Back to Article

  • ahamling27 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    It was my black Macbook from 2007, only larger and with a weird placement of the trackpad. It's sleek, I'll give them that, but I'd much rather pay for something that's bulky but has more horsepower under the hood. That's all we're really talking about here though, and I'm not willing to choose form over function, not at that price point. Reply
  • danjw - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Ok, so why bother with a comment? To me it is a good trade off of form factor and functionality. Like Vivek, I would prefer an option for a pure SSD; But it isn't a bad compromise they have gone with.

    I like the Switchblade to play with as well. Some may find it cumbersome to program, but as a computer programmer, I doubt I will find it so.

    Anyway mobile devices are about trade offs, some will fit some peoples styles and others will fit others. it is part of the game.
  • ahamling27 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    The point was to start a discussion. I honestly don't see why anyone would pay so much for something when a better spec'd machine can be had for quite a bit less. I understand that it's not easy to cram all that in a rather slim and attractive design, but why should that cost such a premium?

    Back in 2009 I purchased a Gateway P-7811 FX for 40% of the asking price and it's got a 1920x1200 screen, a 9800m gts, and a dual core 2.26 ghz processor, and that was over 3 years ago! Sure it wasn't .88" thin, and all black, but it wasn't ugly either.

    All I'm saying is that for this to be anything but an expensive gimmick, they need to figure out a way to lower their costs.
  • gelb - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Well in my opinion, its like this; A Toyota Tacoma cost around 30,000 dollars for a 3.4 liter v6 engine and and a great sleek good looking finish along with a nice attention to detail. Now on the other hand is the around 20,000 dollar Nissan Frontier with a 4.0 liter v6 engine. Now, the Tacoma will give you a lot more features along with nicer finish and machine work to the actual frame and parts, but it lacks the "uumph" the Frontier has with it's 4.0 liter v6 engine. Now another thing that should be taken into account their fuel efficiency. The Tacoma gets a much better fuel efficiency than the Frontier does. So, the Blade in my opinion is the Tacoma and the other brands such as Asus etc. are the Frontier makers. In the Blade, you don't get the same kind of power but you trade it for a better finish/build and sleekness. Reply
  • elhoboloco - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    > Toyota
    > Great design

    Pick one.
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Hahaha. You can make the same argument with the 911 and the Corvette, if that helps. Power and value versus refinement, style, fit and finish, design/build quality, etc. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Saying the Gateway P-7811 FX wasn't ugly doesn't help your case. It was hideous. I had one for 2 days before returning it for a screen defect. Some people are willing to pay (significantly) more for better materials and build quality. You can get the same CPU/GPU/resolution in a $999 Lenovo Y580. That doesn't make it a better laptop for everyone. One feels premium, the other feels like a tin can. It might not be worth it to you, but not everyone has the same use case and priorities as you. You don't try to build a premium brand (with premium margins) by starting off competing in the hotly contested space between $800-$15000. For me, Vivek was spot on about wanting to ditch caching storage and add IPS at this price point. So while I wouldn't spend $2500 on this, I can absolutely understand others doing so. I'd love to have one, and that's kind of the point from a product perspective. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    If only I could edit...that was supposed to be "basically the same CPU/GPU/resolution", as the Blade obviously has the 3632QM vs. the 3610QM in the Y580. Reply
  • ahamling27 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    The Gateway was far from ugly, but what it looks like is purely subjective and had nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. You actually helped me prove my point with the Lenovo. That's a great laptop there, so why does the Switchblade cost $1500 more?

    $1500 more for something that "feels premium"? It's a plastic body...

    The problem with them making a "premium" product is that they aren't using "premium" parts. They are using middle of the road hardware and calling it "premium". That's what I have a problem with.
  • ahamling27 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Whoops, now I'm red in the face, I guess it is made of aluminium , not plastic. +1 Razer, but I'm still standing my point, it woefully overpriced. Reply
  • Rezurecta - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    One question. Do you think MBP's are overpriced? Reply
  • ahamling27 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    They sure are, but if you want OSX on a laptop, you don't have much choice. You can get a better W7 gaming laptop for much cheaper. Reply
  • solinear - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    This kind of comment reminds me of the late 90s linux users, who bragged about how they spent $150 less on their systems and could do "everything I could" (except use software)... then a few years later went out and spent $2000 on a Mac with OSX and talked about how awesome it was and suddenly the price argument they previously had was not only not there, but they refused to discuss price when I brought that up.

