review to 5 stars from 4, although I think the switchblade software still has a ways to go.
This laptop hits the nail on the head in so many ways:
First off let's look at the competition and their view of a gaming laptop: Huge, plastic, loud, heat blasting, flashing colors, powerful gaming desktop replacements. They get job done but the appeal is more geared towards teens that show it off to friends. It's not something you want in public and not something you really want to lug around with a power brick half the size of the laptop. It doesn't really have a place outside of the gaming world. It is in all senses of the word a toy, and an expensive one at that. In general todays gaming laptops have the bells and whistles but aren't refined products. Enter the Razer Blade a sleek thin .88 profile weighing in at roughly 6 pounds sporting a clean black matte coat over a full aluminum frame with green lighting accents and logo. You wouldn't even know it was a powerful gaming notebook until you launched Battlefield 3 and marveled at how well it played. The Razer Blade is a classy product pulling design cues from the Mac Book Pro, the Optimus Maximus keyboard, and gamer preferences for matte screens and a clean finish. No crazy lights, no heat blasting exhausts, and the only part of this laptop with a shred of plastic on it is the keyboard and with the power brick roughly the size of a remote control it's the most portable gaming laptop there is. And of course sticking to their motto "For gamers, by gamers." They've planned much of the layout and design for the general gamer: Moving the ports to the left side leaving the mouse free to move around without obstructions. Removing the optical drive because most PC gamers are downloading everything they need. Moving the trackpad to the right side and adding custom OLED keys that can be modified with macros, shortcuts, any custom pictures as well as being able to use the trackpad as a browser, email and an array of other apps so you can check guides and email and browse the internet all without leaving the game. I couldn't make a better laptop if I designed it myself. The only thing that bugs me is it doesn't have an IPS panel which would of given a great viewing angle and color reproduction. That's not to say the viewing angles are bad on this laptop, or even the screen quality, but if you're going to set the bar high with the build quality of everything else on this laptop, give it a IPS screen too.
The Hardware and Software
So you're looking at this laptop which means you obviously want two things out of this laptop: You want it to be portable and you want to be able to play games on it. My concern coming from a plethora of other laptops is that with laptops you get either/or. You either get mobility and Intel HD 4000 graphics or some mid-range video card that won't play League of Legends past medium settings. Or you get power and make it a "laptop" in the loosest sense of the word. In other words it's a desktop that moves but it'll play your games on high settings, at least for a year or two before its outdated. Neither of these are the desired result. The Razer Blade however does an excellent job of merging these two together to make a balanced laptop. Now before I go any further, yes, you can buy a desktop for half the price of this and get 3-4x the performance but that's not the point of this system or any other gaming laptop. The point is having a system that can play those same games but is mobile, you don't have to move a monitor and tower along with all the other peripherals if you want to go to your friends house and play a game with them you move one thing and that's all. Laptops will never compete with a desktop computer as far performance goes and if that's what you're looking for in a gaming laptop you'll be disappointed no matter what laptop you buy. But that comparison shouldn't be made. They're for two different purposes and you have to accept that to justify the price/performance ratio. Speaking of performance this notebook is pretty good on it. Sporting a Nvidia Geforce 660m and Intel's new Ivy Bridge i7 processor this thing doesn't only game, it games well. In the time I've received this notebook to the time I wrote this review I've tried Dawn of War 2, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, and Far Cry 3, and it played all of the with 35-45+ frames per second on high settings. The human eye can't see past a little over 30FPS so this is more than acceptable especially for a gaming laptop. And when I say 35FPS I mean minimum, no dips into the 20s and no sign of lag and the games look fantastic I am more than satisfied with the performance of this laptop and this is coming from someone who was concerned he wouldn't be able to play games with the high graphic preferences that he's used to. One last thing that makes this a good laptop: No bloatware. This laptop comes clean without any extra software except for the Synapse 2.0 required to run your touchpad apps. No cleanup required after purchase.
What I Would Change
This is a gaming laptop that doesn't look like the average gaming laptop. Its thin, its sexy, and its powerful. But no product is perfect and a few things could be changed:
- Allow color customization - Green is good and looks great and this feature is kind of gimmicky but people like to customize stuff especially laptops with their own wallpaper and themes and browsers. It's an extension of our personality and the simple ability to change a color can make a huge difference.
- The high price - It's understandable why the price is so high: the build quality is excellent; without and sponsored bloatware, and not being one of the major computer manufacturers these things can get expensive but if there was a way to cut the cost without losing the quality it would be more of a reason to buy. I think the price is the biggest turn off when buying this product.
- A larger hard drive; this should be obvious and it shouldn't cost much more. Throw a terabyte in there.
- IPS screen as mentioned before.
Other than that this is an excellent laptop. It's the best quality I've ever owned or seen in any other laptop and it does what it supposed to for something targeted to gamer and I'd strongly recommend if you can afford it. Also I saw concerns about the touchpad and being left handed being an issue. Im left handed (and most people who are left handed still use their right hand to use their mouse but with touchpads on laptops we tend to use our left hand to browse) and I haven't had issues with the touchpad placement. It feels like your using a mouse and its easy to get used to.
It is able to run all the games I have in Steam smoothly.
It is lighter than most of the laptops that I used.
Fast boot up. I have never used SSD before so I am not sure if this is the fastest SSD. But its definitely much faster than my 3.5" hdd in the desktop.
Gaming-wise, I cannot feel much difference except on max setting. The framerate its lower than my desktop but I expected it.
Heat. It can get quite warm. There's once when I rocked my chair and my thigh hit the bottom of the table top. I could feel the heat from the bottom side!
LED display. The button functions are good to have but can live without. But there's no way you can play FPS with the LED. Simply too slow.
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