on October 9, 2012
-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.
on January 8, 2013
I've been a fan of Razer products for a while. Not just the products but the company philosophy of making quality hardware with gamers in mind and so when I saw the new Razer Blade I instantly fell in love with it. The sleek Macbook Pro look, the hardware to actually play games on more than decent settings, and the extras that wow on first glance and then blow your mind when you start to use it. This is definitely the work of people who sat down with a vision and made it without compromise.
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.
on October 19, 2012
I have a desktop PC for gaming and this laptop.
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.
on July 28, 2013
I'm a huge fan of Razer and have only Razer accessories on my gaming PC.
However after this big disappointment, and the reaction of Razer, this will be my last Razer product and i will not recommend getting any of the Razerblade line.
I bought mine in March and we are in July and i already have all these problems :
-Overheating : The laptop is unusable on the laps after 15 minutes of gaming. In the beginning it was okay but after 5 month it's just too hot. I asked the support who told me that i should not use it on my laps (LAPtop ...). They also told me to clean the vents which i did, but the problem is still there. I bought a Cooler Master U3 to cool it, and even with it the keyboard is just really really hot.
-Razer Synapse unstable : I get random crashes of the app, which stops the Touch-pad AND the keyboard for a couple seconds. I can let you imagine when you are playing a multiplayer game and this happens and the best moment ...
-Buzzing power adapter : The power adapter started making a huge buzzing sound (i could hear it with the headphones on). I asked the support to have a replacement which would be ok BUT i am currently traveling for a long time (hence the laptop again) and the support does not replace any part except in the US and I have to first send the power supply in before getting the replacement. Which means i will not be able to use the laptop for some time. The told me to buy a universal replacement. I'm still searching for a 150W laptop power supply that is not either really heavy, or really expensive.
-Dead pixel : 10 minutes ago i just saw a dead pixel appear on the screen. I didn't check with Razer yet, but i can already imagine the answer ...
Other elements are really good, thin and light real gaming laptop. However i just told my brother to take a ROG laptop (half the price ...) and it does not have any of the above problems ... Yes it's not thin and light but since i have to add a cushion or another accessory to be able to play, it's just not worth it.
Too bad Razer everything else was great, but you just lost a client !
on May 3, 2013
Pros: Intel I7 ivy bridge processor
8GB of 1600MHz RAM
adaptive tactile keys
Nvidia GTX 660m 2GB of VRAM
fresh install of windows no bloatware except for the synopse
17.3 inch screen
.8 inches thin
7 pounds light
and still all of this power
I have been doing some hard core gaming( AC3, MW2, Arkham City, Old Republic, crysis 3) lately and I havent had any overheating problems as long as you dont completely cover the 2 vents
and the power adapter weighs less than a poundand is no where near the size of all those powerbricks
i love how the touchpad is on the right side of the keyboard and not in the way of typing but it does take some getting used too
Cons: the only con is windows 8 but that is microsoft's fault not razer
the sound is average but it is not the best but it is also not the worst
Other Thoughts: my other thoughts is that if they could increase the storage next time and maybe increase the ram to 10gb.
and for all of you future buyers please be aware that this has no dvd-rom or drive so it would be wise to start trusting a online store like steam or origin and it would be a good idea to have a external dvd-rom to install those other things like microsoft office and everything else.
and the price is pretty expensive so if you can afford it you will be pleased.
this laptop is great if your a gamer and a college student as well because it is very portable
you might need to tweek the settings on crysis 3 and turn of the antialiasing but with everything else at max it runs at 30-50 framerates per second
dont worry about overheating as long as the 2 vents arent covered on the bottom and youll be fine and the fans arent as loud as most people think but im not saying they are silent while gaming
I bought mine from newegg because they had a free one day shipping bonus
on August 19, 2013
I love the look and feel of Razer's products, and I have bought peripherals and this laptop in spite of the criticisms that come up regularly. Sadly, my laptop quickly developed an intermittent problem with its wireless card that makes mobile online gaming impossible. Given the accuracy of the comments that cautioned against buying it, I don't doubt that the complaints about the customer service are true as well. But I will give Razer a chance and come back to update this comment afterward.
