Razer’s second attempt at a gaming laptop is just as sleek as its first try, and even more powerful. The second-generation Razer Blade — Razer Blade 2.0, we’re calling it — packs some serious hardware: an unannounced Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics (a big step up from last year’s GT 555M inclusion), 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive, and 64GB of solid state storage. All that hardware is stuffed in a nigh identical aluminum chassis to the first edition, with a 17.3-inch high def screen and the infamous multitouch LCD Switchblade interface (read: that bizarre little touch screen built into the keyboard). And all this for the low, low price of … nearly $2,500. Yikes.
For the savvy, independently wealthy gamer on the go, however, little else on the market compares to Razer’s Blade laptop. The second generation focuses on beefing up the tech specs from last year, and that’s immediately apparent with the inclusion of the Kepler-grade GTX 660M. Not much else is changed in the hardware department otherwise, with the exception of the USB slots all being upgraded to 3.0 — the same LCD touch panel display sits on the right side of the keyboard, and its been bolstered with a new software suite.
The 17-inch behemoths that call themselves gaming notebooks are traditionally quite large, trading extreme performance for substantial bulk. These machines routinely flirt with double digit weigh-ins, and flaunt meaty 1.5-plus inch bezels. They represent a unwieldy reality in portable power that most gamers have learned to expect. Not Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, however — he’s still chasing the dream: thin, powerful and sleek. Tan caught up with us this week to brief us on the next generation Razer Blade, a rig that still boldly claims to be the “world’s first true gaming laptop.”
Razer’s first laptop hit shelves earlier this year, packing a 2.8GHz Core i7-2650M CPU and a GeForce GT 555M GPU into a svelte 0.8-inch aluminum shell. Tan explained that the rig’s attractive hull hadn’t changed much, but its internals sure have. “The Blade was our first laptop, and we’ve taken feedback really seriously since then,” the CEO told us. “We’ve been listing to gamers and made a chart of all the pros to keep, and all the cons to address. Every single one of them.” That chart eventually mapped out the refreshed rig’s internals, which include an unannounced Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics, 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive and 64GB of fast-booting solid state storage. All this comes in the same aluminum shell as the first Blade, of course, sporting a 17.3-inch high definition display and the firm’s exclusive multitouch LCD Switchblade interface. Tan says the new build addresses some of our own complaints too, noting that the sticky hinge that plagued our review unit has been tweaked to bend to a lighter touch. The machine’s internal speakers have been upgraded as well, and are said to be 250% louder with no distortion.
The new Blade’s sharpened specs will come with a price cut, ringing in at a penny under $2,500 — and gamers who picked up its predecessor (which will be getting its own price cut, to $2,299), we were told, can snag one for $500 less. Pre-orders are slated to start on September 2nd, and should ship within 30 days. The new laptop is being unveiled for the first time at PAX Prime this weekend. Not in Seattle for Labor Day? Check out the official press release after the break.
MSI introduced the GT60 and GT70 notebooks in March, and the latter has already received an upgrade to NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 675M GPU. Now both laptops are taking another step up, this time to the GeForce GTX 680M, NVIDIA’s latest GPU, with 4GB of dedicated memory. The refreshed 16-inch GT60 and 17-inch GT70 are available in the US today for $1,899 and $2,599, respectively. Specs remain the same aside from the revved-up GPU; both models come standard with an Intel Core i7-3610QM CPU, a 1,920 x 1,080 display, HDMI output, a Killer E2200 LAN card and three USB 3.0 ports. For more info, head to the press release below the break.
ASUS’s G-series has been warming the laps of gamers for a while, whether it’s the smart G74 or the elder statesman G73JH. The newest splinter of the G-team, however, is the G55 line. Right now, it’s the G55VW-DS71 that’s just had its specifications splayed out for all to see. It’ll be a quad-core i7-3610QM Ivy Bridge chip calling the shots, with a 2GB NVIDIA GTX 660M providing graphical backup. A solid 12GB of DDR3, 1,333MHz RAM and a 750GB HDD will come with the configuration mentioned here. There are two drive bays, though, so you can set it up to your liking, and higher spec versions of this 15.6″ machine will be coming in the future. It’s only up for pre-order at the moment, but $1,475 will make sure it finds its way to you once released, hopefully around the end of this month — the Intel gods willing.
In case it wasn’t clear, Toshiba’s overhauling its entire consumer lineup for the back-to-school season, and that includes its lone gaming rig. The 17.3-inch Qosmio X875 replaces last year’s X775, ushering in NVIDIA’s spankin’ new Kepler graphics and that same reined-in design we we’ve seen in recent photos. Though Toshiba’s remaining fairly mum on specs (we bet this has something to do with not wanting to steal Intel’s Ivy Bridge thunder), we can confirm it packs “third-generation” Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GTX 670M graphics with 3GB of video memory, dual hard drive bays, quad Harman Kardon speakers and four memory slots, with up to 16GB of RAM on board out of the box. The resolution can be either 1600 x 900 or 1080p, with that latter pixel count only available on the 3D model. As you can see in the photos, Toshiba’s moved to a subtler aluminum aesthetic it’s calling Black Widow, but what you can’t tell from that vantage point is that this guy is 25 percent thinner than its predecessor. In case you needed more proof this is an Ivy Bridge machine, note the release date: this beastly fellow won’t be available until June 24th. At that point, it’ll start at $1,299, though the highest-end configuration will set you back a cool $2,499. That’s more than two months away, of course, so for now you’ll have to content yourselves with our teaser shots below.
