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Razer Announces Dedicated Gaming Laptop 200

An anonymous reader writes "After recently running a full-page ad in the WSJ saying, 'PC gaming is not dead,' Razer has now announced a new laptop, the Blade, for the express purpose of playing video games. Its most distinctive feature is what they call the 'Switchblade' UI, which is an area next to the keyboard that has a multi-touch LCD screen and 10 dynamic keys. The screen can receive and display information from games, and the keys can show unique icons particular to the game you're playing. The requisite hardware for a gaming laptop makes it weigh almost seven pounds, but it's less than an inch thick. Another distinctive feature is the price — at $2,800, they price a lot of gamers right out of the market. As the article says, 'It's a gamble, but an exciting one.'"
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Razer Announces Dedicated Gaming Laptop

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  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:05PM (#37222294)
    but "gaming laptops" where never alive. The concept is kind of silly given the rate at which gamers upgrade hardware and how static a notebooks configuration is.
    • Who cares about that?
      They apparently made a highend quality PC with a decent design, and something which has no marked yet.
      That alone deserves a large salute.

      • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @05:16PM (#37223060)

        And I'd seriously buy one tomorrow if the touchpad was in the center instead of the right side...see Razer, I'm left handed... and precision mousing is like handwriting, drawing, pointing... I can use a mouse offhand for point-and-click stuff... but gaming? Sure I'll play you offhand... if you do too.

        Too be fair they do have some abidextrous stuff and a left handed death adder which is actually not complete garbage... so they aren't the worst company, but a lot (although not all) of the RH only stuff could be ambidextrous with just a bit more effort.

        The blade for example, could possibly have been engineered to let the end user swap the places of the keypad and mouse.... its a $2800 laptop, a few bucks to support this wouldn't have broken the bank. And it might have boosted sales by another 10%...

      • And you know what's funny? They're actually charging MORE than Apple for a similarly-specced laptop. 2.8ghz dual i7 vs 2.2ghz quad i7, 320GB drive vs 750GB drive, the video cards are roughly equivalent, although Razer does have the advantage of 2GB of memory. Still, that probably won't give you much advantage over 1GB as the GPUs themselves aren't all that fast to begin with.

        When you're actually charging MORE for specs than Apple then maybe it's time to reevaluate your business strategy.
    • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:22PM (#37222444)

      I own and use a gaming laptop. I travel for business on a regular basis, and spend about 20 weeks a year living in various hotels. Being able to play a few rounds of Starcraft or TF2 with my friends in the evening is well worth the $1400/3 yrs I end up spending on hardware.

      It's a niche market, to be sure, but I'm glad it's being served. (Although this particular laptop is well outside my price range.)

      • by cephyn ( 461066 )

        but you can get a MORE powerful laptop for LESS money. this thing is crazy.

      • I got an alienware gaming laptop, the build quality is very good, the whole things feels really solid. One thing to note - be aware that the advertized Razer machine uses Optimus tech which means you would not be able to use Nvidia GPU in Linux at all. I specifically got a version of aliwenware mx11 that uses pre-Optimus GPU switching.
      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
        I purchased fairly high end ($1k+) laptops for gaming myself while in school. I bought one that lasted me all through undergrad (allowed me to work/play on my bed/wherever, and also easily bring my laptop home, as I went to school about 4.5 hours away from where I lived) and a second when I started graduate school. I needed to be able to work/take notes in class/at school, but still be able to play at home. It was well worth the money, too.
    • It's only silly if your definition of a "gamer" necessarily involves "graphics whore," a lot of disposable income, and only playing the latest games. Which I'd suggest is a silly definition.

