Subject: Systems | September 3, 2016 - 12:10 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, blade, blade stealth, kaby lake, pascal
The Razer Blade and the Razer Blade Stealth seem to be quite different in their intended usage. The regular model is slightly more expensive than its sibling, but it includes a quad-core (eight thread) Skylake processor and an NVIDIA GTX 1060. The Stealth model, on the other hand, uses a Kaby Lake (the successor to Skylake) dual-core (four thread) processor, and it uses the Intel HD Graphics 620 iGPU instead of adding a discrete part from AMD or NVIDIA.
The Stealth model weighs about 2.84 lbs, while the regular model is (relatively) much more heavy at 4.1 - 4.3 lbs, depending on the user's choice of screen. The extra weight is likely due in part to the much larger battery, which is needed to power the discrete GPU and last-generation quad-core CPU. Razer claims that the Stealth's 53.6 Wh battery will power the device for 9 hours. They do not seem to make any claims about how long the non-Stealth's 70Wh battery will last. Granted, that would depend on workload anyway.
This is where the interesting choice begins. Both devices are compatible with the Razer Core, which allows externally-attached desktop GPUs to be plugged into Razer laptops. If you look at their website design, the Razer Blade Stealth promotes the Core more prominently, even including a “Buy Now” button for it on the header. They also advertise 100% AdobeRGB color support on the Stealth, which is useful for graphics designers because it can be calibrated to either sRGB (web and video) or print (magazines) color spaces.
To me, the Stealth seems more for a user who wants to bring their laptop to work (or school) on a daily basis, and possibly plug it into a discrete GPU when they get home. Alternatively, the Razer Blade without a suffix is for someone who wants a strong, powerful PC that, while not as fast as a full desktop, is decently portable and even VR ready without external graphics. The higher resolution choices, despite the slower internal graphics, also suggests that the Stealth is more business, while the Blade is more gaming.
Before we go, Razer has also included a license of Fruity Loops Studio 12 Producer Edition. This is a popular piece of software that is used to create music by layering individual instruments and tracks. Even if you license Adobe Creative Cloud, this is one of the areas that, while Audition technically can overlap with, it's really not designed to. Instead, think GarageBand.
The Razer Blade Stealth is available now, from $999.99 (128GB QHD) to $1999.00 (1TB 4K).
The Razer Blade is also available now, from $1799.99 (256GB 1080p) to $2699.99 (1TB QHD+).
Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, mechanical keyboard, Cherry MX
Well this is interesting. Razer has announced the BlackWidow X Tournament Edition, which is a new tenkeyless mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX Blue switches. This is interesting, because it does not use Razer's own switches -- not even as a customization (like the BlackWidow X Ultimate). You must use Cherry MX Blue. It's an interesting change, and I'm not sure why they did that, but they did.
Beyond that, it's a fairly standard keyboard. It doesn't have a number pad, but it does have a button to record macros on it. I personally do not like those ever since my original Razer BlackWidow. I would accidentally press the button, not realize it, then have everything I typed get spammed out for the next half hour, including passwords. I would assume Razer has fixed that issue in the last four-or-so years, but I haven't used their keyboards in a while. There might have even been an option to prevent it back then, but I never found it. Also, for some, a macro button is probably a nice feature, seeing as they've consistently included it.
The talk about Cherry Switches and Macro Keys aside, the keyboard seems like a pretty decent value. The Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition costs $69.99 and ships next week.
Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2016 - 02:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: razer, input, gaming keyboard, black widow ultimate
Razer has been pushing out updates to their Black Widow lineup of gaming keyboards and this years model just arrived at Kitguru. This year they are introducing a new type of mechanical switch for their keys, the model reviewed used their Green switches which click when depressed, there is a Razer Orange model for those who prefer to see their keyboard and not hear it. This is not an RGB keyboard but you can set effects such as wave, ripple, starlight and reactive through the Razer software. If you are looking for a new mechanical keyboard and want something a little different you should check out the full review.
