Razer Updates The Razer Blade Pro With THX Certificationby Brett Howse on March 28, 2017 9:00 AM EST
Late last year, Razer acquired the majority of THX, and while it may have seemed like something outside their normal realm, today Razer is announcing an updated Razer Blade Pro, with THX Certification. For those unfamiliar, THX has been certifying audio and video equipment for decades, with an initial focus on the cinema, and then branching out in to consumer electronics. With their new parent company, it makes a lot of sense to branch into computer certification.
First, let’s go over what’s new on the Razer Blade Pro. Just this month, Brandon finished his review on the Razer Blade Pro which launched late last year. The updated model launching today has some decent upgrades over the original model. First off, the CPU has been upgraded to Kaby Lake, but rather than doing a straight swap from the Core i7-6700HQ to the Core i7-7700HQ, Razer has gone with the Core i7-7820HK processor, which is 2.9-3.9 GHz, but it is also an unlocked processor, and Razer is supporting CPU overclocking in the Synapse software. One of the issues Brandon pointed out in the review was that Razer was billing the Razer Blade Pro as the ultimate laptop, but they went with the same quad-core processor as far less expensive laptops, so this is a great change. There’s only one quad-core mobile part over this, and it’s not unlocked, and being unlocked is going to improve the appeal to this market. In addition, Razer has bumped the RAM frequency to DDR4 2667 MHz, up from 2133 MHz DDR4 previously. It’s a small change, but a welcome one.
The other specifications have not changed. It still features a NVIDIA GTX 1080 8 GB graphics card, driving a 17.3-inch UHD 3840x2160 IGZO G-SYNC display, with 100% Adobe RGB color gamut, and 512 GB to 2 TB SSD support in RAID 0 with two SSDs. We’ve said this before, but honestly one good SSD would be better for most users, but it seems like the gaming market is migrating towards RAID 0 again. The form factor, light weight for a laptop of this performance, and other items remain.
|Razer Blade Pro|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7820HK
|Intel Core i7-6700HQ
|GPU||NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB
2560 CUDA Cores
1556 - 1733 (Boost) MHz
|Memory||32 GB 2667MHz DDR4||32 GB 2133MHz DDR4|
|Display||17.3" 3840x2160 60 Hz w/G-SYNC|
|Storage||512GB (2 x 256GB) M.2 PCIe SSD
1TB (2 x 512GB) M.2 PCIe SSD
2TB (2 x 1TB) M.2 PCIe SSD
|I/O||3 x USB 3.0 Ports
1 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x HDMI 2.0
SD Card Slot
1 x Headset Jack
1 x Killer E2400 Ethernet (10/100/1000Mbps)
|Dimensions||22.5mm x 424mm x 281mm (HxWxD)
0.88" x 16.7" x 11" (HxWxD)
|Weight||3.54 kg / 7.8 lbs|
|Battery||99 Wh, 250W AC Adapter|
|Wireless||Killer Wireless-AC 1535
2x2:2 with Bluetooth 4.1
|Price||$3999.99 and up||$3699.99 512GB
$3999.99 1TB (Model tested)
The big new feature is THX Certification, and the Razer Blade Pro is the first laptop to be qualified for THX Mobile Certification. I spoke with Razer and THX about what this entails, and it appears to be good news for end users. THX tests several models from the pre-production phase onwards, with feedback from the first test looping back into the hardware configuration until the later generation units meet the testing guidelines. What those guidelines are, are unfortunately still a mystery, since THX and Razer have not gotten back to us yet on their targets, but if they do we will let you know. THX did say that they test panel performance on brightness and contrast, and are including a color profile to give a white point of D65, Rec. 709 color gamut, and low error levels, although low wasn’t defined at our meeting. The color gamut support here is important, since previous to this, the Razer Blade Pro only displayed in the Adobe RGB color space, which is much wider than sRGB. This leads to blown out colors, unless the app itself is color managed, which is a rare thing in Windows. This new color profile from THX should alleviate one of the biggest issues with the Razer Blade Pro in day to day use.
