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E3 2013: Razer (Impressions)

Posted by: John at 6/12/2013 11:13 PM
At Razer's booth, the buzz was on their new laptops that they announced. Razer was kind enough to walk me through two of their models they had present.

The Razer Blade Pro is the 17" Haswell i7 sporting gaming monster with the Switchblade interface on the keyboard's right side. With 8GB of ram and some SDD connections, the full 43-watt CPU with GeForce GTX 675M laptop was a sight in person. I was really impressed by the Switchblade panel that allowed for a wide varied of colored keys and the large trackpad area can even mirror an area on the screen. That really blew me away. It's really, really thin and you can expect about 6 hours of battery life in general usage. Razer has gone and allowed you to tweak the sensitivity of the trackpad to a point where they say you could use it with games. That remains to be seen, but if so, that's a pretty impressive feat. 

Also on display was the Razer Blade, which is the 14" version. Thinner and more powerful than most Macbook Airs, this 14" gaming laptop also packs the same powerful components found in the Pro version. Now, the small size doesn't allow for the Switchblade interface to be in place, but you do get what sounds to be a pretty beefy gaming laptop at a very small footprint.

The one thing I didn't like was the usage of TN panels. I thought there were muddle colors in some scenes and dark shades of grey rather than blacks. Also, viewing angles were pretty narrow as well. Now, there could be some trade offs that Razer decided was worth it to go with TN panels rather than IPS panels that many others enjoy, but we'll see how it shakes out. Also, no touch screen as well here, and Windows 8 begs to have touchscreen at times. I know gamer's today wouldn't be using it that much, but I think there's use cases that would drive for a touchscreen on a Windows 8 laptop that call for the inclusion of the tech. Perhaps, a future version then.

Overall, the laptop's designs were excellent and I love the feel of them. There's a few things I would've like to have seen differently, but we'll see how it goes and see if the Razer Blade line connects with the road gamer when it gets released.