Razer has been in the portable gaming market for some time, making great laptops and most recently introducing the Edge tablet to the masses. However, it's really taken a step forward with the Razer Blade Pro, a monster machine that can run even the most complicated games. The company was kind enough to send out a unit for us to try, and the results were mighty impressive.
The Blade Pro is a huge machine. We're talking a rather heavy device with a 17.3 inch LED backlit display that can run up to 1080p. It also comes with a Windows 8 operating system, as well as Intel's top-of-the-line i7 4700-HQ processor (Haswell).
As far as design goes, the Pro has a sleek black sheen with green light-up keys so you can play anytime day or night. It also comes with a video touch-pad on the right of the unit, a change of pace from the bottom like most laptops. You can customize the hot keys and display however you see fit, through the easy-to-use Razer Synapse set-up.
Its touch-screen also serves various purposes. You can set it up to log-in to Facebook, YouTube or Twitter, so you don't interrupt your gameplay sessions. You can also utilize it as a secondary control pad for shooters – though a controller still works better – or for editing purposes, like through Premiere Pro if you're putting gameplay clips together. A webcam utilizing 2.0 MP settings is also installed above the screen, in case you feel like chatting with folks or showing off on your Twitch.tv channel.
Razer knows what it's doing with gaming laptops, and the Pro runs like a dynamo, even with more visually heavy games like BioShock Infinite. There were times that settings needed to be adjusted to get the most out of the system – sometimes they didn't run sufficiently at 60 frames per second – but for the most part, the Intel processor coupled with the display makes games shine. The Dolby Home Theater-supported audio is good too, coming from speakers built within the unit that don't get in the way. However, if you want the best sound performance out of your games, you're better off using a headset.
Heat and Power
When it comes to power, the Pro uses a lot of it. Your battery life doesn't last long as a result, as you're likely to wear down the charge within three-to-five hours, depending on what you're playing. This might be a no-sale for some, but the fact is the system holds up well after being charged, and doesn't take long to fill back up again.
The laptop generates a moderate amount of heat. That said, it's best to keep it in a cool area, or maybe add secondary ventilation – like a cooler or fan – just to even things out. Don't worry about overheating, though. The Haswell technology isn't known for melting down under pressure.
Internet Connectivity and Ports
We had no trouble connecting to the Internet with the Razer Blade Pro. It senses wireless networks with ease and hooks up to them in no time.
USB ports allow you to connect a mouse, controller and other devices with little effort. There are three ports here, which are more than sufficient compared to the usual two that come on laptops.
There's also an HDMI 1.4a supported port, so you can transfer visual and audio signals to your television.This is ideal if you want to try out Steam Big Picture, which works like a charm with most games – though some of the older ones have problems with transference. Still, it's a feature worth trying out.
Something to Keep in Mind
Aside from the power situation, the Razer Blade Pro is a huge system. It won't fit in most laptop bags – not ours, anyway – and is quite heavy compared to other laptops. That said, if you can find the right backpack or storage unit to haul it around, you can drop by LAN parties and set it up in no time. We'd rather haul this around during QuakeCon than a full PC, that's for sure.
So far, so good with the Razer Blade Pro. It's quite expensive – going for $2,299 and up depending on memory size – but well worth the money for those who want an ideal gaming experience in an all-in-one unit.
You can buy the Razer Blade Pro at the official Razerzone store.