CES was a thrill to follow on what looks like another exciting year to be a tech enthusiast. Following our first article about CES, more manufacturers came along to showcase their new designs for 2022.
Following the trend set up by ASUS, Razer has finally calmed any gamer and reviewer alike by fitting their new laptops with MUX switches to disable Optimus and get a speed boost in games. In terms of looks, things appear to be quite unchanged, but the design of these machines is starting to create a certain iconic feel that could be well missed if a redesign ever happens.
Let´s start with the Blade 14. Like 2021, Razer doesn´t play around with the specs inside, only offering the Ryzen 9 6900HX 8 core, 16 thread processor along with the choice of 3060 or the newly announced 3070Ti and 3080Ti. Also inside, storage has been bumped to Gen 4 and RAM is DDR5, soldered completely to the motherboard once again, and once more seems limited to 16GB, which was already a big problem for future buyers. Screens are the same as last year: a 1080p 144Hz 100% sRGB coverage option and a 1440p 165Hz 100% DCI-P3 coverage option, both without GSync, only with Freesync (with Optimus enabled), letting the feeling that Razer could have followed the remaining competitors a bit more closely with 16:10 screens, higher refresh rates or, of course, the inclusion of GSync. However, the webcam gets a really nice upgrade to 1080p this year from 720p in 2021. In terms of pricing, the new Blade 14 will start from a hefty 2000 dollars at MSRP.
Now to the Blade 15. The most popular laptop Razer has to offer is getting a similar spec boost. Remembering that the Razer Blade 15 is and always has been Intel based, this year´s iteration is upgraded to 2 options: the Core i7-12800H 14 core 20 thread processor and the i9-12900HK with same core and thread count, but up to 5GHz and unlocked. In terms of GPU options, either the 3060, 3070Ti and 3080Ti are available. On screen options, Razer offers a much wider and more up to date list of screens to choose from: a 1080p 360Hz screen with a claimed 2ms response time for Esports gamers, a 1440p 240Hz 100% DCI-P3 with Gsync support and a 4K 1ms display with undisclosed refresh rate (probably 120Hz given the response time claim). Storage can be upgraded to 2TB with 2 M.2 PCIe Gen 4 slots and memory is upgradeable to 64GB of DDR5-4800. In terms of design, the Blade 15 is finely tuned on the hinge and keyboard, but little more. The cheapest Blade 15 you will be able to buy will set you back 2500 USD, up to 4000 USD with maximum specs.
The Blade 17, on the other hand, gets the same spec boost as the Blade 15, with the same CPU and GPU options. Screen options are similar (but in 17.3 inch format), with an addition of a 165Hz QHD screen along the 240Hz QHD screen and the 4K panel given to be 144Hz. To be noted the relatively dim screens, with all screens apart of the 4K panel which goes up to 400 nits being 300 nits maximum, which lags behind most competition in the creator market, with more attractive screens and similar specs in the same price points. Pricing is not very well known, but a i9 3080Ti configuration should start at almost 4400 USD.
For more on the Razer refresh, check out Jarrod´s Tech video on the matter:
Talking about Creator oriented laptops, Gigabyte has completely redesigned some of their offerings for creators and gamers alike. Let´s check those out.
Starting with the biggest renewal of the whole lineup for 2022, the Aero 15 and Aero 17, which have been very popular among creator for their power and screen options at a reasonable price, but now we get a new player: the Aero 16. Don´t let the new 16:10 screens fool you, this is a laptop that has been completely redesigned to its core. Talking about screen options, one can pick up a 4K Samsung OLED 500 nits panel or a QHD MiniLED 1000 nits screen with a 165Hz refresh rate. 2 truly beautiful screens, as Gigabyte as always promised with their Aero lineup. Like the Razers, this line is and always has been Intel based, therefore the new laptops get a bump up to 12th Gen processors, with the options of the Core i7-12700H 14 core 20 thread 4.7GHz max boost processor and the i9-12900HK 14 core 20 thread 5GHz unlocked processor. In terms of graphics, there are options that cover all the new RTX cards, the 3070Ti and the 3080Ti, as well as the 3060 in the more affordable version. Also, after years with chin cameras, the new Aero 16 finally gets a front facing camera, with IR for Windows Hello. All of these nice improvements and redesigns get spoilt a bit by the I/O available, a matter on where Gigabyte was very good, always offering SD card slots, multiple USB-C, USB-A, mini display ports and HDMI, but now only 3 USB-C ports are available. The rest of the I/O comes in the form of an extension. The keyboard also misses its previous numpad. What doesn´t change is the CNC milled aluminum build that Gigabyte has always offered.
On par with the Aero 16, the Aero 17 almost looks like a bigger brother of the Aero 16 (almost looking like twins). The key differences are in the addition of a numpad with the extra space and the screen, that is only one: a 4K miniLED 16:10 1000+ nits 120Hz screen that promises to be one of the best screens available in the market. CPU and GPU options are the same as the Aero 16. Gigabyte published the power limits of the GPU for the Aero 17 and 16, but unfortunately, it seems as the GPUs will be running on the 80-90W base power limit across the board.
For everyone wandering where the Aero 15 is, don´t worry, it still exists, rebranded as the Aero 5. However, it didn´t get a redesign like the bigger brothers, still appearing with a chin camera and very similar design to last year´s Aero 15, being thicker, though, which allows the GPUs that can be fitted inside to run up to 130W in the 3070Ti option and 115W in the 3060 option. There is only one CPU option, the i7-12700H, being clear that the Aero 5 stands as a cheaper Aero 16 or 17. However, it still gets a very nice screen, a Samsung OLED 4K screen, which is 16:9. Unlike the Aero 16 and 17, no need for a dongle, as all the I/O one could ask for is there to use.
For the more gamer oriented line, the Aorus 5 is a “new” model that seems to be really close in design as the Aero 5, with the differences being more clear in the screen options, with 1080p 144 and 240Hz 100% sRGB options in the Aorus 5. CPU options are only listed as i7 12th Gen processors. To be noted that the listing has no DDR5 memory option, only DDR4 for the moment. In the graphics side of things, Gigabyte opted to not fit the newer Ti mobile graphics cards in the new Aorus 5, which can be bought with 3070, 3060, 3050Ti and 3050 graphics.
Stepping up from the Aorus 5, we have got the Aorus 15, which is a thicker, heavier machine designed for the most FPS for the dollar. Unlike the Aorus 5, with its chin camera, the Aorus 15 follows the trend of the Aero 16 and 17 and has a front facing camera with IR for Windows Hello. The screen options also get nice bumps over the Aorus 5, with a QHD 165Hz option a FHD 360Hz option. Also unlike the Aorus 5, this line gets the 3070Ti and the 3080Ti as possible GPU options, along with a 3060 option, and it isn´t DDR4 exclusive, getting both DDR4 and DDR5 versions.
Finally, Gigabyte showcased their top of the line gaming oriented laptop, the new Aorus 17, which is very similar to the Aorus 15, only in a 17 inch form factor, with the same design, and very similar specs, apart from being this time DDR5 exclusive. Strangely, Gigabyte only listed this laptop as having a FHD 360Hz panel, with no QHD option like the Aorus 15, and unlike all of the other laptops announced, didn´t post the GPU power limits inside.
To see more about Gigabyte´s new laptops, watch this Jarrod´s Tech video:
To cap this new exciting CES report, it is to be noted that all of this information could still be changed in a near future. We look forward to see you again on our website, as in the near future it will be published one or two more articles with information about, per example, the new 2022 Acer gaming lineup. Until then, stay safe!
Sources: Jarrod’sTech – YouTube