Sharpened Razer Blade 18 Gaming Laptop With Thunderbolt 5 Is Ready To Rumble In 4K

Razer Blade 18 open in front of a background with lines of green lights.
Before I even get started discussing the specs of Razer's upgraded Blade 18 gaming laptop, I implore everyone to clench their fingers and offer a fist-bump to Razer for helping to keep big and bad notebooks in style. Now take that same fist and punch your wallet or purse so it can get used to the pummeling that will ensue if you decide to order one of these beastly laptops.

Pricing for the 2024 Blade 18 starts at $3,099.99, which is the opposite of cheap. What you get in return, however, is a premium configuration highlighted by its 18-inch display with mini LED backlighting, 2560x1600 resolution (QHD+), 300Hz refresh rate, and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. It's also a Calman Verified factory-calibrated display, which is not something you'd find on a typical laptop.

Alternatively, buyers can select a 4K display with a 200Hz refresh rate, which Razer says is a first in the 18-inch form factor. And like the mini LED option, the 4K LCD display is Calman Verified and factory calibrated, along with serving up 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.

The other claimed 'first' is Thunderbolt 5 connectivity, which as of right now is not available on any other laptop model, Razer or otherwise.

"Thunderbolt 5 enables a game-changing level of performance, and it is exciting to see leading brands like Razer bring innovative solutions that incorporate it to market," said Jason Ziller, VP and GM of Client Connectivity Division at Intel. "Thunderbolt 5 enables total performance for video and data of up to 120Gbps via Bandwidth Boost—three times more than prior gen Thunderbolt—and twice the bandwidth for data transfer to deliver an outstanding solution for creators and gamers."

Finally in regard to firsts, Razer says the retooled Blade 18 is the thinnest 18-inch Intel HX-class laptop on the market, with a waistline that measures 0.86 inches (21.99mm). So while the display is physically big, it's not a bulky laptop (as far as 18-inch systems go).

Baseline specs are decidedly high-end, with the aforementioned $3,099.99 starting price netting a mini LED display powered by an Intel Core i9-14900HX processor (24C/32T, up to 5.8GHz, 36MB L3 cache), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 mobile GPU (8GB GDDR6, up to 140W total via 115W base + 25W dynamic boost), 32GB of DDR5-5600 RAM, and 1TB solid state drive.

There are various upgrade options available, though not in a tidy piecemeal fashion. For example, Razer's system configuration page shows an eye-popping $1,400 up-charge to go from 1TB to 2TB of SSD storage and $1,700 to double the 32GB of RAM to 64GB, but both of those options automatically change other key specs, hence the price difference.

Should you decide to double up on RAM for $1,400, for instance, a pop-up message lets you know that you're also upgrading the display to the 4K panel, trading the GeForce RTX 4070 for a GeForce RTX 4090, and quadrupling the SSD storage fro 1TB to 4TB. None of that is immediately obvious before actually selecting one of the upgrade options.

Razer Blade 18 Mecury gaming laptop on a gray gradient background.

Additionally, Razer's offering a sole configuration in its Mercury colorway, which consists of a 4K 200Hz display, Core i9-14900HX processor, GeForce RTX 4090 GPU, 32GB of DDR5-5600 RAM, and a 2TB SSD for $4,499.99.

If you're intrigued but the price is just too high, be on the lookout for cheaper configs in the future. Hitting the tech specs section of the Blade 18 product page reveals some lower-end options that are not yet available, including a 2560x1600 display at 240Hz (not mini LED), a GeForce RTX 4060, and 16GB of RAM.