Razer’s “first true gaming laptop” took a long time to arrive, and when it did it sold out in 30 seconds. Or was it 30 minutes?
At any rate, Razer announced that its first batch was depleted due to overwhelming demand for the $2,800 laptop. The second batch sold out just as quickly and the latest word is that they will have units in stock again by 29 February. It seems that the Razer Blade factory has some manpower issues.
What is also interesting is that no major hardware site has been given a review sample, with the exception of a carefully worded preview by TweakTown:
In other words, there are no benchmarks available yet (as far as we know). Nonetheless, we know that it’s equipped with a 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 CPU (3.5 GHz with Turbo Boost), 8 GB of 1333 MHz RAM and an upper midrange GeForce GT 555M graphics card.
Although the latter is a common GPU it is still something of an unknown factor since the GT 555M is available in several variants. According to Razer, the one in the Blade is coupled with GDDR5 video memory instead of DDR3 as in the Alienware M14x, but it’s unclear whether it’s the one with 144 CUDA cores or just 96 (big difference).
It looks like Razer has focused on a convenient form factor (and great design) first and performance second. Using a more powerful GPU in such a slim chassis would likely lead to problems with heat management. The addition of a 256GB SSD will certainly help with overall system responsiveness, but it will not help the frame rates. Of course, it also has that interesting Switchblade UI as a unique selling point.
It is probably the lightest and thinnest 17-inch laptop on the market right now at 6.4 pounds/2.92 kg, which is marginally less than the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Another close competitor would be the latest Envy 17, which is a bit heavier but also has an option for quad-core CPUs and a slot-loading Blu-ray drive.