Popular gaming brand Razer has a new laptop for PC gamers. The all-new Razer Blade 15 is currently the world’s smallest gaming laptop in its class thanks to its thin bezels and slim chassis. Of course, Razer didn’t skimp on giving it the best specifications available in the market as well.
The Blade 15 is a gaming notebook with a 15.6-inch display but in a body size comparable to a 14-inch laptop. How? It has 4.9mm-thin bezels, but Razer still managed to retain the webcam at the top of the screen. The display can either be a Full HD panel with 144Hz refresh rate or a 4K touchscreen with 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage.
The new gaming notebook is powered by an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor paired with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics for the best power. It has support for up to 32GB of memory and up to 2TB of storage.
The graphics unit features NVIDIA’s Max-Q design to put in either a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 into the slim aluminum body of the laptop. There are also high-performance low-noise fans and thermal interfaces to deal with the heat when the laptop is under heavy load.
Moreover, its keyboard has Razer Chroma which offers 16.8 million colors for each key and is customizable through Razer Synapse 3 software. The dual front-firing speakers feature Dolby Atmos for immersive audio.
A gaming laptop is not complete without a plethora of ports: Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 (via USB-C), and three full-size USB ports featuring USB 3.1 Gen 1 speeds.
Razer also announced a new external graphics enclosure — the Razer Core X. It’s a plug-and-play eGPU that delivers desktop-grade graphics to compatible Windows or Mac notebooks with Thunderbolt 3 support.
The new Razer Blade 15 starts at US$ 1,899 while the Razer Core X is priced at US$ 299. The new Razer products are now available through their website and select retailers.
You may not be able to play PUBG for more than 6 hours in a day
Still better than banning the game completely
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile edition needs no introduction. It has been the most trending multiplayer game for the last year and the trend shows no sign of cooling down. The game has been a hit in countries like India and players are hooked on it for hours.
Though, the game has received intense scrutiny from authorities because of its addictive stance. There have been multiple reports of addiction death and authorities have been scrambling to ban the game. Parents are worried about their children not being able to concentrate on studies and educational institutes have reported lower attendance as well as poor academic performance.
To counter bans and indirectly help players avoid addiction, PUBG is testing a six-hour per day gameplay limit. According to SportsKeeda, the app is sending a health reminder to players after six hours of gameplay and asking them to take a break. The game also has an age verification request now, which asks players if they are over the age of 18.
— Satiz MSD’ian 💛 CSK 💛 (@SatizMSDian) March 22, 2019
The new limit isn’t active for all users right now and is currently in a testing phase. While some users are reporting seeing the message after two to four hours of gaming, some are being locked out after six hours of usage. It seems only players in India are seeing this at the moment and other regions haven’t been affected.
This restriction comes after the game was banned in Gujarat and multiple arrests were made by the police. The Chinese government recently banned PUBG Mobile for players under the age of 13.
There is no official word from PUBG Mobile on this health reminder-based daily gameplay limit yet. The addition may irk some users, but it’s the first step towards ensuring the game isn’t outright banned.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 Review: Another big-screen option
When you don’t want to spend much
Without a doubt, gaming notebooks are hot items on the market. Laptop manufacturers have been churning out game-ready machines, but there’s one name, one brand that dominates the gaming market: ASUS. The Taiwanese computer maker has captured the majority of the market share thanks to its Republic of Gamers or ROG lineup.
ROG laptops can be really expensive, especially the beastly ones, but ASUS has affordable options, too. If there’s ROG, there’s also TUF which sits in the middle of the premium and entry-level gaming notebooks currently available in the market.
What I have here is the TUF Gaming FX705, a 17-inch gaming laptop that offers respectable gaming power. If you’re looking for an alternative gaming laptop with a large screen, this might just be the one for you.
ASUS’ TUF lineup has a robust look
This one has a 17-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate
The webcam is still on top despite thin bezels
All the ports are on the left side
The keyboard has customizable RGB lighting
The touchpad is responsive when you need it
Heat also dissipates to the top chassis
Not sleek, but definitely not ugly
I’ve seen better-looking laptops within ASUS’ lineup, but the overall design of this TUF Gaming laptop is not that bad. It does have a bit of ROG DNA in its look, which is a good thing. The keyboard reminds me of the ROG Strix Scar II with the unique WASD keycaps. Speaking of the keys, they’re not mechanical, but they’re responsive with a good amount of travel.
