Razer's latest Blade laptop puts a big screen in a small body


Everybody wants their devices to get smaller. There's a problem when you apply that paradigm to laptops, though: the screen size. Any serious work that requires a laptop also requires a reasonably-sized screen. Even still, there's quite a bit of space to save on most laptops. Razer demonstrates that with the latest version of its Blade laptop, which it claims is the world's smallest 15.6" gaming machine.

From even a glance at the new Blade, you can tell that Razer primarily saved space by snipping off the bezel surrounding the screen. Indeed, the laptop has a remarkably small footprint compared to its 15.6" display: 14" wide by 9.3" deep (36 cm x 24 cm). It's thin too, at just about 0.66" when closed (17 mm). Not bad for a laptop that packs in a six-core CPU and a GeForce GTX GPU.

The CPU in question is Intel's Core i7-8750H. That chip boosts up to 4.1 GHz as workloads and thermals allow, and it should serve as a fine foundation for a gaming and productivity laptop. Razer taps GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 Max-Q chips for the new Blade's pixel-pushing duties. Those graphics chips should suffice quite nicely for playing games on the Blade's 144-Hz 1920x1080 display. Folks who will spend more time creating than gaming might opt for the 3840x2160 capacitive multi-touch screen instead. Both are IPS panels that come color-calibrated from the factory.

Razer outfits the new Blade with 16 GB of DDR4 memory running at 2666 MT/s by default. You can buy it with 32 GB instead if you prefer or upgrade it yourself later. The single storage option is a PCIe M.2 SSD. Razer will sell you a Blade with a 512-GB SSD at the top-end, but the company notes that the machine will happily take a 2-TB drive if you so desire.

One area where Razer's laptops have always pleased is in their external connectivity. The new Blade is no exception. You get a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port, a Mini-DisplayPort 1.4 connection, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 plug, and a 3.5-mm audio combo jack. Wireless connections consist of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5. There's a built-in 720p webcam, too.

You can already order a Blade from Razer's website, but at the moment it seems there's only one configuration available: the 1920x1080 144-Hz display paired with a GTX 1070 Max-Q. That model is going for $2400. Razer says that when they become available, the base model with a GeForce GTX 1060 and 256GB SSD will run you $1900, while topping out the specifications with the 3840x2160 screen and GTX 1070 will take you up to $2900.

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