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CES 2023: The Razer Blade 18 is a laptop that’s gunning to replace your desktop gaming PC

Huge 18in gaming laptop tops an overhauled Razer Blade range at CES 2023

Razer’s CES presentation certainly wasn’t short of things to talk about but the company’s first 18in gaming laptop is a good place to start — even if its $2,900 starting price tag will put it out of most gamers’ reach.

The Razer Blade 18 attempts to make gaming laptops competitive with desktop setups. To that end, as well as having a 240Hz, QHD+, 18in screen, it also includes a top-of-the-range 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13950HX processor.

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Along with Nvidia’s next-generation RTX 40-series GPU for gaming, there’s vapour cooling to keep things from getting too toasty, and plenty of other things you’d want from a desktop replacement. It has six-speaker THX spatial audio, and a 5MP webcam for chatting and streaming. It also comes with upgradable components, too, to make it a bit more future-proof.

But not everyone has space in their lives for an 18in laptop, so the Blade 16 is (slightly) more portable and $200 cheaper at $2,700. It certainly makes the most of that footprint, though, with Razer boasting that it has a Graphics Power Density (gPD) of 1.50 — giving it 35% more graphics power per cubic inch than any other 16in laptop on the market, via its next-generation Nvidia RTX GPUs.

While it sounds like it’s larger than the Razer Blade 15 it replaces, it’s body is actually the same 355mm in width, with the bezels shrunk down to allow for the larger display. And that screen is a mini-LED number with two modes: it can deliver a UHD image at 120Hz for content creation and work, and you can switch to Full HD+ resolution at a smoother 240Hz for gaming.

Razer’s Leviathan V2 Pro soundbar comes with headtracking  

Away from gaming laptops, Razer has some other interesting accessories up its sleeve.

The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro is a beamforming soundbar for PCs, which uses AI and an infrared camera to track your head, delivering immersive spatial audio to wherever you’re sat. It’s 600mm wide, comes with five 2in front drivers and a separate subwoofer with a 5.25in driver, ensuring it covers the full 40hz to 20kHz frequency range. It’s coming out in February 2023 at $400.

Sticking with PC accessories, the Razer Kiyo Pro Ultra is a webcam that promises to offer “DSLR-like quality” for your video calls. Razer claims that its 1/1.2in Sony Starvis 2 sensor is the largest ever found in a webcam, ensuring it captures four times the light of most premium webcams. There’s a built-in privacy shutter, and it comes with a lens cover for the uber-paranoid. But at $300, it isn’t quite an impulse purchase.

Elsewhere, Razer has recognised the remarkable mark that the Meta Quest 2 has made on PC gaming and has announced a pair of accessories to make the VR headset a bit more comfortable to wear. Priced at $70 each, Razer will soon sell an adjustable head strap and facial interface, to make long VR sessions more bearable.

Finally, the Razer Edge is a (US-only for now) handheld gaming device powered by the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, designed for streaming AAA titles (think Xbox Game Pass or Nvidia’s GeForce Now) as well as high-end Android titles. It has a 6.8in AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 running at 144Hz and prices start at $400 for the Wi-Fi version, with a 5G model also available, exclusively via Verizon.

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