Gaming hardware company Razer makes pretty good laptops, as I discovered when I reviewed the Razer Blade Stealth last month. But that model is a bit of an anomaly for the company: it’s got everything you want in a gaming laptop… except for a discrete graphics card that lets you play the latest games at the highest graphics settings. Instead, Razer figures you can buy an external graphics dock if you want to use a desktop-class GPU.
But if you can live with a bigger, heavier laptop, the company does offer models with discrete graphics. And now Razer is updating its Razer Blade gaming notebook with a new model that features a larger display, a faster processor, and updated GPU options.
Oh, and if you do want an external graphics dock, Razer is also updating its Razer Core line of GPU boxes.
There are now two graphics dock options:
Both connect to a PC using a Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C cable. But the Razer Core X has a 650 watt AX power supply, supports 100W USB Type-C power delivery for laptops, accepts 3-slot graphics cards, and measures 13″ x 6.3″ x 2.4″.
The Razer Core V2, meanwhile, is a little slimmer at 11.9″ x 57″ x 1.7″ and it only has room for 2.2-slot cards, has a 500W power supply, and supports 65W USB-C power delivery. But it also supports Razer Chroma and works as more of an all-purpose desktop dock thanks to 4 USB ports and an Ethernet jack in addition to the GPU support.
Anyway, back to the new laptop, the Razer Blade 15.6 replaces last year’s 14 inch model. The new version is a bit bigger and heavier, but it costs the same price and features Intel’s new Core i7-8750H 6-core/12-thread processor.
The system ships with 16GB of DDR4-2667 RAM and at least 256GB of solid state storage, but it supports up to 32GB/2TB.
Razer offers 4K multitouch and 1080p matte non-touch display options (with 60 Hz and 144Hz models to choose from), a choice of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 graphics, and the system has a Thunderbolt 3 ports, three USB 3.1 Type-A ports, HDMI 2.0b and Mini DisplayPort 1.4, a headset jack, front-facing stereo speakers, and a 720 webcam.
The system is powered by an 80 Wh battery and comes with a 200W/230W power adapter.
Razer says models with GeForce GTX 1060 graphics measure about 14″ x 9.3″ x 0.66″ and weigh 4.56 pounds, while models with GeForce GTX 1070 graphics measure 0.68 inches thick and weigh 4.73 pounds.