    Price is important, but it's just part of a package. I think that the Razer package is probably worth ~$2000, though I might go with an HP instead (Alienware feels legacy to me) when I buy a new laptop. However, this is definitely on my short list for laptops.

    The feature set is really nice and the fact that I wouldn't have to go "Which one of these ports is USB3 again?" or move a device out of a port to use the one that I need for something is more than a small amount of convenience.

    Basically this laptop has everything that I'd want for the next 2-3 years in a laptop except for the SSD and RAM. Like others said, I'd rather have 16+GB RAM and an OS/apps drive that is a 256GB SSD and a platter-based disk for data or apps that I am not as concerned about performance on. That's what we did with my wife's HP laptop and we couldn't be happier with it.
  • Clockwurk - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    The problem with them making a "premium" product is that they aren't using "premium" parts. They are using middle of the road hardware and calling it "premium". That's what I have a problem with.

    Seems to work well enough for Apple, no?
  • ahamling27 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Yes, but with Apple your buying OSX not a W7 gaming machine. You're comparing apples to oranges, no pun intended, and it does work well for them.

    Except the rMBP has a better screen, faster processor, industry leading trackpad, but the gpu is a 650(for what it's worth, it's overclocked an extra 165 mhz). Plus, it's about $300 cheaper, and you have the option of a larger SSD.
  • Zap - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Buying ANY notebook computer is picking form over function. If you want highest performance for a lower price while still keeping some sense of portability, then build a mini ITX gaming rig. Remember that Silverstone SG05 that was reviewed in the past couple months? You can build one with an overclocked Core i7 and GTX 680, with a lot more storage space too.

    What's the point? Any computer choice is always a tradeoff. Pick your poison.
  • santeana - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Why comment? It is a valid point. I happen to agree with him. For just over half that price you can get the same chip with a premium display and your choice of AMD 7970m or NV GTX685m and it's only slightly thicker than this one. It's certainly a nice machine and I like the sleekness of it, but honestly it looks similar to the Sager/Clevo I just described and it's hundreds of dollars more. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Personally, i wish more laptops did that with the trackpad. The placement makes more sense when you're use to mouse and keyboard. That, and i won't hit it while i'm typing. Reply
  • inighthawki - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I'd prefer a numpad there myself. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Ditto. Reply
  • davos555 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    As one of the 10% of left handed people, I couldn't use this. I much prefer the trackpad in the middle, as I draw with my left hand (use my finger) and click with the right hand. I couldn't use it comfortably where it is on this. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    And I'm a righty, but I tend to mouse lefty when I'm not gaming to even the wear and tear on my wrists. Heck, at work I use my left hand almost exclusively. That trackpad just isn't a viable solution for me. :-\ Reply
  • adityav - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Its a problem for left handers like me. I am willing to buy this but that trackpad position won't work for me. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    As we all know, that was the first and only black laptop before this.

    Kidding, but I don't see much similarity beside that, I don't have to repeat that the chicklet keyboard isn't unique to the MB either.
  • tbutler - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    The 'form over function' slam is really irritating. This is a *laptop.* The entire point is being able to tote it around. (If desktop space is limited, an AIO or SFF will still give you more bang for the buck than a laptop if you're not going to be carrying it around.)

    Therefore, size and weight are FUNCTIONAL issues. Not fashion. Size/weight vs performance is still a valid discussion, but it's a choice between two different kinds of functionality - not form over function.

