Last year, Razer announced its expansion to the PC making business with the introduction of the Blade, a 17-inch gaming notebook with an aluminum chassis and thin profile comparable to a MacBook Pro. But despite garnering acclaim for its design and multitouch touchscreen trackpad, the Blade was criticized for being overpriced and underpowered. Now, Razer is taking those grievances head-on, refreshing the Blade with more powerful processors, more storage, and a $300 price cut.
While the exterior design remains unchanged, Razer has completely overhauled its internals. Instead of a 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, the Blade now features a quad-core Intel Core i7 chip. Razer has not disclosed the exact specifications of the new silicon, but says it is a brand new processor scheduled to be announced sometime next month. The Blade has made a significant leap in terms of graphics, ditching the Nvidia GT 555M in favor of the Nvidia GTX 660M, making it competitive with Alienware's M17x. Although the original model had a single 256GB SSD, the refreshed version has two drives — a 64GB SSD and a 500GB HDD — providing more space and cutting component costs. According to Razer, the new configuration and renegotiations with suppliers has allowed them to cut the cost of the system from $2,799 to $2,499.
"We really focused on polishing and iterating based on the feedback we received from fans and reviewers"
Naturally, refreshing a product after just over eight months of availability is certain to ruffle the feathers of early adopters. But according to Razer's CEO Min-Liang Tan, it's a matter of perfecting the formula: "We really focused on polishing and iterating based on the feedback we received from fans and critics." What's more, Tan says that the company is extending an additional $500 discount to existing Blade owners.
Razer will begin taking pre-orders on September 4th with shipments expected to begin on September 30th.
|Razer Blade||Razer Blade R2|
|CPU||2.8GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7||Quad-Core Intel Core i7|
|GPU||Nvidia GT555M||Nvidia GTX 660M|
|RAM||8GB 1600MHz DDR3||8GB 1600MHz DDR3|
|HDD/SSD||256GB SSD||64GB SSD / 500GB 7200RPM HDD|
|Display||1920x1080 17.3" LED-LCD||1920x1080 17.3" LED-LCD|
|Inputs||1 x USB 2.0 / 2 x USB 3.0||3 x USB 3.0|
|Wireless||802.11 B/G/N + Bluetooth 3.0||802.11 A/G/N + Bluetooth 4.0|
|Dimensions||16.81" x 10.9" x 0.88"||16.81" x 10.9" x 0.88"|
|Weight||6.4 pounds||6.6 pounds|