Surprisingly attractive laptop for playing computer games

Most "gaming" laptops look like props from cheap 1990s sci-fi: greebled plastic carbuncles, all edgy red LEDs and bloated bezels, whirring like drones in a tiled bathroom as soon as gameplay begins. The new Razer Blade 15, though, is not only as sleek as an ultrabook, but looks beautiful: like a 2001: Space Odyssey monolith with a luminous Pride flag in it.

It comes with a matte 1080-line display (optionally with a 144Hz refresh rate) or a glossy 4k one, both 15.6" across, a GTX 1060 or 1070 Max-Q video card, up to 32GB of RAM and an 8th-generation i7-8750H CPU. It's 14" wide, 9.3" deep and just under .7" thick, and weighs about 4.6 pounds, going an ounce either way depending on options.

Prices start at $1900 for the entry-level model (HD, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, GTX 1060 GPU), up to $2900 [Amazon] with all the upgrades.

It comes with softare to make the rainbow backlighting any color you please, and it is my tragedy and shame to be that "minimalist" guy who just makes it plain white.

Full specs and prices after the jump.

Specifications: 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor (6 Cores/12 Threads, 2.2 GHz/4.1 GHz) 15.6-inch IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080) matte up to 144Hz, individually color calibrated 15.6-inch IPS 4K (3840 x 2160) capacitive multi-touch, individually color calibrated NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 Max-Q Design NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 Max-Q Design 16GB Dual-Channel system memory (DDR4, 2667MHz), 32GB maximum support Up to 512GB PCIe SSD, 2TB maximum support Windows® 10 (64-bit) Intel® Wireless-AC 9260 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 5 Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) x 1 USB 3.1 port x 3 (SuperSpeed) Mini Display Port 1.4 x 1 Anti-ghosting keyboard powered by Razer Chroma™ Razer Synapse 3 compatible HDMI 2.0b audio and video output Built-in front firing stereo speakers 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port Built-in webcam (1MP/720P) with array microphone Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip embedded Compact 200W/230W power adapter Built-in 80 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery, NVIDIA® Optimus™ support [GeForce GTX 1060] 0.66 in.

Read the rest

Confession: You can't trust a junkie with a new laptop

There's still plenty of life left in my 2015 MacBook Pro. But sooner or later, I'll ditch my computer in favor something new.

The nerd in me is wicked excited with the notion of using an ultra light laptop with an external graphics processor, for several reasons. I've always wanted to own a gaming laptop, but I could never justify the price, or the weight of one in my bag. Going with a computer that can connect to an external GPU means that I could invest in the laptop first, and then the GPU when I could afford it. And since the GPU for the rig is external, I wouldn't be forced to carry around a heavy bastard of a computer with me every time I needed to take off on assignment. That said, I was hesitant to buy one without seeing how it'd perform, first and foremost, as a work machine. I really like the look of the Razer Blade Stealth: the laptop's industrial design is what Apple might have come up with if their design department had a shred of edge or attitude. So, relying on the privilege of my position as a tech journalist, I asked Razer if I could borrow one.

They said yes.

I spent the past month working on Razer's insanely well-built ultrabook. It was pimped out with 16GB of dual channel RAM, and an Intel Core i7 2.70Ghz processor. It's zippy! But then, that's in comparison to my daily driver: a three year old Core i5 with 8GB of RAM. Read the rest

Thinnest gaming laptop

Gamers sick of bulky laptops should take a peek at the "ultra-portable" Razer Blade. Though not in the same cheesecutting league as a MacBook or Lenovo X-series, the slab is less than .9" thick and weighs 6.5 pounds, even with a 17.3"display and 2GB GeForce video card. At $2,299 and up, though, it seems crazy expensive. (The press release claims $1,799, but I couldn't configure it that cheaply at the site). Read the rest