- Speed and features Fast and reliable, for both gaming and non-gaming apps.
- Design and form factor A beautiful machine that looks like nothing else out there.
- Battery life This is not a computer you're going to want to take very far from an AC outlet.
- Display Large, full-HD display is great for gaming, watching videos, or just working.
- Durability Anodized aluminum body feels very sturdy.
- Expandability Limited configuration options compared to other gaming laptops.
- Noise No comments
- Portability (size / weight) At 6 pounds, this is light for a 17-inch gaming laptop, but it's still not something you're going to want to carry around all day.
The Blade also boasts something you won't find on any other laptop (other than its first-generation sibling, that is): Razer's Switchblade UI, which consists of 10 customizable keys and an LCD touchpad. The touchpad can double as a secondary display, and built-in keyboard shortcuts let you use it for Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook, among other things. That can be handy if you have to check your mail now, but don't want to leave the game you're playing on the primary display. You can also record macros and customize the keys and display to do just about anything you'd like. And things get even more interesting when you use an app designed to let the Switchblade work directly with a game, such as the Star Wars: The Old Republic Combat Logger, which tracks your in-game health. However, right now, there are only a handful of Switchblade apps available, and some are fairly limited in functionality. Hopefully, as more developers take advantage of the device (which is also available on some of Razer's keyboards, like the $249 DeathStalker Ultimate), that might change. As a touchpad, the Switchblade isn't ideal. The glass surface can feel a little too smooth and slippery, and its location on the right side of the keyboard makes it awkward for lefties like me to use. I kept instinctively moving my hand to the space below the keyboard, where most touchpads are located, and in the end, had to use an external mouse instead. That may not be a big deal, since lots of laptop touchpads are terrible, and it's pretty common to use a decent gaming mouse instead. But it does undermine at least some of what makes the Blade worth considering, especially for lefties.
In the end, I'd say the Blade is a beautiful, ambitious laptop that can justify its premium price over other portable gaming rigs thanks to its great industrial design and unique features like the Switchblade. If you want the most powerful (or the cheapest) gaming laptop available, you should look elsewhere. If you want the coolest, and the most portable, you you may not be able to find a better option.
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Updated detailed review