Normally, when you buy a gaming laptop, you have to make a choice. Do you want a high resolution, for pretty visuals, or a high frame rate, for smooth gameplay? Most of the time, you can only choose one, with some middle ground in the 1440p and 120Hz area. The new Razer Blade 16, with its dual-mode mini-LED display, is getting rid of that choice for you.
The laptop, which launches in Q1 of this year for a not insignificant starting price of $US2,699 ($3,747), is at least doing its best to keep you from getting buyer’s remorse. Regardless of the model you pick, you’ll be able to press a button to swap the display between “Creator Mode” and a “Gamer Mode.”
The Creator Mode swaps your laptop over to a 4K+ resolution (The “+” representing the small number of extra pixels it has to hit its 16:10 aspect ratio) with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the Gamer Mode sets your laptop to an FHD+ resolution with a 240Hz refresh rate.
Your current laptop can swap resolutions and potentially even refresh rates, yes. But most 4K laptops don’t have the option to hit refresh rates as high as 240Hz, even if you lower the resolution. The panel, focusing on supporting 4K, just can’t do that. Now, giving yourself the option of fidelity doesn’t preclude you from hitting a high fps when you’d prefer to lower the quality in exchange for extra smooth animation.
Razer hasn’t been entirely clear with me about how this works, and I assume I’ll get more details on that closer to launch, as well as an opportunity to test it out myself. What I do know now is that the laptop’s poised to be as powerful as you’d expect from Razer, with Intel Core HX CPUs and Nvidia’s new mobile GPUs.
Anecdotally, I played a racing sim at a meeting with Nvidia at CES that ran three 4K displays off a single RTX 4090 Razer Blade 16, and I easily would have thought I was playing off a desktop if I hadn’t known. I also saw Cyberpunk 2077 running at 121 fps on an RTX 4070 Ti Razer Blade 16 with its power artificially restricted to 30% less than what a neighbouring RTX 3090 Ti equipped system was pulling — said system was only hitting 80 fps.
It’s always wise to take such demos with a grain of salt since they’re specifically tailored to show the systems in their best lights and may not take them through the most demanding tasks. We’re excited to review this system later this year.
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