    By the same token, case materials are a functional issue. Logo stickers, sculpted flanges, all that crap is form - but a solid metal build vs the kind of cheap plastic described in yesterday's Clevo review will definitely affect the laptop's operation. Again, goes back to portability; a well-built case is going to hold up better under the wear and tear portable systems experience, and do a better job of protecting the internal components.
  • Octopilion - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Your argument is pointless mac book pros don't even have these specs and cost about the same price and there's a ton of sheep buying them Reply
  • CaptainDoug - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I just wish that there was some way to just install the OS on the Msata and then have my hard drive for anything else. I really don't get caching. I get it, but it's lame. For me, this second revision makes it a much more serious contender but I think I'd still choose the HP ENVY 17t-3200 series. You get a msata port + 2x2.5" drives. The 7850M is only slightly worse than the 660M and it has amazing sound. True it is 1.28" thick instead of .88" but it's also $1000 less and comes with a blu-ray drive. I totally understand why someone would want this though. I'm not bashing on this laptop at all, it's just not everything i want. If the Razer Blade R2 was somehow user upgradeable/configurable, that's another story. 16GB of ram, and replacable hard drives isn't too much to ask is it? That being said, if I had money to blow, I'd get this for the coolness factor over the HP Envy. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I wish Razer would offer a build with a 256GB mSATA SSD with the OS and apps, and then provide a 750GB/1TB HDD for mass storage. (Or just leave the 2.5" bay open and let users add something on their own if they need more storage.) I'd also be far happier with a traditional touchpad and save the money that it costs to put the Switchblade into the laptop. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    If you're willing to get intimate with the DataPlex software, you can theoretically uninstall it and set up the mSATA SSD as the boot/application drive. I'm not sure why Razer didn't go that route with it, I guess it was just cheaper for them to give a smaller caching drive? Reply
  • s2kpacifist - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    This looks like a great second entry into the gaming laptop market, but I really wish if they had a 15" flavor of the Blade, sans Switchblade. Hell, maybe even a 17" version without the switchblade touchpad. The reason? Any serious gamer will undoubtedly be using high dpi mouse for the game they are playing. The whole concept of the Switchblade is innovative, but it's probably adding some unnecessary cost and features most gamers can do without. The buttons are okay, but until Razer can get the trackpad screen to out-do what most modern smartphones can do in terms of responsiveness, browsing experience, and dpi/resolution, I think Razer can do much better without Switchblade . Reply
  • Cutebone - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    "I'd also like to see an optional SSD-only configuratoin"

    Thanks for the write-up...wish I had $2,500 to spare...
  • robmuld - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I wish they offered a 16:10 option. Also, a proper navigation keys (PgUp/Dn and Home/End) section on the keyboard. This has sadly disappeared from most mobile keyboards nowadays, whereas it was more common years ago. Reply
  • andykins - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Great notebook and great review. I'm really glad you decided to dump PCMark7. I totally ignored the benchmarks from that suite in every review; I actually have no idea why Anandtech includes them, they're totally useless really.

    I have to say, I think if I had that amount of money to spend I would rather get a rMBP. If money was no object, however, I'd get both! ^^ But it begs the question why you didn't include rMBP (running Win7) in the results when you have a machine at hand? :)
  • Camacho - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Why is the Macbook "A different story entirely"? It is pretty much the same damn hardware as the Blade with a slightly slower GPU (GT 650m) and slightly faster CPU at base and all core clock. Blade beats it on single thread by 100MHz. @ 3.4GHz AND is cheaper. Plus it has your IPS display. Just wondering as you can just install Windows on the Mac. IPS laptop display is as fast as anything I have seen in a portable so not sure what the Razer guy was on about. ???. Reply
  • Camacho - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I was wrong the Macbook Pro has a faster CPU on all counts. Reply
  • will54 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Actually the Macbook has a faster GPU at there stock clocks since for some reason the MBP has a 165 mhz higher clock speed than other GDDR5 650M's. Not sure why they didn't just go with the GTX 660M. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Because it's an OS X-based 15" machine that plays in a completely different size and weight class? You wouldn't compare a Porsche 911 and a Mercedes S-class just because they cost roughly the same and have a similar amount of power, right - same principle applies here. Reply
  • andykins - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    I disagree, Vivek. Maybe I am isolated case but I would very much like to see it compared to the rMBP. After all, the Razer is compared to laptops that weigh 3lb (50%+) heavier. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    I dunno, there's just a huge difference between a 4.5lb 15" system and a 6.5lb 17" system in terms of form factor. Add in OS X, and I felt like they were different enough that they wouldn't be cross shopped much. M17x, on the other hand, is probably the biggest competitor for the Blade. The rMBP to me is an amazing system but I can't see a valid comparison. I guess maybe if you wanted the closest thing to the Blade in a 15" form factor, get an rMBP? Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    It's a shame they don't make a 15" version of this. 17", no matter how thin is just too big to be reasonably portable. Heck, I would buy a 15" version of this at the same price. There really isn't much in that market space right now. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    rMBP + Windows? Reply
  • Flunk - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    I've considered it, a lot of people have told me that it has throttling and overheating issues while gaming in Windows. Also the native resolution is really inconvenient for running windows programs on. Reply
  • Imp@sse - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Why didnt you compare the MSI GT70 ONE? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    You mean the iBUYPOWER CZ-17? Or are you talking about a different GT70 chassis? Reply
  • AppleRules123 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    I can't believe how much this sucks. This laptop is a blatant rip-off of the MacBook Pro from Apple. This is exactly the same as the MacBook Pro 2010 model, and the 2010 model is more powerful than this load of garbage. Who the heck do Razer think they are? Stealing Apple's designs for their laptops and making them worse. I'm getting sick and tired of industry clowns stealing Apple's innovations. Apple should definately sue Razer for this joke of a laptop. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    If you're not a shill, I feel pity for you.