"The Razer Black Widow has become very popular over the years, often being touted as one of the finest gaming keyboards around. Today, we are looking at the brand new 2016 edition, using Razer’s own high specification mechanical switches – could this be the best option for gamers in 2016?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals Review – A Full Gaming Setup for Under £100! @ eTeknix
- Patriot Viper V760 Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- SteelSeries Nimbus MFi Wireless iOS Controller @ eTeknix
- OZONE Argon Ocelote World Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mouse @ Tech ARP
- Roccat Kova 2016 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2016 - 02:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: CES, smartwatch, razer, Nabu, forged edition
Razer announced two new smartwatches which will be on sale towards the end of the month, $150 for the Nabu and $200 for the Forged Edition. Both watches will have the features you should expect, an illuminated backlit display, countdown timer, stopwatch, and automatic time sync via Bluetooth to ensure that you are on time. The secondary screen will display call, text and email notifications once it is paired to your cellphone, as well as app alerts and fitness tracking information such as sleeping patterns and distance travelled.
The watch will also be able to communicate directly with other Razer Nabus which are in range, allowing you to swap Facebook and Twitter info as well as letting you keep up with the latest Gungan politics. You can expect 7 days worth of usage on a single charge and the coin-style battery should be good for 12 months of usage before you need to replace it.
The Nabu Forged Edition
LAS VEGAS (CES 2016) – Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the Razer Nabu Watch. The full-featured digital timepiece includes a Nabu secondary screen that previews notifications streamed from a smartphone, as well as tracks fitness and sleep activity via an in-built accelerometer.
While smartwatches have proliferated the industry in 2015, one of the biggest challenges to the devices have been their battery life and their fundamental lack of capability as a multi-function watch. Razer addresses these issues by focusing first on the digital chronograph as the primary function and the smart features as a secondary addition.
The Razer Nabu Watch includes features expected of top-tier digital watches – an illuminated backlit display, countdown timer, stopwatch, World time clocks and alarms – as well as automatic phone time sync via Bluetooth to ensure the watch is always accurate to the global standard. Most importantly, the Razer Nabu Watch digital chronograph component has a 12- month life on its coin cell replaceable battery.
A secondary screen outfitted in the Razer Nabu Watch delivers all the features of a Nabu wearable, including discreet notifications, fitness tracking and watch-to-watch communication. Paired to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth, calls, texts, emails and app alerts all stream to the secondary screen for ease of viewing. An in-built accelerometer enables comprehensive fitness tracking – steps walked, distance traveled, calories burned and more.
Finally, with its unique watch-to-watch communication capability, two Nabu Watch users can shake hands to exchange Facebook and Twitter info easily. This feature works interchangeably between any Nabu Watch, Nabu and/or Nabu X. The watch’s secondary screen has seven days of rechargeable battery life via an included charging cable. “We’re bringing together the reliability and incredible functionality of a digital timepiece, with added smart features to empower the tech enthusiasts of today,” says Razer CEO and co- founder, Min-Liang Tan.
“We’re also just really excited to create a digital watch that we’re proud to call our own – a natural intersection between our popular work in apparel and wearables. This was something our fans have asked for, and we’re happy to deliver.” The Razer Nabu Watch is available in two versions. The standard edition is designed with tough polycarbonate materials and with Razer green highlights. It will be available from late January 2016 and is priced at $149.99. The Razer Nabu Watch Forged Edition has machined stainless steel buttons for added durability and a premium black finish. It is available from January 6th 2016 exclusively at RazerStore retail locations and at RazerStore.com, priced at $199.99.
For more information on the Razer Nabu Watch, please visit www.razerzone.com/watch.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2016 - 04:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, razer, razer stargazer, webcam, Intel RealSense
Razer has announced the Stargazer webcam with a few tricks up its sleeve. Each of these has a downside or catch though, so be sure to read my commentary.
