Razer updated its Razer Blade gaming laptop line, and most of the new features show that the new Blade shares DNA with the Razer Blade Stealth. Looking at a spec comparison, it’s almost as if the (old) Blade and Blade Stealth mated and birthed a laptop that carries the best of both. Or at least, has parts of both.
The CPU in the new Blade is at the same Core i7-(X)700-series level of the old Blade, but it’s a Skylake chip like in the Blade Stealth. The new Blade and the Blade Stealth offer identical 256 GB or 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD options, whereas the older Blade has SATA M.2 SSD options. Both the new and old Blades boast discrete graphics --the Nvidia 970M -- although the former has twice the VRAM.
The two Blades have the same battery (70 Wh), and Razer kept the dimensions identical for both (although the new model is a hair lighter). Both are 14-inch models, whereas the Blade Stealth is just 12.5 inches.
The new Blade and the Blade Stealth share more robust Razer Synapse controls (keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, fan control) and per-key Chroma backlighting, too.
Razer also made mention of a better heat-dissipating solution in this edition of the Blade. A Razer representative told us that the old and new designs are similar, but the fans and heat pipes have been slightly redesigned. Basically, although there is still one fan and heat pipe each for the CPU and GPU, Razer has managed to "normalize some of the fan curves." This is designed to, for example, prevent the fans from"whirring" up for a few seconds at a time.
Razer Core Compatibility? Check
The most important similarity between the new Blade and the Blade Stealth, though, is the presence of the USB Type-C port, because that means the new Razer Blade will also support the Razer Core external GPU dock. This was to be expected; unlike Asus and MSI, which have proprietary external GPU solutions (for now), Razer was on record back at CES that it was interested in open standards. There’s no reason to care about standards if you’re planning to tie something like an external GPU dock to a single device.
Further, although the Razer Blade Stealth is a perfectly fine Ultrabook, its future as one half of a gaming system (making a whole when paired with the Razer Core) seems slightly odd. Even with a burly GPU handling most of the work, it’s just an Ultrabook CPU in there. Surely there will be a bottleneck on the CPU side -- a bottleneck that’s less likely to crop up with the new Blade’s higher-end Core i7-6700HQ chip.
As it did with the Blade Stealth, Razer is selling the new Blade directly to consumers. The company claimed that this allows it to keep prices low, and in the case of the old and new Blades, that’s significant, as the new Blade SKUs land some $500 cheaper than the current ones. (The lowest-end current Blade model, with a non-touch FHD display, costs the same as the less expensive of the two updated Blades.)
You can preorder a new Razer Blade starting today from Razer’s own site. Orders will ship next month.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Razer Blade Stealth (UHD SKU)||Razer Blade (Current, QHD+ Touch SKU)||Razer Blade (New)|
|Pricing||$1,399.99-$1,599.99||$2,399.99-$2,699.99 (both currently on sale for $400 less)||$1,999-$2,199|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-6500U (Skylake) dual-core with HT, 2.5GHz / 3.1GHz (Base/Turbo)||Intel Core i7–4720HQ (Haswell) quad-core with HT, 2.6GHZ / 3.6GHz (Base / Turbo)||Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) quad-core, 2.6 GHz / 3.5 GHz (Base/Turbo)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 (64-bit)||Windows 10 (64-bit)||Windows 10 (64-bit)|
|Memory||8 GB LPDDR3-1866 MHz||16 GB DDR3L-1600 MHz||16 GB DDR4-2133 MHz|
|Display||12.5-inch IGZO UHD (3840x2160) 16:9 Ratio with LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch, 100% Adobe RGB||14.0-inch IGZO QHD+ (3200x1800) 16:9 Ratio with LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch||14.0-inch IGZO QHD+ (3200x1800) 16:9 Ratio with LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 520||Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (3 GB GDDR5 VRAM)||Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (6 GB GDDR5 VRAM)|
|Storage||256 GB or 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD||128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB SATA M.2 SSD (128 GB option no longer apparently for sale)||256 GB or 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD|
|Networking||Wireless-AC (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.1)||Intel Wireless-AC 7260HMW (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.0)||KillerWireless-AC 1535 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.1)|
|Interface||-Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)-USB 3.0 x2-HDMI 1.4b audio and video output-3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port-TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)||-USB 3.0 port x3-HDMI 1.4a audio and video output-3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port-TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)-Kensington Security Slot||-Thunderbolt 3 (USB-Type C)-USB 3.0 port x3-HDMI 1.4b video and audio output-3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo port-TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)-Kensington Security Slot|
|Audio||Built-in stereo speakers and array microphone, Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition, 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)||Built-in stereo speakers and array microphone,Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition,7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)||Built-in stereo speakers and array microphone,Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition, 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)|
|Keyboard||-Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard-Chroma lighting-Razer Synapse enabled (keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, fan control)||-Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard-Razer Synapse enabled (keyboard, trackpad)||-Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard with per-key lighting -Chroma lighting-Razer Synapse enabled (keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, fan control)|
|Battery||45 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery||70 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery||70 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery|
|Power Adapter||Compact 45 W power adapter||Compact 150 W power adapter||Compact 165 W power adapter|
|Dimensions||0.52 x 12.6 x 8.1 inches / 13.1 x 321 x 206 mm (HxWxD)||0.70 x 13.6 x 9.3 inches / 17.9 x 345 x 235 mm (HxWxD)||0.70 x 13.6 x 9.3 inches / 17.9 x 345 x 235 mm (HxWxD|
|Weight||2.75 lbs / 1.25 kg||4.47 lbs / 2.03 kg||4.25 lbs / 1.93 kg|
Seth Colaner is the News Director for Tom's Hardware. Follow him on Twitter @SethColaner. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.
I hope next gen of GPU and CPU gives que cooler performance gamers want.