Razer Blade review (late 2012)
Razer's second-generation Blade is what we wanted the original to be: fast, powerful, and impossibly thin for a machine in this class. Unfortunately, it's still almost as expensive as ever.
- Fast and powerfulExcellent build qualitySlim, beautiful designGood battery life (for a gaming laptop)
- Audio is still lackluster (though it has improved)Switchblade UI has potential, but needs work
Razer has made a habit of catching us off guard -- breaking the mold as an accessory manufacturer by building laptops, prototype game handhelds and controller-toting tablets. Their Blade laptop cut through our expectations as well, featuring a beautiful aluminum shell and one of the thinnest profiles of any gaming rig on the market. It had some serious flaws, though: it was underpowered, had minor build issues and simply fell short in the audio department. Its maker, apparently, wasn't deterred: mere months after the original Blade's own debut, Razer is now introducing a successor. Most of the changes are internal: this model swaps out the original's Sandy Bridge CPU and last-generation NVIDIA graphics for a newly announced 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-3632QM processor and a Kepler-based GeForce GTX 660M GPU. It caught our interest -- Razer had previously insisted its first laptop wasn't built just for power, but for a premium experience. Now, the firm seems to be focusing on both (now that's a premium experience we can get behind). So, is this upgrade enough to make up for the OG version's shortcomings? Read on to find out.