MSI already popped up on the rumor-radar this week, and now it’s confirmed a pair of new gaming laptops at CeBIT. The main difference between the new boys — that we can see so far, at least — is the display, with the GT70 sporting 17 inches against the GT60′s 15. Both rock an eye-tingling rainbow-effect “SteelSeries” keyboard, as well as some gaming focused hardware. If one hard drive simply isn’t enough, then the G-series’ support for two SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration, alongside a regular HD, should definitely keep you going — and support for up to 32 gigs of RAM should help things tick along nicely. We don’t have detailed processor specs to share, unfortunately, and the models that MSI had on-hand at the show were simply mock-ups with older components.
After walking up to the duo, the first thing we noticed is how large they are — especially after spending the day with a handful of Ultrabooks and tablets. The GT60 and GT70 aren’t giants in the gaming world, but compared to other slim form-factor devices on offer, these are absolute monsters. We suspect this isn’t so much of an issue, however, if you are in the market for this type of machine. The large size isn’t wasted, either, with the both housing three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports (only one for the GT60), an SDHC card slot, and full audio in, out, microphone and headphone ports for audio connectivity, plus an optical drive in each. The final machines will likely have Ivy Bridge processors and are penned in for an April release (provided that Intel’s latest-gen processors hit the market by then). You’ll be able to pick up the GT60 for around €1,999 (about $2,630), with the GT70 coming in at €2,299 (roughly $3,025). Scoot on past the break to catch our hands on with the pair.
Shaving puns aside, we listened to Tan proudly wax on about the results of nearly three years of development, much of which involved recruiting a bevy of talent from the now-defunct OQO. What they’d accomplished, according to Tan, was the “world’s first true gaming portable.” An audacious statement, sure, especially considering the Blade was to be Razer’s foray into the PC market. No matter. Tan’s impetus was clear: the outfit would cater to gamers who’d been left in a vacuum after formerly gaming-obsessed companies sold out, leaving the segment to languish. His angle, however, would be different. The Blade wasn’t going to be a gaudy, gargantuan, no-holds barred device with outright performance in mind. No, instead the 0.8-inch thick aluminum beaut would attempt to straddle the worlds of portability with performance, seeking to hit a perfectly balanced middle ground.
Sony barreled into CES earlier this year flaunting a 3D monster laptop boasting a 16-inch 1080p display, a built-in 3D transmitter and a fancy button that promised to instantly add an extra dimension to your boring “regular” 2D movies. It was the latest in the outfit’s VAIO F Series, and it was ready to snatch $2,000 straight out of your wallet — but not all of us can throw down that kind of scratch. Still looking for a suitably powerful desktop-replacement that won’t decimate your bank account? That same 2011 VAIO F Series rig just might be your ticket, sans 3D trickery — and knocked down to a base price of $980. Does this somewhat more budget-friendly variant still pack enough punch to knockout your hefty desktop PC? Let’s find out.
The 1982 Lockheed Sea Shadow may be rusting away in Suisun Bay, but its Commie-spooking contours haven’t been forgotten. They apparently inspired the design of the Asus G74SX-A1, which just won a HotHardware recommendation for its cheese-eschewing looks as well as its performance, efficient cooling and realistic $1749 price tag. For once, the Core i7-2360QM CPU coupled with a GeForce GTX 560M and generous 12GB dollop of DDR-1333 RAM actually conspired to surpass the manufacturer’s 3DMark benchmark claims. It wasn’t flawless though: overall computing performance was middling compared to rivals; the speakers were shoddy when it came to producing music rather than explosions; and the 17.3-inch Full HD display was slightly wasted on some games that only ran smoothly with high quality settings at 1280×720. Still, all this naval talkmakes us fancy some Silent Hunter 4 — and that should play just fine. Check out source link lurking below for the full review.
Something big’s been brewing over in Carlsbad, and the time has finally come for it to be revealed to the world: the Razer Blade. The onyx aluminum beaut before you is the culmination of over three years of work by a stealth team of engineers — many of them absorbed from the former OQO team. Despite being only 0.88 inches thick (thinner than another 17-incher we know…), the svelte number still packs a punch with a 2.8GHz Core i7-2640M CPU and GeForce GT 555M graphics replete with 2GB of GDDR5 video memory. All that graphical horsepower will splay your exploits on a 17.3-inch LED 1920 x 1080 full HD panel with an HD webcam nestled above. Rounding out the package is 8GB of RAM, three USB ports (one of the 3.0 persuasion), HDMI-out and a 60Wh integrated battery. And it could all be yours for $2,799 when it debuts in Q4 of this year.
