The Great Gaming Notebook Shootout of 2013


Razer Blade Pro & Toshiba Qosmio X70

Razer Blade Pro

Processor: Intel Core i7-4700HQ (2.4GHz)
Memory: 8GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M 2GB GDDR5
Storage: 256GB SSD

The Razer Blade Pro features an all-aluminum chassis, decked completely in black, save for the bright green Razer logo emblazoned on its lid, and is by far, the slimmest, lightest and also arguably the sexiest looking notebook in this shootout. It measures just about 22mm thick and was the only notebook to weigh under 3kg - 2.98kg to be exact.

However, to achieve its slim and svelte dimensions, Razer has had to sacrifice on performance as the Blade Pro packs 'only' a GeForce GTX 765M GPU. To put this into perspective, the GeForce GTX 765M GPU has 768 CUDA cores, 192 lesser than the GeForce GTX 770M and only half that of the top of the range GeForce GTX 780M, which has 1536 CUDA cores.

However, it makes up for that with features that will appeal to gamers such as Killer wireless network connectivity and its signature SwitchBlade UI interface. The SwitchBlade UI is a highly customizable interface consisting of ten keys and a 4.05-inch LCD screen which doubles as a touchpad. With it, users can quickly check Facebook, Twitter or even their emails without leaving their game. It can even double up as a clock and a chronograph, useful for RTS games. For more details, check out our initial review of the Blade Pro here.

The keyboard feature anti-ghosting technology and is really nice to use, even offering a slight "click" sound when you type. However, it could use with a bit more travel to improve tactility.

Finally, much like the other notebooks in this shootout, the Blade Pro uses a 17.3-inch Full HD TN-type display. However, compared to the other notebooks, we found that its display looks a bit less crisp and washed out, especially on higher brightness levels.

 

Toshiba Qosmio X70

Processor: Intel Core i7-4700MQ (2.4GHz)
Memory: 12GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M 3GB GDDR5
Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Despite the 44mm thickness, the Qosmio X70 from Toshiba is actually the second slimmest notebook in our shootout - after the Razer Blade Pro. It is also one of the 'lighter' ones, tipping the scales at 3.5kg. This makes it one of the more portable gaming notebooks.

The Qosmio X70 is a well-built machine with an all-aluminum chassis that feels very solidly put together. It also looks pretty attractive thanks to the metallic red accents that decorate the notebook. And for added visual pizzazz and to resist fingerprints, certain parts of the chassis such as the front lid and palm rests have been given a textured and dotted finish.

The keyboard and touchpad are almost faultless. The chiclet-style keys are large and have a certain 'bounce' to them, offering great tactility. The layout was also sensible, so we did not have trouble touch-typing from the get-go. As for the clickable touchpad, it was large, responsive and accurate to use.

In terms of features, the Qosmio X70 was the only notebook to come with Blu-ray rewritable drive, which should appeal to movie buffs or anyone who needs to write and store large amounts of data on Blu-ray discs. Sadly, it did not have some of the other features found on its competitors such as Killer network connectivity, Thunderbolt nor DisplayPort outputs, though it does have four USB 3.0 ports.

To complement the notebook’s movie buff credentials, the 17-inch TN panel display, which features Toshiba’s Clear Super View technology looks vivid and bright, and offers good viewing angles. Additionally, the Harmon Kardon-designed speakers are surprisingly loud and clear, and have good stereo separation. Vocals and strings, in particular, sounded warm and pleasant. Bass, however, could do with more punch and impact, but that can be said for just about every notebook. All in all, the Qosmio’s audio showing definitely ranks amongst the best we have heard from notebooks.