There are no Ryzen-powered versions yet, but let’s hope they’re on the way.
Razer’s latest update to its Blade 17 and Blade 15 laptops is now available, and it draws inspiration from last year’s Razer Blade 15 Advanced. Aside from improved internals such as 11th-generation Tiger Lake-H CPUs and RTX 30 series GPUs, the new models include touchpad and webcam enhancements, as well as a number of connection options.
Razer this week announced it is refreshing the Razer Blade 17 and Razer Blade 15 with newer, more powerful processors and GPUs, as well as a number of small touches to what is an otherwise mature design that has earned its spot as TechSpot’s top recommendation for people looking to buy a gaming laptop.
You may have noticed the company has dropped the “Pro” branding, which was probably redundant as these devices have never been anything other than enthusiast/prosumer PCs. That also means you can no longer order the older “Pro” models from Razer’s online shop, so you’ll have to hunt for the remaining stock at various retailers if you’re looking for a bargain on these devices.
The new Razer Blade 17 is powered by 11th-generation Intel Tiger Lake-H CPUs and Nvidia’s RTX 30 series GPUs. There are two processors available: the Intel Core i7-11800H and the Intel Core i9-11900H. The GPU selection is expanded, so you can purchase an RTX 3060, RTX 3070, or go all-in with the RTX 3080 with 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM.
The power restriction is crucial, as we said in our evaluation of the RTX 3080 laptop GPU, and Razer has increased it to 130 watts on the Razer Blade 17. When compared to the rather aggressive power restriction of the Razer Blade 15 Advanced (95 watts), this should allow the RTX 3080 to show its teeth in games.
The additional thermal headroom is no doubt afforded by the larger chassis, which measures 0.78 inches (a hair under 20 mm) x 15.5 inches (395 mm) x 10.24 inches (260 mm) and weighs a little over 6 pounds.
By default, the Razer Blade 17 comes with 16 GB of DDR4 memory and 1 TB of PCIe 4.0 storage that are user-upgradeable to 64 GB of memory and 4 TB of storage. Depending on your needs, you can choose between a 1080p display with a 360 Hz refresh rate, a 1440p panel with a 165 Hz refresh rate, or a 4K touch panel with a 120 Hz refresh rate — all of which are IPS panels with 100 percent sRGB coverage.
One of the small touches Razer has applied to the design of the Razer Blade 17 is a fingerprint-resistive coating similar to the one applied on the Razer Blade 15 Advanced. The touchpad has improved palm rejection, and the company says the new 1080p webcam with Windows Hello support and an expanded array of microphones will easily cover your videoconferencing needs.
Razer has also expanded the connectivity options, which include three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, two Thunderbolt 4 ports that allow charging at 100 watts, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. When you’re not using headphones you’ll be pleased to find that there are now four upward-facing speakers with support for THX Spatial Audio.
Overall, there’s a lot to appreciate about the new Razer Blade 17, but we’re also thrilled about the potential of an AMD-powered variant appearing in the near future. Last month, Razer released a new Blade 14 laptop featuring an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU that can compete with Intel’s Tiger Lake-H chips in gaming and outperform them in some productivity activities.
If you want to preorder the new Razer Blade 17, you may do so through Razer and certain retail partners. Pricing begins at a hefty $2,400, but given current market conditions, a gaming laptop might be a better value than a desktop, as we detailed here. You might also have a look at the updated Razer Blade 15, which has more limited CPU and GPU options but starts at a more palatable $1,800. The company expects to start shipping the first orders next month.