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83

Razer's second-gen Blade is what the original should have been

83

It's hard to hit the market with a self-given description as the "world's first true gaming laptop" only to get knocked down by critics. Subpar audio, a finicky hinge and crippled performance were all common complaints about the original Razer Blade. The reaction among gamers sent a shockwave through Razer, and the company vowed to do better. As for us, we're seeing a fixed hinge, better (but still lackluster) audio offerings and a significant leap in performance. And we'll say this: If we had to choose one gaming laptop to lug outside the house, it'd be this. It's slim, attractive, slightly more manageable than other gaming rigs and -- perhaps most importantly -- it won't stick out like a sore thumb in public.

But even with a $300 price drop, the Blade remains firmly fixed in luxury-item territory. Before dropping $2,500, prospective buyers should understand they're purchasing style, not staying power. The new Blade may be fit to take on most contemporary PC games, but it's far from future-proof. Owning the best-looking gaming laptop on the market means making compromises: dialing down performance in games and accepting the fact that you may need to upgrade sooner than you might have if you spent less on a homelier rig. That's a tall order, and it's hard to say if it's worth it. Nobody ever said these kinds of decisions were easy.

Critic reviews

7.7
12 reviews
  • Speed and features
    7.7
  • Design and form factor
    8.2
  • Battery life
    7.3
  • Display
    7.7
  • Durability
    8.0
  • Expandability
    7.3
  • Noise
    8.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.4

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User reviews

8.7
3 reviews
8.0
Engadget Sep 30, 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.

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8.0
Gizmodo Oct 2, 2012

If you are looking for a straight-up gaming rig and don't care about size or looks or weight or practicality or herniated discs, no—god no—you shouldn't buy this. But if you're looking for a laptop that you can use in real life, ... the Blade actually makes sense for you now.

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8.0
AnandTech Oct 3, 2012

The new Blade is a far more well rounded system than the original, with the computing power to match its looks and a far more robust hardware (thermal) and software platform to support it.

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8.0
PC Mag Oct 11, 2012

Slim and sexy, the Razer Blade (2012) laptop offers lighter, more portable gaming, and the innovative Switchblade UI, but it will cost you, both in price and features.

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8.0
CNET Oct 17, 2012

Faster and better than before, the improved Razer Blade is a better gaming laptop in an impressively thin form, but you're paying for design over practicality.

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7.0
Laptop Magazine Sep 30, 2012

We didn't think it could be done. But Razer has managed to create a highly portable 17.3-inch gaming notebook that delivers remarkable performance for its size .. Just don't expect the same blistering frame rates you'd get from much beefier rigs.

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7.0
Wired Oct 1, 2012

While the Blade remains a quirky and wholly unique computing — and gaming — computer, I’m hard-pressed to name a more enjoyable gaming laptop.

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7.0
PC World Nov 19, 2012

So if you're a LAN party aficionado looking for something lighter than the usual massive gaming laptops, Razer's Blade is a sleek system that will turn heads. But if you're looking to acquire a thin, light 17-inch laptop as a tool for photography or other general use, you'll want something else.

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7.0
Ars Technica Dec 20, 2012

It just isn't quite the complete package—gamers who insist on the best FPS possible will find cheaper laptops elsewhere, and the same is true of those who want to game but also want something more portable.

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8.0
Kotaku Oct 5, 2012

While there's definitely room for the Razer Blade to improve, particularly in the graphics card department, the second generation of the surprisingly portable, seductively stylish gaming laptop is a marked improvement over the original.

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9.0
TechRadar Sep 30, 2012

From top to bottom, the Razer Blade is a very well-thought out design, and is a joy to use on a day to day basis.

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8.0
IGN Oct 4, 2012

While there's still work to be done, if each iteration improves this much (and is able to consistently cut the price), we're destined to see Razer become a strong force in computer gaming very quickly.

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8.0
marc marc

The second-generation Razer Blade is a hard computer to evaluate, in part because it tries to do so much. As a gaming PC, it's comparable to some similar models in its class, with a sharp, full HD 17-inch display, and the power to run most modern games at high frame rates, with some cranked all...

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9.0
Keith04 Keith04

This laptop and the retina MacBook are similar but this comes in a one size fits all the MacBook maxed out is 3800 dollars the speed is good enough not great but good enough the display is Beautiful and bright it does get a tad bit gaming but everyday tasks it is fine I don't like the lack of...

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