Despite all the talk about next-generation gaming consoles, PC gaming is still going strong, and with it, demands for more powerful machines to play those games continue to grow.
Titles such as "Diablo III" and "Guild Wars 2" are drawing legions of players to their computers to play games, pushing the limits of towers and laptops.
Razer, a high-performance gaming hardware manufacturer, wants to let gamers skip the tower entirely and go straight to its laptop, pushing its hardware to meet the needs of those players with the newly redesigned Razer Blade.
The original Razer Blade was released in August 2011, and while CEO Min-Liang Tan said the laptops were selling so fast the firm couldn't keep them in stock, some gamers wanted more performance from the sleek 17-inch laptop. Tan said his team listened to what players said they liked, and what they didn't, when putting together a new design revealed last week at gaming convention PAX Prime.
Externally, the new Blade won't look much different than its predecessor. Less than an inch thick and weighing less than seven pounds due to a lightweight aluminum chassis, the laptop is definitely portable.
Inside, the Blade has been beefed up to meet gamers' demands. The performance starts with the third generation of the Intel QuadCore i7 processor, a brand new chip and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics chips.
"The new Razer Blade is about twice as fast as its predecessor a year ago and right up there with all the traditional gaming laptops," Tan said.
But more power generates more heat, not a good feature for a laptop. Larger vents and heat pipes will channel more airflow into the unit to cool the components. Tan said the design allows for the top part of the chassis to get hot, but in an area where your hands don't touch.
There is a new hybrid hard drive that delivers data three times faster and with double the storage space. The revamped Blade also has reduced fan noise, optimized external speakers and provides three USB 3.0 ports that can recharge your devices even when the system is turned off.
The updated laptop will keep the Switchblade User Interface -- a LCD display/touch panel with adaptive keys -- from the earlier model. Several third-party vendors have signed up with Razer to design apps specifically for the Switchblade and gaming.
For those gamers who already purchased the gaming laptop, Razer is offering a $500 "thank you" toward the purchase of the new Blade. Tan said he really wants people to get excited about what they play their PC games on again.
The new Razer Blade lists for $2,499.99. It can be pre-ordered now and is scheduled to ship on September 30.