Inside the Razer Blade, Part 3: The Gaming

Herewith, we continue our in depth look at the Razer Blade gaming laptop.

Once I got a good feeling for the design and general strength of theRazer Blade, I soldiered onward to game play. Ramping up slowly and steadily, I cautiously played more and more powerful games. My worried concern? I didn’t want to see any drop in frame rate, or worse, freezing of the computer as whole.

There is one caveat, however. Razer suspects that all who play via the Blade will use Steam, Valve’s expertly designed game service, to download and play games. They do not include an optical drive inside the laptop. I’m old school, and while I use Steam, the everpresent nerd within still likes having a disc and game package around to show off on my many shelves. So while I know Steam is the future, and many say the future is now, I purchased a $30 USB-powered DVD burner at an online store to load PCs games like Diablo III onto the device. I also added programs like Word, and my guess is that you will, too: at $2,500, this will likely be your primary computer.

So I took to the beta of Offensive Combat, the free-to-play online multiplayer game you can open in your browser. The graphics were of console quality, and I detected no choppiness at all, even when there were as many as seven opponents jumping and shooting in the same battle zone. The Razer Blade made the game a joy to play. But admittedly, a game like Offensive Combat isn’t going to strain the Intel i7 quad core processor very much.

Next up was Diablo III, Blizzard’s tour de force which hit store shelves in the first half of the year. I loaded it up for the USB DVD burner. The opening sequence, which showcases hand drawn art which sets up the branching story line, featured a fair amount of panning of the camera. While the scene never felt choppy, it wasn’t quite the smooth experience I expected. Diablo III’s graphically robust opening movie is full of action and movement; it shows the earth rent asunder from a fiery falling star. The hole in the earth devours the already grizzled Deckard Cain as the movie played as effortlessly as a film in a theater.

As I plodded forth through the grim and foreboding land of New Tristram, I noted how superb graphics on the Blade were. At one point as I crossed a bridge and the game’s camera moved up, over and forward, I could have sworn the game was in 3D because the shadowy trees had the same kind of depth as they would have had in real life. And when Diablo III went into overdrive with many monsters moving at me on the screen at once, there were no dropped frames, nothing at all to upset my flow or my suspension of disbelief.

I did note that while the LED screen was very, very good, the visual clarity wasn’t quite as stellar as an LCD screen I have on another machine.

Finally, I moved on to Battlefield 3. The Blade was placed on medium settings as I played. My tank chugged realistically through its Middle Eastern desert environment and when the warworld became a battle zone, there were still no hiccups. Jet combat had one or two fits and starts, but they were mere moments. Through all this, the Blade didn’t heat up substantially. It was just a bit warm, the way my other, more inferior computer is when I simply have 20 tabs open in Chrome.

Through all of my battles, the Blade never ran hot.

Below is a bit of a public relations walkthrough from Razer itself.

Next: The Wrap Up.

–Harold Goldberg, Founder

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