      I have a laptop with a Core i5-450M and a GeForce 310M. Far from cutting edge even when I bought it, but I play plenty of games on it. It handled New Vegas fine. Definitely not at top-level graphics, bushes were visible at a mile instead of ten miles or whatever. But for my budget, it works better than the 360.
    • Yeah, but gaming rigs are hitting the plateau that office PCs hit years ago. I'm still running a pair of GTX 260 video cards from back in the day and an old quad-core AMD processor and I can max out the graphics quality settings on most games no problem at 1920x1080. That's going to be true for just about ever PC game as long as publishers are cranking out the same titles for both PC and consoles. I could build a new gaming rig with killer specs but it wouldn't make my games any better. Maybe if I wante

    • I actually, completely disagree. I bought an Asus "Gamer" laptop, 2 weeks ago. The thing is a BEAST. But, if my desktop is ANY indication, it is future proof enough, I won't have to replace it for 4+ years.

      The tech has changed. We are not seeing the crazy upgrade cycles we used to, unless you have some SERIOUS money to spend on BLEEDING edge components.

      Maybe in a few years, there will be enough market penetration to get this thing down in price, and an updated model will be my next machine. Oh, and whe

    • I'm sure that the creators of AlienWare would respectably disagree. They make quite a business of cramming desktop parts into mobile cases and powering them from a battery which lasts about 20 minutes.

      The fact is there are plenty of people out there who need to have only the one PC and don't want to give up their gaming life as a result. This is quite common for many Uni students living on campus in tiny little boxes, and my experience with hosting/admin medium sized LAN parties (biggest was 150 people) is

      • I think part of that is because people just don't know how to build desktop PCs properly. Lots of people buying too big of PSUs and too big of cases, and then doing crappy airflow management and such. I've got dual overclocked 6970's (flashed 6950 reference cards) and an i5-2500K@4.89GHz running in a mid-tower that weighs maybe 30lbs. Max. Stuffed it all into a CoolerMaster Storm Scout, GPUs never go over 88 or so, CPU never over 75, and that's with only having a swamp cooler, no actual air conditioning.


  • It's spec'd at around a $1400 normal gaming rig (that's being generous). It sure looks cool though. Thin too. You have to wonder how good the cooling system is on that thing...

    I'll stick to gaming on a desktop for now, thanks.
  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <> on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:08PM (#37222330) Homepage
    Too expensive, but damn that is a badass looking laptop. You could bring it to the hipster coffee shop and look cooler than all the mac users.
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Funny)

      by royallthefourth ( 1564389 ) <> on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:19PM (#37222424)

      I can hear the girls swooning now.
      "Oh, this? I paid 3x as much as anyone else pays for their laptop so that I can play lots of video games."

      • I can hear the girls swooning now.

        Well, atleast _I_ would be drooling at a laptop like this :P

      • by Splab ( 574204 )

        Erm, since he is at a hip cafe, the others are likely using MacBook Pros, which happen to have even more costly than the Razor thing, when matching the specs. (Apple doesn't come with same 2.8Ghz CPU, but choosing their high offer + 8GB gives you a price tag of 2900 for the 17").

  • by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:16PM (#37222380)

    "320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD"

    For a gaming laptop? With games now taking 10-20 GB of space each? You'll either need a hell of an connection and stay deleting/redownloading using steam or whatever, or an external drive which will ruin the look.

    • Well, its better than the 256GB (pretty much at most) SSD that many people are complaining it doesn't have. Also, I've never seen a 7200 RPM laptop drive before. But 320GB isn't too bad, you'd want an external for mass storage anyways.
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        Also, I've never seen a 7200 RPM laptop drive before. But 320GB isn't too bad, you'd want an external for mass storage anyways.

        Really? 7200RPM drives have been around forever - heck my old PowerBook has one and it dates to 2003.

        And given it's a 17" laptop, it should have plenty of space for a dual-drive configuration, of which you can fit an SSD + 750GB HD quite easily. Heck, some 17" laptops are large enough to hold those fancy 12mm drives so you can do 1.5TB+1.5GB with RAID if you wanted.

