Razer’s Blade laptop line-up has been a lot of things, but ‘inexpensive’ has never been one of them. It has been – and still is – a premium brand for those willing to pay a bit more for the exclusive design and high-end features. Nonetheless, the latest Razer Blade 15 Base Model actually offers solid hardware at a very decent price point. Along with the new lower-end Base Model, Razer also adds a very MacBook-esque white version of its 15-inch laptop.
The new Base Model of Razer’s 15-inch gaming laptop is available from $1,599, which will get you a GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, a Core i7-8750H, 16GB of RAM, 128 GB of SSD storage and a 1 TB hard drive. You can double the storage capacity to 256 GB/2 TB for $200 extra.
Other trade-offs compared to the standard Razer Blade – which has now been promoted to ‘Advanced Model’ – includes a 60Hz 1080p display (instead of 144Hz) and a cheaper cooling system that uses regular heat pipes instead of a vapor chamber setup.
Also, in order to add a mechanical hard drive instead of using SSD-only storage, Razer has cut the battery capacity to 65 Watt-hours from 80 Wh. To save a bit of power (but probably not nearly enough) and compensate for this, the keyboard has a zone-lit design instead of per-key RGB backlight. On the plus side, the cheaper model has been equipped with a regular Gigabit Ethernet port.
As for the also new Mercury White edition, this one is part of the ‘old’ line-up of (higher-end) Advanced Edition models. Other than being a MacBook Pro lookalike, it’s available with up to a GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q and 512 GB of storage.
All in all, and in spite of some scepticism you may have noted in the above, these are welcome additions to the Razer Blade 15 lineup. Now, for at least $300 less than yesterday, you can get your hands on what is almost certainly an excellent gaming laptop, which can now compete with – and quite possibly surpass – other less expensive offerings from Asus and MSI among others.