    Still, great comment.
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    That comment made my day. Reply
  • TareX - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    This laptop is exactly what I want: A portable, good looking 17" laptop with enough horsepower to play most my games at decent fps. That's it. Of course I know it's no 680M, but there are currently no laptops with the 680M that aren't as thick as bricks. I'm buying this as soon as I can afford it, which should be within the next two months. If a similarly (or comparably, at least) thin laptop with a 680M makes an appearance, I'll get that one. I'm not interested in Switchblade UI or the extra panel (unless you can use it for foreign letter input, which Razer hasn't implemented yet), so I'm really getting this because of the extremely unique blend of good looks and good specs. The price comes with the rarity of this blend. Reply
  • NeBlackCat - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Can we please have a 1920x1200 product please? Reply
  • AppleRules123 - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Get a retina MacBook. It's way better than this load of garbage. Reply
  • Zmokin - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Well, I've had mine for four days now so let me tell you my impressions.

    For something this expensive you tend to second guess yourself, especially with all the nay-sayers out there. Although there are a few nagging issues (see below), so far I'm still happy with my purchase.

    Keep in mind I'm upgrading from a four year old laptop so my experience will probably be different from yours.


    Despite some other reviews, The sound is loud enough (for me) to play music in a small room or for gaming and sounds reasonably good for a laptop. I'm not an audio expert so others may disagree.

    The screen looks great to me. It's not washed out, doesn't fade much from the side or when I change the angle of the screen. No complaints.

    - It is taking me a bit to get used to the touchpad location, but it's not such an annoyance as to make a big deal about it.

    - Storage space. Plenty for me. I have all my music (20 gigs), lots of photos, four games, ms office, adobe suite, slew of other programs for work and all my data and I still have plenty of space left over (almost half). I'm not sure what else I would put on there except more games, but it definitely is better than the 256gb alone. I have no idea what all folks put on that they need terabytes of storage on a laptop, but more power to them - I'm satisfied.


    - Awesome looks! Took it to work and everyone wanted to check it out just from the initial looks - hadn't even turned it on yet! Once the switchblade came on with all the pics and stuff - it was all over, everyone was just drooling.

    - boot up speed is fast (for me anyway), around 20 secs or so. There is a lot of stuff being loaded in the msconfig startup list, some of that might be eliminated. Maybe someone more knowledgable could tell us what isn't really needed to help make it boot even faster.

    - Overall weight and size of course. My backpack thanks me for replacing my old 17" Gateway! And so does my back itself. The power brick (can't really call it that anymore) is so small for so much power.


    - Fingerprints! Everywhere! On the cover, on the palm rest, on the keys - it's disgusting. It looks like I just ate some fried chicken and didn't bother to wash my hands before picking up and playing with the laptop. And yes, I did wash my hands before handling it! I find myself cleaning it continuously, especially before taking it out in public since it distracts from the beauty of the beast. The worst part is that they don't come off easily. You really have to clean it as opposed to just simply wiping them off like other laptops I've had.

    - Heat after long/heavy game playing. Could fry an egg on the surface. Played GW2 for four hours with everything on high minus anti-alias. Game played pretty smooth without hiccups or stuttering the whole time.

