In October, last year Razer launched the Blade Pro and spared no expense. The Blade Pro is a beast – you can read more about it here – but the monstrosity has a starting price of $3,800; suffice to say, it’s not affordable for the majority.
Thankfully, Razer has a cheaper option – the Blade – but unfortunately, Razer only updated the GPU in September, ignoring everything else that makes the PC whole. Well, that’s solved now. Razer today updated the Blade with the latest 7th generation i7 processors, faster RAM, faster storage, and an optional 4K display.
It’s a laptop for those who want to game on the move without sacrificing too much on the performance, yet, want something that doesn’t look like it came from an alien mothership. Razer has this sorted.
The Blade isn’t just affordable when compared to Blade Pro; it’s also smaller. It’s a 14-inch gaming laptop with the latest-and-greatest Intel 7th generation Core i7 7700HQ processor clocked at 2.8Ghz to 3.8Ghz. Yes, the more expensive Blade Pro is one generation behind for the processor.
For those who fail to recall, the 2016 Blade came with an Intel 6th generation Core i7 6700HQ clocked at 2.6Ghz to 3.5Ghz. The 2017 Blade, therefore, not only has the latest generation Intel processor but is also faster thanks to the higher clock speed.
The RAM also received an upgrade – it’s now 16 GB DDR4 memory clocked at a fancy 2400 Mhz. 2016 Blade also had 16 GB DDR4 memory but was clocked at a slower 2144 Mhz.
The GPU remains the same as it was upgraded to in September – an NVidia GTX 1060.
Now to the display: there are now two options, 1080p and 4K. The Blade Pro also has a 4K display, but that’s a 17.3-inch screen with a PPI of 254. The new Blade, on the other hand, crams the same resolution in a 14-inch screen, giving us an incredible 314 PPI. In short: the display – despite the same resolution – is going to look better on the Blade, if you have the eye to spot it.
Razer is opting for an IPS panel rather than its usual choice of IGZO. The displays also come with full multi-touch support.
Finally, there is a new storage option. The 2016 Blade gave two options: 512 GB or 256 GB. Those options remain, but the new Blade now also offers a 1 TB option. These are all M.2 PCIe SSDs as well, not the slower SATAII variant.
The rest of Blade remains quite the same: 802.11ac WiFi with a Killer Wireless-AC 1535 network adapter, Bluetooth 4.1, built-in stereo speakers with Dolby Surround sound, and of course a fancy RGB keyboard.
The 2017 Razer Blade looks like a great laptop, but if it doesn’t hold to its slim and light – at least compared to other machines in its category – body, then Razer loses the edge.
Fortunately, Razer gets to keep the edge. The laptop weighs about 1.8 kg for the 1080p variation and about 1.9 kg for the 4K variation. Though, both variations are the same thickness: 0.70-inch.
Of course, the laptop also comes with a 2-megapixel webcam that’s not compliant with Windows Hello, a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, an HDMI 2.0 port, three standard USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm combo jack, and a Kensington security lock.
A 70-watt-hour battery power the entire ordeal, but Razer doesn’t provide a quote on the battery life.
Pricing & Availability
The new 2017 Razer Blade’s 1080p variation is available starting from right now on RazerStore.com – Razer’s online store – in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
The prices, therefore, vary; here’s the list:
- United States: US$1,899
- Canada: C$2,749
- Europe: €2.149
- United Kingdom: £1.799
If you would rather buy it from your local retailer, it should hit the retail shelves by 20th of February.
The worldwide launch will be sometime in March. The 4K variation is not available yet, but Razer expects it to arrive by the second quarter of 2017. Razer will reveal the pricing information when the 4K variation is closer to release.
However, do note that the 4K model might give fewer frames-per-second in games, as rendering in 4K on a GTX 1060 is no easy task. The 1080p variation might, in fact, be a better value.
It’s no cheap laptop, but at least it’s available for purchase.