Two Razer prototypes were stolen from the company's booth at CES 2017 and now Project Valerie is on sale in China for $22,000.
Earlier this week, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan announced that two Razer prototypes disappeared from its CES booth, but did not specify which ones. Razer had unveiled Project Valerie and Project Ariana at the trade show and there was speculation that these prototypes were the ones that got stolen, but it was unconfirmed at first.
In an update to his original post, the CEO later confirmed that the stolen devices were two Razer Project Valerie laptops and offered a $25,000 reward for valuable information that would help law enforcement catch the culprits.
"This update is to confirm that two Razer Project Valerie laptop prototypes were stolen from the Razer booth at CES," reads the update. "The product was taken from the Razer press room at approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. A $25,000 reward is being offered for original information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of a criminal suspect."
Razer Project Valerie On Sale In China
Just days after the prototypes were snatched from Razer's CES booth, the ambitious Project Valerie triple-screen laptop surfaced in China, available for sale on Taobao at 150,000 CNY, or nearly $22,000.
That's quite a hefty price tag, but considering the novelty of the device, the fact that it hasn't gone on sale yet (officially) and that it was not easy to come by (read: steal), it makes sense.
Buying a stolen prototype off Taobao would be insane and risky for any third-parties, but at least Razer could buy its products back or trace the people behind this shameless theft and scam.
Razer Project Valerie
For those who missed out on Razer's CES 2017 showcase, Project Valerie is an impressive gaming laptop with three 4K displays, virtually allowing for a portable panoramic display mode.
Each display is 17.3 inches in size and features a 4K resolution, offering a huge viewing space unprecedented for a laptop. When not in use, the extra Project Valerie screens are housed within a chassis. When the laptop is opened, the screens automatically slide out from the lid and extend to the sides of the main display to create a 180-degree viewing experience, without requiring any human input.
This concept should take things to the next level and offer an immersive gaming experience like no other laptop has offered before, but it remains to be seen whether it will ever hit the market under these circumstances.
Even if Razer does get its stolen prototypes back, its work has still been exposed to third parties and its secrets spilled out of the bag. Razer did not rule out industrial espionage when it first announced the prototype theft, and having Project Valerie go up for sale in China doesn't necessarily rule that out. It could well be a well-orchestrated scheme to cover up corporate espionage by making people think they were only about the money.
Either way, the Project Valerie listing on Taobao should help authorities make some headway in their investigation. No other information is available at this point, but we'll keep you up to date as soon as more details hit the surface.