The first advanced feature is the sensor. It supports 1080p output, which is common these days, but it can be driven at 60 FPS when dropped to 720p. For video streamers, who usually shrink their webcam to a fraction of the screen anyway, this bump in refresh rate will match that game or desktop capture. 720p is more resolution than a corner of a 1080p broadcast, so you're throwing out pixels anyway. The problem would be streamers who have a full-screen webcam shot. This is common for educational or discussion-based podcasts, which would likely need to choose between 720p60 or 1080p30. I don't think it's possible for any webcam to output both resolutions at the same time, so you'd need to release and renew the device when you switch, which isn't feasible. That said, I'm not sure if there was a major, technical reason for Razer not just shipping 1080p60. There might be.
The second feature the webcam's inclusion of Intel RealSense. This is their technology for gesture recognition, 3d scanning, and background removal. Having the camera automatically key out the background on webcam video is interesting, and probably quite accurate given that it knows 3D positional data. The ability to 3D scan would also be interesting for game and mod developers. The catch? It apparently requires a sixth-generation Core processor (Skylake). This entirely removes AMD and DDR3-era Intel processors from the equation, including the high-end Core i7-4790k. It also requires Windows 10. Note that Razer lists these requirements for the webcam in general, including the Skylake processor, but it might only apply to RealSense features. It also might apply to everything, though.
If these limitations, including the very high system requirements, don't apply to you, then look for the Razer Stargazer in Q2. It will apparently cost about $200 USD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2016 - 12:59 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, CES 2016, CES, blade stealth, blade
I've been seeing a handful of Razer laptops in my day-to-day life. They are known to pay attention to details, including the precise shade of green that their USB ports are colored. This seems to translate well to designing ultrabooks. Once again, they announced a new line of Razer Blade PCs. The headlining feature is the Razer Core external graphics enclosure, but I'm more interested in the display.
First, the graphics. Instead of integrating a discrete, mobile GPU, Razer is using the Intel HD 520 graphics on their chosen Core i7-6500U Skylake processor. This is not a powerhouse. It can barely play Rainbow Six: Siege and Star Wars Battlefront on low settings. It is power efficient though, and it will handle just about any professional, media, or light gaming task you throw at it. If you want to use it for high-performance graphics, then you will need to connect their optional Razer Core GPU dock by Thunderbolt 3. Pricing and availability are not yet available for that, which can be a deal-breaker quite easily. The other problem is that the Skylake processor is dual-core (four threads). Even with a good GPU, some games might be riding the line on the CPU side. It allows you to dock whatever graphics card you like, though. It's worth considering once we get the rest of the details.
But back to the laptop. As I mentioned before, the screen is possibly more interesting than the graphics situation. The panel is based on IGZO technology, which fights with IPS in terms of picture quality. You have two choices in resolution: 2560x1440 with 70% Adobe RGB, or 4K with 100% Adobe RGB. That doesn't seem like much, but Adobe RGB is actually a very wide color space, designed to cover both video and print color spaces. Even the professional grade Dell monitors do not claim 100% Adobe RGB, although they've come within 3% for years now. Having full coverage of Adobe RGB could be very appealing to professionals, especially magazine publishers and similar jobs.
The Razer Blade Stealth is available now, starting at $999.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Systems | December 24, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, ouya
We knew that Razer was buying the software and team of OUYA, since the peripheral company announced the acquisition in July. I don't think we did a post on it at the time, mostly because Windows 10 was launching two days later and a couple of DirectX 12 editorials kept my attention. At the time, the press release mentioned that the OUYA store would be “re-launched” as Cortex for Android TV, and that users would be able to bring their games, controllers, and accounts over. They would end support for OUYA's weaker hardware, though. Current owners of OUYA would receive “deep discounts” instead.
