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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Leaping lappies

Doting dads who give a wide berth to high-tech instant gratification are not immune to temptation. Here are two top-of-the-line powerhouses that make for hernia-free Father's Day gifts
The Business Times - June 16, 2012
By: Christopher Lim
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Leaping lappies Apple MacBook with Retina Display

Apple MacBook with Retina Display
($2,988-$3,788)

The entire Apple MacBook range was updated on Monday to the latest and greatest specifications, but the model that caught everyone's eye was the brand new MacBook with Retina Display (left). That's because it brings the eye-opening clarity of the Retina screens on the iPhone 4S and new iPad to a full-fledged computer for the first time. That's an unprecedented 15.4 inches of razor sharp images that will blow away any other laptop - or desktop - screen when viewed up close. We're talking about instant bragging rights here, in addition to making the family photo album look amazing.

The rest of the specs are top flight - the latest Ivy Bridge Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, Nvidia GT 650M graphics cards, copious RAM memory and solid-state drives. But that Retina display is really what takes the cake. No, it doesn't have a built-in disc drive or Ethernet port, but that's why it weighs just 2kg and sports a 1.8cm-thick profile, in spite of containing a big non-removable battery that's supposed to last for seven hours. A package like that should slip nicely into the baby bag without causing backache.

The MacBook Pro with Retina Display is officially available now from Apple authorised resellers and the Apple Online Store, though stocks may vary.

Razer Blade
($3,999.99)

Razer is the Apple of the gaming world, which means no-compromise designs and a holistic approach that makes its products both recognisable and balanced. Although it made its name with gaming mice and keyboards, it announced its first laptop - the Razer Blade - last year. And on Thursday, Singapore became the first country outside the United States to get the aluminium wonder - just in time for Father's Day tomorrow. The Blade slices three ways: Tipping the scales at under 3kg and being 2.24cm thick, it's the slimmest and lightest gaming laptop with a 17.3-inch screen. It runs all of the latest games well, with unique controls. And its matte black body is gorgeously minimalist.

Understand, however, that this is not the ultimate gaming laptop in terms of specifications or pure performance. Rivals that weigh at least twice the Blade - with a correspondingly inflated waistline - take turns wearing that crown. Razer's taken a year to develop this laptop, so the Blade doesn't sport bleeding-edge processors or graphics cards. Its performance credentials are purely experiential, - it's all about getting the job done, with video graphics that don't fall below a smooth 30 frames per second. Dads who obsess over specifications therefore might not appreciate this gift. There is one hardware element unique to the Blade though.

At first glance, it looks like the trackpad's been moved to the right-hand side of the keyboard (left-handers need not apply), but it's actually the Switchblade interface, which comprises a touchscreen that can run apps and videos in addition to working as a trackpad. There are also 10 buttons that can be programmed to do anything under the sun, ranging from shooting fireballs at your game opponents to firing up Gmail. So, if your dad would love a gaming package he can bring to boring family gatherings without risking hernia, the Blade's in a class of its own.

The Razer Blade is available now from Best Denki Ngee Ann City, as well as online from ap.razerzone.com.

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