New Razer Blade (Win 7) RZ09-00830100-R3U1 17.3-Inch Laptop Review

New Razer Blade (Win 7) RZ09-00830100-R3U1 17.3-Inch Laptop

The New Razer Blade (Win 7) RZ09-00830100-R3U1 17.3-Inch Laptop is a high-end gaming laptop with some very impressive and desirable features.

As every gamer knows, performance is everything, and this machine is well equipped to deliver on that score.

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Powered by a third generation Intel Core i7 Quad Core Processor with Hyper Threading running at 2.2GHz (up to 3.2GHz with Turbo Boost), it’s immediately clear that the new Razer Blade means business.

With 8GB of DDR3 RAM and a hybrid 500GB, 7200 rpm Hard Drive / 64 GB Solid-State Drive for combined storage capacity and speed, the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium that ships with this machine will run extremely well, coping with day-to-day tasks with ease.

But there is more for a gaming laptop to do than run productivity software, surf the web and video-chat via the built-in 2.0 MP HD webcam – solid graphics capabilities are essential if it is to provide the absorbing, smooth, responsive and highly detailed environment that is at the heart of a great gaming experience. Here, that is provided by a 17.3″ Full HD, 16:9 ratio, 1920×1080 LED backlit display driven by an NVIDIAN GeForce GTX 660M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory.

The GeForce GTX 660M is, of course, compatible with Direct X 11.1, and, while not quite at the top of the range, it is still a formidable component. It is capable of handling all but the most demanding games at high detail settings, while maintaining reasonable power consumption for its class. As such, it’s an excellent choice for this highly portable games machine.

Equally as important as graphics, sound is catered for by two built-in speakers, and the machine has integrated support for digital 7.1 surround audio. Dolby Home Theatre v4 Audio is also supported via the built-in HDMI 4.1 port.

Other connectivity options include a gigabit ethernet port for wired networking, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for wireless networking and Bluetooth 4 for connecting wireless mice, headsets and other peripherals.

Pros :

  • Great gaming laptop
  • Fast CPU, powerful graphics
  • Large, Fast Hybrid Hard Disk
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Cons :

  • No optical drive

For wired headsets there is a 3.5mm headphone / microphone combo jack, while three high-speed USB 3.0 ports will accommodate any other wired peripherals. You may well want to use one of those USB ports with an external CD / DVD drive, as the new Razer Blade doesn’t have an built-in optical drive.

Although that seems a little inconvenient, it’s hard to fault the decision to omit an optical drive when you consider that it contributes to the machine’s exceptional portability. Measuring 16.81 inches (42.7cm) (W) x 10.90 inches (27.7cm) (D) x 0.88 inches (2.24cm) (H), and weighing just 6.6 pounds (2.99kg), this laptop packs an awful lot of gaming power into a machine that’s easy to take around with you.

And you will want to take it around with you! In addition to being an impressively powerful laptop, the Blade offers some features that will make your gaming life much easier – and, in some ways, unique. While almost all laptops have a touchpad / gesture area / mouse substitute beneath the keyboard, the Razer Blade has something very different.

To the right of the backlit, anti-ghosting keyboard there is a 4-inch, 800×600 touch screen positioned below 10 backlit softkeys, together referred to as the Switchblade UI. The screen functions as a conventional touchpad, but is also able to display a web browser, YouTube videos and a multitude of other information that is invoked though the programmable softkeys. Whether as a game-specific controller, or general-purpose information display, Switchblade UI is both innovative and genuinely useful, not to mention beautiful.

Having taken the time customise this amazing device the way you like it, you can use the included Synapse 2.0 software to store your settings in the cloud for instant retrieval, anywhere – all you need to do is log in to the service, and your settings should be available on any Switchblade UI-enabled device.

Overall, this is a very impressive gaming laptop – fast, powerful, lightweight and it looks fantastic, too. The Switchblade UI is definitely more than a gimmick, though lack of software support may make less useful than it could be just yet, but that will change with time and updates. And, until then, it’s still a great thing to have that also looks extremely cool.

There are many gaming laptops on the available, but few offer so many all-round benefits. If you’re in the market for a great games machine that you can actually pick up and carry with ease, this may well be the machine for you.

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