The Latest Razer Blade Will Set You Back $3000

When the original Razer Blade launched in Australia, plenty of gamers looked at the hardware and ogled. It was so thin. So sleek. So fast. And ... so bloody expensive.

Now it's 2016. That means new CPUs, new GPUs and new laptop revisions. So here's the latest Razer Blade ... and it's still bloody expensive.

$3000. That's what the baseline Razer Blade -- not the Razer Blade Stealth, Razer's answer to the low-end Macbook crowd -- will set you back.

You'll be getting some decent hardware for the price, of course:

● Intel® Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core Processor (2.6 GHz / 3.5 GHz) ● NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ 970M (6 GB GDDR5 VRAM) ● 16 GB Systems Memory (DDR4, 2133 MHz) ● Windows® 10 64-bit ● 256 GB / 512 GB SSD (PCIe M.2) options ● 14.0-in. IGZO QHD+ 16:9 Ratio, 3200x1800, with LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch ● Anti-ghosting keyboard with per-key lighting Powered by Chroma ● Killer™ Wireless-AC 1535 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth® 4.1) ● Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C™) ● USB 3.0 port x3 (SuperSpeed) ● HDMI 1.4b video and audio output ● 3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo port ● Built-in webcam (2.0 MP) ● Built-in stereo speakers ● Array microphone ● Dolby® Digital Plus Home Theater Edition ● 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI) ● Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip embedded ● Razer Synapse enabled with programmable keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, and fan control ● Kensington™ security slot ● Compact 165 W power adapter ● Built-in 70 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery

It's worth noting that the latest Razer Blade is a touch heavier than the original 2013 model, weighing in at 1.93kg as opposed to just under 1.86kg (or 4.25 lbs to 4.1 lbs).

It's a fraction thicker too, but then I think just about everyone would be happy to sacrifice a few millimetres to upgrade the GPU to a GTX 970M and the screen from 1600 x 900 to 3200 x 1800.

Something to note: the Razer Blade will also support the Razer Core external graphics enclosure thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 graphics port. That seems more targeted at people picking up the cheaper Razer Blade Stealth though.

After all, if you're spending $3000 on a laptop that has a GTX 970M, would you then go and spend a few hundred extra for the Razer Core? And then spend another few hundred dollars to get a discrete GPU? The 970M is a pretty good mid-range performer in its own right, after all.

Oh and by the way, the model with a 512GB PCIe M.2S SSD: that's $3300.

Just for kicks, I checked out some other offerings to see how the new Blade stacks up. Here's what you can get from Metabox for $3059, a fraction more than what Razer wants for their lowest Blade model:

17.3" FHD IPS WVA 60Hz G-Sync LED GTX 970M 6GB with G-Sync Core i7-6700K 8MB 4.0GHz 16GB DDR4 2400MHZ (1 x 16GB) 850 EVO 250GB M.2 SSD 1TB 7200RPM HDD 802.11 BGN / Bluetooth M.2 Windows 10 Home 64 Bit 2 Year Metabox Platinum Care

And over at MWAVE, here's what you can find in the ASUS ROG G751 for $3189. The CPU is a little behind what's in the Blade and you're stuck with a 1080p screen, but it makes up for that elsewhere:

ASUS ROG G751JY-T7419T Gaming Notebook 17.3" 16:9 IPS FHD (1920x1080) Intel Core i7-4870HQ Processor, 2.5 GHz (6M Cache, up to 3.7 GHz) 16GB DDR3 DRAM 1TB SATA 7200RPM 2.5' HDD, 256GB SATA 2.5' SSD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB 6X Blu-Ray combo 802.11ac (Dual band) Bluetooth 4.0 Windows 10 (64bit)

It's an interesting trade-off, nevertheless. Either you opt for the smaller screen and dial down the aesthetics for more storage and slightly better GPU, or you go for the bigger CPU and more bells and whistles, like the anti-ghosting keyboard, built-in webcam and microphone. You can probably find more similar offerings if you go digging, but that's what I came across in a few minutes.

For those among our community who have invested in gaming laptops: what did you prioritise, and what was the thinking process behind your purchase?


