E3: New Razer Gaming Laptops Are Perfect for Hollywood Tech
The Blade and Blade Pro pack big processing power and memory chips into lightweight packages -- both must-have items for digital creatives on the go.
On our last day at E3 2013, amid the gleeful violence and endless escapism, we ran into someone we didn’t expect to see anywhere near the place: the spectre of productivity. Razer, a company that made its name in high-performance gaming accessories, has recently branched out into making full-on gaming computers. But a funny thing happened on the way to the headshot -- the company might have inadvertently created the next "it" piece of hardware for production professionals. High-end gaming is one of the most demanding tasks a computer can undertake, involving massive calculations and heavy-duty on-the fly rendering. That means gaming machines are not only a boon for people who want to get their digital kicks, but they can also be used as highly competent mobile solutions for any digital creative. And Razer is finally making gaming machines a sane person might carry around with them.
Razer first introduced its Blade line in 2012 with a 17-inch model that packed gaming performance into a slimmer form factor. Gaming laptops are typically cumbersome 10-pound behemoths because they need plenty of room for heavy duty chips, RAM, and mechanisms for keeping the whole thing from bursting into flames at any given moment (they tend to run a little hot).
This week, Razer is introducing two strong updates to the Blade line. First, an upgrade to its 17-inch product, the Razer Blade Pro, that packs an more powerful processor along with a set of programmable buttons backed with LCD screens that allow for customizable shortcuts to functions in Maya, Photoshop or Adobe Premiere. At 6.5 pounds and .88 inches thick, it has one of the most impressive processing-to-weight ratios we’ve seen.
Even with its sleekness, a 17-inch laptop isn’t always practical for everyday portable use, which is where the brand new Razer’s Blade comes in. This 14-inch bauble could masquerade as an Apple product were it not for its black and acid green color scheme (its dimensions are comparable to a retina-display Macbook Pro). Despite being only .66 inches thick, it packs a major punch, with Intel’s new Haswell processor, nVidia GTX765M graphics processor, 2GB of GDDR5 memory and 8GB of RAM. It ships with either a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state hard drive for optimal performance and minimal size.
With these kind of specs, Blade and Blade Pro are more than up to the task of video editing, animation modeling and VFX work. Of course all this power doesn’t come cheap. The Blade starts at $1,800, while the Blade Pro starts at $2,300, which gives you all the more reason to try to accrue this to your work budget and not your entertainment allowance.