Razer’s first Linux laptop is here, but it’s not for gamers

It’s been a decade since Razer shipped its first Blade laptop, and they all come with Windows. It’s not enough changes today – but a company called Lambda is now putting Ubuntu on an upgraded version of last year’s Razer Blade 15 Advanced with Razer’s full blessing, with the aim of selling it to machine learning and artificial intelligence researchers .

It’s called the Razer x Lambda Tensorbook, and the $3,500 machine is absolutely identical to a high-end version of last year’s laptop in many ways. It has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia RTX 3080 Max-Q graphics, and 64GB of RAM under a 15.6-inch 165Hz 1440p display, all powered by an 80Wh battery in a 4-inch chassis. .45 pounds identical in size and shape. It also has the same fast I/O, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a UHS-III SD card reader, and Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

But the Tensorbook is silver instead of black, and comes preinstalled with “the latest drivers and machine learning tools, including PyTorch, Tensorflow, CUDA, and cuDNN,” its own warranty, and — if you pay $4,099 and more — its own premium support team. Lambda says it already supplies hardware to thousands of research groups, selling GPUs, servers and desktop workstations.

Zoom on the Lambda Tensorbook.
Image: Razer x Lambda

Although Razer currently offers a faster processor, GPU, and displays in today’s Blade lineup, it’s not necessarily a bad deal if you like the design, considering the high price of Razer laptops. . But we’ve generally found Razer’s slim machines to work pretty hot in our tests, and the Blade in question was no exception even with a quarter of the memory and a less powerful RTX 3060 GPU. Lambda FAQs not addressing the heat from today.

Lambda is clearly aiming this one at potential MacBook Pro buyers, and I’m not just saying that because of the silver tones. The main hardware comparison the company is touting is 4x speedup versus Apple’s M1 Max in a 16-inch MacBook Pro when running TensorFlow.

Razer has teased better Linux support over the years, but the popular Linux computer news site Phoronix written in 2019 that these plans had apparently been mothballed. Perhaps the recently renewed interest in Linux gaming, driven by the Steam Deck, will cause Razer to consider Linux for its own core products as well.


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Steven L. Nielsen