Razer announced a new thin and light gaming laptop with specs you wouldn't expect to find in a thin and light device--most notably, an Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics module.
The Razer Blade Pro is a 17.3-inch mobile monster of a machine with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ, 32GB of memory, and RAID 0 PCIe M.2 SSD storage up to 2TB. It features a 4K (3840 x 2160) IGZO display with Nvidia G-Sync, in addition to Killer Doubleshot Pro networking (E2400 Gigabit LAN and Wireless AC 1535). Somehow, all of this is crammed into a chassis that's less than an inch thick (0.88") and weighs only 7.8 lbs.
The Graphics, The Cooling
Razer isn't a stranger to the thin and light market, with the Razer Blade Stealth and Razer Blade laptops offering a similar hook: go thin and light with some ample horsepower under the hood. However, the new Blade Pro takes that concept to a whole new level, almost redefining what a thin and light device could be with the inclusion of the incredibly powerful GTX 1080.
The Razer Blade Pro is not the first laptop from the company to sport a mobile Pascal-based GPU. Indeed, although the Razer Blade now has the GTX 1060 as an option, the GTX 1080 is a cut above.
Of further note, the Razer Blade Pro has a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port, which indicates that it's ready for pairing with the Razer Core external GPU dock. (However, the onboard GTX 1080 would seem to obviate the need for the mega peripheral.)
The powerful GPU does, however, necessitate a robust cooling system. One does not simply cram a GTX 1080 into a slim chassis, to borrow the meme. To that end, Razer boasted of its vapor chamber cooling, stating that it's paired with a custom fan design and dynamic heat exchanger.
Mechanical Switches On A Laptop, And What's Up With That Touchpad?
In a move that is as expected as it is welcome, Razer tricked out the Razer Blade Pro with ultra low-profile mechanical keyboard switches. We assumed we'd see these switches land on the company's laptops when it announced them this summer--there was no way they would remain as an option for something as un-Razer-like as an iPad accessory. (Time is ticking on when we'll see low-profile Kailh switches emerge on competing notebooks.)
Another striking design choice (brave or stupid, depending on your point of view) is the placement of the touchpad on the Blade Pro. Instead of positioning it under the keyboard, as it is on virtually every laptop in the world, Razer stuck it off to the right. In a way, this puts the touchpad where a mouse would more naturally be if you were typing on a desktop. Razer also cleverly placed a volume roller just above the touchpad.
Thin and light devices usually have a hefty premium attached, and the Blade Pro is no different. Starting at $3,699, the Razer Blade Pro is expected to ship in November.
Razer Blade Pro
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X
17.3” 4K (3840 x 2160) IGZO w/ G-Sync
Up to 2TB (2 x 1TB) PCIe M.2 SSD in RAID 0
- Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet
- Killer Wireless AC 1535
- USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
- USB 3.0 x3
- HDMI 2.0
- SDXC Card Reader
- Mic-In/Headphone-Out Combo Jack
Dimensions (L x W x H)
11 x 16.7 x 0.88