Razer Blade review
Razer's first gaming laptop is impressive, though marred by minor, yet head-scratching flaws. Barring those (and its sky-high price), Razer has a winner on its hands.
- Outstanding fit and finishCustomizable LCD keysAbsolutely gorgeous
- Subpar audioFinicky hingePortability infringes on performance
Typically, when a company wants to meet, you expect more of the same -- not a change in strategy, nor a decision to enter an entirely new product category. So when Razer wanted to meet us one bright, oddly cold San Franciscan morning last August, we certainly weren't expecting to meet its CEO, Min-Liang Tan, and we definitely weren't prepared to find a 17-inch prototype laptop, henceforth known as the Blade. Shaving puns aside, we listened to Tan proudly wax on about the results of nearly three years of development, much of which involved recruiting a bevy of talent from the now-defunct OQO. What they'd accomplished, according to Tan, was the "world's first true gaming portable." An audacious statement, sure, especially considering the Blade was to be Razer's foray into the PC market. No matter. Tan's impetus was clear: the outfit would cater to gamers who'd been left in a vacuum after formerly gaming-obsessed companies sold out, leaving the segment to languish. His angle, however, would be different. The Blade wasn't going to be a gaudy, gargantuan, no-holds barred device with outright performance in mind. No, instead the 0.8-inch thick aluminum beaut would attempt to straddle the worlds of portability with performance, seeking to hit a perfectly balanced middle ground. That sounded reasonable, but judging by reactions from most of you, the decision to stuff this $2,799 rig with a mid-range GeForce GT 555M card wasn't. Nor was the call to kit it with a paltry 320GB of rotational storage. Razer would rectify the latter in December, promising 256GB SSDs for all -- a concession that would push shipments back, well, until now. Still, even after toying with it briefly at CES, our impressions were ultimately shallow, as we couldn't get much of a feel for it in that controlled environment. Which brings us to the present day, and with Razer graciously airdropping a Blade onto our doorstep, does this experimental laptop stand up to its maker's gutsy claims? Or will those who've shelled just shy of three grand be sorely disappointed with its execution? Well, there's only one way to find out, and that's to join us past the break.
How It Stacks Up
Yoga 3 Pro
MacBook (early 2015)
XPS 13 (2015)
Series 7 Chronos (2013)
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