Tech Biz

Haswell Gaming Laptops: Razer Blade Pro vs. MSI GS70

Say goodbye to Alienware-like thickness and weight with these new machines.

Computer makers Razer and MSI have broken the mold for gaming laptops. Their new machines may still be heavier and thicker than a standard laptop, but they are a far cry from the LED-covered Alienware monstrosities that once defined the gaming laptop form factor.

While laptops made specifically for gaming have traditionally sacrificed portability for raw power, the Razer Blade Pro proves that both can be achieved. It has a 17.3-inch 1080p display with all the bells and whistles, yet it is only 0.88 inches thick and weighs in at 6.58 pounds. To put that into perspective, the newly-released Alienware 17 is 1.91 inches thick while weighing a hefty 9.15 pounds. The current MacBook Air – the first so-called “ultraportable” – is only 0.2 inches thinner than the Blade Pro.

Beneath the Blade Pro’s black and green exterior is a quad-core Intel Core i7 4700HQ processor rated at 2.4GHz base and 3.4GHz turbo. As for the GPU – the most important component for gamers – the Blade Pro uses Intel HD Graphics 4600 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M with 2GB of VRAM.

As for memory, the Razer Blade Pro is offered with 128, 256, or 512GB SATA III SSD cards.

The Razer Blade Pro was released in June. Hardcore gamers shouldn’t be surprised by the high-end laptop’s steep price tag of $2500.

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The MSI GS70 shares many similarities with the Blade Pro – but it also surpasses it in many regards. For one, the GS70 is thinner and lighter – only 0.85 inches thick and 5.73 pounds. Almost all of the specs match what is offered in the Blade Pro. The Haswell CPU and  top-notch GPU are the same, but the GS70 outshines the Blade Pro with additional storage options.

A basic configuration of the GS70 offers a 128GB SSD coupled with a 750GB HDD. However, a top-of-the-line version of the GS70 boasts not one, but two 128GB SSD cards – on top of a 1TB HDD.

Better yet – the basic GS70 costs only $1800. The 1TB version is still $500 less than the Razer Blade Pro at $2000.

MSI has also integrated a new dual-fan cooling system into the GS70. “It is the first dual fan laptop with a unique thermal solution that dissipates heat upward at a 45 degree angle,” stated Forbes

Both machines run 64-bit Windows 8 and are available now.