Razer Core Thunderbolt 3 NVIDIA, AMD Graphics Enclosure Ships in April For $499

Shopping for a laptop often entails a series of compromises. For example, do you want blazing fast graphics and a burly CPU, or would you prefer a system that's thin and light with exceptional battery life? Rather than choose between those options, Razer says you can have it all by pairing its external graphics enclosure called Core with its newly refreshed Blade laptop. If that sounds enticing, you can place a pre-order for the Razer Core today, which will ship out in April.

Razer Core

The $499 accessory is the world's first plug-and-play Thunderbolt 3 external graphics box. Razer first teased the Core earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where it immediately captured the imagination of attendees and walked away with the convention's People Choice award.

"Razer continues to innovate in the laptops category where big systems brands either cannot or will not," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. "This time, in collaboration with industry leaders, we’ve created the world’s first external graphics card solution of its kind, bringing the GPU power of a desktop PC to the latest Razer laptops, such as the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook, through a single Thunderbolt 3 connection with plug-and-play convenience."

Razer Core Open

The concept here is pretty simple. it allows gamers to rock a compatible Ultrabook like the Blade that offers easy portability and superior battery life compared to a gaming laptop, while still being able to enjoy desktop-class graphics performance at home (you could take the Core with you on the road too, but that puts a damper on the portability side of the equation).

"Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40 Gbps, creating one compact port that does it all," said Jason Ziller, director of Thunderbolt Marketing, Intel. "Thanks to technical collaboration between Intel, Razer and the Radeon Technologies group at AMD, Razer Core is the first plug-and-play external graphics solution that transforms the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook into a desktop-like gaming experience."

Razer Core and Blade Laptop

The Razer Core supports a single double-slot, full-length, PCI-Express x16 graphics card measuring up to 12.2 inches by 5.98 inches by 1.73 inches with a power draw of up to 375W. Certain graphics cards have already been qualified to work with the Core, including the AMD Radeon R9 Fury, Nano, 300 series, 290X, 290, and 280, and Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X, 980 Ti, 980, 970, 960, 950, 750 Ti, and 750.

You can pre-order the Razer Core now for $499, or $399 when purchased with a compatible Razer notebook.