        • I'm thinking the 0.88" thick part makes it harder to for a dual-drive configuration and fit everything else. That and the 2nd display/track pad.
      • The Seagate Momentus XT drives are all 7200RPM. Western Digital Scorpio drives are 7200RPM, and the OEM Toshiba drive that came in my Dell XPS M1730 was 7200RPM. In most cases, you can get them for not that much more than the 5400RPM drives. However, many laptops don't come with them by default (unless they're higher end like this Razer machine or an Alienware or the high end MBP's) because the difference in battery life is generally more visible than the difference in I/O between the two technologies.

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Marketing. It's for the little kid who wants to talk mom and dad into buying him a "gaming laptop" for Christmas, or for the new college kid who wants to show off to all his friends in the dorm when really he has no idea what he needs. Laptops aren't for gaming, period. Tell me how you are going to upgrade the video card when next year's uber "must have" game comes out? How about the CPU. How hard is it to swap the motherboard in a laptop. Oh, you can't do any of those things? But a decent high end laptop f
    • by rsborg ( 111459 )

      "320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD"

      For a gaming laptop? With games now taking 10-20 GB of space each? You'll either need a hell of an connection and stay deleting/redownloading using steam or whatever, or an external drive which will ruin the look.

      Yeah, that sounds really weak. If it were the ultimate gaming laptop, it would have SSD + HD and load all the OS/Apps on the SSD and HD for things that won't fit on the SSD... even a 60G/500G combo is quite stellar and cost effective.

    • what games are these? the biggest space hog on my drive is WoW @ around 20GB, the next closest might be Fallout NV + DLC which is only around 8GB. Most other games (CoD, MoH, HL2) come in under that fully installed. I suppose if all you play are MMO's then 20GB could be a common size.

      Anyway, what you suggest is exactly what I do, I don't see the need to have 50GB of games sitting on my drive when I can reinstall from Steam whenever. Particularly with an FPS since now days they tend to have damn littl
      • Well right now I'm playing Empire:Total War which according to steam has Disk Usage of 15,091MB
        Napolean:Total war is over 20GB.

        And these aren't latest games. At all.

        Of course YMMV depending on what you like playing, but I usually keep them installed in case I feel like playing a quick game of something or other.

      • Exactly. I like keeping my games installed, even more so on a laptop because you never know if you'll have a solid, fast internet connection if you're traveling. It may be enough to play multiplayer, but not enough to download a game you and your friends play. My steamapps folder is 220GB currently... that's a little excessive, but on my laptop it's still a solid 100GB or so with just my most commonly played games. Add in movies (2-10GB each) and music and other stuff you'll want to carry with you in a lapt

  • Its gorgeous. Simply beautiful. I know I won't buy it. I like games, but if I want to PC game, I can get a great experience for so much less money with a desktop. Also I don't have to worry about switching out hardware nearly as much. If I wanted to spend that much money on a good-looking laptop I would get another Macbook Pro... then it will have the added benefit of running OS X. Of course it wouldn't be a gaming laptop then, but who really needs a gaming laptop AND has almost 3 grand to spend on it

    • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:36PM (#37222616)

      Actually, the Blade has a weaker CPU than the MacBook Pro and only a slightly better GPU.

      It's hardly a "gaming" notebook by today's standards; they compromised performance to get that sleek design. The trackpad display is interesting, but I can't imagine too many game developers will bother to support it. The custom buttons could be nice for MMOs, but all in all I can't really see why I'd want to spend hundreds more on this over a 17" MacBook Pro.

      Still, if it's a quality machine on the inside, I wish them well. It's nice seeing companies break out of the race to the bottom and put out well-built hardware.

  • by dreemernj ( 859414 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:27PM (#37222488) Homepage Journal
    And they are especially useful for all those times you are looking at your keyboard while playing a game. I know I spend at least 50% of the time I play video games staring at the keyboard thinking "What does W do again?" Now it'll change to an arrow or a picture of a person walking or something.

    Up until now, gaming computers really dropped the ball because they were only displaying beautiful game content on the screen. Razer has stepped it up a notch by bringing game content to where your eyes are always looking: the keyboard.

