Following its "PC gaming is not dead" ad campaign, Razer has officially unveiled its first foray into system-building. The new product, teased in a full-page ad Razer ran in the Wall Street Journal on August 22, is the Razer Blade, which the company describes as a "full aluminum chassis gaming laptop featuring true portability, incredible performance, and an all-new revolutionary user interface."
This is surprising in a way, not because a mouse-and-keyboard maker is getting into the business of making and selling laptops, but because we were hoping the mystery product was the pocket-size Switchblade, a curious handheld prototype we saw and played with at CES 2011.
Instead, this is a 17-inch gaming laptop, although Razer claims it will be only 0.88 inch thick and weigh under 7 pounds, which is impressive if you've seen any of our recent monster gaming laptop reviews. The unique part is the right side of the keyboard, where you would normally expect to find a number pad.
Instead, the Blade has a set of 10 programmable keys, which can each display custom icons on the key face (a similar concept to the Optimus keyboard), with a large touch pad below, instead of in its usual spot below the spacebar. When a mouse is connected, the touch pad acts as a secondary display, useful for in-game information, or it can also be used as a traditional touch pad, although we're not sure how awkward (or not) it would be to use in its nontraditional position.
The system's specs, as supplied by Razer, are as follows:
- 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 2640M Processor
- 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 Memory
- 17.3-inch LED backlit display (1,920x1,080 pixels)
- Nvidia GeForce GT 555M
- Built-in HD Webcam
- Integrated 60Wh battery
- 320GB 7,200rpm SATA HDD
- 802.11 b/g/n compatible
- 16.81 inches x 10.9 inches x 0.88 inch (WxDxH); 6.97 pounds
Razer says the system, which can be seen on the company's Web site, will be available in the fourth quarter of 2011 for $2,799.