It’s been a while since Razer has refreshed the Razer Blade Pro, which is their 17.3-inch desktop replacement laptop. The outgoing model still has a Haswell processor with GTX 960M. It’s always been a bit strange that the 14-inch Razer Blade was equipped with a stronger GPU than the larger laptop, and when the Razer Blade Pro was last updated, the Razer Blade had a GTX 970M in a smaller form factor.

This is no longer the case. The 14-inch Razer Blade was just updated with Skylake and GTX 1060 in September, which should significantly increase its performance, and today Razer is announcing the new Razer Blade Pro, which finally surpasses its smaller sibling in performance with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 squeezed into the same 0.88-inch thick CNC aluminum chassis. The Core i7-6700HQ 45-Watt CPU replaces the outgoing Haswell processor, and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM is now available. In order to keep the system cool, Razer has designed what they are calling the world's thinnest maufactured vapor chamber cooling solution in a laptop. Combined with a custom fan design and a dynamic heat exchanger, Razer is engineering as much cooling as they can into the thin notebook.

Razer has been a big proponent of IGZO displays, and they have outfitted the Blade Pro with a 17.3-inch 3840x2160 IGZO display, and this high-resolution panel also supports NVIDIA’s G-SYNC technology, which should help quite a bit with gaming, even with the big GPU under the hood. This display covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut as well, just like the Razer Blade Stealth UHD model. That has implications though due to the lack of proper color management in Windows, and if it is like the Stealth, it won’t have any included color management software. It’s not Razer’s fault, and hopefully more devices with wide color gamut support will force Microsoft’s hand here.

Razer has also outfitted the new Pro with their new ultra-low profile mechanical switches, which feature actuation points which register at 65 grams, as well as reset points. There have been other laptops with mechanical switches, but they are generally the full-size switches which require much more travel. On a 0.88-inch thick laptop, there would be no way for this to work. Razer has also added the same per-key RGB Chroma branded lighting they have already added to both the Stealth and Blade models.

The TrackPad sits to the right of the keyboard, much like on the older model, but if you are gaming, a mouse is likely the best bet.

Razer Blade Pro
  Shipping in November 2016
CPU Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Quad-Core with Hyperthreading
2.6-3.5 GHz, 6MB Cache, 45W TDP
2560 CUDA Cores 1566-1733 (Boost) MHz
8GB 256-bit GDDR5X
Memory 32 GB DDR4 2133MHz
Display 17.3" 3840 x 2160 IGZO LCD
100% Adobe RGB
G-SYNC Enabled with multi-touch
Storage 512GB / 1TB / 2TB SSD
PCIe M.2 RAID 0 (2 drives)
I/O USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
USB 3.0 Type-A x 3
RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet Killer E2400
Headset jack
2.0MP Webcam
HDMI 2.0
Dimensions 424 x 281 x 22.5 mm
16.7 x 11 x 0.88 inches
Weight 3.54 kg / 7.8 lbs
Battery 99 Wh, 250 W AC Adapter
Wireless Killer Wireless-AC 1535
802.11ac 2x2:2 with Bluetooth 4.1
Killer DoubleShot Pro
Price $3699+

At under eight pounds, the new Blade Pro is actually pretty light for a system of this size and performance. The new Razer Blade Pro exceeds the requirements for any of the current VR headsets, so it should be able to run VR pretty well.

All of these features do add to the cost though. Where as the new 14-inch Razer Blade starts at $1800, the new Razer Blade Pro starts at over double that price: $3700. Shipments start in November.

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  • Varjo - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    Why the large bezels? I realize that they likely need the chassis room for cooling, but in that case why not do an 18.4 inch display with tiny bezels (like a large XPS laptop). Other than that I think this looks good (albeit a tad pricey). The 15 inch version should be a nice thin and light and I would guess much of the mass is dedicated to being able to cool a 1080.
  • Meaker10 - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    The panel options are massively inferior for the 18.4" size.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    My first throught would be to wonder if there was a suitable 18.4" panel available. There was a year or two interval when 1440p or higher panels were available for 13.3" laptops but high DPI was still niche enough that nothing better than 1080p was available at the 15 or 17" classes.

    A potential secondary factor could've been durability/damage resistance. Bigger bezels give more room for energy from landing on a corner to be dissipated before cracking the display. For ultra-portables that's a much more acceptable tradeoff than for something that's going to be big and bulky no matter what.
  • p1esk - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    Webcam's placement can also be a factor - some (most?) people don't like how Dell XPS's webcam is on the bottom.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    Agreed, but other than aesthetic symmetry arguments that only requires a non-negligible top bezel; and the bezels in this look like they're bigger than many ultrabooks. You can go smaller than 3/4ths of an inch without contracting XPS Nosehair Camera Syndrome.
  • DanNeely - Friday, October 21, 2016 - link

    Thinking a bit more, the limiting factor might be the keyboard/etc tray layout. Narrowing the laptop as a whole would require either moving what I believe are the speakers somewhere other than the sides of the keyboard/touchpad or shrinking the touchpad itself. Putting the speakers elsewhere would likely degrade their effectiveness; up pointing speakers are more efficient than side/down firing ones at delivering sound to the user. The unconventional touchpad location was done in part to make it easier to game without an external mouse; and while gaming on the touchapd is probably still more an aspirational goal than anything else, shrinking the pad would make it harder to do so.
  • Brett Howse - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    18.4 is an odd panel size, and someone the size of Razer isn't going to be able to go full custom and maintain any sort of margins, even on a device like this. There's no high res panels that size that I know of, let alone IGZO.
  • PVG - Thursday, October 20, 2016 - link

    Damned Killer NICs, spoiling good products since forever.
  • keeepcool - Friday, October 21, 2016 - link

    Install the Qualcomm drivers, they are less crappy and that all Killer is, buggy drivers on top of crappy silicon that will see one or two software updates..
    But it baffles me, there is ethernet interface in the chipset, why go for that crap?..
  • Ening - Friday, October 21, 2016 - link

    Well you just don't complain about the price of such a thing. It is marvelous.

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