That’s dandy, but we’re more stoked on the 480 x 800 LCD trackpad just to the right of the backlit keyboard. It works either as a multitouch-enabled input device or as an additional display for in-game info when the urge to slay demons with an external mouse strikes. North of that hotness lie ten fully customizable buttons, both in appearance (courtesy of a separate LCD) and in function. The keys and trackpad were last seen on a keyboard in a galaxy far, far away, and are running a custom Switchblade UI — inspired by the company’s oh so sexy Switchblade concept that we saw at CES. And just like the concept, Razer’s used a custom lighting panel to ensure you can see those keys clearly from an angle — people don’t look straight down at their keyboards, after all. Follow on past the break for more impressions, video and PR.
LG is taking its Cinema 3D Gaming Festival on the road and delivering demos of it three-dimensional prowess to 20 different countries. To celebrate, the Korean company is unleashing a brand new laptop for those with itchy virtual trigger fingers. The LG A530 sports a 15-inch 3D, HD display with up to a 1920 x 1080 resolution, your choice of Core i3, i5, or i7 processors, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 555 GPU, up to 8GB of RAM and either an HD webcam or dual cameras for capturing 3D video. There’s also one of those fancy hybrid hard drives with 4GB of solid state storage packed in to help bolster the performance of its 750GB worth of platters. The company was strangely mum on price, but the new notebook is expected to land in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this month — American consumers will just have to wait.
Know what happens when you split the difference between an M18x and an M11x? The M14x, of course! We managed a bit of hands-on time with Alienware’s middleman back in April, and now the web at large has had a chance to spit their opinions on it. By and large, critics were overwhelmingly pleased with performance, and hardly anyone could find too many griping points. Hot Hardwaredished out an Editor’s Choice badge, noting that the 14-incher exhibited a near-perfect blend of portability and power — it’s not often that a machine capable of running today’s latest 3D titles can also get four hours of battery life. Having Optimus onboard is certainly a boon, but just about everyone also suggested springing for an SSD to really round things out. Folks also seemed to love the apparent lack of bloatware, and while the $1,100+ price tag was certainly steep, the top-tier numbers it delivered definitely helped soften the blow. The long and short of it? Folks looking for a nice balance of mobility and raw horsepower need look no further, but you can humor yourself anyway by digging into the links below.
It’s been a while since we last laid eyes on Maingear’s fine looking Clutch-15, and while it’s still rocking that sexy exterior, the latest iteration has a little surprise for you under the hood. With the recent addition of NVIDIA’s graphics switching Optimus technology, this portable’s bringing the juice — battery juice, that is. Aside from that, things look mostly the same, inside and out; you’ve still got your pick of Intel Core i3 or i5 CPUs, a 750GB HDD or 512GB SSD, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, and the same (still disappointing) WXGA display. This go ’round, however, the dedicated graphics have been bumped up a touch with NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 525M GPU (1GB). If automated graphics switching is your thing, you can get your custom laptop on at the source link starting at $1,030. Full PR after the break.
If you’ve enjoyed NVIDIA’s fine tradition of merely bumping along its GPUs time and again and affixing a new badge, you’ll like the GeForce GTX 560M — it’s much like last year’s GTX 460M, but with more bang for the buck than ever. ASUS, MSI, Alienware, Toshiba and Clevo have all committed to new notebooks bearing the graphics processor in light of the potent performance NVIDIA claims it will bring: Namely, those same 192 CUDA cores (now clocked at 1550MHz) and up to 3GB of GDDR5 memory (now clocked at 1250MHz, with a 192-bit bus) should enable the latest games to run at playable framerates on a 1080p screen with maximum detail — save antialiasing. Of course, that assumes you’ve also got a recent quad-core Sandy Bridge processor and gobs upon gobs of RAM, but NVIDIA also says that with the built-in Optimus switchable graphics, those same potent laptops should be able to manage five hours of battery life while idling.
If you’re looking for some inexpensive discrete graphics, however, NVIDIA’s also got a refresh there, as the new GeForce GT 520MX bumps up all the clock speeds of the GT 520M. When can you expect a mobile GPU to knock the GTX 485M off its silicon throne, though? Glad you asked: a chart shows a “Next-gen GTX” coming late this year. Meanwhile, see what NVIDIA says the GTX 560M’s capable of in the gallery below and a video after the break.
The Toshiba Qosmio X770 is the direct successor of the Qosmio X500 , which finally will retire after more than a year of service. The news does not only involve the design, but also the hardware equipment, incorporating the latest components. As for the lines and materials, the new Toshiba Qosmio X770 gamestation (a variant is also available equipped with Nvidia 3D Vision, called the Toshiba Qosmio X770 3D) has a design very similar to the recent Satellite P770/P750 series, but with more colors aggressive and processed, called Urban Red Metallic (red) and Black (black).