Razer Blade 15 Base Edition (2021)

2020 will go down as a horrible year for getting hold of new graphics card. I still know people who ordered the new Nvidia Series 30 graphics card at launch in September 2020 and still have not been able to receive it.

One avenue to get a new Series 30-card might be to go the laptop route instead as it is much easier to get hold of those. Nvidia recently released their RTX 3060, RTX 3070 and RTX 3080-GPU’s for laptop and today I am testing the Razer Blade 15 Base Edition that comes with a Intel i7-10750H, a 15” 165 Hz QHD-screen and a RTX 3070.

Specifications

    FEATURES

Razer Blade 15 Base Edition 2021

PROCESSOR

10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-10750H 6 Core (2.6GHz / 5.0GHz)

DISPLAY

15.6" QHD 165Hz, 100% sRGB, 4.9 mm bezel, factory calibrated

GRAPHICS

Discrete: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
Integrated: Intel® UHD Graphics

STORAGE

512GB SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4) + Open M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 Slot

MEMORY

16GB dual-channel DDR4-2933MHz (8GB x 2)

KEYBOARD

Single-zone RGB Powered by Razer Chroma™ anti-ghosting keyboard

CONNECTIVITY

Intel® Wireless-AX201 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth® 5.1 connectivity)

INPUT & OUTPUT

1 x Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C)
3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A)
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x HDMI 2.1 output (Up to 4K 120Hz)

TOUCHPAD

Precision glass touchpad

AUDIO

Built-in stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port
Built-in array microphone
Dolby® Atmos support
7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)

BATTERY AND ADAPTOR

Up to 6 hours
Built-in 65WHr rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
230W power adapter

FINISH

CNC Unibody Aluminum Chassis, Anodized Black finish, backlit green Razer logo

DIMENSIONS

0.78" x 9.25" x 13.98"
19.9 mm x 235 mm x 355 mm

WEIGHT

2.09 kg / 4.6 lbs

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Razer™ Synapse 3 enabled with programmable keyboard, backlighting, and fan control
Kensington™ Security Slot
Intel® Platform Trust Technology (Intel® PTT) security enabled
Built-in webcam (1MP/720P)

GRAPHIC FEATURES

Maximum Graphics Power up to 95W

Boost Clock up to 1410MHz
NVIDIA CUDA® Cores - 5120
NVIDIA GPU Boost™
NVIDIA Optimus™ Technology
NVIDIA Whisper Mode
NVIDIA Resizable BAR
2nd Gen Ray Tracing Cores
3rd Gen Tensor Cores
VR Ready

The Razer Blade 15 Base Edition comes with an interesting mix of new and old when it comes to the specifications. On the old side we find the Intel Gen 10 i7-10750H 6 Core (2.6GHz / 5.0GHz) which, while still a nice CPU, is last gen. There are already laptops with Gen 11 CPU’s out but it seems most manufacturers still use Gen 10 for most of their new laptops so there is probably a reason for that. What I am missing is an option for the new Ryzen 5x00HS mobile CPU’s from AMD. Especially for a laptop this thin a more modern CPU that runs cooler and is more efficient would be preferable. I hope that Razer at some point will start offering AMD CPU’s.

Since the laptop comes with a Gen 10 CPU it also means that you do not get Thunderbolt 4/USB 4, instead just Thunderbolt 3. That itself is not bad however as I’ve seen some other new laptops, for example the MSI GP76, that doesn’t even come with Thunderbolt 3 support.

The screen is a nice surprise as it is a 15.6″ QHD 165Hz screen. While you can get the Razer Blade 15 Base Edition with a Full-HD screen I think it is great to see QHD-screen start to appear in these laptops. Sure, we are closing in on graphics horsepower to even power a 4K screen but we are not quite there yet and having to basically choose between a low resolution with great fps and a very high resolution where you have to compromise a lot on quality settings is not optimal. QHD on the other hand sits in the perfect middle. I also think 165 Hz is adequate for a gaming laptop but if you really want higher Hz then the full-HD screen with a 360 Hz screen will be your option.

The Nvidia RTX 3070 is the GPU in my machine and I will actually get back to it in the next section because unfortunately Nvidia’s new naming convention is not the easiest to decipher.

The rest of the hardware specs are good. The laptop has two M.2 NVme-slots with one being occupied by a 512 GB Samsung SSD. I however think Razer should have included 1 TB even on the base model for this price.

Network is handled via the Intel® Wireless-AX201 which is 2×2 Wifi6 certified and comes with Bluetooth 5.2. Wired ethernet is handled through a 1 Gbps ethernet-port. It would have been nice with 2.5 Gbps.

The laptop comes with 2 USB-C-ports, one of them Thunderbolt 3, and three USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 2-ports.  None of the USB-C ports allow you to charge the laptop. That functionality is only in the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition. There is a HDMI-port and since this is the new RTX Series 30 GPU (albeit in laptop form) this is a HDMI 2.1 port with support for 4K I 120 Hz.

The laptop comes with a 65WHr battery. Razer promise up to 6 hour battery time.

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