Razer makes Blade 15 notebook more accessible with new configs

Razer's Blade family has proven itself a popular choice among buyers of high-end laptops, and the company wants to make some of its highest-performing notebooks more accessible with two new options for the Blade 15. To make that happen, the company is moving to single-zone Chroma backlighting on its duo of new configurations and leaning on mechanical bulk storage alongside small M.2 SSDs for important files.

A new $1599 model will offer a 128-GB-SSD-plus-1-TB-hard-drive config that uses a SATA gumstick plus a 5400-RPM mechanical drive, while a $1799 model will have a 256-GB-SSD-plus-2-TB-hard-drive setup. That config uses an NVMe SSD with four PCIe 3.0 lanes alongside another 5400-RPM drive.

Despite those cuts, the entry-level Blade 15s stick with most of what makes modern high-performance notebooks compelling. The machines will still offer Core i7-8750H CPUs with six cores and 12 threads of processing power under the hood. Razer pairs that chip with 16 GB of user-expandable memory in both configs, and it taps a 60-Hz IPS display with a 1920×1080 resolution for the base model's creative canvas. The company claims that display will cover 100% of the sRGB gamut.

A GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB Max-Q graphics chip pushes pixels to those screens in both configs. Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt 3, and a glass-covered Microsoft Precision Touchpad round out the package. Razer says the new models are available now.

At the opposite end of the Blade 15 lineup, Razer will be decking out select configurations of the machine in a limited-edition "Mercury White" finish. That color scheme covers the body of the notebook in a matte white finish. Contrasting black USB ports and a non-illuminated Razer logo on the lid complete the look. Razer plans to offer the Mercury White option in two configurations: one with a GTX 1060 6 GB graphics card for $2199 and one with a Max-Q GTX 1070 for $2599.

Both models will have 512 GB of NVMe storage, 16 GB of RAM, Core i7-8750H CPUs, and 144-Hz, 1920×1080 screens with 100% sRGB coverage and factory calibration. The keyboards on both these systems will have per-key Razer Chroma backlighting support, too. Razer plans to sell the Mercury White machines direct from its website in the fourth quarter of this year.

Comments closed
    • EzioAs
    • 1 year ago

    I have to admit, these do look pretty elegant, especially the white/silver version. I like how they position the usb ports nearer to the hinge than to the user and the trackpad size seems pretty good too. Shame they’re a bit expensive but design-wise, they look better than most Windows notebooks.

      • Pulsar_the_Spacenerd
      • 1 year ago

      I was shopping for a laptop in the spring, so I ended up watching and reading a lot of different reviews. Common consensus seems to be that the Razer laptops often have the best build quality of windows machines, falling only behind Apple. The biggest problems, at least for me, was the price as you said and the damn logo. Fortunately that is easy enough to cover up with a skin or something, but if they are going to make more reasonable laptops they should have a more reasonable logo.

      Price was what drove me away, ended up with an XPS 15 which is great except it makes creaking noises if you pick it up from one side. Carbon is cool, but aluminum works.

    • Star Brood
    • 1 year ago

    Wasn’t the whole point of the Blade that they had the cool touchscreen to the side of the keyboard for interesting things like expanded game UIs? What happened to that? Because other than the brand, these are being sold for twice the price of other laptops with the same features.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      Like all proprietary, expensive, half-solutions that require the other half of the solution to come from a third party (game developers, in this case) it never caught on.

      Razer:
      [i<]"Hey, game devs - we've made this cool thing you could use"[/i<] Every game dev, every single time a new game is being made, ever: [i<]"Are you going to pay us handsomely to include it in our game? Because that's a hell of a lot of work and ongoing support we're going to have to do that is of no benefit to us whatsoever!"[/i<] Razer: [i<]"Good news everyone, the new Razer Blade 15 has a standard keyboard layout that actually works with all your games![/i<]" Edits: apparently comments don't support much bbcode.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 1 year ago

        Seems to me having the trackpad on the right side of the keyboard would be better in laptops that could fit it.

        That’s how I use my KB&M. That is how most people use their KB&M.

        The number of Chassis that the big few OEMs sell makes me surprised that we don’t see this layout more on 17″ laptops.

          • Voldenuit
          • 1 year ago

          I like the right-mounted trackpad on my GX501 too, but I think Chrispy was alluding to the Switchblade ability of earlier Razer Pro models that turned the trackpad into an OLED macro and hotkey launcher.

          The interest in the feature was apparently low enough that Razer took it out of the 2018 Razer Blade Pro model altogether.

      • Goty
      • 1 year ago

      That was only on the 17″ one, I thought.

      • rnalsation
      • 1 year ago

      I “have a friend” that owns one of the original Blade 17″ and that little fing screen never worked right.

        • Airmantharp
        • 1 year ago

        I never thought it could be useful.

        I don’t want to look at something not on the screen for control. And I don’t want to use a flat touchpad for typed input.

        I don’t find the OLED touchpad that ASUS is doing as quite as egregious, but it’s also not that much better either.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        Required support from third parties that it never got. Microsoft being one of those third parties.

        Like all these niche/rare/proprietary things, they’re only as good as their support and Razer didn’t work hard enough with platform/game developers to get the idea off the ground.

    • Airmantharp
    • 1 year ago

    Is it still missing G-Sync?

    Because seriously I wouldn’t look at a gaming laptop without the appropriate variable V-Sync standard.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 1 year ago

      They’re choosing graphics switching “Optimus” for increased battery life over G-sync. Can’t have both, unfortunately.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 1 year ago

        with all these configurations figure they could make one without optimus… Probably more work than just “disabling it and plugging in an Async panel”

        • Voldenuit
        • 1 year ago

        ASUS GM501 has G-Sync and Optimus, but requires a reboot to switch modes.

          • Airmantharp
          • 1 year ago

          Which is the right answer!

          At least until they figure out how to do it without a reboot, if they don’t get them coexisting outright.

            • Voldenuit
            • 1 year ago

            Yeah, it’s less of an issue now that Windows boots in under 10s on a SSD.

            The smart move (and low hanging fruit) would be to let the user select which mode to boot the machine up in.

            If I’m pretending to write my Great American Novel at the coffee shop, I’m gonna be booting up in Optimus. If I’m plugging my laptop to my home gaming setup, I’d like to boot up with G-Sync, etc. Maybe configure it at the power button level (long hold, double tap, etc.) and make it obvious to the user with different RGB profiles, or something.

            EDIT: Worth mentioning I have the older GX501 that has G-Sync but no Optimus. I picked that configuration on purpose (instead of, say, getting a Gigabyte Aero X15) because I wanted a gaming laptop more than I valued battery life at the time.

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      I’d prefer Optimus. They made the right choice.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        A shame that in 2018 we still have to choose modes.

          • Kretschmer
          • 1 year ago

          Absolutely.

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