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?