Razer’s Razer Blade Pro has been the company’s go-to high-end machine for gamers wanting a desktop replacement, and the company has tweaked its high-end configuration for 2017. The jumps aren’t huge, but the new system will offer a Kaby Lake Core i7-7820HQ (2.9GHz base, 3.9GHz Turbo) as opposed to the older i7-6820HQ (2.7GHz base, 3.6GHz Turbo). It also ships with DDR4-2667 instead of DDR4-2133.
The other major claim to fame for this laptop is its support for THX. To achieve that, the Razer Blade Pro had to meet certain standards for color resolution, color accuracy, and video playback (on the video side). The audio jack on the Razer Blade Pro also had to be certified for THX, which means conforming to that standard’s guidelines for crosstalk, distortion, frequency response, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).
As for the rest of the features, the Razer Blade Pro comes with a GTX 1080, a 17.3-inch IGZO 4K display with G-Sync support, multiple SSD storage options (all, however, appear to be RAID 0), 32GB of DDR4, and Ethernet and wireless support provided by Killer Wireless. Thunderbolt 3 and 3x USB 3.0 ports are also included, as is an SDXC reader. The only downside, inevitably, is the price. With a price tag starting at $4,000, you’re definitely staring down the barrel of some very expensive hardware.
Razer claims that you can overclock the CPU core to 4.3GHz by enabling “High Performance Mode,” but we’re dubious of how well this will work in practice. In a mobile form factor, overclocking a laptop part is more likely to lead to sustained throttling with minimal long-term performance boosts compared with running a longer time at a lower turbo clock. We’re not saying Razer‘s solution doesn’t work, but boutique laptops often advertise aggressive specs for clock speeds they can’t actually reach or can only hold for very short periods of time.
It’s also worth noting that Razer is putting a substantial premium on this hardware, even relative to other boutiques. The Razer Blade is $1,900 for a base 14-inch laptop, when other hardware is available from mainstream manufacturers like Asus or MSI with similar specs for significantly less money. Razer may claim features like THX compatibility, but I’d frankly recommend waiting for hardware reviews before paying this much for a laptop. At an estimated 7.69 pounds, this isn’t exactly a lightweight system, either. That’s not bad for a desktop replacement, but it’s more “transportable” than “portable” by modern standards.
Now read: The best laptops for engineers and engineering students: When work requires a real workstation