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Razer Blade 15 debuts with Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX Super, and 300Hz display

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Razer is upgrading its Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop with Intel’s latest Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX Super graphics processing units (GPUs). It is also adding an ultra-fast 300-hertz display.

Intel is launching its eight-core 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processors today, and lots of laptops are expected to debut in mid-April with the technology. Razer is also including Nvdia’s GeForce RTX Super GPUs with the second-generation of Max-Q power-saving technology.

The Irvine, California-based company is packing the new tech into its signature black aluminum chassis. Complemented with a new keyboard layout, upgraded I/O, and SSD storage, the Blade 15 gives users the power to play high-end games and create content at the same time. Intel says the new machines are targeted at people who are gamers and also need to create content, such as YouTube videos, at the same time.

Base model specs

Above: Razer Blade 15 has multiple models.

Image Credit: Razer

The base model comes with a 6-core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor with 12 threads. It runs at a base speed of 2.6GHz and up to 5.0GHz under Max Turbo. It has a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with 6GB of graphics memory. There are also options for Nvidia RTX 2060 and 2070 graphics. The 15.6-inch display is 144Hz full HD, with an OLED screen. The SSD starts at 256GB and goes up to 512GB. Memory starts at 16GB, and it has a 65-watt rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery.

The width is less than an inch (0.78 inches). Razer hasn’t said how much battery life the machine will have, but Intel has said some models from various manufacturers are getting around 20 hours of battery life.

GamesBeat Summit - It's a time of change in the game industry. Hosted online April 28-29.

Advanced model specs

Above: Razer Blade 15 is built for gaming and content creation.

Image Credit: Razer

The advanced model comes with the 8-core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor with 16 threads. It runs at a base speed of 2.3GHz and up to 5.1GHz at Max Turbo. It comes with Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super or Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPUs. And it has second-generation Max-Q power-saving technology, which is twice as power-efficient as the previous generation.

The 15.6 screen is a 300Hz full HD screen with 100% sRGB, a wide viewing angle, and OLED touchscreen. It has 512GB to 1TB SSD storage, an 80-watt rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery, and per-key RGB powered by Razer Chroma keyboard. It is 0.70 inches thick.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super GUP has up to 25% increased performance over the original RTX GPUs, with up to 8 GB of high-bandwidth GDDR6 memory.

For content creators and entertainment enthusiasts, the Blade 15 is also available with a 4K OLED display. The 4K OLED display covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color space and is available in both a touch and non-touch variant. Each panel comes custom-calibrated for color accuracy.

“We really wanted to make a laptop that is thinner, aesthetically pleasing, as well as high performance,” said Eugene Kuo, systems marketing manager at Razer, in an interview.

Both models come with wireless features such as the new Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (Gig+) wireless, capable of up to 2.4Gbps network speeds, and higher frequency 2933Mhz DDR4 memory. The connectivity options include USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, a USB Type-C port, and a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port.

Select models of Blade 15 support charging via the USB Type-C ports with a 20V USB-C charger, for emergency situations, and a fast UHS-III SD card reader, for those needing to quickly move work from one device to another.

“We’ve developed the most powerful Blade ever. Not only did we increase performance, but we’ve also improved many other aspects of the product itself. There’s more speed. There are more cores, and we’ve added Nvida GeForce RTX Super graphics.”

The Razer Blade 15 will start at $1,600 and will be available starting in May at Razer.com and through select retailers in the United States and Canada. The Razer Blade 15 will come soon to Razer.com and select retailers in Europe, China, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

“You’re going to see really nice contrast and visuals,” Kuo said. “You’re going to have a touch screen with a Gorilla Glass on the advanced model and you’re going to have a non-touch screen on the base model. We see this as dual-use for both gaming and content creation.”

Here’s the full price sheet:

Blade 15 Base (1660 Ti) – $1600

Blade 15 Base (RTX 2060) – $1800

Blade 15 Base (RTX 2070) – $2,000

Blade 15 Base (4K OLED + RTX 2070) – $2,200

Blade 15 Adv (RTX 2070 Super) – $2,600

Blade 15 Adv (RTX 2080 Super) – $3,000

Blade 15 Adv (4K OLED + RTX 2080 Super) – $3,300



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Amazon Prime allows in-app purchases for Apple users

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Amazon

Amazon has begun allowing iPhone and Apple TV users to make in-app purchases and rent movies and shows from Amazon Prime.

