At first glance, Razer’s refreshed line of 15-inch Blade and 17-inch Blade Pro laptops might not look much different than last year’s models, but inside is a different story — this year we get faster displays and GPUs, along with a subtly revamped design.
Starting with the 15-inch Blade and Blade Advanced, Razer is looking to give buyers a lot more options when it comes to configuring their systems. For more competitive gamers, Razer is adding a new 360Hz full HD display to high-end Blade Advanced configs. Meanwhile, the entire 15-inch Blade line is getting support for new Nvidia RTX 30-series Max-Q cards, with the more expensive Blade Advanced models able to equip up to an RTX 3080 GPU.
For those looking for a display with a higher resolution, Razer is still offering a 4K OLED panel on the Blade 15 Advanced, but there will also be a new 240Hz 2560 x 1440 QHD panel with Nvidia G-Sync support and Nvidia’s battery-saving Optimus tech to help balance performance, battery life, and fidelity. And for those looking at something more affordable, Razer is also upgrading the Blade 15’s base display to a 144Hz panel instead of the 120Hz screens available on current models, so it’s not a huge jump, but still nice to see.
The other big change is one that’s a bit less obvious, as Razer has revamped the Blade 15’s CNC aluminium body to be about 4% smaller than before, while also adding support for HDMI 2.1 on all models. But perhaps the most important new change is the addition of a new storage module with room for two M.2 SSDs stacked on top of each other. That means now along with new support for up to 64GB of RAM, you can cram up to 4TB of SSD storage in every Blade 15. Or if you want, you can spec the system with a single M.2 drive, and then add a second one on yourself post-purchase. And on some high-specced version of the Blade 15, users will also have the choice of a built-in full-sized SD card reader, which could be especially valuable for anyone doing photo or video editing.
Like its smaller sibling, the 17-inch Blade Pro is getting a similar spec bump with HDMI 2.1, an updated range of displays, and support for up to an RTX 3080 GPU. Blade Pro panel choices will now consist of three choices: a full HD panel with a 360Hz refresh rate, a 2560 x 1440 panel at 165Hz, and a 4K display at 120Hz.
In the end, while Razer’s 15- and 17-inch laptops aren’t getting a full makeover, they are getting notable speed bumps for both display and graphics performance, and that’s always a good thing.
The 15-inch Blade and 17-inch Blade Pro will start at $US1,700 ($2,200) and $US2,300 ($2,977), respectively, and are available for preorder today on Razer.com with official sales slated for January 26 in the US.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for local Australian pricing and availability.