Razer is bringing a heap of spec improvements to its 2021 lineup of Blade 15 and Pro 17 gaming laptops. The fit and finish of both models are largely the same as before — they are still ahead of the competition in terms of design — though I’m going to assume that they’re still total fingerprint magnets. However, the switch that I’m most excited about is that QHD screens are finally happening. You’ll be able to get a 1440p QHD display with a fast refresh rate and with Nvidia’s G-Sync variable refresh rate tech built in.
Until recently, 1080p and 4K were the only options for displays on gaming laptops, despite 1440p being an increasingly popular choice among PC gamers looking for a new standalone monitor. This is the year that Razer and other manufacturers will make it an option — and it won’t cost you dearly.
QHD screens, new RTX graphics, and dual storage are the big takeaways
The higher-end Blade laptops will be equipped with Nvidia’s new RTX 3000-series graphics chips, and so should have an easy time running most games on a 1440p high refresh rate display. The Blade 15 Advanced (Razer’s name for the more powerful variant) with the RTX 3070 and a QHD screen with G-Sync will cost $2,499. You’ll be able to customize this model with up to a special variant of the RTX 3080 that has a whopping 16GB of VRAM. The bigger Blade Pro 17 will start at $2,299 and will feature the RTX 3060.
Razer is still using GTX 16-series chips for its more affordable Blade 15, which will start at $1,499 and will be equipped with the Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti. It’s customizable with up to the RTX 3070 for $1,999. All models will be available for preorder starting today at Razer’s online store, with the base Blade 15 and the Blade Pro 17 arriving first on January 26th. The Blade 15 Advanced will ship in February.
The company is sticking with the 10th Gen Comet Lake Intel processors for this round of Blade laptops. Lower-cost configurations of the Blade 15 will offer the six-core 10750H. The Blade 15 Advanced and the Blade Pro 17 each feature the eight-core 10875H Comet Lake processor from Intel.
Will this Blade 15 have better cooling than last year’s model?
All models will feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a newly added HDMI 2.1 output for 4K resolution at up to 120 frames per second. These two ports aside, the I/O varies depending on the computer you get. The base Blade 15 models have an Ethernet port, while the Advanced variants do not. However, Razer makes up for it with a UHS-III SD card reader, Windows Hello IR webcam, 20V charging support via USB-C, and support for Bluetooth 5.2 and the new Wi-Fi 6. The Blade Pro 17 has all of the above features.
One other noteworthy change that Razer is making across the board is user-replaceable RAM and storage. Previously, only certain models had parts that could be serviced by the user. Additionally, Razer has added a second M.2 slot (up to 4TB of total storage across both slots) so you can simply add storage to what you already had instead of being forced to replace it.
Okay, that was a lot. In case I’ve lost you with the spec dump, I’ve made a table that shows what each model offers and the price.
Specs for Razer’s new Blade 15 and Pro 17 laptops
|Compare||Razer Blade 15 (base model)||Razer Blade 15 (Advanced model)||Razer Blade Pro 17|
|Dimensions||19.9 x 235 x 355mm||16.9 x 235 x 355mm||19.9 x 260 x 395mm|
|Screen options||FHD (120Hz), upgradeable to FHD (144Hz IPS), or QHD (165Hz IPS)||QHD (240Hz IPS), upgradeable to FHD (360Hz IPS), or 4K (60Hz OLED with touch)||QHD (165Hz), upgradeable to FHD (360Hz), or 4K (120Hz, touch)|
|Storage||256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (upgradeable to 512GB, and supports a second M.2 drive of up to 4TB of total space)||1TB PCIe NVMe SSD (supports a second M.2 drive for a total of up to 4TB)||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (upgradeable to 1TB, supports a second M.2 drive for up to 4TB of storage)|
|Memory||16GB dual-channel DDR4-2933MHz RAM (user replaceable up to 64GB)||16GB dual-channel DDR4-2933MHz RAM (upgradeable to 32GB, user replaceable up to 64GB)||16GB dual-channel DDR4-2933MHz RAM (upgradeable to 32GB, user replaceable up to 64GB)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10750H (2.6GHz base clock, 5GHz boost)||Intel Core i7-10875H (2.3GHz base clock, 5.1GHz boost)||Intel Core i7-10875H (2.3GHz base clock, 5.1GHz boost)|
|Graphics||Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti (upgradeable to Nvidia's RTX 3070)||Nvidia RTX 3070 (upgradeable to Nvidia's RTX 3080 with 16GB of VRAM)||Nvidia RTX 3060 (upgradeable to Nvidia's RTX 3080)|
|USB-C ports||two (one being a Thunderbolt 3 port with four lanes of PCIe throughput)||two (one being a Thunderbolt 3 port with four lanes of PCIe throughput)||two (one being a Thunderbolt 3 port with four lanes of PCIe throughput)|
|USB-C charging||No||Yes (20V charging)||Yes (20V charging)|
|USB Type A ports||three (3.2 Gen 2)||three (3.2 Gen 2)||three (3.2 Gen 2)|
|HDMI 2.1 support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SD card reader||No||Yes||Yes|
|Webcam||720p||Windows Hello 720p||Windows Hello 720p|
|Wi-Fi 6E support||No (Wi-Fi 6)||Yes||Yes|
Correction: The table above incorrectly stated that there’s a FHD 260Hz option for the Blade 15 Advanced. It’s actually a FHD 360Hz display. We regret the error.