Razer's Second-Generation Blade Notebook Review: Focusing On The Z

Comparing Two Other Iconic 17" Notebooks

We just happened to have access to two other 17” notebooks that feature striking designs as well: the last-generation 17” MacBook Pro and the original Alienware R17x. Comparisons to the Apple are easy to make, and even Razer likes to draw parallels. Comparing the Blade to the Alienware is tougher, but both serve the same purpose: being 17” gaming notebooks. 

Starting with the 17” MacBook Pro:

The Blade has a slightly larger footprint than the MacBook, and the ridges in the lid and Razer logo stand out more than Apple’s minimalist design.

The Blade is slightly wider, but in terms of thickness, they appear to be very close. 

Again, with their lids closed, both machines appear to be the same thickness. But this is only due to the ridges Razer puts into its lid to increase stiffness.

Once you open the machines, you can see that the Razer is actually a few millimeters thinner than the MacBook. 

The chiclet-style keyboards are similar. And while Apple has a larger trackpad, the Razer provides more options with its Switchblade UI.

Moving on to the Alienware, we know that comparing a three-year-old system to a brand new one is not fair. However, for this purpose, the newest R17x is still very close to the same exterior design. We also know you can put two video cards and faster processors into the Alienware. But this is about showing a more compact way to build a gaming machine. The Alienware in the pictures is a machine I own myself. It has performed very well over the years, and has the battle scars to prove it. On the other hand, it is one big, heavy chunk of a machine. 

As you can see, the Alienware is much thicker. In fact, at its thickest point, the R17x’s display bezel is almost as thick as the entire Blade. 

Measuring front-to-back, once again, the Alienware is slightly larger. However, the R17x’s full-sized keyboard with number pad takes up about the same amount of space as the Blade’s keyboard and Switchblade UI.

Here is another way to visualize the Blade's height. Also, keep in mind that the GeForce GTX 660M in the Blade R2 has about 2x the processing power of the GeForce GTX 280M in the Alienware. Credit goes to Nvidia for that.

  • ShadyHamster
    Having all the I/O on the left isn't such a bad idea, keeps the right side clear so cables don't get in the way if you use a mouse close to your laptop like i do.
  • mayankleoboy1
    Wow, this is a very thorough review! Great work!

    This notebook has looked into almost every possible detail. I was particularly impressed that in the heat run, the "WASD" key area was cooler than the rest. This bespeaks extreme attention to details.
  • Chairman Ray
    This is an amazing system. Great job by Razer! I won't be buying it due to the steep price tag, but definitely going to recommend it to those who are willing to pay for the best.
  • xpeh
    While the price is steep, this laptop is definitely one of the best looking gaming laptops I've ever seen.
  • g-unit1111
    I very badly need to get a new laptop but this one is way too rich for my blood. I would definitely consider this if it were about $1K less.
  • Pyree
    g-unit1111I very badly need to get a new laptop but this one is way too rich for my blood. I would definitely consider this if it were about $1K less.Lenovo Y580/Y500 GT650m SLI
  • slomo4sho
    xpehWhile the price is steep, this laptop is definitely one of the best looking gaming laptops I've ever seen.IMO having a $1000 gaming desktop and spending $500-600 on a laptop when Haswell comes out is probably much more economical for the occasional gaming on a laptop paired with a sold desktop to enjoy the higher quality graphics. Even at $2500, this laptop can't even keep up with the $500 budget gaming build from last month.
  • de5_Roy
    nice review. :)
    my real amusement came from the apu-powered laptop's performance, though. it bottlenecked the discreet gpu so badly.... :D
  • corvak
    Gaming laptops have never been priced in a range that makes them worth buying for me. They don't really have enough battery life to really take advantage of portability, and the price/performance is in a whole other league if you compare it to any desktop build.

    Even buying a cheap laptop for travel use alongside a gaming desktop is likely to come in cheaper than many of these.
  • Goose_Nipples
    ARMY'S KA-Bar?!?!?!?! Hooooooold up my friend. Devil dog here who's jimmies have most assuredly been rustled.