Razer rolled out two new laptops this week, the 14-inch Blade and a 17-inch refresh called the Blade Pro. The selling point of the company's press event was the smaller Blade's "thinner than a dime" profile, but CEO Min-Liang Tan was the real scene-stealer.
Tan is approachable, a little quirky (much like his spiky hair) and genuinely seems to care about gaming. Razer's tagline is "for gamers, by gamers," and the Singapore-native earned props when he posted on Facebook last month that the company would honor bogus coupon codes despite the obvious revenue hit.
We picked Tan's brain following the laptops' unveiling, wanting to know right off the bat his take on Intel's 4th generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, commonly called Haswell, the CPU humming in both machines.
"We have a great relationship with Intel, and they've done a phenomenal job with integrated graphics, for example," Tan effused. "I think the Haswell chip is a quantum leap over Ivy Bridge. I'm super excited about it. I'm looking forward to seeing what else we can work with them on."
On the GPU end, Nvidia powers the Blades with GeForce GTX 765Ms.
Intel and Nvidia are Razer's "traditional partners," Tan explained, and he appreciates the understanding both companies have for gaming.
"They understand gaming is important," he said. "And they appreciate great design."
The new Blade stacks no more than 0.66-inches high and weighs a sparse 4.135 pounds, yet still packs a snappy set of specs.
"It's not enough to be the thinnest laptop - it has to run hardcore PC games," Tan said as he announced to notebook.
Tan later said portable yet capable gaming laptops are a niche Razer wants to pioneer.
"We think it doesn't exist today," he told us. "It's either really thick and heavy with a lot of performance, or it's really thin and light without. We think this is a whole new category of what people want. To have the full performance of a gaming laptop [and] a MacBook Air kind of form factor. It doesn't exist...until today.
And it's only the beginning.
"This is definitely something we're going to be investing in for a long time to come," Tan said of thinner and lighter devices. "We'll absolutely be continuing this, and pushing the limits for performance."
With the 0.66-inch Blade, Razer can lay claim to the title of world's thinnest gaming laptop. We weren't able to track down any slimmer 'tops in that league, though the MacBook Air clamps closed at 0.68-inches.
Tan spoke repeatedly about Razer's envelope-pushing ways, an attitude that helped bear the Blade's hairline profile.
"We dare to take challenges," he laid out. "Look at PCs today. When was the last time anyone was passionate about a PC? It's all been cheaper, more boring, thicker, stuff like that.
"We've got some of the best engineers, and we challenge ourselves all the time. Today, we don't really look at competitive products because we are our only benchmark. We're pushing it day after day, and it's fun. Life is short."
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