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."
Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2015 - 06:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: razer, Seiren Elite, microphone, audio
The Razer Seiren Elite is a microphone which can be used in almost any situation, for meetings it can be set to omnidirectional, for conversations it can be bidirectional, the stereo mode is good for aspiring musicians and the cardioid is great for solo podcasts. All are accessible via a switch that sits on the same side as the gain adjustment and the zero delay headset connection is perfect for those recording as opposed to broadcasting live. Thankfully the multiple modes do not mean that it can do many things poorly, the testing MadShrimps did showed it performed well in all four modes. At $150 it is a very good value for those who need a microphone that can fulfill a variety of roles.
"Thanks to the three 14mm condenser capsules, Seiren can function in four different modes: cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional or bidirectional, in order to accommodate different recording environments. Even if you do not use it in a professional environment, it should bring a lot of benefit to people which record streams daily/weekly thanks to the added clarity but also to the ones which talk a lot on Skype or any other audio/video conference programs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ozone Rage ST Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- SteelSeries Siberia V3 Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Multi-Format Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Sharkoon Rush ER1 Gaming Headset @ Kitguru
Subject: Mobile | April 2, 2015 - 05:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: razer, blade 14, gaming laptop
Razer has refreshed their Blade series gaming laptop for 2015, thankfully keeping the M.2 SSD and the 3200×1800 resolution but unfortunately they stuck with the glossy panel. The i7-4720HQ stays but the GPU has been replaced with a GTX970m 3GB and have doubled the RAM to 16GB, at least in the model which Kitguru tested. The 14" size helps keep the weight down to 4.5lbs but also ensures the price is high, Amazon is selling the 512GB model for $2700 currently. If you have the money and require a gaming laptop for some reason this is a great choice, otherwise spend less on a more powerful desktop machine.
"Gaming laptops have a huge audience, but not everyone wants to lug around a 17 inch behemoth weighing more than 5KG. Razer have enjoyed success in recent years with their Blade range of laptops … even if the price has been prohibitive for many."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte P37X Laptop @ HardwareHeaven
- HIS Multi-View X2 USB Docking Station Review @ Madshrimps
- Samsung Galaxy A5 Smartphone Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Acer Liquid Jade Smartphone @ Kitguru
Subject: Mobile | March 13, 2015 - 09:33 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Razer Blade Pro, razer, notebook, laptop, i7-4720HQ, GTX 960M, gaming notebook
Razer has updated their massive Blade Pro notebook with new dual storage options and NVIDIA’s newly announced GeForce GTX 960M graphics.
Razer targets the Blade Pro at both gamers and professionals, placing emphasis on the usefulness of the device beyond gaming. However, being limited to 1920x1080 on a 17.3-inch display will eliminate this from consideration by most creative professionals (though the display does feature an anti-glare matte finish). Aiding the performance/gaming side of the notebook is Razer’s localized heating system which the company claims “focuses on directing heat away from the main touch surfaces of the notebook, to areas that can dissipate heat quickly and are not commonly touched by the user. This allows the laptop to pack in the highest performance available with NVIDIA’s critically acclaimed GTX graphics”.
The Blade Pro is constructed from aluminum and while reasonably thin at 0.88 inches, the notebook weighs in at a hefty 6.76 pounds (though the probably battery life of such a high-powered system precludes this from a lot of portable use anyway).
One of the most interesting aspects of this design is Razer’s Switchblade User Interface (SBUI), which the company says “is designed for a more efficient and intuitive experience for professionals and gamers.” It combines 10 customizable tactile keys and a unique LCD trackpad (which I would assume features a glass surface). Meanwhile the keyboard is backlit and features anti-ghosting technology as well.
Intel Core i7-4720HQ Quad Core Processor (2.6GHz / 3.6GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5 VRAM), Optimus Technology
16GB System Memory (DDR3L-1600 MHz)
Windows 8.1 64-Bit
128GB SSD + 500GB HDD / 256GB SSD + 500GB HDD / 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
17.3" Full HD 16:9 Ratio, 1920 x 1080 LED backlit
Intel Wireless-AC 7260HMW (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.0)
Gigabit Ethernet port
3x USB 3.0 ports
HDMI 1.4a audio and video output
Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition
Built-in stereo speakers
3.5 mm microphone/headphone combo jack
7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
Built-in full-HD webcam (2.0 MP)
Compact 150 W Power Adapter
Built-in 74 Wh Rechargeable lithium ion polymer battery
Razer Switchblade User Interface (SBUI)
Razer Anti-Ghosting Keyboard (with adjustable backlight)
Razer Synapse Enabled
Kensington Lock interface
16.8 in. (427 mm) Width x 0.88 in. (22.4 mm) Height x 10.9 in. (277 mm) Depth
6.76 lbs. / 3.07 kg
The Razer Blade Pro starts at $2299.99 and is available now from the Razer online store.
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | February 3, 2015 - 05:35 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer blade, razer, nvidia, Intel, GTX 970M
When the Razer Blade launched, it took a classy design and filled it with high-end gaming components. Its competitors in the gaming space were often desktop replacements, which were powerful but not comfortable, every-day laptops. The Blade also came with a $2800 (at the time) price-tag, and that stunted a lot of reviews. It has been refreshed a few times since then, including today.
The New Razer Blade QHD+ has a 14-inch 3200x1800 display, with multi-touch and an LED backlight. The panel is IGZO, which is a competitor to IPS for screens with a high number of pixels per inch (such as the 4K PQ321Q from ASUS). This is housed in a milled aluminum chassis that is about 7/10th of an inch thick.
Its power brick is rated at 150W, which is surprisingly high for a laptop. I am wondering how much of that electricity is headroom for fast-charging (versus higher performance when not on battery). Most power adapters for common laptops that I've seen are between 60W and 95W. In a small, yet meticulously designed chassis, I would have to assume that thermal headroom of either the heatsinks or the components themselves would be the limiting factor.
On the topic of specifications, they are expectedly high-end.
The GPU was upgraded to the GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB of VRAM (up from a 3GB 870M) and the CPU is now a Core i7-4720HQ (up from a Core i7-4702HQ). The system memory also got doubled, to 16GB (up from 8GB). It also has 3 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4a out, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, and (of course) a high-end, backlit keyboard. Razer offers a choice in M.2 SSD capacity: 128GB for $2199.99, 256GB for $2399.99, or 512GB for $2699.99. This is kind-of expensive for solid state memory, $1.56/GB for the jump to 256GB and $1.17/GB to go from there to 512GB.
The New Razer Blade Gaming Laptop is available now at Razerzone.com in the US, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It will arrive at Microsoft Stores in the USA on February 16th. China, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, UAE, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Russia can purchase it on Razerzone.com in March. Prices start (as stated above) at $2199.99.