    However.... I noticed the palm rest under the switchblade ui was getting really hot, and I mean really hot.

    So I started feeling around. Right above the power button, it was so hot that I would have burned my hand if I would have kept it there.

    So I did an informal temp measure just to see for myself if I was imagining it.

    I emphasize informal since all I had was a standard home thermometer. I placed the tip on the palm rest and it quickly rose over 100F and then settled at 105.4F.

    When I placed the tip above the power button, it rose to 110F and then just went to 'H' because my poor thermometer wouldn't read any higher (humans would probably be dead at that level!).

    That said, reading Vivek's article, it sounds like this is normal. Still a little worrisome.

    - Switchblade is good/bad. Good because it looks really neat and can be functional and versatile. I can see the potential.

    However, it only works if you are connected to the Internet! WTH! As soon as I lose connection or if I'm in an area with no wifi, everything disappears and it is just a trackpad - even the buttons above the touchpad are all blank. I can't even turn it into a numpad which I think would be the least it could do. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but so far I haven't figured out how to download the profiles so that I can use the switchblade without being connected to the Internet. Dumb in my opinion.

    Also, I tried to configure my own buttons across the top to add the simple functions of home, end, del, etc. to work along with the trackpad. Couldn't do it. In order to reassign the keys, you have to press the key you want to reassign it to. Since there is no home key to press, I couldn't assign it to the blank key. I found a way around by switching to their built in numpad, pressing the home key, but there is no way to assign the icon for it. They should offer a list of keys (especially those missing from the keyboard) to choose from and their corresponding icons to make this easier.

    Overall I'm still happy, but the few things I mentioned do distract from the overall experience.
  • Zmokin - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Here is a post from someone who opened the case (voiding the warranty) and installed new SSDs.

    With pictures:

    (The link goes to the forum page so you may have to wander down the posts to find it.)
  • karasaj - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    If Razer took out the switchblade UI and made a 15 inch version etc. it would be very compelling... even more portable than this one is. As it is, this is pretty cool. I would definitely like one of these if I ever got into a situation where I wasn't traveling/transporting my laptop every day. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    I think this laptop is something different. It is expensive for the innards you get, but it is slim, quiet, still powerful and does things a little different. The switch from full SSD to chaching is a shame though.
    What I would like to see in R3 of The Razer Blade: Make the Switchblade a 4.5-5" screen with 720p resolution, give us a Tegra3/Exynos Quad/Krait Quad/whatever based SoC with a full Android/Linux version and have the run on the small screen or if we chose to use this on the go just for internet, give it out on the big screen in 1080p and save tons of battery. That would be pretty neat.
  • jed22281 - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    So putting aside the unique aspects of this device, how does the rMBP stack up against this purely for Gaming?*
    Does the better GPU mean much better perf. at the same res. for both, or does the rMBP's CPU make that moot?
    Can you till play many games (full settings or near) at the RMBP's native res. & get an acceptable frame-rate?
    Anyone played with both a fair bit????

    *note I have license for Win 7 & can dual-boot so that's not an issue.
  • jed22281 - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    "Can you till play many games (full settings or near) at the RMBP's native res. & get an acceptable frame-rate?"

    In hindsight, I realize the silliness in that statement....
    One cool adv with the rMBP, would be that one can always buy an external thunderbolt GPU later for much more serious gaming, right?
    I recall there being some on the market or coming, are there any decent ones out there nowadays?
  • themiracle - Sunday, October 07, 2012 - link

    Why Anand didnt review the envy 17 3D, it has a similar design to this one, but has better display, and a slightly better GPU\CPU, it the fastest laptop ive ever used, it has two problems out of the box, but o well, wth, maybe you can make a review
    Envy 17 3D 3290nr
  • tariq3877 - Monday, January 07, 2013 - link

    - I understand ALienware are expensive but they have good after sales value too.
    - I understand These other systems may have a slim Chassis but the thing that matters is the GPU on board or Slot-IN, as i used to do GPU REBALLING i can say it matters a lot.
    - Best machines according to repair point of view are Acers.
    - Worst machines with 90% heat and GPU failling problems are HP.
  • raok7 - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    well this looks great and will be one of the best product!!!!!!!!!

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now