Folks, gather around as I tell you a tale of a netbook most awesome, made by a company that has a reputation of releasing some kickass (albeit expensive) peripherals for all those wannabe gamers out there (myself included).
I give you, the Razer Switchblade.
The Razer Switchblade was annoucned earlier this year at CES 2011 as a “gaming netbook concept” that I fell in love with the moment I laid eyes upon it. It is important to note that this fine piece of gaming machinery is still considered a concept design, meaning that there are no specs, no price and, alas, no release date. One silver lining to this despair, however, is that there have been some actual units, folks have actually been able to use it, and the hands-on reviews have been phenomenal.
With the Switchblade, it appears that Razer is looking to set itself apart from the rest of the netbook crowd with a few distinct changes. First off, as you can obviously see, this netbook caters to gamers. The slick black outer shell with the distinctive Razer logo oozes with design. Hands-on previews have mentioned that the build quality seemed very good, although, most concept designs are made with good quality material since it’s not being mass produced and thus more money can typically be spent on it.
Second, Razer looks to integrate some pretty impressive technology into this beast. Although specs haven’t been announced, interviews that took place at CES indicated that they were planning on using the most advanced atom processors and graphics (available when the thing is actually sent to production). In addition, the Razer plans on having the Switchblade include a multi-touch screen, and a “dynamic tactile keyboard” which looks like a mini version ofArt. Lebedev Studio’s Optimus keyboard. Essentially, the keyboard has OLEDs on its face and, depending on what you’re doing with the machine, will change to different keys with different icons. For example, if you’re chatting with friends the keyboard will show the traditional key layout. Switch over to World of Warcraft, and the keys switch to a set of shortcuts with icons for each spell and ability you’re currently using. Pretty nifty technology. In addition, Razer plans on having built-in wifi and 3G for its models, along with the usual mini-HDMI and USB ports.
Normally, I wouldn’t gush about something that probably isn’t coming out for a very long time, but I have to admit that this is the perfect netbook that I’ve been looking for since I started PC gaming. The size, power, and cool technology would complement my iPad, which does the majority of my non-gaming portable antics at this point. I think that if Razer succeeds at releasing a netbook that not only caters to gamers, but does it in the powerful, portable manner that they claim they’re looking for, I smell a big winner.