The move is a reversal for Amazon which had forced Prime users to leave the app and go to Amazon’s website via a browser to make purchases.

It is also a change for Apple which will allow Amazon to use its own payment system.

The changes apply to Amazon Prime users in the US, UK and Germany.

People using iPhones, iPads and iPod touches as well as Apple TVs began to see the changes on Wednesday.

A message from Amazon alerted users to the new feature when they opened the app.

“Browse, rent, or buy new release movies, popular TV shows, and more – now within the app,” it read.

Prior to the change users of iOS or tvOS could only watch shows or films they had purchased directly from Amazon’s website or on another device such as an Android phone or Amazon’s Fire TV. If an Apple user wanted to buy a video from Prime they had to complete the transaction on Amazon’s website.

The change is also significant for Apple because it means Amazon will be able to use its own payment system.

Apple typically charges a 30% commission for in-app purchases on its iOS and requires those apps to use Apple’s payment system.

Allowing Amazon to use its own payment system means Amazon will avoid this charge.

Apple has said it made exceptions for “qualifying premium video entertainment apps”. Those apps include Prime Video, Atlice One and Canal+.

Other companies have argued Apple’s 30% charges are unfair

Spotify filed a complaint with the European regulators about the charge. The music streaming site referred to the 30% fee as a tax and said it would be forced to artificially inflate its prices as a result.



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T-Mobile Closes Merger With Sprint, and a Wireless Giant Is Born

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A new wireless giant has entered the scene.

T-Mobile and Sprint announced the closing of their $30 billion merger on Wednesday, the result of a long-in-the-works effort by both companies to speed the progress of wireless technology and put up a fight against AT&T and Verizon, the two companies that have long dominated the industry.

As part of finishing the deal, John Legere, the boisterous, magenta-clad chief executive who led T-Mobile for nearly a decade, handed over leadership reins to his longtime second-in-command, the more buttoned-up Mike Sievert.

The new business, called T-Mobile, will have about 100 million customers. To keep them and add to their ranks, the company plans to quickly develop the fifth-generation wireless technology that will bring broadband-style service through the air and is seen as a critical component of the nation’s infrastructure. T-Mobile has said that deploying 5G would have taken much longer and cost much more without the addition of Sprint.

Upgrading the networks also makes T-Mobile a formidable challenger to AT&T and Verizon, Mr. Sievert said in an interview. “It used to be that customers were forced to choose: Do you want a better network? Or a better value? Now you don’t have to choose,” he said.

The suit was brought in June after regulators at the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger plan. The states argued that the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would reduce competition, lead to higher cellphone bills and place a financial burden on lower-income customers.

Letitia James, the New York attorney general, a key plaintiff in the case, had argued that the merger would cost subscribers at least $4.5 billion annually. She called the February ruling in favor of the deal “a loss for every American who relies on their cellphone for work, to care for a family member and to communicate with friends.”

With the completion of the merger, the number of major carriers in the United States stands at three — for now. To obtain regulatory approval, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell off certain assets, including Sprint’s prepaid wireless business, to the satellite TV service Dish. The pay-TV operator hopes to become a new fourth carrier, in place of Sprint.

The fight for customers among the major carriers has driven subscription prices downward. The average monthly wireless bill has fallen by over 25 percent in the past decade, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wireless carriers still enjoy fat profits, but they have flattened or declined in recent years.

The T-Mobile deal technically faces one more hurdle. The California Public Utilities Commission, which governs telecommunications services in the state, has yet to sign off on the merger.

The companies closed the deal Wednesday after Sprint made a clever technical maneuver. The company withdrew its application to the California agency after changing how it delivered voice calls. Last week, the carrier switched to an internet-based system for phone calls, meaning Sprint no longer makes use of landlines. That effectively nullified the commission’s authority over the deal, according to the company.



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