CES 2021: Razer Blades Get Their Next Generation Refresh
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
We believe the title needs no extra explanation, let’s get right into it!
Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 is arguably the most popular gaming laptop within Razer’s lineup, and with good reason. 15.6-inch is one of the most, if not the most, popular display panel size for a gaming laptop as it combines a big enough screen while still being relatively compact to bring around and fit in most bags.
The first thing that is brand new is the new display panel options. The Razer Blade 15 can now be configured with up to an FHD (1920 x 1080) 360Hz panel with a 2ms response time for the Advanced Model and up to a 144Hz panel with an 8ms response time for the Base Model. Both panels will support 100% sRGB coverage. The Advanced Model will also feature the choice of a 4K OLED panel with a 1ms response time, support touch capability and cover 100% DCI-P3.
But perhaps the more interesting option is the choice of a QHD (2560 x 1440) panel, available for both the Advanced and Base Models. You can choose between a QHD 240Hz panel with a 2.5ms response time for the Advanced Model and a 165Hz panel with a 3ms response time for the Base Model. Curiously enough, the QHD panel for the Advanced Model only covers 95% sRGB while the QHD panel for the Base Model actually covers 100% DCI-P3.
In any case, this, in our eyes, is the bigger game-changer. QHD makes far more of an impact and difference compared to moving from 240Hz to 360Hz on FHD. It also makes a lot of sense, as 4K is still really hard to power, especially for the highest-end AAA titles, even if you have the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card. A 4K display on a laptop definitely looks great but the main advantage of going with 4K on a 15.6-inch display is actually lost, and that’s screen real estate.
QHD is something that the community has been asking for for a long time, and I’m just glad it is here.
The biggest difference and definite upgrade would, of course, be the next-generation NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. Now we do not have exact confirmation of the final specifications as of yet, but we believe you can expect a combination of Intel Core i7s along with options for an RTX 3060 up the way to the RTX 3080, Max-Q or not.
As for the rest of the specifications, you can expect up to 32GB of 2933MHz Dual-Channel DDR4 memory which is expandable up to 64GB. The Blade 15 can also be kitted with up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage which is also expandable up to 4TB. All models of the Blade 15 will support dual storage, of which one would be taken up by the included PCIe SSD while the other would be the empty and open slot.
Ports are another area in which the Blade 15 gets quite the upgrade. All models of the Blade 15 will feature at least Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0, Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-A, USB Type-C and HDMI 2.1 (Up to 8K 60Hz or 4K 120Hz). The Base Model will feature an additional RJ45 Ethernet Port while the Advanced Model will take it up a notch and feature Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 instead, while also including an SD Card Reader UHS-III, Windows Hello IR Camera as well as 20V charging via USB-C.
Razer Chroma RGB is definitely present yet again, and with full per-key backlighting for the Advanced Model and zone lighting for the Base Model.
Razer Blade Pro 17
Our favourite gaming laptop from 2020 makes a return and it is more powerful than ever before.
Not much has changed design-wise, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. It still looks great and feels premium with the CNC aluminium unibody and for a 17.3-inch gaming laptop, it comes pretty light at just about 2.75kg.
Just like the Razer Blade 15, the biggest change would be the display panel options. You can now get up to an FHD (1920 x 1080) 360Hz panel or a QHD (2560 x 1440) 165Hz panel or a full 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED touch panel of which the OLED option will cover 100% AdobeRGB.
Apart from that, it features the exact same set of internal upgrades like the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model, so you do get Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. Of course, the bigger Blade Pro 17 was the first in Razer’s lineup to feature the both the RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet and SD Card Reader UHS-III, so those are here to stay as well. The keyboard is also roughly the same, with Chroma RGB per-key backlighting and also comes with THX-Certified speakers as well.
As for the CPU and GPU, we don’t have details yet, but you can definitely expect the next-generation NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics in which most likely the highest-end SKU will and should be the RTX 3080, Max-Q or not.
Written by Soon Kai Hong