With no console launches from Xbox and PlayStation this year, unless Nintendo steps up, the E3 floor is open for blockbuster games to take all the glory. Razer, however, who took the stage yesterday for its first-ever E3 keynote, has other plans.
Why? The gaming laptop, peripheral and just-about-everything-else manufacturer has “too many new products to launch”, says CEO Min-Liang Tan, with a RazerStore Live event following immediately after, and more live events planned for later this year.
Despite this deluge of products, the Blade 14 laptop clearly headlined Razer’s inaugural E3 address, with the company taking aim at the much-lauded rival Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 and at the same time welcoming in a new partnership with chipmaker AMD.
Before the reveal, we spoke to Tan about all of Razer’s E3 news – from the decision to go with AMD and the return of the Blade 14 to the sometimes baffling expansion of its range of products as well as its commitment to sustainability.
In 2019 and 2020, gaming laptop manufacturers steadily either put a heavy focus on their AMD-based products or introduced a completely new one altogether – with Asus, HP, Lenovo and more immersing themselves in Team Red. As these companies saw success, with Asus getting a wealth of plaudits for its ROG Zephyrus G14, Razer held firm, launching different variations of its popular Blade 15 in tandem with Intel’s new product cycle.
On May 7 2021, something was afoot. Min-Liang Tan tweeted: “FWIW I think we could design/engineer a pretty awesome AMD gaming laptop. The current laptops out there don’t really push the limits of what can be done. What would you guys like to see in a Razer Blade with AMD?” So here we are with Razer’s new Blade 14 with AMD processors – but, why AMD and why now?
“This time around, AMD has done a really good job with their CPUs, and we felt it reached a level that we could definitely do justice to putting an AMD CPU together with the Nvidia GPU,” says Tan.
The Razer Blade 15 has been the gaming laptop for some years now, with impressive gaming performance in a stylish body that’s more akin to a MacBook Pro than many other unsightly rivals. But, as Razer continued with a similar design and Intel processors, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 changed things, offering gamers a new frontier: a bit smaller, a bit cheaper and still powerful.
The move to a 14-inch AMD machine to challenge Asus’s top device is yet another blow to Intel but with all of Razer’s other laptops still using the latter’s processors it doesn’t reflect an Apple-esque shunning of the company.
“We’ve got a great relationship with Intel, and it continues, and we are still passionate about what the Intel processors bring us,” Tan says. Nevertheless, Razer is shooting for the stars with this new team-up. “This is a laptop that ourselves and AMD got together, and the single line here was how to design the ultimate AMD gaming laptop.”