    I take back everything terrible I ever said about Razer. It is now obvious that they have a firm understanding of how gamers use their input devices.
  • What's going to convince a game developer to spend significant resources to develop a second-screen interface for the limited number of people who buy this laptop? It's doomed to live in the same world as Aureal A3D or other hardware sound accelerators, non-HID joysticks, or any other technology that never had a big enough market to be worth developing for.

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Its a large multi-touch pad. Even if it spends all its time showing a static image or nothing at all, it will still be useful.

      • Well - you can buy Apple's "Magic Trackpad" for $70 to get multi-touch in Windows. Still, are games even adopting multi-touch in any significant way? $70 vs. a $1000 premium on a laptop for a few games that might put a picture on that little screen seems silly even for a gamer.

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          Your thinking about it too much as a gamer thing.

          I'd like a powerful but small windows laptop with a large multitouch pad...

          Hell.. this is why i bought a macbook pro.

  • Giant Mistake (Score:4, Interesting)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @04:27PM (#37222502)
    $2800 bucks and they didn't even think it out? Most gamers are right handed, and PC gamers still predominately use a mouse in their right hand. so the special keypad should have been on the left, not on the right side of the keyboard (or for $2800 bucks I would expect to see a keyboard system that would let the special keypad be moved to either side).
    • Look closer: it also happens to be the touch pad for the laptop.
    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      It's funny, in many articles random people will talk about how the manufacturer made some obvious mistake. 90% of the time those random people are just fucking stupid, with this article they are right.

      You make a very good point, and definitely one that a gaming mouse manufacturer should have known.

  • "PC gaming is dying! Quick, save it by giving us all your money!"
  • Gaming on a laptop with a "mobile" GPU sucks compared to the discrete GPU, unless there are some FutureMark 3DMark numbers that show otherwise ...

  • I think it's cool. Gaming PCs have always been expensive. This one looks pretty good and should avoid sneers and giggles if you take it out in public. I won't be buying one, of course, because I don't have that kind of money to drop on games, but I WANT it.

  • That's all I have to say. Show me a laptop that will let me run video cards in 3 or 4 way SLI. Oh, and my water cooled screaming 4 monitor system costs less than your shitty laptop. About half as much.
    • That's all I have to say. Show me a laptop that will let me run video cards in 3 or 4 way SLI. Oh, and my water cooled screaming 4 monitor system costs less than your shitty laptop. About half as much.

      OK, now pack up your gaming rig and take it to your friend's house for your LAN party. I'll pack up my laptop, and we'll see who gets there first and with less hassle.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        Gamers never leave the basement. Friends? What are those? God, you really don't understand the demographic, do you?
        • Gamers never leave the basement. Friends? What are those? God, you really don't understand the demographic, do you?

          Have you ever heard of a LAN party?

          • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
            Yeah, that is so last century. You've heard of the internet, right? Think of it as one big LAN....
            • Yeah, that is so last century. You've heard of the internet, right? Think of it as one big LAN....

              Yes, but there are some of us out there who would rather have the added benefit of being able to crack open a case of Wild Cherry Pepsi and tortilla chips, fire up a copy of Unreal Tournament 2004/UT3/Counterstrike/HL2:DM/CoD4/Starcraft, and enjoy social interaction with our friends without having issues with ping times. Seriously, my friends and I have one every so often; it's a LOT of fun. You should try it sometime.

    • You don't speak for all "real gamers", no.

  • The setup I'd want is even more expensive than this one though.

  • Damn that's expensive, but it looks really sharp. I really like the idea behind the multitouch panel to the right of the keyboard.

  • That thing is hot. Actually just the keyboard is hot! I want that keyboard in standalone form!

  • Now, I'm actually in their target market - I generally game on a laptop, and I'm actually looking for a replacement (current one is ~3 years old, starting to run current games badly). But this one isn't good. Why?
    1. Heat. There's barely any vents on this, and a LOT of hot gear on the inside. I wouldn't be surprised if this has actual problems functioning like it is.
    2. Battery life. 60Wh sounds like a lot, but there's a TON of stuff trying to eat that battery. The CPU draws 25 watts, the GPU 35, 7200RPM hard

    • I think they intend the touchscreen to be used in place of the mouse. Which'd actually work well, if the games had direct support for the hardware. But that's the kicker, getting game-dev support.

