Just a little off the top
Last week, Razer unveiled the world’s slimmest gaming PC. The original, impressive, expensive Razer Blade has been rebranded as the Razer Blade Pro and received some expected upgrades and a small price decrease (down to a starting price of $2,299). Meanwhile, Razer unveiled a 14” gaming laptop (starting at a more reasonable $1,799) meant to carry on the unadorned “Razer Blade” moniker, continuing the trend of new things in a series taking the original name. It is clearly some dastardly ploy to confound us all.
These laptops clearly aren’t for everyone. Price is an obvious limiting factor, of course, but even mere practicality raised concerns from a vocal sect of commenters: who really needs this? Well, aside from the conspicuously wealthy and those who can’t be apart from Crysis 3 for more than an hour at a time like a wee Chihuahua with abandonment issues that pisses the place when you leave it home alone? Well, creatives, including game developers.
In a spot of cool news, Razer has an Indie Program that developers with a previously shipped game or a successful Kickstarter ($50k minimum) can use to net two 17” Razer Blade Pro laptops for a cool grand ($1000) each. Now that ain’t bad. Students with a valid scholastic email address can also score 15% off peripherals and 10% off hardware; though I imagine a college student that could afford Razer products at 10% off could probably also do so at full price.
Obviously “need” is a stretch. Game developers don’t exactly need these impressive feats of engineering. Still, anyone who has had to lug a laptop around a convention of some kind can appreciate having a ridiculously svelte, feathery piece of tech. For developers, having one laptop that can be used for work and to reliably demo said work is a great thing, especially with this form factor. I mean, I want one just so I don’t have to haul my six pound laptop around LA next week for E3. Laptops weigh on you.
I’m not itching to join the “cult of Razer” anytime soon. The lime green on black is a little too AIM circa 1999 for me. Even the overly mechanical, techy keyboard font sort of bugs me. Still, it’s hard to argue with how much power Razer has crammed into these tiny, light machines while maintaining enough style (however gaudy) to turn more heads than the average laptop manufacturer’s brand. I could stomach dropping $1000 on the Pro. I just need a successful videogame Kickstarter for 50 times that first.