The second part of THX Mobile Certification is for audio, and while you may be expecting this to apply to the speakers, it’s actually certification for the headphone jack. This might seem a bit odd, but with the noise level of a thin and powerful system, certifying the headphone jack is arguably the better call, and honestly there’s little chance for small laptop speakers to meet much of a certification anyway. On the headphone jack, THX certification means that there has to be a flat frequency response, even with different impedance loads from different headphones, along with low distortion and high power, and a low noise floor to ensure there is no background hiss. Assuming the Razer Blade Pro didn’t already meet these targets, this should mean an improved experience from the headphone jack, although as with the display certification, we were not provided exact certification standards.
There are certainly going to be people who feel this kind of certification isn’t necessary, but there definitely is some extra confidence when you purchase something as expensive as a Razer Blade Pro, and you are ensured that the display and audio meet a certain threshold of performance. The addition of a Rec. 709 color gamut profile from THX for the Razer Blade Pro is a big win for end users as well, since there was no way before to cap the color gamut for apps with no color management.
With the new overclockable CPU, faster memory, and THX Certification, Razer has also bumped the starting price to $3999.99, and availability will start in April on Razerzone.com.
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Bullwinkle J Moose - Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - link"I can record what I hear on Windows 10. You can dual boot on the laptop... "
What I mean by "record what you hear" is that XP allows you to record audio from youtube videos / movies and other audio files (mp3/wav/etc) AS THEY PLAY!
I was not referring to sound coming into the mic input or recording "what you hear" by using an aftermarket sound card
I've heard many people say they can record "what you hear" using "specific" motherboards with Windows 7/8 or 10 but I have yet to see them actually do it in any youtube videos
In XP, you can do it with ANY compatible motherboard
As for Dualbooting.......
Are you telling me that your EFI Laptop boots to an MBR partition in IDE mode?
WOW, I need to see that on youtube as well
Leave a link to the video here >
Bullwinkle J Moose - Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - link
"In XP, you can do it with ANY compatible motherboard"
should be >
"you can do that on ANY XP compatible motherboard"
kn00tcn - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - linkexcuse me, the sound driver has to support that recording, i have used mobos that do NOT support this in win xp/2k/98, i have seen some call it 'waveout' rather than 'stereomix'
second, are you absolutely oblivious to the fact that screenrecorders have to record audio!? they use the standard windows api that vista added to record... what you hear, not what the driver supports!
Bullwinkle J Moose - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - link"excuse me, the sound driver has to support that recording"
I stand corrected!
I forgot that some motherboard audio hardware was not compatible as it has always worked on every motherboard I have ever tried it on
I never used a screen recorder for Pro-Audio work
Have you EVER used the standard windows api that Vista added for recording "what you hear" with ANY standard motherboard audio hardware using only "Audio Software" on ANY Intel CPU based System ?
(AMD is not relevant for this question)
twtech - Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - linkI like everything I've read about this laptop except the price and the fact that the keyboard is off-center.
All 17" laptops seem to suffer from the latter problem - if not a touchpad, they otherwise all have a 10-key - but that's a dealbreaker from a usability standpoint for me.
WinterCharm - Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - linkAny AV Geek will tell you that THX Certification means jack shit these days.
THX let their standards slip, and they've continued to let standards slip.
THX certification on a device means that it has been run through the THX process, which a company has to pay to do, to earn the right to put that logo on their device. A product may very well meet or exceed the requirements for the process, but if a company doesn’t pay for the testing, then it can’t display the logo.
If you do choose to purchase items that have been certified, then you can be assured that all of your THX marked items will work together well, but if you use an item without the logo, it’s still going to work, it just isn’t guaranteed.
The problem is that your average consumer thinks the moment they see the THX logo, something magical is going to happen and it will be like the old Maxell ads of the man being blown back in his chair by the amazing sound of his stereo. Without some major tweaking, which is usually best down by a THX certified installer, you’re never going to get the true quality of the system from just placing the speakers around your room as you see fit.
There have been many to raise this question before us if THX was worth it, and even to go so far as to wonder if it was a scam to make the consumer think they are getting more for their dollar. There are many high quality pieces of equipment out there that don’t carry the THX certification logo.
Inteli - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - linkOf course, Razer paid nothing for their certification because they own THX now. This doesn't mean anything besides the fact that Razer printed their own little sticker to put on their product.
zodiacfml - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - linkMeh but plenty people and companies can splurge to such device.