Since Razer and Alienware are synonymous with gaming laptops and share a few similarities such as their Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, memory options and Nvidia-powered graphics, we thought we’d put them both out there. Sure the Blade is razer-thin at 0.7 inches and the Alienware is designed like a tank — and there are other things very different about the two of them — but we won’t let glaringly obvious dissimilarities stand in our way.
At First Glance
At just 0.7 inches thick, the Blade is shorter than a standing dirham coin. The aluminium machine weighs about 2kg and feels impossibly smooth to the touch — matte-like but without the associated friction or dust magnetism. There’s a glowing trio of intertwined snakes on the lid — Razer’s tattoo-like logo — and the large, polished keys use what looks like the title font from Spiderman. The Full HD model starts at Dh7,342.
This laptop is built like a tank. It’s massive and would probably break every bone of your foot if you ever drop it. With a price tag upwards of Dh10,000, I doubt those who buy it would carelessly walk around with it — that too, barefoot. But this device is something else as it’s all about the massive screen size at 17.3 inches and powerful gaming performance. Then, in typical Alienware fashion, you have It lights, colours and backlit tech.
On second thoughts…
The world’s thinnest proper gaming laptop — that’s what the San Diego-based Razer is calling its latest i7-powered offering in the portable gaming PC space.
The Blade’s a finely built machine but has Razer placed style before substance? How would it perform during an actual game?
I tried Payday 2 and the laptop handled everything the game threw at it. That said, it should be noted that this co-op first-person shooter isn’t known for its graphics. Still, it was nice to see that the shadows under the desks in the bank I was attempting to rob were crisp, and the movement was smooth as the SWAT team burst in to take me and my heist crew out.
Whatever the game may be, control won’t be an issue. The ergonomics of the keyboard are up there with the best, while the backlit anti-ghosting keys can be customised by Razer’s Synapse software — see the brand’s Chroma headset review for more details.
With small speakers on both sides, you won’t enjoy the biggest bass ever. But then, this isn’t much of a deal-breaker when it comes to this category of device.
With every single laptop in the market becoming thinner and thinner as the weeks go by, one brand decided, nah. Meet Alienware: the brand that gamers and tech heads promise themselves they will buy one day. While they wait, they try to justify its purchase to their parents, boy (or girl) friends, partners and themselves — that they do indeed need a gaming laptop, which is just so expensive.
Despite being thinner than every one of its predecessors, the 17 is still massive at 34.4mmx291.9mmx430mm and weighs 3.8kg. It sports a crisp 17.3-inch 1080p display and a shrug-worthy full-HD 2-megapixel camera.
But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and what’s inside is a gaming weapon running on an Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 980M graphics chip with a Windows 8 operating system.
The laptop offers about 7 hours of battery life, which is not that bad for a big, power-hungry beast of a machine, but then again Alienware’s Command Centre featuring AlienFX and its customisable lighting zones offering more than ten trillion possible colour and lighting combinations would help you forget about battery life anyway.