Yesterday at PAX Prime 2012, Razer announced an update to the Razer Blade, its signature line of gaming laptop. This new Blade features a Geforce GTX GPU, 8GB of RAM and an Intel i7 quad-core. Obviously this new model year blows its older brother out of the water, but it also undercuts it on price at only $2499, versus the $2799 for the original. Razer even promised to take $500 off the asking price for anyone who purchased the first Razer Blade.
Alienware and other competitors have models with comparable stats, but the Razer Blade has packed all this gear into a relatively light form factor meant to save gamer shoulders with easy hauling. We went hands-on with this potent portable on the PAX Prime 2012 show floor.

Power meets portability once more :

At 6.6 lbs (2.9 kg), the Razer Blade is surprisingly light. Comparable machines like the Alienware M17x weigh nearly 10 pounds. The Razer Blade is also skinny, with only 0.88 inches (2.24cm) of height.
Other than its big 17.3" inch display, the Razer Blade is comparable in design and dimensions to a MacBook Pro. Its black aluminum chassis is smooth and pleasant to the touch, and that 17" inch screen is LED backlit, and supports a true HD native resolution of 1920x1080, with a 16:9 ratio.
Such a compact form factor raises questions about heat and performance. Razer representatives did admit that the Blade gets hot, but "not enough to singe hairs." While you may not want to game with this system on your lap, they promised temperatures won't be an issue that affects performance, thanks to well-engineered fan cooling.

A compact power supply :

Apparently Razer didn't want the light weight and small size of its high-end laptop to be spoiled by an oversized power supply. Representatives made a point of showing how small the Blade's 120 Watt power supply is, especially compared to those of other portable gaming systems. It's roughly half the size of the power "bricks" used by other gaming machines, or that of the Xbox 360.

It's what's inside that counts

A gaming rig without a potent graphics card would be a like a cheeseburger with no beef (no offense vegetarian friends). The Razer Blade has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and NVIDIA Optimus Technology to keep your framerates nice and smooth.

A hybrid SSD/HDD

One of the Razer Blade's most impressive features is its combination of a standard hard drive and a solid state drive. The Blade's primary storage is a 500GB 7200RPM HDD, but the system is programmed to automatically load your most commonly accessed files to the 64GB SATA III SSD. That'll keep those Skyrim load times nice and brief!

That touchscreen :

In an incredibly unique twist on the average interface, the Razer Blade's multi-touch trackpad doubles as a miniature LCD touchscreen. That means that while you're playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, you can have a YouTube walkthrough video playing on the mini-screen. No more alt-tabbing!
It also allows you to navigate Razer's Switchblade UI, which is full of useful applications for the biggest PC games. You can run a custom timer to help you know when a specific item will drop in an MMO, or create custom macros on the fly. It's a borderline unfair advantage.

Above the touch screen are ten customizable buttons. With a few clicks, we were able to turn it from a numpad, to a set of hotkeys for social media functions, to macros for quick equipment buying in Counter-Strike: GO.

We can't wait to put it through its paces :

Our time with the Razer Blade at PAX Prime 2012 was all too brief, but we were intrigued by the combination of raw power, tight form factor and the stunning Switchblade UI. The Blade impressed us when it was first announced in August 2011 as part of Razer's "PC Gaming's Not Dead campaign", and the San Diego-based computer maker has certainly made its point. This new redesign is very exciting, especially at the not-unaffordable price point of $2499. We look forward to putting the Razer Blade through its paces for a full review!