Razer has done it again, crafting the most gorgeous gaming laptop we've ever seen, but impractical hardware features make it difficult to justify the premium.
Brilliant, bright screen
Quiet while gaming
Runs extremely hot
Paltry storage options
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You know what they say: third time's a charm. At least, that seems to be Razer's hope with its third revision of its widely lauded Razer Blade gaming laptop. The result is a PC gaming machine that – pardon the pun – has been honed to a fine edge … at least on paper.
In response to complaints regarding the 2013 Razer Blade, the company has checked all the boxes (and then some). That last parenthetical is important, because it's clear that Razer may have been a smidge overzealous in meeting its customers' demands.
Last year, folks were miffed at being asking to pay two grand for a 1600 x 900 display. This year, Razer stuffed a 3,200 x 1,800 IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) IPS panel with 10-point capacitive, multi-touch control into the lid. See what I mean?
You might think that I'm nitpicking here, and maybe I am, but a starting price of $2,199 (£2,099, about $2,520) for just 128GB of solid-state storage is asking for extra scrutiny. Especially when you stack the Blade up against similarly priced – and arguably better equipped – competitors, namely the 15.6-inch MSI GS60 Ghost Pro 3K and Gigabyte P35W v2. But let's dive deeper into that later.
For now, let's just admire what Razer has accomplished here. To my knowledge, at 0.70 inches thin, the Razer Blade is still the thinnest gaming laptop on the planet. And, by purely subjective evaluation, the Blade is the most gorgeous gaming notebook – if not Windows notebook – ever made, period.
That's thanks to, well, Razer doing almost nothing. Not much has changed about the Blade design since last year, and with good reason: it looks simply badass. The triple-snake logo illuminates in a neon green glow as the deep black aluminum lid opens on a single sturdy hinge.
As the cool, bright and green backlit keyboard reveals itself, the all-glass black bezel touts a sharp "Blade" logo just beneath the awfully bright touchscreen. But the gray logo only reveals itself when under the right light or looked at from the right angle, a brilliant touch of intrigue.
Just in front of the hinge is a prominently placed power button adorned in spun metal. The Blade design was clearly inspired by the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display, and that's not a slight. There's a reason why everyone goes gaga over MacBooks, and it's about time that at least one laptop maker from the Windows camp took notice.
One piece of hardware that Razer chose not to emulate, though I wish it did, was the touchpad. The Blade still uses a touchpad with hard right and left buttons, rather than the inimitable Apple clickpad. And while the tracking surface is silky smooth and snappy, the buttons are rather flimsy.
It's not a major issue, considering most gamers are wont to hook up a gaming mouse as soon as their Blade emerges from its black box. Regardless, a premium touchpad to match the rest of quality put forth here would be much welcomed.
So, now that we've sufficiently gawked at the most beautiful gaming laptop in this star system, let's get down to brass tax: the numbers. How thin and light is this thing, really, and what are you getting for that asking price?
Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.