The Razer Core is now being rolled out worldwide, with users being able to buy it from the North America webstore and also third party websites with a shipping date of August.
For those not in the know, the Razer Core is an enclosure for a GPU for those that are using a laptop that either has a discrete GPU (such as the GTX 970M) or a piddly Intel GPU built in. Unlike the Alienware equivalent, the Razer Core can be used on any brand of laptop providing that yours has a Thunderbolt 3 connector built in. This is required for the amount of data that will be going back and forth across the GPU and laptop.
However, is this actually a worthwhile route to go down? When it comes to laptops like the Razer Blade Stealth, you’re already paying a premium for what really adds up to a powerful CPU based Ultrabook with not really any grunt in the graphics department. You’re then needing to buy the Core docking station and on top of that an additional GPU to mount into it. All in, you’re looking at over £2,000 for a less than ideal solution. Whilst it’s great that you can use it with any laptop, that is with the caveat as mentioned above that it comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port.
For a smaller price you are able to get a dedicated gaming laptop. The argument that many will throw up here is that gaming laptops aren’t exactly portable. This however varies wildly on which one you have. Currently my daily driver is the Asus G751 and this easily fits into a 17” notebook backpack. It’s not particularly heavy either and the fact that everything is enclosed in one unit allowing me to game anywhere is exactly why I bought a gaming laptop. This is most likely why other people with gaming laptops also bought theirs.
The Razer Core does have its merits, but if you’re going to be spending that amount of money on an enclosure and GPU, you’d be better off building a PC at home for gaming and buying a cheaper laptop that allows you to do work whilst out and about.
It just really feels like overkill and over engineering a problem that wasn’t that big enough to begin with except to target the minority that wants an extremely powerful Ultrabook but wants to game at home.