May 22, 2018 // 9:05 a.m.
Razer has taken the wraps off the latest model of Blade laptop, a 15” SKU touting an Intel 8th Gen (Coffee Lake) six-core CPU and Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB or GTX 1070, as well as a new external GPU enclosure, the Core X, and a new laptop dock.
Starting with the main announcement, the new Blade will, as is tradition, be referred to simply as the Razer Blade, although it may also become known in the channel as the Blade 15 to differentiate it from the outgoing Blade with a 14” screen, which has come to be known as the Blade 14. It remains the mid-tier model, sitting in between the 13” Blade Stealth ultrabook below and the 17” Blade Pro desktop replacement above.
While the move from 14” to 15.6” for the display comes with a size increase, the new Razer Blade will nevertheless be the world’s smallest 15.6” gaming laptop. With 4.9mm bezels, it measures 355mm wide and 235mm deep, meaning it is only 10mm wider than its predecessor despite the screen size difference. The thickness will be either 16.8mm or 17.3mm depending on whether the user picks the GTX 1060 6GB Max-Q or the GTX 1070 Max-Q respectively.
The CPU is Intel’s new Core i7-8750H, sporting six Coffee Lake cores, 12 threads thanks to HyperThreading, a peak boost speed of 4.1GHz, and a 45W TDP. This is paired with 16GB of DDR4 at 2,667MHz, which will be user-upgradeable to 32GB.
Storage takes the form of a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD, either 256GB or 512GB depending on the SKU chosen, but this too is user-upgradeable to up to 2TB. Razer says the majority of these will be Samsung drives, but it cannot confirm 100 percent coverage for this.
As usual, there will also be a variety of screen options for users to pick from. The entry-level model has a 1080p 60Hz true IPS panel, but higher up the stack you have the option for a 144Hz true IPS display at the same resolution. The US, UK, Canadian, and German markets will also have a top-tier SKU available featuring a 4K touch display with full AdobeRGB gamut coverage. The weight of the laptop varies slightly based on the GPU and screen chosen, starting at 2.07kg at topping out at 2.15kg.
For connectivity, all SKUs have a trio of USB 3.1 Gen 1 (i.e. USB 3.0) Type-A ports and a single Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) header. Display outputs include one HDMI 2.0b port and a single mini-DisplayPort 1.4. The audio jack is a combined headphone/mic 3.5mm affair. The new Blade sports Intel’s Wireless-AC 9260 with Bluetooth 5 too.
The new Blade is the first to support Razer’s Synapse 3 with its per-key Chroma RGB keyboard. Either side of this you have front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos certification, and beneath it is a large, unibody glass trackpad. The 720p webcam and microphone are located in the usual position above the screen.
A new cooling solution has been developed for this Blade, one which is said to cope with up to 30 percent higher TDPs. Sticking to a dual-fan setup, the new method uses a vapour chamber instead of heat pipes and is more than twice as heavy.
The battery on all SKUs is an 80Whr model. Expected battery life levels have not been announced, but we do know that Synapse 3 exposes new power modes for users to pick from. The power adaptor is either 200W (GTX 1060) or 230W (GTX 1070).
The new Razer Blade is listed in three configurations for UK users currently. The entry-level model with GTX 1060, 256GB SSD, and 60Hz 1080p screen is priced at £1,699.99; the mid-range SKU with GTX 1070, 256GB SSD, and 144Hz 1080p screen comes in at £2,149.99; and the highest spec model has a GTX 1070, 512GB SSD, and 144Hz 1080p screen for £2,329.99. All prices are inclusive of VAT, and availability is expected in June. There is currently no listing or suggested availability for any SKU featuring the 4K touch panel. Pre-orders are not yet open, but users can ask to be notified for when they are. More information about the new Razer Blade is available on the official website.
In addition to the new Blade, Razer also revealed a new external GPU enclosure, the Razer Core X, which drops the cost down to an MSRP of $299 excluding taxes, which has translated to a UK retail price of £259.99 including VAT. Unlike previous models, there is no additional I/O and no lighting – you simply have a single Thunderbolt 3 connection. It has a 650W PSU (500W available for GPUs) and supports triple-slot cards. More information is available on the official website.
Finally, Razer unveiled a new laptop stand with Chroma lighting and a three-port USB hub. It is named… drumroll please… the Razer Laptop Stand Chroma. It is made from metal and has plenty of rubber on the underside for grip. It is currently available for pre-order for £99.99 including VAT, and more information is available on the official website.