After debuting last fall, NVIDIA's RTX line of graphics cards is making its way to notebooks. And that means pretty much every gaming laptop under the sun -- good, bad and everything between -- is due a refresh. Thankfully, this one's definitely in the "good" category. We loved Razer's 2018 Blade reboot, calling it "almost perfect" in our review. Today the company is announcing that its popular 15-inch laptop is going to be configurable with up to RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics, with RTX 2070 Max-Q and RTX 2060 filling out the graphics card options.
The rest of the spec sheet will be familiar: Same chassis, same 8th-gen Intel CPU (i7-8750H), same choice of 4K 60Hz and 1080p 144Hz displays -- you get it, same everything. Perhaps the only change worth noting is that the white "Mercury Edition" Blade can only be configured up to RTX 2070 Max-Q, meaning the black original is now (potentially, at least) the more powerful of the two SKUs. Oh, and there's some slight weight variation: Razer says RTX 2060 models are 4.56 lbs, RTX 2070 models are 4.63 lbs and the RTX 2080 model is 4.72 lbs. Expect those figures to rise by 0.1 lbs if you opt for a 4K display. The advanced edition also now supports up to 64GB of (user upgradeable) RAM, and XMP profiles which makes overclocking your memory an easier task.
More exciting than the Advanced Edition itself were the two experimental Blade 15's that Razer showed off, both with display options you won't find for sale. One was a 4k OLED screen that looked incredible, with all the fantastic colors and contrast you'd expect from that technology. The other was a full-HD display with an astounding 240Hz refresh rate. This one was a little harder to judge. High-refresh rate panels are best for showing off ultra-high frame rates in games, but Razer demo'd this speedy panel using Battlefield 5 with DXR ray tracing turned on, which is a notorious performance drag. This test almost certainly didn't approach half of the frame rate this display could handle, so it's hard to gauge its true potential. Either way, neither of these displays will be offered on the Blade 15 Advanced Edition, but they give us an idea of what we may see from Razer in the future.
Pricing, well, it's not low. The new line starts at $2,299, which nets you an RTX 2060, 16GB of RAM, 512GB storage and a 144Hz 1080p display. The same specs with an RTX 2080 add up to $2,999. All the new models will be available from January 29th from Razer's website and other retailers in the US, Canada, UK, China, France and Germany