VoodooPC founder: Razer could "ignite the PC industry"

Razer recently launched its first entry in the gaming PC hardware marketplace with the Razer Blade laptop. The pricey $2,800 notebook has a number of interesting features, including an integrated LCD display alongside the keyboard and a set of ten keyboard buttons that change their look and functions depending on which game is loaded on the laptop.

The Razer Blade seems to have sold well, even with its lofty price point, but overall the reviews of the laptop have been a little mixed. They have praised the design and the construction of the machine, but many have faulted its price and its poor audio features.

However, the notebook has a huge fan in Rahul Sood, the founder of VoodooPC, the manufacturer of gaming systems which HP later bought. Sood now works at Microsoft at its Bing division but he posted up his views on the Razer Blade on his personal blog.

Sood writes:

Since leaving HP-Voodoo people look at me cross eyed when I carry something “normal”, and yet when I use a Macbook Pro I feel somewhat guilty. Regardless of where I work, I prefer using Windows – I grew up using it – and even when I use Bootcamp or Parallels on the Mac it’s just not the same as a PC. Razer has presented power users like me an opportunity to get the best of Windows with incredible hardware design. When I pull it out in a meeting the room goes bonkers. ...and I seriously can't wait to see what they have in store for Windows 8.

He praises the Razer Blade in his blog post but he also talks about the company itself, saying that its small but hardcore PC gaming community could generate much bigger things in the future. He states, "I can honestly say if Razer keeps this formula up they have a chance to ignite the PC industry in a way that hasn't been done in years."

Sood also has some words of advice for Razer's CEO Min-Liang Tan saying, "...if you’re reading this, don’t sell your company to anyone – ever." VoodooPC was acquired by HP in September 2006 but Sood later saw the division become marginalized by HP, and left the company in 2010.

Razer has already shown off its next gaming concept device; a Windows-based tablet with PC controllers attached to each side. The company has yet to announce any concrete plans to launch this gaming PC tablet.

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28 Comments

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The problem I have with Razer is they don't offer replacement parts / unable to recommend alternate way to purchase them.

I had there sound card / 5.1 headphones, and didn't realize was missing the adapter that allowed the headphones to work on standard sound cards was missing. After communicating with tech support they basically said send it back to place of purchase (couldn't - too much time passed) and if not your essential out of luck. I even asked if there was another place I could buy it from and they never responded. Great headphones... but horrible customer service, and avoid razer products since.

One lesson I've learned over the years is to always build from scratch. The big companies will say anything to get your business, and they always cut corners for profits. It's a big "no ****" for most nerds, but for the average person, they get suckered in by the pretty colors and big cases.

Take the time to learn what you're doing and do it yourself. You'll save time and money. Most importanty, you'll put crooks like the Geek Squad out of a job.

I've got an ASUS gaming laptop, G73jh from 2010... worst laptop I've ever owned. It's been to the repair shop 3x and the 4th was just a battery swap last month. All three times the graphics would overheat and then shut down. Final repair claimed it was a heat sink that was never fitted properly. It's been OK since but a real pain losing my machine 2.5 months total. That said, they paid for everything and included a 3 year warranty. Laptop itself is nice, some innovation in the cooling system.

I totally dig the side LCD concept, not sure how well it works, but the potential is awesome, hope others adopt it. For $2700, they'll never get my money for those specs but it could spur some development if we're lucky.

Yeh and here I'll ignite the blank paper industry by charging you $100 per single sheet...hey its nice looking blank paper. What an idiot that guy must be.

Price point will drop as they increase production and subsequent will have lower design cost.

They normally go for things that are "quirky", and that is what is going to move the industry forward. LCD panel on the keyboard? Yep. They probably the first to put a whole keypad on a mouse with the Naga.


And their build quality (or lack of) will be right at home in the laptop market anyway....

kavazovangel said,
And ASUS pwns both Razer and Apple.

Those ASUS RoG series laptops really aren't the best quality laptops, they are very budget concious when it comes to some of the parts they cut back on. Not saying they're bad laptops, but the build quality isn't up there with Apple & Co.