Ok, first I need to post an important disclaimer: I did not end up contacting Razer customer service. I elected not to bother after I went to their support website and found that there was nothing helpful on it whatsoever, which told me that my time would be better spent learning about what other people had done when encountering my problem.
After reading several online comments from other owners of this laptop, I went to Best Buy and picked up a Linksys wireless USB adapter (AC 1200 Dual Band) for $59.99, installed it and disabled the built-in network card. This not only solved the intermittent connectivity problem, it also made a dramatic improvement over the speed I had been getting before the built in Wi-Fi got squirrely on me.
I have upgraded my rating, but only to 2 stars. Personally, I would give it 4 stars because I love so many other aspects of the laptop, and I'm perfectly happy being able to solve the problem for sixty bucks and a plug in adapter because that means I don't have to go through the hassle of sending the laptop back for repair, or replacement with the attendant aggravation of having to reinstall everything - or, worse yet, having to spend a bunch of time on the phone with tech support who want to make sure I've checked every other possible alternative fix before giving me an authorization code to send the machine back to them.
The rating I've compromised on is based on a couple of factors: first, most people would not regard having to buy an external Wi-Fi adapter as an acceptable solution; second, I have had enough problems with Razer's keyboards, mice and most recently my Orbweaver, to know that they deserve the highest marks for design and their commitment to meeting the hardware needs of gamers, but that the reliability of their equipment is an issue.
on May 2, 2013
This laptop is awesome. Much lighter than my 15" Alienware... and much more sexy to look at as well. I have had quite a few people ask me if I was testing a new prototype Macbook Pro. I have found it more than capable of playing today's Triple A titles like Starcraft II, WoW, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, BF3, etc... on very high settings.
The laptop is whisper quiet during normal use (surfing the web, watching a movie, etc..). Fans will kick in while gaming, but even then it isn't obnoxious.
As of yet I haven't found much use for the Switchblade UI. I love the placement of the trackpad, and I like that I can change the picture that the trackpad displays, but the apps available for the trackpad have been fairly useless so far. With the types of games that I play I really don't see a use case where I would open my gmail on my trackpad. Hopefully they will come out with some useful apps at some point. Will just have to wait and see.
on January 10, 2013
I've had a lot of laptops over the years (Apple and Windows), this is by far the best. Its light, thin and the power unit size is great. Switchblade is OK, just needs more apps (volume control widget /hint). Switchblade's location next to the keyboard is a nice touch.
Can't really give a bad review of this computer, as an owner it's been really great so far. All games from Boarderlands 2, NFSmw, WOW, AC3, The Walking Dead, MW2, Black Ops2, DMC, EvE, Mac Payne 3, Sleeping Dogs and my Favorited Just Case 2 all run full setting no problem.
I looked at AlienWare but just couldn't face another overheating massive computer. The Razer Blade is actually portable.
on January 6, 2013
I spoiled myself with this.
The touchpad can be customized to any picture you want, as can the 10 buttons above it.
The keyboard is easy to use and doesn't slow down my typing.
I still use my netbook for a lot of things, but anytime I am going to settle in an area for a while, this is a great laptop to have along.
Battery life is brief playing games (<2 hours), but otherwise will last much of the day.
on November 4, 2013
This is the best gaming laptop I've ever seen. My wife has one of the Asus gaming laptops and of course the specs compare but the sheer size and weight of hers is insane compared to the portability of the Blade.
Pros: Ultra clear HD screen. Comparable to Apples Retina displays.
Thinnest/lightest gaming laptop ever!
The Switchblade trackpad/screen is a jaw dropper.
Cons: Not really anything major, like all laptops it gets hot and like all gaming laptops the battery doesn't last very long. I wish there were more apps for the Switchblade screen, asides from a few FPS games there really isn't support for other genres.