A new laptop revealed at CES is turning heads with a bold promise: an ultra-slim body with high-end gaming capabilities. Normally, super-lightweight laptops mean poor performance, but computer maker Razer has brought that performance back to the laptop with an external graphics processor (GPU).
The Razer Blade Stealth weighs 2.75 pounds and houses an Intel Skylake processor in a 0.52-inch thick body. The Razer Core, which houses an external GPU, is far less portable, but detaches from the Blade Stealth to provide killer graphics at home while maintaining the laptop's portability.
The GPU connects via Thunderbolt 3, a new connector slowly making its way into consumer electronics. Thunderbolt 3 uses the same shape connector as USB-C, a smaller reversible version of USB that famously featured on Apple's new MacBook as the computer's only data port. Thunderbolt 3 supports USB-C peripherals, but not vice versa.
External GPUs are not a new concept. Indeed, Thunderbolt GPU enclosures have been available in many forms for a while now, but they can be hard to set up and not particularly consumer-friendly. The company claims the Razer Core is the world's first truly plug-and-play Thunderbolt 3 external GPU enclosure.
“Before today, gamers needed a portable system for everyday work and a separate desktop computer to power their PC games at the highest level possible,” said Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “For the first time ever, there is no need for two separate systems."
The Core is capable of holding "virtually every" desktop graphics card. That means if Nvidia releases a new graphics card, the user can switch it out themselves. The Core also features 4 USB 3.0 ports and Ethernet, providing extra connectivity alongside improved gaming performance.
The Razer Blade Stealth is available now starting at $999 and goes up to $1599. The Razer Core does not yet have a price or release date.