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Razer bolsters its mobile gaming lineup with the 2018 Razer Blade, adding a 144Hz display and Nvidia Max-Q graphics
Razer’s ultra-skinny gaming laptops have never been a tricky sell. They might cost the earth, but if you’re after an uber-portable laptop that can run almost any modern game without hiccups, well, there’s never been a better choice. The only problem is that the well-established Blade laptop is long overdue a fresh lick of paint.
That’s where the new 15in Razer Blade gaming laptop comes in. With up-to-date internals squeezed inside – including the latest Max-Q Nvidia GPUs – and an all-new design, this new Blade is a mobile gaming beast, with its sights fixed on the hardcore gamer who happens to have a hefty trust fund.
Razer Blade 15in review: UK release date, price and specifications
- 15.6in Full HD (60Hz) / Full HD (144Hz) / 4K touch (144Hz) display
- 355 x 235 x 17mm (WDH closed), 2kg
- Intel Core i7-8750H processor
- 16GB of RAM
- 256GB or 512GB SSD storage
- Windows 10 Home
- From $1,899, up to $2,899
- Mid-June release date
Razer Blade 15in review: Key features and first impressions
Okay, so the overall design is still very Blade-like. Razer’s three-headed green snake logo illuminates the laptop’s lid, and the machine is made up of the same all-black matte aluminium chassis as before.
Equally, the laptop’s RGB-backlit chiclet-style keyboard remains the same. Each key is nicely spaced and it’ll be just as good to use whether you’re pounding the WASD cluster or using it for the less adrenaline-pumping task of writing an email. The glass-topped Windows 10 precision touchpad, meanwhile, has slightly increased in size.
Perhaps the most obvious difference, however, is that the Razer Blade’s display has grown in size from 14in to 15.6in across the diagonal, with neither a size (355 x 235 x 17mm) nor weight (2kg) increase. How has it done this? Well, just like the XPS 13, Razer has dropped the thickness of the side bezels to a mere 4.9mm. The chassis no longer has rounded corners, either, in a bid to bring the laptop’s design more in line with the sharp-edged Razer Phone from last year.
The new Blade has more than enough ports to keep you going. On the right side, you’ll find a Thunderbolt 3-powered USB Type-C port, HDMI 2 port, mini-DisplayPort and a full-fat USB 3. The left side houses a further two USB 3 ports, a proprietary three-pin charging connector and the 3.5mm audio jack. As for wireless connectivity, you get 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 5.
This new Razer laptop can also be fitted with a 144Hz, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS screen, allowing for higher frame rates while gaming and scrolling through your Facebook feed. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, you also have the option of either a Full HD screen or touch-enabled 4K display at a standard 60Hz.
Each Blade is equipped with Intel’s latest six-core, 12-threaded, eighth-generation Core i7-8750H processor, clocked at 2.2GHz and capable of boosted clock speeds up to 4.1GHz, and it’s paired with up to 16GB of 2,667MHz DDR4 RAM – upgradable up to 32GB.
From here, the various different configuration options are rather confusing. The Full HD (60Hz) model is restricted to Nvidia’s GTX 1060 GPU and 256GB of SSD storage and costs $1,899. The Full HD (144Hz) variant can be purchased with a choice of either GTX 1060 graphics and 512GB of storage ($2,199), a GTX 1070 and 256GB of storage ($2,399), or a GTX 1070 with 512GB of storage ($2,599).
The 4K, touch-enabled model is equipped with a 512GB SSD and an Nvidia GTX 1070 and costs a whopping $2,899. Whichever model you choose, though, there’s no question that this machine will whizz through any application – gaming or otherwise – without kicking up much of a fuss.
Battery life is expected to be much improved on the original model, too, thanks to the Blade’s more efficient cooling techniques, with a brand-new heat pipe, larger vapour chamber and dual cooling fans.
Razer Blade 15in review: Early verdict
While you may need to remortgage your home to buy one, the new Razer Blade seemingly achieves the impossible. Successfully treading familiar territory while simultaneously reigniting interest in the range, 2018’s Blade is no joke – it’s quite possibly the most fully featured laptop this pessimistic journalist has ever laid eyes on.
I doubt I’d recommend eBaying your old model for this one, but if you’re already stockpiling 2018’s long list of PC game releases, you’d better make damn sure you have the new Razer Blade by your side.