It's hard not to feel some love for Min-Liang Tan and his continuous hype around the upcoming Razer Blade gaming laptop. Razer is a licensed partner of Blizzard Entertainment shipping StarCraft II peripherals. Thus, it's my job to stalk Razer and any upcoming products that might benefit Blizzard gamers.
Over the past three months, Min-Liang Tan has been teasing and teasing and -- darn it -- teasing the Razer Blade. Day and night. Min-Liang definitely dominates the art of driving gamers nuts.
I think to myself, why would people pay $2,799.99 for this gaming laptop? Well, there is simply no way someone can hold back drooling after checking out the specs on this gaming laptop:
Switchblade Multi-Touch Panel
"The Razer Switchblade UI is an all-new innovative user interface designed from the ground up to make your gaming experience more efficient, intuitive, and exciting. Bind an infinite number of commands, skills, and macros to the 10 dynamic adaptive keys with matching icon overlays for the game you're playing. The Switchblade UI is fully customizable for users who prefer to definte their own keysets and also comes with pre-defined profiles for games such as Battlefield 3, Rift, End of Nations, League of Legends, and many more ...
The revolutionary LCD panel below the keys is capable of two modes: one mode that displays in-game information in full vibrant color, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition; and a second mode that functions as an ultra-sensitive multi-touch panel designed for gamers on the go."
Intel i7-2640M Core (2nd Generation) processor / Dual Core 64-Bit
CPU: 2.8 GHz / 3.5 GHz (Base/Turbo)
Intel Mobile Express Series 6 PCH "Cougar Point" Chipset
8GB DDR3 RAM / 1333 MHz
NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M (2GB DRR5) Optimus technology
LED Display: 17.3" - 1080HD, 16:9
Built-in HD Webcam
HDMI, USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, Gigabit Ethernet port
Wi-Fi wireless 802.11 b/g/n compatible
Dimensions: 16.81" W x 10.90" D x .88" thick (2.24cm) versus the standard gaming laptop thickness (1.75")
Weight: 6.9 lbs (3.15kg)
Noticed I left out the Hard Drive specs there? This week Min-Liang revealed via Facebook that Razer managed to downgrade -- I mean, uber-upgrade the formerly-announced 320GB HDD to a blazing-fast 256GB SSD for the final shipping product.
More teasing? A couple days ago, Razer announced Pre-orders will begin any time within the next two weeks and the Razer Blade gaming laptop goes out of the warehouse after Xmas!!!!! Woot!
When talking about Gaming Laptops, It's a no-brainer. You go Alienware. Alienware is now owned by DELL. Just for kicks, I started the order process and picked the closest laptop parts to compare pricing with Razer Blade.
The Alienware seems to have a slight higher parts, likely not much of a difference.
The Razer Blade offers GeForce GT 555M versus Alienware which offers a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M. Razer Blade offers a Intel® Core i7-2640M versus Alienware offers a Intel® Core™ i7 2670QM and other options. Both offer an 8GB RAM DDR3 option, except Razer Blade runs at 1333MHz and Alienware's runs at 1666MHz. Both offer a 256GB SSD drive. Razer Blade lacks a DVD burner.
At checkout, a customized Alienware M17x with as close as possible specs costs $2349 versus Razer Blade $2799.99. No surprise here. I got to mention that's among the cheapest Alienware M17x configurations. They have better options with higher prices.
So the graphic card and the CPU options on the Alienware seem a bit higher, and there's a difference of $450.99 between the Alienware and Razer Blade prices.
Basically, that price difference accounts for three key factors:
Innovation: Switchblade UI Multi-Touch Panel - this is an innovative feature you won't find in the Alienware laptops. It's like bringing an iPad to your PC Gaming. The control UI of your game is directly displayed on this panel allowing you to quickly cast spells, shoot your favorite weapon ammo, and do things you wouldn't be able to do with your normal PC or laptop. You can customize the buttons, and download them from Razer. Sounds like a nice perk to play with.
Portability: Razer Blade weighs only 6.9 lbs. That's truly a mobile laptop. The Alienware M17x weighs twice: 14.8 lbs. Alienware's dimensions -- (W)16.14" (D)11.96" (H)1.77" versus Razer Blade (W)16.81" x (D)10.90" x (H).88"
Design: The Alienware is bulky. The Razer Blade design is thin and simple.
The Alienware laptop has better configuration options. The Razer Blade is a new contender in the gaming laptop market, bring-in innovation in design and a multi-touch panel technology that may attract a niche of gamers to try out that cool concept.
Something that's rarely mentioned is that the Razer engineers designed from the beginning the Razer Blade to have a unique internal air-flow to minimize heat.
I checked up Min-Liang's facebook as I routinely do nigh daily to find yet another tease. That led me to look back at how long these days and months have been (craving) since the first time my radar detected news about Razer Blade (formerly codenamed Razer Switchblade).
Note: Here's a tease of my own. A Razer PR representative confirmed Blizzplanet might get to review Razer Blade. I'll make sure to take video with World of Warcraft, Diablo III and StarCraft II at max settings, and a step-by-step configuration of the Switchblade Multi-Touch panel to load each of these games' spellbar UI. Stay tuned.
Razer Blade Top Stories
CES 2011: Razer Switchblade (Jan 6, 2011)
Razer Teaases Epic Product in the Horizon (Aug 16, 2011)
Razer Manifesto Declares War Against XBox, PS3, and Wii (Aug 23, 2011)
Razer Announces Razer Blade World’s First True Gaming Laptop (Aug 26, 2011)
Recent Facebook Teasing
Min-Liang Tan: Waitaminute - who approved Kian to bring the Razer Blade to the USS Hornet LAN?!? The Razer US central command aboard the USS Hornet. Yep, that's the Blade making its first BYOC appearance. -- read more (Oct 16, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: Here's a stream of the Razer Blade Q&A session at the PAX keynote. -- read more (Oct 18, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: Legend in making - he played phenomenally well at Blizzcon. World StarCraft 2 GSL Champion SlayerS_MMA graces us with his badassery - and we give him a Razer Blade to play with. -- read more (Oct 22, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: Top: Standard PSU for Gaming Notebooks Bottom: Razer Blade PSU. We redesigned the Razer Blade's power supply from ground up - it's approx 1/3 the size and thickness and less than half the weight! A standard 17"gaming laptop (incl PSU) will weigh up to 15 lbs or more while the Razer Blade (incl PSU) will weigh half of that. -- read more (Oct 23, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: I remember the days when I was playing games on the first 4 color CGA monitor, being amazed at the 16 color EGA card and dumbfounded when VGA came out. It pretty much took my breath away. And I just played Battlefield 3 - it's so beautiful that I can't imagine how far we've come. And we've only just started. We - the gamers - will inherit the world. (of course, Min-Liang teasing Razer Blade yet again) -- read more (Oct 26, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: And yet again, the Razer Blade wins CES Top Innovations Award 2012 for Gaming. -- read more (Nov 11, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: Development has been sluggish the past couple of weeks because I've been playing BF3, Skyrim and MW3 on my Razer Blade. Don't blame me - blame the devs. -- read more (Dec 5, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: Here's an update on pre-orders and a SSD bump up for the Razer Blade! -- read more (Dec 7, 2011)
Min-Liang Tan: That's 30 Blades in a room heated up to 35° Celsius/95° Fahrenheit running diagnostics. The ones with a dark screen aren't off - they're in the midst of reboot. -- read more (Dec 9)