My hat is off to you Razer. I’d been wondering just how you were going to commercialise the Switchblade concept, a tiny PC gaming prototype that looked and sounded awesome. Except it used an Atom processor, with graphics that will struggle with Randomville on Facebook let alone a big persons game.
Don’t think the fact that every switchblade press release focused on China passed us by. As is sadly the case in the PC world, this was a wonderful idea hobbled by the very source of funding that created it. All I could think when I heard about the Switchblade was that it would kick serious butt with a Fusion APU from AMD, which would be able to handle the graphics a lot better.
I honestly didnt expect the switchblade to do anything other than fuel chinese mmo addiction. So good on you for taking the technology and building the Blade
, a gaming laptop. Or as Razer claims ‘The world’s first true gaming laptop’. I’m calling bollocks on that btw, if anything Alienware has been there since Razer were first trying to convince people that wide buttoned rodents named after snakes were cool.
The Blade packs a Core i7-2640M CPU, which is a lot more capable than the Core i7 2620QM processors that normally appear in mobiles. It also has Nvidia’s current top-end GeForce GT555M, which already appears in more serious gaming laptops like those from Alienware. It has 8GB of DDR, which sounds impressive until you look around and realise that RAM is currently cheap and a lot of the laptops on the market in Australia already have 6GB or 8GB as standard. 320GB of hard drive is bearable in a normal laptop, where you can expect to use external drives to handle the storage, but in a gaming laptop it means you need to keep the size of your installs in check.
Much like Razer’s Hydra motion controller this all sounds wonderful, and then comes the price. The anti-macbook looks of the Blade come at a monstrous pricetag of $US 2799. That’s getting up to Vaio Z with its Lights-Peak based external GPU level of extravagance, and you can get laptops of similar spec for much, much less.
Plus I can’t help but wonder if this would be so much better (and cheaper) with an APU and Radeon dual graphics setup.
I do not doubt that a massive amount of engineering has gone into the design, and that the customisable Switchblade UI costs a bit of cash, but if you want to stand up for PC gamers don’t launch a product that is priced the same as ten consoles currently are. where we suspect the cost comes in is in the chassis. I recently chatted with ASUS about its upcoming macbook air competitor, the UX31
, and was stunned to find out that chassis yields for unibody designs were actually quite low.
While the blade is certainly a luxury product, it is one of the few laptops we have seen that can seriously compete on looks. Sony tends to get it, Samsung and ASUS are creeping towards getting it right, but Razer has come straight out of the blocks with a design that just works.
Apple has proven that people will pay for design, but can Razer manage to do the same?
Yet again Razer insists on using renders for its press 'photos'