I was recently asked what I thought about the upcoming Razer Blade gaming laptop, which will be available this year for $2800.
If that amount shocks you, you weren’t the first! What makes this a $2800 laptop? Mostly, it is the special multitouch touchpad LCD display, along with a row of 10 buttons with built-in displays (like the old Optimus Maximus keyboard that worked well as a concept but failed when it finally launched).
Aside from that, it is also very slim and light for its size. But you might be wondering, how would it compare to a similarly priced 17″ gaming laptop? Well believe it or not, you can easily reach $2800 and above by customizing an Alienware M17x, which is what I have done. Here is how they compare:
|Alienware M17x||Razer Blade|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 2860QM 2.5GHz Quad Core (3.6GHz Turbo, 8MB Cache)||Intel Core i7 2640M 2.8 GHz Dual Core (3.5 GHz Turbo, 4MB Cache)|
|Video||Nvidia GeForce GTX 580M (2GB)||Nvidia GeForce GTX 555M (2GB)|
|RAM||8GB DDR3 1600 MHz||8GB DDR3 1333 MHz|
|Display||17.3-inch 1920x1080 120Hz WLED (IPS Panel)||17.3-inch 1920x1080 60Hz WLED (TN Panel)|
|HDD||500 GB 7200 RPM SATA2||320 GB 7200 RPM SATA2|
|Optical||BD-ROM/DVDRW Slot Load||None|
|Ports||USB 2.0: 2|
USB 3.0: 2
eSATA+USB 2.0: 1
Analog Audio Out: 2
Digital Audio Out: 1
Microphone In: 1
Media Reader: Yes
|USB 2.0: 2
USB 3.0: 1
eSATA+USB 2.0: None
Analog Audio Out: 0.5 (shared with mic)
Digital Audio Out: 0
Microphone In: 0.5 (shared with headphone)
Media Reader: No
|Weight||9.67 lbs||6.9 lbs|
|Battery||92 Whr||60 Whr|
As you can see, the Razer Blade doesn’t stand up to the Alienware at all. It has only a dual core CPU, a MUCH slower GPU (the 580M has 384 Unified Shader Units while the 555M has 144). Depending on clock speed, the 580M may have up to twice the fill rate. The display is just a normal LED backlit TN panel, while the Alienware offers a 120 Hz IPS panel capable of 3D gaming. If you have never used an IPS panel before, it makes a HUGE difference.
Although the Razer will be very slick looking and light in comparison, it also sacrificed battery capacity, and doesn’t have nearly enough ports, lacks a memory card reader, and doesn’t even have a Blu-Ray drive.
So as it turns out, the Razer is all show and no go. Of course we won’t know for sure how useful that neat touchpad and keys will be until the laptop comes out with games supporting it, you can get MUCH more for the same price (or even less – you don’t have to spend much to meet the Razer Blade’s specs).
And by the way, a similarly spec’d (but still better, as it has a quad core CPU, larger hard drive, more external ports, Blu-Ray, better screen, and slightly better graphics adapter) Alienware will cost around $1900. So really, you are paying almost $1000 for that fancy touchpad and buttons.
Hope this helps!