Razer Blade Review — A Cut Above with (Bonus Razer Naga Review)

The Razer Blade is kind of the PC market’s answer to consoles. You have a ready to use machine that will meet all your gaming needs — at home or on the go. Though all gaming laptops lack a certain bit of future-proofing, Razer’s systems are known for their design, power, functionality, and ease of use. The latest model may seem like a second-string runner up to the Pro, but what it lacks in extras it more than makes up for with elegance and strength. Simply put, the Razer Blade is the industry standard for laptop gaming.

What seems like a welterweight boxer, The Razer Blade packs all the power of a heavyweight, knocking out frame after frame of beautifully rendered screens lightning fast. Using some of the best hardware in the market, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M card with 8GB onboard memory, it’s able to crank out most settings to Ultra on practically any game. Additionally, the speeding bullet SSD — your choice between 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB — is locked and loaded and ready to go whenever you are. The LED backlit 14 in. HD+ display paints a crisp, brilliant image complimented by an ear-thumping speaker system. Filling out the specs are Killer Wireless-N 1202, Intel Core i7-4702HQ Quad Core Processor with Hyper Threading, 3 USB 3.0 ports, and HD webcam. The Blade is a beefy wrestler packed in a figure skater’s body.

Armored in a silky, ebony anodized-aluminum shell, the Blade features a sleek, lightweight design. Of course its bigger cousin, the Pro, boasts a larger screen as well as the LCD trackpad with 10 configurable keys. However, reverting to a standard keyboard keeps the Blade’s sleek, low profile (0.66-in!) housing, and becomes remarkably much more portable while shaving off a few more ounces softly landing at a featherweight 0f 4.1 lbs. It almost makes the Blade Pro seem like a lumbering ox with its 6.5 lbs. Even though Razer pumps up the benefits of the Pro’s trackpad, as a gamer I don’t really miss it. Sure the larger screen and custom keys are nice, but honestly keeping the Blade ultra-portable makes PC gaming on the go less of a sweat.

Great power comes with great need. The Blade is a growing boy, seemingly a bottomless pit of hunger, and you’ll need to feed it frequently. Unfortunately, battery tech hasn’t quite improved enough to allow you hours upon hours of tether-less playtime. But, if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill, you should be OK. I ran the Blade ragged, tapping out around 2.5 hours in Battlefield 3. Your mileage will vary depending on needs but don’t expect too travel far from an outlet. Furthermore, it heats up quite a bit near the keyboard which can be a little uncomfortable for extended play. It won’t burn but you’ll have a hot hand after a while.

As someone who often jumps between console to PC and back, the Razer Blade is at the top of the game. PC elitists might shun a laptop but even the most bitter have to acknowledge Razer’s dedication to bridging the PC gap. The steep entry price for ready-made PCs — the Blade Pro’s base model (128GB SSD) is a staggering $2,299 — makes building your own seem less of a barrier. However, the lean but powerful Razer Blade pulls that price down to $1999 with mid-range storage but with even more portability. If you have the money, the Blade is ideal as a portable powerhouse companion to a standard tower set up; and if you’re a first timer in PC gaming, it’s time to jump in.

But wait there’s more! I’ve been rocking Razer’s newest MMO specialized gaming mouse, the Naga as well. How does it stack up to similar mouses (mice/mices)? Pretty well, actually, though it does have a few quirks that seem to work against my typical gameplay.

The Naga is a slick mouse featuring a whopping 12 buttons that can mapped to any number of commands. Positioned as the last MMO mouse you’ll ever need, it certainly seems to add a ton of value if you need more configurable keys the average gaming mouse can contain.  The good part comes with the Naga’s quick responsiveness as it blazes across your mousepad. The 8200dpi 4G laser sensor is ultraprecise and I never experienced any skipping or static while playing even the most intense games.

My main complaint stems from accidental clicks. It seems like even the slightest brush resulted in a press for either the RMB or LMB. Additionally, the 12 side buttons take less effort than a gentle breath to activate so if you’re pretty heavy handed you may find the Naga a but frustrating. Finally, the 7-12 number side buttons are slightly too far back to tap with you thumb taking a bit of skillful finger contortion.

However, in my opinion, the popular Razer Hex is a bit easier to use. It’s nearly as accurate with a pixel perfect 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G Laser Sensor; and though it only has 6 custom buttons available at a time, you can still program up to 11 keys. The overall easy use and speediness make the Hex a slightly better choice. Both mice have the same smooth casing that feels great in your hands. The Naga is a good bit larger, though, but manages to feel very comfortable.

Overall, the Naga is a fine mouse. It boasts a fantastic amount of configurable keys which may or may not be exactly what you need. If you’re a gamer who runs deep into MMOs or RTSs you should definitely give the Naga a try. Otherwise, a general gaming mouse might not have as many bells and whistles but it will serve you better in the long run.

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