The laptop is just about the size of a conventional 15-inch notebook, but it’s got a 17-inch display. Thanks to the screen’s slim bezels, the TUF Gaming FX705 has a smaller footprint. I can fit this 17-inch gaming laptop into my bag that has a slot for a 15-inch notebook.
Its display is not all about the bezels. ASUS claims the 1080p panel has 100 percent sRGB coverage for accurate colors. Also, the 144Hz refresh rate has spoiled my eyes; it should be a standard among gaming laptops.
While the display is indeed a treat, I can’t say the same for the speaker. It gets loud, but doesn’t hit the proper notes. DTS Headphone: X audio software comes pre-installed which should help with the sound quality, but it works best if you already have a pair of quality headphones.
Can play popular titles
Specs-wise, the TUF Gaming FX705 comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor paired with 8GB of memory. The unit I have for review has a combo drive of 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD for storage. Graphics performance is handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.
Obviously, the laptop’s setup is more than enough to run everyday applications like Chrome, Office, and whatnot. Although, customers will not buy this to only do office work.
During my time with the TUF Gaming FX705, I juggled between typing and gaming. I was able to quickly play the Resident Evil 2 remake and with the default settings applied, I had no issues with frame rates. I got above 70fps at 1080p, but this is not the highest preset available.
More graphics and resource intensive AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey really put the GTX 1050 Ti to the test. By default, the game applied the medium graphics quality preset, but still in 1080p. The prologue of the game was already too much for the laptop with multiple characters fighting around, but it stayed above the 30fps mark. When there’s not much going on, it gets up to 90fps.
To help the laptop cope with the stress, I suggest turning on the Overboost Mode to keep the dual fans kicking. When not playing, the laptop also has a Silent Mode.
Keep it plugged in
I have yet to try a gaming laptop that can last for hours unplugged. Never leave the TUF Gaming FX705’s charger behind, because you’ll always need it. Not that the laptop can’t be used on battery power, but you can’t game for long. At best, I was able to do typing and browsing for about four hours on battery mode, which is not bad.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
ASUS has a lot of gaming laptops available. There are plenty of options to choose from, so why get the TUF Gaming FX705? I’d say it’s the most balanced and well-rounded. Too bad that it can’t take advantage of its 144Hz display all the time, but it’s a nice to feature to have.
The TUF Gaming FX705 I have here retails for PhP 81,995 in the Philippines. If you have extra cash, you can get the GTX 1060-equipped variant for PhP 91,995 for better graphics performance. The more expensive variant also comes with an upgraded 256GB SSD.
Google announces cloud gaming platform, Stadia
Play anytime, anywhere
Have you ever wanted to play a game but didn’t have the hardware for it? We’ve all been there. In fact, the situation is even worse today. Back then, our biggest concern was having the latest video card. Now, console makers have continuously sponsored console exclusives, cutting off any gamers who don’t have the console. Want to play Bloodborne? Buy a PS4. Want to play Halo? Buy an Xbox.
Back in the past, the gaming industry speculated on a cloud gaming concept: you can play a console remotely; the same company streams the game to you. This was back before Netflix existed. Sadly, no one ever popularized or fully capitalized on the concept. The best thing we have is PlayStation Now, Sony’s own cloud gaming service limited to Sony’s library of games.
Now, Google has finally introduced its own entry. At the recent Game Developers Conference, the company unveiled Stadia, its new cloud-based gaming platform.
Unlike the PlayStation Now, Stadia does not require its own console. According to Google, gamers can access the platform anywhere online — laptops, TVs (through Google’s Chromecast), and smartphones. Thankfully, the service is brand agnostic; any device will work.
Currently, Stadia can stream up to 60fps and up to 4K resolution. In the future, Google hopes to bump this up to 8K and 120fps.
At most, the platform requires its own controller. The Stadia controller looks and functions like any other gaming controller today. However, the controller has not been authorized for production yet and not up for sale.
Likewise, the platform itself isn’t accessible yet. At the conference, Google demonstrated the platform by playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and DOOM Eternal on a normal Chromebook. Both AAA games require quite a heavy set of hardware to play.
Unfortunately, the streaming platform will require a lot of bandwidth. On launch, Google will undoubtedly focus on areas with high-speed connections, like those offered by Google Fiber. Google has not announced an exact launch date yet. However, it will go public sometime this year.
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