Mostly compelling as a “so-close-yet-so-far” entry in competitive gaming laptop scene.
CES was dominated by smart assistants, but we found diamonds in the rough.
Razer Phone will be the first smartphone with both HDR and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 support for Netflix
Netflix is everywhere these days. It’s built into TVs, set-top boxes, game consoles, and it probably won’t be long before there’s a toaster that comes with the streaming service pre-installed. If you’re a Netflix addict who does a good amount of viewing on a smartphone, it looks like Razer’s “smartphone for gamers” is going to be the very first to offer both HDR10 and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 support. Yes, now your smartphone can give you a better viewing experience than you probably get in your own living room. Welcome to the future.
Razer made the announcement today as part of its CES news lineup, and is quick to point out that the Razer Phone is the very first smartphone to score Dolby 5.1 certification which it says is the most common layout in home cinema.
“We engineered the Razer Phone to handle HDR video and sound like no other phone on the market,” Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. “We are incredibly excited to deliver Netflix entertainment on a smartphone like never before, enabling us to take full measure of the Razer Phone’s HDR10-enabled display and dual-firing, front-facing Dolby-optimized speakers and THX-certified headphone connectivity.”
Razer has been pushing the Razer Phone as both the top choice for mobile gamers as well as the ultimate portable entertainment gadget. In my hands-on time with the device, its top-tier specs delivered a very solid experience, and the 120 Hz dynamic refresh rate really made things feel incredibly smooth.
Razer touted its debut smartphone’s audio clout early on, so it’s not surprising to see that it managed to achieve industry-first Dolby 5.1 support for Netflix. Getting iPhone and Samsung devotees to jump ship in favor of a newcomer will always be a challenge, but it seems like Razer is doing everything in its power to entice them.
As well as the usual deluge of smart TVs and internet-connected fridges, CES always brings some concept ideas of what gadgets might look like in a few years.
Last year, Razer brought a three-screen laptop, which blew the appropriate number of minds. This year, they’ve gone one better with Project Linda, a 13-inch laptop that’s entirely powered by a tiny Android phone.
The laptop shell is based on Razer’s popular Blade Stealth laptop, and from the outside, it looks perfectly ordinary: black aluminium construction, 2560×1440 120Hz 13-inch LCD, full-sized keyboard with RGB lighting, and the usual USB-C and USB-A ports.
But on the specs side, things are far more sparse, because this laptop is powered by the Razer Phone, a 6-inch Android device that’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The phone docks in the laptop shell where you’d normally find the touchpad, and the screen then works as a touchpad, or a second monitor for gaming. The laptop shell does contain a big battery that can charge the phone 3-4 times, as well as 200GB of internal storage.
For right now, Project Linda is just that — a project, with no price or intended release date. But it comes at an interesting time for mobile computing. Mobile processors are starting to seriously catch up with the chips you find in lower-end laptops, and the first Windows devices powered by mobile chips — actually, the same Snapdragon 835 found in the Razer Phone — are going on sale next month.
In theory, there’d be nothing hardware-wise preventing Razer’s concept from running Windows, or some future version of Chrome OS or Android more optimized for a desktop experience. Power isn’t a issue so much any more; rather, it’s a question of making the software work correctly, and ensuring a consistent experience across a phone and a laptop. If someone can pull that off, Razer’s concept could become reality very soon.
Philips and Razer today announced a new collaboration that allows Philips’ Hue line of lights to integrate with Razer Chroma-enabled devices.
When using a device that features Razer Chroma, which includes everything from the Razer Blade line of lapt…