Razer has announced the 2020 version of its Blade Pro 17. Like last year’s model, there is a 4K 120Hz touch display option for creative professionals. But Razer has upgraded the gaming-focused display option to a 300Hz 1080p panel. Razer says the 4K screen will cover 100 percent of the Adobe RGB space, and the 1080p display comes with a glare-reducing matte finish.
Specs don’t look too different from last year’s Blade Pro 17, but the new model has been bumped up to the newest generation of mobile processors from Intel and GPUs from Nvidia. Razer says they’ll make the new Blade faster than its predecessor, both in gaming and creative work.
It looks like you can get the 300Hz screen with Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Max-Q or an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, for $2,599 and $3,199, respectively. The gaming rigs come with a 512GB SSD upgradeable to 2TB, while the creator version comes with 1TB (also upgradable to 2TB). There’s no RTX 2060 model this time around.
The 4K model only comes with an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q; that model is $3,799. All configurations come with 8-core, 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-10875H processor with turbo boost up to 5.1GHz. They’ll also include 16GB of dual-channel RAM (DDR4).
The laptop has Razer’s vapor-chamber cooling system, which is a staple of higher-end Blade models. We found the system to be effective in last year’s model, which didn’t get too hot unless under very heavy load. It does add extra weight to the Blade, though; this one is just over six pounds.
Finally, Razer has made a tweak to the keyboard. There are now half-height directional keys, with the right shift key extended above them, like how Razer’s recent Blade 15 and Blade Stealth updates have. Previously, the up arrow was squeezed between the shift key and the forward slash. The layout gave Verge reviewer Cameron Faulkner a lot of grief, saying it tripped him up “about once every five minutes.” (There’s per-key RGB lighting, too).
Design-wise, the 2020 Pro 17 doesn’t look too different from last year’s model; you can see the same fairly thin bezels and speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard. But we found that the 2019 Pro didn’t quite deliver the performance its hefty price tag led us to expect; we weren’t able to reach the screen’s FPS ceiling in 4K resolution without bumping down the graphics. It’ll be interesting to see whether a new generation of hardware does a better job.
The new models will be available later this month.