Razer this week introduced an upgraded version of its latest Blade laptop that is now powered by Intel’s quad-core Kaby Lake processor along with DDR4-2400 memory and has 4K display and 1 TB SSD options. The 14” gaming notebook uses the same 17.8 mm-thick chassis introduced last year and has the same I/O capabilities, but some minor differences in weight. Meanwhile, it is important to note that the entry-level Razer Blade now costs $100 less than it used to last year, but at the expense of a lower-resolution display.

The new Razer Blade is based on the Intel Core i7-7700HQ (4C/8T, 2.8/3.8 GHz, 6 MB, 45 W) processor as well as the HM175 PCH (so, the same motherboard as before). The new chip is powered by the Kaby Lake microarchitecture, has higher frequencies compared to its predecessor that was used in last year’s Blades (Core i7-6700HQ) and supports Speed Shift v2 technology as well as other improvements. Along with the Kaby Lake CPU, the new Blade also got 16 GB of faster DDR4-2400 memory (soldered to the mainboard). In addition to 256 GB and 512 GB M.2 (NVMe/PCIe) SSDs, Razer now also offers a 1 TB PCIe drive as an option. When it comes to graphics, the new Blade uses NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory and an HDMI 2.0b output, just like the predecessor introduced last fall.

Apart from the CPU and DRAM upgrades, Razer changed display options for the latest breed of Blade laptops. Last year the company only offered its Blades with touch-enabled IGZO LCDs featuring 3200×1800 resolution, and a matte 1920x1080 on the entry level. This year the higher-end Blade machines will feature touch-enabled UHD displays (3840×2160). Usage of the lower-resolution panel allowed Razer to reduce the price of the entry-level Blade to $1899 (or by $100), but at present we do not know how much the 4K SKUs is going to cost. In any case, systems featuring FHD panels will be slightly lighter and will have a longer battery life than models with UHD monitors. We haven't heard back from Razer on if the new UHD display continues to be a Sharp IGZO panel or not. Apart from displays, different Blade systems will look and feel exactly the same: both use a solid CNC-milled aluminum chassis with a matte black finish.

Razer Blade Comparison
  2017 Razer Blade FHD 2017 Razer Blade UHD Late 2016 Razer Blade
CPU Intel Core i7-7700HQ
2.8 GHz/3.8 GHz
6 MB
45 W
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
2.6/3.5 GHz
6 MB
Memory 16 GB DDR4-2400 16 GB DDR4-2133
Display 1920×1080 matte 3840×2160 touch 3200×1800 IGZO touch
Storage 256/512/1024 GB PCIe M.2 256/512 GB PCIe M.2
I/O 3×USB 3.0
HDMI 2.0b
Thunderbolt 3/USB-C
Wireless Killer Wireless-AC 1535
Dimensions 13.6" × 9.3 " × 0.70"
345 mm × 235 mm × 17.8 mm
Weight 1.86 kg
4.1 lbs
1.95 kg
4.3 lbs
1.93 kg
4.25 lbs
Battery 70 Wh
Keyboard Razer Chroma anti-ghosting
Price $1899 unknown $1999-$2199

As for the rest I/O capabilities, they remained very similar to those of the last year’s Razer Blade models (because the chassis and the motherboard are the same as those used on the late 2016 Blade): Rivet Networks' Killer 1535 802.11 2×2 Wi-Fi + BT 4.1 controller, one Thunderbolt 3/USB 3.1 Type-C port, three USB 3.0 headers, an HDMI 2.0b output, a 2 MP webcam, built-in speakers and a microphone, a TRRS audio connector, a keyboard with RGB backlighting and so on. In a bid to appeal to those who care about security, there is a TPM 2.0 security chip installed.

The new Razer Blade notebooks with FHD screens are available now in North America and Europe starting from US$1,899/C$2,749/€2.149/£1.799. The laptops with 4K UHD panels will be available in Q2 and Razer does not have pricing available at the moment, but expect it to be similarly priced to the outgoing QHD+ model.

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Source: Razer

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  • Infy2 - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    For $2000 I would expect nothing less than GTX 1080.
  • cyrusfox - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    but the TDP of the mobile 1060 is only 80 watts, for the 1080 it is 150 watts. You wouldn't have as pretty a package or as light/small form of a laptop with the 1080.
    This laptop is plenty capable, if you need more oomph, you either have to trade out aesthetics or save that for desktop use.
  • Inteli - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    Cooling a 1080 in this sized chassis would be very interesting.
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    As previously mentioned, it isn't realistic to expect a 150W GTX 1080 in a 14" chassis. There are already very few 15.6" laptop with a GTX 1080, due to the challenge of cooling.

    Also, there's no laptop with a GTX 1080 available for $2000. The least expensive that I could find start at $2100 and most are $2400+. And those don't come with an aluminum unibody or RGB keyboard. The Razer Blade Pro (17" variant with GTX 1080) starts at $3700...
  • Morawka - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    unibody.. funny.. half the razer blade is plastic on the bottom
  • SpartanJet - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    Do you even own one? I can tell you its an aluminum uni-body, no plastic at all.
  • vincentlaw - Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - link

    It is most definitely not plastic on the bottom. It's very similar to the older unibody macbooks.
  • akdj - Thursday, February 16, 2017 - link

    Vincent, Spartan,
    I'm sorry and could care less who's right, who's wrong but as a long time OS X, now macOS 'user' primarily and secondarily... usually by necessity (job) a Windows users. I've a pair of 15" rMBPs, both of the top shelf, CTO variety and both still phenomenal computers
    I have the 2.7GHz/16GB/768GB/650m from 2012 and other than a display switch (to Samsung) & overnight logic board change (650m;)) - first year for both, I've not had a single issue since and she's used daily.
    I also bought the 2015 for a steal around Christmas '15 on sale @ Best Buy, again with the top shelf build w/2.8GHz, 16 GB, & 1TB SSD - w/$300 off, a $200 rebate for 'working Mac' (had a '07 MacBook, 13" 2.16GHz w/1GB RAM and needed battery. Plugged in it worked great! I was also shopping, ironically during an Apple holiday hundred sale of any computer purchase over a thousand. I had another bundle in awards and ended up paying less for the $3,099 model... maybe 3199?? But the base w/dGPU was $2,499 and I beat it.
    Love em both but unless I run into triple those type of deals, I'm out with the current offering at the current price running macOS.
    Therefore looking for a windows machine, Razer's caught my eye (& son owns all their peripherals;))
    My understanding, but I've not seen one, was they're 'all metal' design. Whether shaved from a single block of aluminum? Could care less, but the plastic bottom is curious without access to upgrade memory or storage?
  • Manch - Saturday, February 18, 2017 - link

    Check out either a Dell XPS 15 9550(great deals on refurb) or the ASUS Zenbook Pro. The Zenbook looks very similar to the MAC. Both can be installed with OSX for dual boot. Drivers and all that fun stuff have been worked out. Theyre both spec'd similarly. Dell has that zero bezel which makes it very compact, can expand mem to 32GB. The ASUS has a full num pad, mem only 24GB bc 8 is soldered. Zenbook is also much cheaper. Either way these are both good alternatives that wont break the bank. Proc, SSD(951) are the same for both.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - link

    some crazy people made a single slot desktop 1070, that fan could theoretically be shoved into a thin gaming laptop. OTOH at full load I suspect it sounds like a fully loaded B52 using afterburners on takeoff.

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