A small hardcore crowd is all it will ever be. There aren't enough games to support the growth of hardcore of PC gaming as the majority are indie games that would run quite well on older laptops.

The PC isn't as cool as the Mac, which is driving sales up and up. I wouldn't be surprised if one day Windows might be the exception and MacOS became the primary gaming os. Imagine that?!

imachip said,
I wouldn't be surprised if one day Windows might be the exception and MacOS became the primary gaming os. Imagine that?!

We still need MS to push the graphics cards manufacturers with their DirectX technologies.
OpenGL don't push graphics cards manufacturers to innovate.

imachip said,
A small hardcore crowd is all it will ever be. There aren't enough games to support the growth of hardcore of PC gaming as the majority are indie games that would run quite well on older laptops.

The PC isn't as cool as the Mac, which is driving sales up and up. I wouldn't be surprised if one day Windows might be the exception and MacOS became the primary gaming os. Imagine that?!

Isnt as cool? What? So you buy your PC because its cool but ain't capable for anything? And keep dreaming that MacOS will ever take Windows position in gaming, thats what the linux guys are trying to say since Vista came out.

Owen W said,
Bootcamp isn't like running on a pc?? Since when?! What rubbish.
Have you ever compared Apple's windows drivers to that of any other PC maker?

You can't blame Razer for making a light laptop capable of gaming, though pricey it can help remove some pounds on the backpack....

Hope prices plummet when Ivy Bridge come in play, because I could get a slimmer laptop with near performance at 50% or less the price of that lappy.

I've been a fan of Razer products since the original boomslang came out.
Yes I paid $150 for a mouse which made me one of the better CS players of the day.
No other company had on-the-fly adjustable sensitivity at the time, so doing 360s with a sniper-rifle full scoped was easy, and made other people think i hacked.

oh those were the days.

6 razer mice later, and I still enjoy and recommend their products, every chance i get.

dotf said,
I've been a fan of Razer products since the original boomslang came out.
Yes I paid $150 for a mouse which made me one of the better CS players of the day.
No other company had on-the-fly adjustable sensitivity at the time, so doing 360s with a sniper-rifle full scoped was easy, and made other people think i hacked.

oh those were the days.

6 razer mice later, and I still enjoy and recommend their products, every chance i get.


SIX!? Wow, that's some pretty awful build quality, I'm on my 2 LED mouse (only switched because I gave the other one away) and have had this one for about 5 years now, it was a cheap £10 mouse...

n_K said,

SIX!? Wow, that's some pretty awful build quality, I'm on my 2 LED mouse (only switched because I gave the other one away) and have had this one for about 5 years now, it was a cheap £10 mouse...

Build quality is and always has been fabulous.

The only reason I've gone through so many is that's how many variants they've produced over the years.

My primary system uses the Razer Boomslang anniversary edition
My secondary system uses Razer Lechesis.

Whenever a new Razer mouse comes out, my family gets upgraded from their $10 cheap model.

It's not his company, try reading the actual article?

I find it interesting that he regrets selling out. I wonder what his payday was.

It looks and sounds pretty interesting! Good that a smaller company uses fresh innovation and ideas to spark the PC industry. Nice article btw.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Not for that price it wont.

There is room for a true Apple equivalent in the Windows ecosystem. Razer should get that niche.

Their prices aren't insane when you compare with Apple.

dotf said,

There is room for a true Apple equivalent in the Windows ecosystem. Razer should get that niche.

Their prices aren't insane when you compare with Apple.

Uh. Yes they are. $2700 for a sub par "Gaming" laptop. Go read some reviews. The Razer Blade is a complete failure as a gaming laptop.

dotf said,

There is room for a true Apple equivalent in the Windows ecosystem. Razer should get that niche.

Their prices aren't insane when you compare with Apple.


Apple machine aren't gaming notebooks. You can get a very capable Core i5, GT555M notebook for less than £1000 thesedays.

TheLegendOfMart said,
Apple machine aren't gaming notebooks. You can get a very capable Core i5, GT555M notebook for less than £1000 thesedays.

yes, with £300 of that for Apple's design tax.

That's all I'm saying.
Razer also do not push as many units, so the design tax will be higher.