      • Getting it to work as just a mouse should be simple - doing drivers like that is easy.

        The problem is taking advantage of the display portion. The default drivers will probably offer something similar to what my dumb trackpad does - tapping one corner will turn on a simple menu, letting you do common things like change the volume, pause/play a media player, or change the screen brightness. Maybe they'll have little applets, that do stuff like display CPU usage and temps, or maybe a music visualizer.

        But as fa

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      You missed one. 802.11 b/g/n. WTF?

      b/g/n is for weaksauces and cheap low power wireless networking (it.s 2.4GHz only). Modern laptops that aren't low end come with dual band a/b/g/n.

      I don't think even the dual band cards and antennas are THAT expensive. Especially for a laptop that costs as much as Apple's.

      I wonder if the Macbook Pro 17" compares. It won't on graphics (MBP has a 5750 or something), but the MBP has a nicer 1920x1200 screen... and quad core too, i think?

      • I wonder if the Macbook Pro 17" compares. It won't on graphics (MBP has a 5750 or something), but the MBP has a nicer 1920x1200 screen... and quad core too, i think?

        Current 17" Macbook Pros start with a quad-core, 2.2gHz processor. It's the same subfamily (Sandy Bridge i7) as the Blade's, so the numbers are comparable. So, with the exception of the few games that are singlethreaded, it will perform better. Graphically, the Macbook uses a Radeon 6750, which is about on par with the GeForce 555M based on the benchmarks I saw. It's weaker, but not by much.

        The Macbook also has less RAM (4gb instead of 8), but at the same speed. Storage is weird - the default hard drive is

    • by Cederic ( 9623 )

      I'm also in their core target market, and 4-5 months ago I paid a comparable amount and got a laptop with
      - quad core i7
      - faster graphics card
      - 250gb SSD + 750gb 7200rpm spindle disk
      - touchpad where I can actually use it
      - erm, one extra USB port. And yeah, I use four at times.

      I actually do love the idea of making the touchpad a screen. I'm not sure what I'd _use_ it for, but I _like_ it and I want it. But not over there, not in place of a numpad, particularly not in place of cursor keys.

      As designed, it's an

  • Whatever library they are giving to game makers to make that keyboard display happen, let it ALSO display the same control surface on a smartphone or iPad with custom app... then game makers would be a lot more inclined to add support.

  • Description from the article:
    2.8GHz Intel® CoreTM i7 2640M Processor
    8GB 1333MHz DDR3 Memory
    17.3" LED Backlit Display (1920x1080)
    NVIDIA GeForce® GT 555M with NVIDIA® OptimusTM 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" (Width) x 10.9" (Depth) x 0.88" (Height); 6.97lbs (Weight)
    It will ship in the fourth quarter of 2011 for $2,799.99.

    Cost of an actual gaming laptop with a GTX and SSD $240

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      "No one uses anywhere near 320GB on their primary drive."

      Dude, I have information from the beginning of the 90s till now. 38TB of information.

      Maybe *YOU* don't need that much space.

  • Who do they think they are? Apple?
    • Compared to a 17" MBP, this Razer has an older generation i7, slightly faster GPU, slightly thinner, about a pound heavier, and $300 more. So almost but not quite an Apple.
  • They on crack.
    Makes apole look value

  • I spend about that much for a Macbook Pro every 2-3 years, so the price isn't crazy.

    What is crazy is spending that much money on a Razer product. Razer gear is real hit and miss in terms of build quality.

    They know ergonomics better than anyone else in the business, but no fucking way I'd spend that money on a Razer. As a long time gamer, I have lost confidence in their ability to build a quality product. I know down in my gut that the trackpad's going to lose a lot of it's functionality in a few months,
  • 3000 dollars and its only a 320 GB hard drive? WTF?

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