But take heart Razer fans, the Blade Pro is back and has quite a few new tricks up its sleeve. Available in May, starting at $2,499, the 17-inch, now called the Blade Pro 17, is packing one of Intel’s new 9th Gen processors, a Nvidia RTX GPU and a 1920 x 1080 display with a 144-Hertz refresh rate. In short, it’s a lean, mean, multimedia gaming machine.
Razer has brought the Blade Pro 17 into line with the rest of its machines, giving it that boxy retro-chic aesthetic. The entire chassis is still made from black CNC aluminum. It’s still as pretty as ever, but if you’re hoping for a Mercury White chassis or Quartz Pink, you’re out of luck as black is the only color available for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, Razer will launch a special edition hue somewhere down the road, but time will only tell.
The notebook’s interior has undergone a serious makeover as well, ditching the large, right-mounted touchpad. Now the touchpad has been restored to its traditional position beneath the keyboard. That means the company also did away with the customizable scroll wheel which was polarizing among users.
Measuring 15.5 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches, the 6.1-pound system is one of the slimmest, lightest 17-inch laptops out there. It’s significantly smaller than the 6.2-pound, 16.1 x 11.5 x 0.7~0.9-inch Alienware m17, but MSI might be the current titleholder with the 5-pound, 15.6 x 10.2 x 0.7-inch GS75 Stealth. Still, with the right bookbag, I could be persuaded into traveling with the Blade Pro 17.
For the last few releases, Razer’s targeted the Blade Pro towards creative professionals. That’s why it was more than a little surprising to learn that the Blade Pro 17 will only have one display option –– a 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 panel with 144-Hz refresh rate. It’s good for gaming -- great, even.
But I would imagine that game developers and video and photo editors, especially would want a 4K display. However, with Razer claiming 300 nits of brightness and 100 percent of the sRGB gamut, the new Blade Pro should help creative pros get work done. Also, Razer has significantly reduced the bezels to a mere 0.2 inches. I’ll withhold final judgement on the screen until we get our hands on the review unit.
Razer Blade Pro 17 Specs
At $2,499, the starting configuration of the Razer Blade Pro 17 costs a pretty penny. For the price you get a 9th Gen 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. The mid-tier system jumps to a Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU for $2,799 while the top-end laptop costs $3,199 and gives you a Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU. Although each configuration come with 512GB of storage, it can be expanded to a spacious 2TB.
Another spec to take note of lies in the wireless card. The Pro 17 will be among that first wave of systems sporting the highly anticipated Wi-Fi 6 technology. That should translate into faster downloads and less latency on online games.
Razer’s also leading the charge on ports, being among the first to launch USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. The Blade Pro 17 has 3 USB 3.2 Type-A ports with a USB 3.2 Type-C port, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, a power port and an SD reader, which is a nod to the laptop’s creative professional cred.
Razer is toeing the line between gaming and content creation with the new Blade Pro 17. Packing high-end specs including an Intel 9th Gen CPU and Nvidia RTX GPU, the 17-incher is more than capable of running taxing AAA titles at great frame rates or doing some serious photo editing. However, if it’s truly a laptop designed for creative professionals, I’d expect to see a 4K panel. But maybe the panel’s better than expected, we’ll just have to wait until the review.