When it comes to making a statement, Apple’s products have always had the edge. The most modern offices typically have iMac desktops and MacBook Pro laptops for their employees; high-end users typically choose a Mac over a Windows-based PC; an iPhone is a fashion statement in itself, for that matter. But where gamers are concerned, the equation dramatically changes.
Today’s we’re going to review one of the best mid-range gaming laptops on the market – the Razer Blade. Razer Inc. is based out of Irvine, California, and has been making gaming accessories for nearly 20 years. After moving to the hardware side of gaming back in 2011, the company first launched the Razer Blade in 2013. Since then it’s been adding features and improving the laptop’s performance every year.
The best part is, Blade has an entire game-based community around it so if there’s absolutely anything you need to know about it, there’s someone to answer your questions.
The New Razer Blade itself starts at a modest $1,799 for the Full HD 256GB model, and goes up to $2,699 for the QHD+ 1TB version. That’s pretty awesome when you look at the full spec options on various models:
Intel® Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core Processor (2.6GHz / 3.5GHz)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
16 GB System Memory (DDR4, 2133 MHz)
Windows® 10 64-bit
256GB / 512GB / 1 TB SSD (PCIe M.2) options
14.0-in. IGZO QHD+, 3200×1800, capacitive multi-touch / 14.0-in. IPS Full HD Matte, 1920×1080 options
Anti-ghosting keyboard with per-key lighting powered by Razer Chroma
Killer™ Wireless-AC 1535 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth® 4.1)
Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C™)
USB 3.0 port x3 (SuperSpeed)
HDMI 2.0 video and audio output
3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo port
Built-in webcam (2.0 MP)
Built-in stereo speakers
Dolby® Digital Plus Home Theater Edition
7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip embedded
Razer Synapse enabled with programmable keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, and fan control
Kensington™ security slot
Compact 165W power adapter
Built-in 70 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
Approx. Size: 0.70 in. / 17.9 mm (Height) x 13.6 in. / 345 mm (Width) x 9.3 in. / 235 mm (Depth)
Approx. Weight (QHD+): 4.30 lbs. / 1.95 kg
Approx. Weight (Full HD): 4.16 lbs. / 1.89 kg
When you pit that against the specs on a comparable MacBook Pro 2016 (13-inch Touch Bar model) that’s also priced at $1,799, the difference is obvious:
2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
8GB 2133MHz memory
256GB PCIe-based SSD1
Intel Iris Graphics 550
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
Touch Bar and Touch ID
Just looking at the RAM and Graphics capabilities of the two models will clearly show you why the Razer Blade stands looming tall over the MacBook Pro.
Of course, if you’re looking for esthetics, then the Blade is fairly minimalistic in design. And, obviously, there’s no OLED Touch Bar. But it does come with a Windows 10 64-bit OS so it perfectly complements your Xbox experience.
The only downside we’ve seen is the lack of an SD Card slot. Not very convenient for photographers, but other than that the I/O features pretty much covered everything we were looking for – USB-C, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm audio and USB 3.0.
You also get a free full license of FL Studio 12 Producer Edition worth US$199 with your order, and if you upgrade to the QHD+ version they’ll give you a Razer Orochi gaming grade mouse, as well as 2 games, worth US$148.
Other new models include the Blade Pro and the Blade Stealth, but even the base Razer Blade 256GB Full HD is a really good buy. If you’re a gamer, you’ll consider this a mid-range model, but for regular laptop users it’s definitely way beyond anything you’ll see in the bulk of non-gaming laptops – even high-end ones. Dollar for dollar, it definitely trumps the price-equivalent new MacBook Pro in terms of performance and gaming ability.
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