What you need to know
- Razer is refreshing its Blade 15 and Blade Pro 17 laptops.
- New 360Hz display options are being offered.
- Both will have options for the new NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU.
- Blade 15 goes on sale Jan 12; Blade 17 Pro in the coming months.
CES 2021 is taking a very different form this year to the norm but the support from the usual names is as big as ever. Razer is a CES regular and this year has once again come out swinging by updating its two larger gaming laptops ready for the year ahead.
Laptop hardware advancements don't stay still for long and both the Blade 15 and Blade Pro are always on the bleeding edge. This is as true for early 2021 as ever.
Starting first with the Blade 15 and the big story here is upgraded displays, better internal options from the factory, and NVIDIA's latest and greatest laptop GPUs. The choice between lower resolution with high refresh rates and high-resolution panels remains, but now the upper limit is a whopping 360Hz, while the lower tier is now up to 165Hz.
These aren't IPS panels but are "IPS grade" in so much as they maintain the good color reproduction and excellent viewing angles you would associate with such displays. Whether you really need 360Hz is a different question, as I found when looking at 2020's 300Hz Razer Blade 15. Nevertheless, with NVIDIA continuing to turn up the heat with graphics power, more frames are certainly coming.
What's new in the Blade 15 line is the high refresh rate QHD display option that will be available on the Blade 15 Advanced. This panel will offer both a 240Hz refresh rate and G-Sync, for fast, smooth, tear-free gaming. And as is traditional on a Razer Blade 15, all displays have high color accuracy, with at least 95% sRGB support and 100% DCI-P3 on the Base Model and 4K OLED variants.
Getting over to the graphics power, and thanks to NVIDIA, the Blade 15 will contain up to the next generation RTX 3080 GPU with up to 16GB of VRAM on tap and NVIDIA's second-generation ray tracing technology. This is particularly noteworthy for Razer since the only previous 16GB Blade 15 was the Quadro RTX 5000 spec Studio Edition. As ever, the Blade 15 uses Intel's top Core i7 H-Series chips.
Also new for the Blade 15 lineup is the option to get 32GB of RAM out of the box and choose an upgrade to 64GB, but the RAM is still user upgradeable so you don't have to decide right away. Under the hood the newest Blade 15 will also have an empty NVMe SSD slot available to add a second drive if you wish.
Connectivity remains as good as ever, with a multitude of I/O onboard, including HDMI 2.1 and USB-C 3.2 Gen 2.
The new Razer Blade 15 starts at $1,700 and will be available for pre-order exclusively at Razer.com and Razer Store locations on January 12 and for purchase from select third-party retailers beginning January 26.
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If you're looking for the best combination of style, design, and performance, the Razer Blade 15 is your best bet. Now, it has a lower entry price than ever, thanks to its new base model.
Also updated at CES 2021 is the Razer Blade Pro, the 17-inch powerhouse which gets a similar treatment to the Blade 15 on the internals front. Of course, the big draw is the larger display, and being able to get both 4K and 120Hz on the same panel is sure to be a draw to the most demanding gamers or content creators.
In between the 1080p 360Hz and 4K 120Hz options is a new QHD 165Hz panel, so both gamers and content creators have plenty of options. It also sports 16GB or 32GB of RAM, which is upgradeable, and up to a 1TB NVMe SSD, paired with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7.
Like the Blade 15, the Blade Pro also gets the latest NVIDIA laptop GPUs up to the RTX 3080, while retaining the same great design, I/O, and internal options as last year's model.
The new Razer Blade Pro 17 starts at $2,300 and will be available first exclusively at Razer.com and Razer Store locations in the first half of 2021 with third-party retailers to follow.
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Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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