All of those top-end components crammed inside the most gorgeous chassis to ever grace mobile PC gaming is going to go for top dollar. The expectations for this setup: $2,399 (£2,299, about AU$2,765), and shifting the configuration won’t save you much money. Between the three available Razer Blade models, all that changes is the solid-state drive capacity.
If you’re fine with a paltry 128GB of space, you will save a measly $200. Want more space? Be ready to fork up an additional 300 smackers. This story is nothing new to consumer tech: if you want the thinnest, chicest and snappiest around, you better pay up. The question here is that when it comes to gaming laptops, how much should that really matter? For instance, take two of the Blade’s competitors. The most expensive version of the GS60 Ghost Pro 3K offers double the video memory from the same GPU, a larger screen (albeit at a slightly lower pixel count), a faster processor, double the RAM, more ports and gobs more storage – two 128GB SSDS and a 1TB, 7,200 rpm hard drive – for the same as the cheapest available Razer Blade. That said, it is not as much of a looker, though it is still quite nice.
Gigabyte offers a similar deal. You will get a larger (though only FHD) IPS screen, a better version of the same graphics chip, a stronger CPU, double the memory, tons more space (a 256GB SSD and 1TB, 7,200 rpm HDD), and far more ports for $400 less than the cheapest Blade on Amazon. And though you will lose AC Wi-Fi for those savings, you will gain a Blu-ray disc drive that can become an additional storage bay. One thing in common that these two competing systems share is that they lack touch screens. MSI and Gigabyte clearly made a call that such technology doesn’t do much for PC gamers. If razer would have followed suit, it would at least have shaven off a few bucks off the premium price tag. Of course, none of this is to say that the Blade doesn’t cut it when it comes to gaming, as you will soon see.
This gaming laptop might come in a fancy package, but don’t go for a second thinking that it’s all looks and no substance. Based on the synthetic tests the reviewer ran on this machine alone, this thing is incredible.
The benchmarks are listed as follows:
• 3DMark: Ice Storm: 52,610; Cloud Gate: 15,255; Fire Strike: 4,207
• Cine-bench CPU: 585 points; Graphics: 90.92 fps
• PC-Mark 8 Home: 2,619 points
• PC-Mark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours, 40 minutes
• Bio-shock Infinite (1080p, Ultra): 52 fps; (1080p, Low): 150 fps
• Meter Last Light (1080p, Ultra): 18 fps; (1080p, Low): 71 fps
On all the synthetic tests, the new Razer Blade fought toe-to-toe with the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K and Gigabyte P35W v2 reporting scores within points either way. At least on these benchmarks, the extra RAM didn’t do those rigs much good.