Razer Blade (late 2012) - Design Changes

I was a huge fan of the Blade’s design, so I’m perfectly alright with it carrying over mostly untouched. It’s just better looking and better built than a vast majority of other 17” gaming notebooks out there. I’ve used the 17” Ultrabook term before to describe the Blade, and it still applies—it’s got the form factor and design detailing (and the price) that we’ve come to expect from Ultrabook class PCs.

The anodized aluminum unibody is as gorgeous as ever. I spent about a thousand words describing it last time around, and that page of my review perfectly sums up the exterior of the new Blade as well. This is one of the most striking notebook designs to hit the market in recent years. I’ve always loved the detailing on the Blade, from the uniformly green accents (including the USB 3.0 ports) to the two ridges on the back, which interestingly enough, were apparently inspired by the styling of Japanese samurai swords. It’s clean and elegant, but still makes a powerful visual statement. There are few systems out there with the awe factor of the Blade—it’s beautiful and menacing, all at once.

But with that said, there are some changes, predominantly at the bottom of the system. The venting has been changed considerably, with larger vents on the bottom—still the beautiful machined slots with polished aluminum edges and a lighter metal mesh, just with more surface area covered—as well as raised feet in the rear of the system.

This serves two purposes, the obvious one being improved heat dissipation from the bottom of the system due to the presence of significantly more air and airflow underneath. To aid in this, Razer has put in a secondary set of vents on the edge of the underside, next to the raised feet. The other is that adding a space there has allowed Razer to move the CPU heatpipe there, underneath the heatsink. Previously, the copper heatpipe went through the heatsink, impeding airflow, so the change brings about a much freer breathing cooling system.

Every bit of thermal headroom helps with a system as thin as the Blade, and the new thermal design has allowed Razer to add 10-12 watts to the system while still having it run cooler than before. Razer has also changed the fans it used, after complaints from us and others about the noise of the fan when it spooled up, so it’s quieter as well.

The raised feet also give the Blade an ergonomic tilt when set on a flat surface. Of course, it also adds thickness to Razer’s claimed 0.88” height figure, which appears to cover only the body. Including the feet, the Blade is probably closer to 1-1.05” thick.

Introducing the new Razer Blade Razer Blade (late 2012) - Thermal Design
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  • Rezurecta - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    One question. Do you think MBP's are overpriced? Reply
  • ahamling27 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    They sure are, but if you want OSX on a laptop, you don't have much choice. You can get a better W7 gaming laptop for much cheaper. Reply
  • solinear - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    This kind of comment reminds me of the late 90s linux users, who bragged about how they spent $150 less on their systems and could do "everything I could" (except use software)... then a few years later went out and spent $2000 on a Mac with OSX and talked about how awesome it was and suddenly the price argument they previously had was not only not there, but they refused to discuss price when I brought that up.

    Price is important, but it's just part of a package. I think that the Razer package is probably worth ~$2000, though I might go with an HP instead (Alienware feels legacy to me) when I buy a new laptop. However, this is definitely on my short list for laptops.

    The feature set is really nice and the fact that I wouldn't have to go "Which one of these ports is USB3 again?" or move a device out of a port to use the one that I need for something is more than a small amount of convenience.

    Basically this laptop has everything that I'd want for the next 2-3 years in a laptop except for the SSD and RAM. Like others said, I'd rather have 16+GB RAM and an OS/apps drive that is a 256GB SSD and a platter-based disk for data or apps that I am not as concerned about performance on. That's what we did with my wife's HP laptop and we couldn't be happier with it.
    Reply
  • Clockwurk - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    The problem with them making a "premium" product is that they aren't using "premium" parts. They are using middle of the road hardware and calling it "premium". That's what I have a problem with.

    Seems to work well enough for Apple, no?
    Reply
  • ahamling27 - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Yes, but with Apple your buying OSX not a W7 gaming machine. You're comparing apples to oranges, no pun intended, and it does work well for them.

    Except the rMBP has a better screen, faster processor, industry leading trackpad, but the gpu is a 650(for what it's worth, it's overclocked an extra 165 mhz). Plus, it's about $300 cheaper, and you have the option of a larger SSD.
    Reply
  • Zap - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    Buying ANY notebook computer is picking form over function. If you want highest performance for a lower price while still keeping some sense of portability, then build a mini ITX gaming rig. Remember that Silverstone SG05 that was reviewed in the past couple months? You can build one with an overclocked Core i7 and GTX 680, with a lot more storage space too.

    What's the point? Any computer choice is always a tradeoff. Pick your poison.
    Reply
  • santeana - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    Why comment? It is a valid point. I happen to agree with him. For just over half that price you can get the same chip with a premium display and your choice of AMD 7970m or NV GTX685m and it's only slightly thicker than this one. It's certainly a nice machine and I like the sleekness of it, but honestly it looks similar to the Sager/Clevo I just described and it's hundreds of dollars more. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Personally, i wish more laptops did that with the trackpad. The placement makes more sense when you're use to mouse and keyboard. That, and i won't hit it while i'm typing. Reply
  • inighthawki - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I'd prefer a numpad there myself. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Ditto. Reply

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