The world's biggest PC vendor is getting serious about gaming, and it's recruited one of gamers' favorite peripherals brands to help it establish its legitimacy. Lenovo and Razer today announce a major new partnership that will see them co-brand a range of Razer Edition Lenovo PCs, starting with the Y series of desktop towers that made their debut at IFA in September. The first prototype product of this collaboration is on show over at the Dreamhack Winter LAN party in Sweden today, and the two companies have ambitions to extend their relationship into joint product development as well.
A superficial look at the first Razer Edition from Lenovo shows the familiar Y series chassis, with only the accent color changing from red to Razer's signature green (along with new multichromatic lighting giving off a glow from underneath the case). Adding the Razer aesthetic will be just the start for Lenovo, however, as the big Chinese company is conscious of how savvy gamers are and promises this partnership is about more than just marketing. Future Lenovo gaming PCs will also benefit from Razer's software expertise, which has been demonstrated with things like Razer Comms, Synapse, and Cortex, a suite of useful tools for managing and optimizing settings for games. Razer also has a loyal and vocal fan base, which Lenovo says will be heeded in the development and refinement of future products.
Gamers are still PC makers' most reliable customers
Gaming is "one area of the PC market that's actually growing," Lenovo's Victor Rios tells The Verge, "and for us, what’s also been exciting, is that it’s relatively stable." As the company's vice president and general manager for workstation and gaming computers, he's leading this new initiative. Along with fellow PC makers Acer and Asus, Lenovo is making a big bet on gaming as a driver for renewed sales of high-end PCs that command healthier profit margins. The esteem in which Razer's gaming keyboards and mice are held should help spur that, though Rios acknowledges that many of the most committed gamers will still prefer to build their own gaming rig.
Lenovo's Razer Edition PCs will be about combining the convenience of not having to chase down every single component yourself with the astute design choices that only a seasoned gamer will make. That means no software bloat, no superfluous extras (kaleidoscopic LED lights excepted), just a focus on great performance and reliability. Such is the plan, anyway. Razer and Lenovo also see a lot of potential in virtual reality applications as catalysts for purchases of more powerful PCs — which might bring a more casual consumer to the high-end PC market. Together, the two companies will try to capitalize on these trends by working jointly on developing new product categories as their collaboration deepens through 2016.
The first officially announced PCs from this partnership will launch at CES 2016 in Las Vegas in January, to be followed by a gradual expansion as the year progresses. Razer isn't tying itself to Lenovo in any exclusive way, but this is going to be the focus of its efforts for the foreseeable future.