The Razers Blade gaming laptops are getting a big update at CES 2021, and while the laptops appearance has not changed much, the real beauty is on the inside…

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Both the new Razer Blade 15 Advanced ($2499+) and Blade 17 / Blade 17 Pro ($2299+) pre-order page are up if you want to see all the configuration options, but here are our highlights:

The base Blade 15 model is great when it comes to affordability but does not have the same ‘wow actor’, so we will focus on the 15 Advanced and 17/17 Pro models in this article.

Both laptops can be configured with a CPU “up to” the eight-core Intel 10875H, although there are more affordable options if need. Memory options are either 16GB or 32GB of RAM, and the storage is 512GB or 1TB of SSD. Note that both the RAM and SSD are user-replaceable, and there is a free m.2 slot for a secondary drive (nice touch!).

The maximum GPU option is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (up to 16GB of VRAM), and it is possible to scale things down to match your budget with the RTX 20xx or even the GTX 1660 Ti. Razer also has a Quadro RTX 5000 in case someone wants workstation-level drivers and software in a gaming PC chassis – that is not a bad idea given the workstation prices.

The new QHD display resolution is one of the most impactful change to the Blade line-up. Previously, you had to pick between 1080p or 4K. Unfortunately, 4K is not the best balance between resolution, refresh rate and FPS for gaming. Depending on which laptop you choose, your display options will be limited, so pay attention while ordering.

"RAZER REMAINS IN AN EXCELLENT POSITION IN THE OVERALL GAMING LAPTOP MARKET"

QHD/240Hz is in my opinion a much better option for gaming, especially since many games will not realistically hit the maximum 360Hz that 1080p could offer, and the 60Hz of 4K seems a bit low. Also, QHD looks reasonably nice for non-gaming usage, and consumes much less power than 4K.

The chassis have ample room for three USB-A ports (3.2 Gen2) two USB-C (one is Thunderbolt 3) but if you want an Ethernet port, the 17-inch model is your only option. WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 are available, except on the Razer Blade 15 base model – keep that in mind if you want the absolute lowest latency and wireless network performance.

Overall, the new Razer Blade laptops have received a very sensible upgrade. Razer remains in an excellent position in the overall gaming laptop market.

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