With Razer releasing a smartphone and a three-screen laptop concept alongside updating its Blade Pro and Blade Stealth machines, the mid-tier Razer Blade sat quietly in wait for its next moment in the spotlight. Today, Razer debuted big updates to its Razer Blade laptop, focusing on design and performance to usher the gaming notebook into 2018.
While the new Blade still looks unmistakably “Razer,” its design has changed dramatically for the better. Razer upped the screen size from 14 inches to 15.6 inches, reducing the surrounding bezels to just 4.9mm so that the device fits in with the other nearly bezel-less ultrabooks popular today. Razer is offering 1080p 60Hz or 144Hz panels, along with a 4K touchscreen option as well. The larger display panel makes the laptop slightly heavier than its predecessor, and it’s a bit wider overall, too (4.7 pounds and 9.3 inches, respectively). However, the slimmer bezels, sharper edges, and aluminum unibody make the new Razer Blade look like a clear upgrade from the previous model.
Inside the new Blade is vapor chamber technology used to manage heat across the CPU and GPU, as well as dissipate heat generated from other internal parts. The machine will need proper cooling and ventilation to handle the powerful internals users can opt for: it runs on an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor and can have either an Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070 with Max-Q graphics. It also supports up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of PCIe-based SSD.
Razer stuck a variety of ports on the new Blade, including three USB-A 3.1 ports, one proprietary charging port, one Thunderbolt 3 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and an HDMI port. The latter three ports allow the device to drive three displays at once. The notebook has an 80Whr battery inside as well, but Razer didn’t provide an estimated battery life.
New eGPU support for macOS
Another new addition to the Razer lineup is the Core X, a Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosure with space for large, three-slot wide graphics cards. The Core X joins the Core V2 graphics enclosure as one of Razer’s solutions for gamers who want to add desktop-like graphics power to their laptops—and it’s more affordable than the V2 as well.
While it’s a bit stockier than Razer’s existing enclosure, the Core X has an aluminum body with open vents to properly handle heat, regardless of the task at hand. The Core X connects to a compatible notebook through one Thunderbolt 3 port, providing eGPU access and 100W of power thanks to its 650 ATX power supply. It’s both cheaper and seemingly easier to use than the V2, but that comes with some compromises: the Core X doesn’t have Chroma lighting, and it lacks USB and Ethernet ports.
The Core X can be connected to Razer’s line of gaming laptops as well as any Windows laptops running Windows 10 Redstone 1 with a Thunderbolt 3 port with eGPU support. Both the Core X and the Core V2 are also now compatible with Mac laptops running macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 or later with compatible AMD Radeon GPUs.
The new Razer Blade is available today starting at $1,899 and the Core X eGPU case is also available today for $299.