Comments

    Last years model also had a GTX970m, so no it's not a GPU upgrade from last year.
    Please amend article.
    They should have waited for the 1070.
    Also why the hell would you compare 17" notebooks to a 14"?
    You should be comparing it to the Alienware 13 and other brand small laptops.

      Meant an upgrade from the 2013 model. It's pretty unfeasible to buy a gaming laptop in 2015 and then upgrade a year later; most people wait two or three generations before upgrading any gear, be it laptops, GPUs, computers, or phones.

      Also the comparison is between gaming laptops around the same price point, not simply the size of the screen.

    A few years ago I picked up an Asus G73jh. Was pretty good for the time and allowed me to play Witcher 2 on fairly high settings. However the motherboard failed so now I'm on...my MacBook. No more high end mobile gaming for me!

    Shame the RoG doesn't even have a type-C connector as the external GPU thing isn't proprietary so eventually they could have gotten their own drivers to work with the core. That and it looks like arse aesthetically compared to the Razer.

    You can't compare this with a Metabox custom, because the Metabox one will be half the mass of jupiter, have 3000 cm fans and be the size of a family sedan. With these you're paying for Apple-like styling and ultrabook portability.

    Still a bit of a rip price-wise though, and I wish they'd go to a 15" instead of 14". It's just a bit too small to feel comfortable IMO. I wouldn't be buying one of these right now anyway, wait six months or so for the 1070M to trickle into the laptop market.

      980Ms aren't even common yet, I suspect it'll be quite a while before we see 1070Ms or 1080Ms.

        980M isn't common but it's out there and has been for ages. It's not common because it runs hotter than the sun and especially the ultrabook-styled notebooks from companies like MSI, Asus or Razer can't clear the heat. Hell, I have a year-old MSI GS60 which has the 970 in it and that gets uncomfortably warm under heavy load for an extended period.

          Yeah so if they haven't figured out how to cool a 980M properly yet, it's going to be a long time before 1070M and 1080Ms are going to be cooled properly.

          I kinda see the future of laptops going down the route of that external "Core" thing. All of the essentials for everyday use in the laptop itself, and a dedicated add-on for gaming that for the most part is not carried around everywhere.

          Last edited 22/06/16 10:38 am

            10-series is a huge die shrink which is the core reason why it's so much more capable - they can push much more through it at the same TDP. The desktop parts are slightly lower TDP than the 9-series. There's no reason to think that a 1070 or 1080 won't make it into a laptop at some point in a few months.

        You won't see 1070m's or 1080m's at all actually, because they aren't doing the M series anymore for high end - they will be using the same chip as the desktop version, and lowering the voltage. And 980m's are quite common but only in high end gaming laptops - have been for quite some time.

        Last edited 22/06/16 10:19 am

        Eh. 1080 & 1070's were already spotted in laptops at Computex, so it can't be that far away honestly. Also we will see the regular desktop grade chips in laptops this time around due to their heat out put etc is low enough to work with laptop cooling.

        Last edited 22/06/16 11:36 am

    Who actually buys these overpriced products? And why do they keep putting crappy keyboards for gaming into "gaming" laptops?

      There are models with real mechanical keyboards if you want (asus and msi do them), but for this particular type of machine portability is the defining factor, not necessarily practicality.

        Yeah I'm aware of those models. They are better though they don't necessarily even need to be mechanical keyboards, just not the flat chiclet keyboards that most laptops use these days. Those keyboards are horrible for gaming, and if you are marketing a machine as a gaming machine, you should be including a better keyboard for gaming. Any gamer worth their salt would probably connect up their own USB keyboard though I imagine.

      I would have gladly bought one of these laptops. For the last 6 years, I've moved countries 3 times, cities twice and had fortnight-long trips about half a dozen times. If I want to play some form of gaming, these types of laptops would be ideal...

      The keyboard is a non-issue for me. I mean I played borderlands on a Macbook Air for a long time. Also, carrying a USB keyboard was a thing I did when I was younger but now, I wouldn't even bother...

    Looking into this laptop on the Razer store it dawned on me that this list price doesn't include GST. Items over $1000 shipped from outside Australia are liable for 10% GST, so add another $300 onto the AUD$2,999 purchase price.

    It also stinks that the US price is US$1,999 which is only about AUD$2,700 so I think Razer have added a generous Aussie mark up.

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