The race to the bottom has wrecked havoc in the PC industry. The only PC maker with decent margins is Apple, and even they aren’t doing anything particularly innovative. Razor, though, wants to buck the trend. After a ballsy marketing campaign, the company has unveiled the Razer Blade. The Razer Blade is what you get when you combine the team behind OQO, add some engineers from Dell, Apple, and others, and tell them to design the thinnest, most stylish gaming laptop – no questions asked. The result is striking.
The Razer Blade is a superthin, very powerful and extremely stylish gaming laptop – with ten programmable keys (each key is a tiny display) and a small LCD multitouch display acting as a touchpad. It also packs some fairly decent specifications, especially when you take into account just how thing this 17.3″ laptop really is. It makes the MacBook Pro look downright bulky.
- 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 2640M Processor
- 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 Memory
- 17.3″ LED Backlit Display (1920×1080)
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M with NVIDIA Optimus Technology
- 2GB Dedicated GDDR5 Video Memory
- Built-in HD Webcam
- Integrated 60Wh Battery
- 320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
- Wireless Network 802.11 b/g/n Compatible
- 16.81″x10.9″x0.88″; 6.97lbs
I’m absolutely thrilled by the justification given by Razer for designing and building this device. No focus groups, no research, since those would probably indicate there’s no market for this anyway. This was designed from the get-go as something the people at Razor themselves would want to use, as Razer’s Min-Liang Tan, the CEO and creative director, told Ars. “So, in short, there’s no market if you ask the guy in the suit, but we’ve designed something that we have always wanted for ourselves – we don’t care about the market at large – we do care about the PC gamer,” he told Ars, “If we designed based on the ‘market’ you wouldn’t see many of the things that we have launched.”
He has a point. Razer makes some extremely odd mice and keyboards specifically for gamers, which comes with quite the hefty price tag. No sane person would ever buy these things, Razer was told, but people were wrong. There is a market for these kinds of truly PC gamer oriented products, and I can only applaud Razer for having the Krogan balls to design a laptop like this.
Of course, a product like this doesn’t come cheap – it will be available in the fourth quarter of this year for an incredibly hefty $2799. That’s a hell of a lot of money, but considering this laptop, it might actually be worth it. It’s a truly portable gaming laptop with interesting control options, and it looks infinitely better than those ridiculously garish AlienWare “laptops”. On top of that – nobody has anything like this on offer – not even Apple. The MacBook Pro 17″ only goes up to 2.3Ghz i7, but matching out the other specs raises the base MBP 17″ price to a whopping $2949, and you’ll only have 2.3Ghz (edit: D’oh! MBP has a quad-core chip), but you do get a larger hard drive.
Launching a product like this in the current PC market takes a lot of courage, guts, and a healthy dose of positive insanity – and thank god people like the guys and girls at Razer still exist. I don’t have the money for something like this, but I hope many others do – this kind of thing needs to succeed.