Bitblaze Titan BM15 Russian laptop powered by Baikal-M1 ARM processor ready to ship this November despite economic restrictions
With all the economic restrictions imposed as punitive measures for the invasion of Ukraine, Russia apparently still found a way to produce laptops locally. Server, storage and workstation maker Bitblaze based in Russia announced the pre-production stage of its Titan BM15 laptop, and mass production is scheduled for November this year. This laptop is powered by a Baikal-M1 processor with ARM cores and is aimed at government agencies as well as enthusiasts.
Baikal managed to secure around 5,000 processors from TSMC late last year, expecting to get 10,000 - 15,000 additional SoCs per month starting early 2022. It is unclear if Baikal managed to secure more SoCs this year given that TSMC is now refusing to produce chips for any Russian company as part of the economic restriction imposed with the war.
According to the product page, the Bitblaze Titan BM15 features a 15.6-inch IPS LCD display with 1080p resolution and comes with a lightweight aluminum case. The picture posted on the Bitblaze site shows a metallic light gray color scheme resembling that of an Apple MacBook, but the pre-production sample presented by the commercial director of Bitblaze’s parent company Prombit reveals a black color scheme.
The processor is complemented by 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and users can upgrade the capacity to a maximum of 128 GB. Storage is ensured by an M.2 slot that supports NVMe SSDs with capacities up to 512 GB. There is also an M.2 module with Wi-Fi + BT connectivity and the port selection includes 1x USB-C + 4x USB-A 3.0 connectors, GbE jack, HDMI video out and an audio jack. Total system weight is expected to be around 2 kg (4.8 lbs).
Prombit commercial director Yana Brush claims that the 6000 mAh battery lasts up to 5 hours and software stability is now being tested with various workloads like office programs and YouTube streams. The OS is not mentioned, but the pre-production sample presented by Yana Brush appears to be running a Windows version.
Depending on the bill of materials that may be affected by the economic restrictions, the laptop could end up overpriced for its specs. Tom’s Hardware reports that the aluminum version of the Titan BM15 was expected to cost the equivalent of US$1375 - 1650 in rubles back in March, but this could change with the November release. Speaking of specs, the ARM-based Baikal-M1 processor is quite outdated, with 8x Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz, 8 MB L3 cache and 28 nm production process. It also features an even older Mali-T628 iGPU.