With the latest upgrades to the Blade Pro laptop, Razer hopes it’s created the ultimate replacement for your desktop. It also hopes you have enough money to pay for that privilege.
The traditional problem with a desktop replacement notebook is being able to cram enough powerful specs into the unit without making it a hot, heavy slab to carry around and use. Razer seems to have figured out both sides of that equation with the latest Blade Pro. In terms of specs, it comes with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core processor, a choice of two SSD drives (with a total capacity of 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB) and a whopping 32GB of RAM, but even more impressively, it manages to cram a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU inside, making it very hard to complain about your laptop’s graphics capabilities.
Other features designed to make sure you don’t miss your old desktop are a 17.3-inch 4K touchscreen display, a USB-C and three USB 3 ports, and a full mechanical keyboard. Typical of Razer keyboards, it includes the company’s Chroma customizable back-lighting system, though you do lose a number pad in lieu of a large touchpad in the right-hand corner. (The battery is apparently located in the space where a touchpad typically goes, below the keyboard.)
While it would be an impossible feat to fit all of that into a unit that could compete with the latest thin-and-light laptops in the portability department, the Razer Blade Pro is a far cry from the old desktop replacements that weighed more than 10 pounds and included a massive power brick to compensate for the inevitably anemic battery life. At 7.8 pounds it’s still a good deal heavier than most notebooks, but it’s only 0.88 inches thick and its power adapter is only a little taller at 1.1 inches at its highest point. Likewise, Razer has a buzzword-filled description of how it controls the massive heat the new Blade Pro will inevitably throw off (e.g., “bleeding edge vapor chamber technology”), though I’m unsure how willing anyone will be to test it out by placing the unit on his or her lap for an extended period of time.
Another reason you might want to avoid keeping it on your lap: Razer apparently hasn’t finished battery life testing on the Blade Pro yet, so it’s unclear how much time you’ll actually get away from a power outlet as the battery deals with powering desktop-class components.
If the good news about the new Blade Pro is that it’s not much thicker than a MacBook Pro, the bad news is that it costs about as much as a Mac Pro. For the $3,699 starting price — yes, you read that right — you could purchase three (or more) gaming desktops with equivalent power. Of course, you couldn’t carry those around with you, so if you really want high-end desktop performance in a laptop form factor, you’ll be able to empty your wallet for a Razer Blade Pro starting next month.