The Razer Blade has served as the core of the Razer laptop line for years, but while the compact Razer Blade Stealth and the High-End Blade Pro have received recent updates in recent years, the medium of Blade path has been put aside: the basic aspect has not changed since 2013, even when Razer has continued to update the internal hardware over time.
But that changes today with the latest revision of Razer Blade, which completely reviews the stagnant design of Blade. with a new design, a larger 15.6-inch screen, the next-generation Core i7 processors in the eighth generation and the NVIDIA Max-Q architecture that should allow Blade to live up to the best gaming laptops .
The biggest change from the beginning is the new design. Razer is jumping from the 14-inch panel presented on previous Blade models to a 15.6-inch screen (a move that helps differentiate the Blade from the middle of the Blade Stealth road, which was upgraded from a 12-inch to a 13.3-inch model last year). The increase in the size of the screen does not mean that the relatively compact blade is also increasing in size; instead, Razer is killing the massive bezels that dominated Blade's old model, with a laptop that measures 0.4 inches more than last model year. The company claims that the new Blade is the smallest 15.6-inch gaming notebook on the market, and seeing it in person is easy to believe. Razer is also cleaning the visual design of the laptop, keeping the black aluminum case, but eliminating the ridges on the lid that lines the Razer logo and squared the rounded corners.
Inside, there are also some important changes. Razer now offers three different options for the new 15.6-inch screen: a 60Hz 1080p option, included in the Blade's cheapest configuration, a 144Hz 1080p version designed for those looking for the absolute best gaming performance and a choice of 4K touch screen with 100% Adobe RGB color support. (Unfortunately, there's no support for NVIDIA's G-Sync display technology, which Razer says it cut to focus better on energy efficiency). In addition, the old two-button touch panel has been replaced by a new larger version that includes buttons and support for Windows Precision Touchpad drivers.
Another welcome addition to the updated Blade: replaceable parts by the user. The Blade comes with 16 GB of RAM by default and between 256 GB and 512 GB of M.2 SSD storage, but users can change them with up to 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of internal storage if they wish.
As for the actual internal hardware, Razer keeps things fairly simple. All models of the new Blade have the same Intel processor, the six-core i7-8750H, synchronized to a base frequency of 2.2GHz with a turbo boost of up to 4.1GHz. As for graphics, there is the option of a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 graphics card, both with Nvidia's Max-Q design optimizations.
Regarding the ports, Razer offers a Thunderbolt 3 port, a Mini DisplayPort and an HDMI port: the Blade can control three screens at a time through these three ports, in addition to the built-in screen: three USB 3.1 ports A and a new exclusive cargo port. As for the battery life, the new Blade has a battery of 80Wh, which Razer says should offer a resistance as good, if not better, than the previous despite the larger screen and hexacore processor (although obviously we'll have to see if that stays in the real world.)
The new Blade is available today and starts at $ 1,899.99, which offers the 60Hz screen, the GTX 1060 and a 256GB SSD. The 144Hz model opens at $ 2,199.99 (GTX 1060, 512GB SSD) with some more expensive GTX 1070 models on offer, while the 4K model (GTX 1070, 512GB SSD) tops the line at $ 2,899.99.
All in all, the updated Razer Blade seems like a new and exciting version of the existing version, solving several of the defects of the laptop and offering a design and specifications that, assuming that things stay in real use, could simply be the best laptop for portable games until now.
Photography by Chaim Garternberg / The Verge