Review

New, cheaper Razer Blade gaming laptop packs dual storage and Ethernet

Plus, a ‘Mercury White’ edition has arrived

The latest Razer Blade, while impressive and gorgeous, is nevertheless an expensive gaming laptop. That’s why Razer has just announced a more affordable, baseline version of the 15-inch Blade laptop with new features for a more palatable $1,599 (about £1,215, AU$2,250) and is available right now.

This version of the Razer Blade looks nearly identical to the standard – or, now, ‘advanced’ – version released earlier this year, but with one major difference in design: the laptop has grown by one tenth of an inch in height to 0.78 inches, to accommodate new parts not available in the advanced version.

The new parts include an Ethernet port for hardwired internet connections as well as a new dual storage drive option, which allows you to configure the Razer Blade with both an M.2 solid state drive (SSD) and a 2.5-inch hard drive (HDD). Naturally, the idea here is to provide the speed of SSDs with the more affordable, larger storage capacity of spinning hard drives.

Also, this increase in height has allowed Razer to implement a heat pipe-based cooling system, as opposed to the vapor chamber system within the thinner model released earlier.

On a pleasantly surprising note, this model starts with the very same Intel Core i7-8750H processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics as the now advanced version – for a cool 300 bucks (or quid) off – and will employ the same basic, 60Hz Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display and 16GB of DDR4 memory.

The available storage options for this laptop are a 128GB SSD paired with a 1TB HDD spinning at 5,400 rotations per minute (rpm), or a 256GB SSD with a 2TB HDD (5,400 rpm), the latter of which costing $1,799 (about £1,362, AU$2,532).

This new Razer Blade is available at the time of writing in the US and Canada, while European and Australian availability will begin this November.

The Blade gets white hot … figuratively speaking

In addition to this more approachable Blade model, Razer has also revealed a new color scheme for the more ‘advanced’ version of the laptop: Mercury White. Keeping to the aesthetic, the Razer logo on this laptop’s lid does not light up, and the USB ports are done in black rather than neon green.

Of course, nothing else about the laptop is different from the standard model that launched earlier this year. However, Razer is only offering this color scheme with 144Hz displays and 512GB SSDs, with the GTX 1060 model costing $2,199 (about £1,665, AU$3,095) and the GTX 1070 version going for $2,599 (about £1,968, AU$3,658).

The Mercury White Razer Blade will be available in the US and Canada through Razer’s website directly later this year. Unfortunately, no mention has been made of European and Australian availability. Here’s to hoping you folks get the fancy color treatment soon enough.

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