Now, several months later, Cortex has relaunched. It has over 240 titles, many of which from the OUYA store, including Sonic CD and Machinarium. This doesn't have the same punch as, for instance, when NVIDIA ported several Valve games to SHIELD, and it's a far cry from what's available to a Windows-based PC. On the other hand, the Forge TV is just $99.99, or $149.99 with a controller.
As far as I can tell, Razer hasn't updated their comment (from the July press release) about controller support and hardware discounts for OUYA customers. It might be coming, or maybe they reached out to OUYA customers privately and we've just missed it. No idea.
Subject: Systems | November 27, 2015 - 02:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: y-series, razer, Lenovo, gaming pc, gaming desktop
Lenovo has partnered with Razer for co-branded Razer Edition computers, which will be special versions of Lenovo’s Y series gaming systems. Lenovo says the first device will be officially announced at CES, with a prototype on display at DreamHack Winter 2015 in Sweden.
The prototype Razer Edition desktop (featuring Skittles-inspired ground effects)
These upcoming products will clearly add some style (and color) to Lenovo's gaming computers, and while thus far only this desktop concept has been shown the Y-series from Lenovo includes gaming laptops as well, which presumably will receive the Razer treatment going forward. It is notable that the concept incorporates multiple colors with its lighting effects (which should be customizable) considering Razer is known for a black and green color scheme.
"PC gaming today offers a rich and immersive experience – thanks in part to cutting-edge graphics performance, superior processing power, and peripherals designed specifically for gaming. Lenovo will employ its system design and engineering expertise, while Razer will enhance the immersive experience for gamers. All forthcoming Lenovo Razer Edition products will be co-branded and reflect the edgy Lenovo Y series look and feel with iconic Razer elements like customizable Chroma lighting effects."
The details as far as specs and configuration options for the desktop shown are not known, and this seems to be primarily a new branding/style for the Y-series line. More might be known after DreamHack, the event which calls itself "the world's largest digital festival", which runs November 26 - 29 in Jönköping, in the south of Sweden.
Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2015 - 01:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, razer, Mamba Wireless Chroma, Mamba, wireless mouse
The Razer Mamba Chroma wireless gaming mouse features a sensor which can be set from 100DPI up to an almost ridiculous 16000DPI for those lucky few who can operate at such sensitivity. They also included an interesting feature for your two main mouse buttons, screws on the bottom that allow you to adjust the clicking force needed from 45g and to 95g. When Madshrimps delved into the software it was quite obvious Razer spent a lot of time thinking about how people would want to customize their mouse and tossed in a large selection of adjustable traits. The mouse performed admirably and the wireless connection did not have any effect on the response of the mouse, though at $150 it does come with a premium price tag.
"The new Mamba version has been also included with the Chroma series so an insane number of configuration possibilities are available for its LED lighting system; the charging dock is not left alone, itself having LED lights under it for a nice effect when it sits on the table. Razer has included with the latest Mamba and Mamba TE versions a 16000DPI 5G laser sensor which is very accurate and can be configured with a polling rate up to 1000Hz."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Rantopad FF Gaming Mouse and MAX Aluminum Pad Review @ Madshrimps
- RANTOPAD MT Aegis Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- IOGear IKON Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
- Corsair Gaming STRAFE Silent RGB mechanical keyboard @ Kitguru
- CMStorm QuickFire XTi Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Tt eSPORTS Challenger Go Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 25, 2015 - 01:49 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Source S340, razer, nzxt, mid-tower, enclosure, case
NZXT has created another modified enclosure in conjunction with Razer gaming, and this time it's a new take on the excellent Source S340 mid-tower (reviewed on this very website!).
As expected given the Razer branding this is a matte black enclosure with no shortage of green lighting, including a green underglow light. It's a look those familiar with the Razer edition of the H440 will be quite familiar with.
"Forged to match your Razer arsenal, the new custom design features a backlit Triple-Headed Snake logo, tinted window, illuminated LED power button, underglow, and green USB ports."