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Razer Blade Laptop Review
Review By @ 05:13pm 12/12/17

Product: Razer Blade
Type: Gaming Laptop
Price: $3,499.95 (other variations available)
Availability: Now
Link: razerzone.com/au-en/gaming-systems/razer-blade

Now in glorious 4K.

In terms of gaming laptops, the Razer Blade has been a go to option for a few years now. For several reasons - portability, power, build quality, and great design. And now in 2017 the Razer Blade also comes with a UHD mutli-touch display that offers a vibrant 4K image with great colour, brightness, contrast, and viewing angle. Yeah, it’s one of the standout features in a great update that also includes a better GPU, Intel i7 processor, and improved battery life. Meaning that unlike a few other gaming laptops currently out there – the Razer Blade is meant to be taken on the go. And it shows too - thanks to the solid chassis and exceptional build quality.

Under the Lid



Weighing in a 1.95kg with a height of 17.9mm, the Razer Blade lives up to its namesake as a portable and powerful gaming laptop. But there are some compromises, namely with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 as opposed to the 1070. When it comes to pushing 4K for some of the latest games, the 1060 simply isn’t powerful enough. On the other hand, less visually-intensive titles like Overwatch and even MOBAs run without issue on the Razer Blade – in 4K.
Processor: Intel Core i7 7700HQ @ 2.80GHz
Display: 14.0" (16:9) UHD (3840x2160) 60Hz
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM
Memory: 16 GB DDR4 2400MHz
Storage: 512GB SSD (PCIe M.2)
OS: Windows 10
Interfaces: 1 x Thunderbolt 3 Port, 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x HDMI (4K@60Hz capable), 1 x Headphone/Microphone

Note that various hardware configurations are available

The Razer Blade is built to last, with battery life that benefits from standard desktop activity being handled by the CPU and its Intel HD Graphics 630 chipset. Which, handles all non-gaming 4K content with relative ease. Speaking of 4K, the 14” display on the new Razer Blade leaves pretty much all competition in its wake. Sure, it may not feature G-Sync tech but what you get is truly impressive image quality with a viewing angle that would make most current TV screens blush.

Vibrant would be another word to describe the Razer Blade’s image, with colours that look natural as opposed to saturated or otherwise overly emphasised. In fact, the screen alone coupled with the battery life and portable design make the Razer Blade one of the better straight-up productivity laptops currently available. Great for working and emailing, great for watching media content, and hey, great for gaming too.

Look and Feel



The brushed aluminium chassis of the Razer Blade not only looks the part but has an awesome feel to it too. It’s pretty much the same design as last year, which is fine by us. In that it’s still exceptionally well built. The keyboard, which of course features Razer’s trademark Chroma RGB lighting, is responsive and has a decent feel alongside anti-ghosting features. As for the trackpad, well, it’s perfectly fine. But, as someone who travels with a portable mouse the trackpad is always a last resort. And entirely useless for gaming.

Which is why when testing the new Razer Blade we tested the new Razer Atheris portable mouse.

Gaming Performance


High-end gaming on the new Razer Blade, with the 4K screen, is a mixed bag. As mentioned earlier titles like Overwatch, running in 4K on Ultra, hits a steady 60 frames-per-second. And looks crisp and colourful. But, the whole point of benchmarking is to throw the more cutting-edge offerings at a product, crank up the detail settings, and see what happens.


As per the 1080p results above, the included GeForce GTX 1060 performs well.
For direct comparison’s sake, The Division (High) at 4K hits an average FPS of 24.2, DOOM (Ultra) 28.8, and Ghost Recon Wildlands (Very High) 20.8. So, does this mean that 4K gaming on the Razer Blade is out of the question? Not really. It just means you’ll need to strike a balance between quality settings and resolution. Make no mistake, games look noticeably better running in 4K so it would have been a lot better to work with the more versatile 1070.


This can be seen in the 3DMark results, with scores in the region of a gaming laptop but well below those of a 4K gaming PC.

VR Ready



Like with most gaming laptops currently available the Razer Blade is VR Ready. With a score of 3,000 being the baseline, or lowest that you’d want for Oculus Rift usage, scoring well over 5,000 here bodes well for VR enthusiasts.

Overall



One aspect where the Razer Blade makes its presence known is in the cooling department, but not for the right reasons. When the two underside fans kick-in once you start gaming, they begin to sound a bit like jet engines. Which is a shame because outside of gaming the Razer Blade is generally quiet. So, the transition to “hey, what’s that sound in there” “oh, this laptop” somewhat jarring. And really one of the only noticeable downsides to the design that you’d find handled better elsewhere.


But, apart from the loud fans, the Razer Blade feels like a premium product throughout. With performance and design to match some of the bigger names in the business. And we’re talking huge names, one that sounds like a fruit and another the creator of a box given a letter that comes before Y. No idea why this went all cryptic suddenly, but yes, the Razer Blade is the sort of premium laptop that could sit alongside something from Apple or Microsoft. Exceptional build quality, great battery life, performance, excellent 4K display, and a whole slew of game and performance design touches.

Hardware supplied by Razer for review purposes. Games supplied by Ubisoft, Bethesda, and Blizzard. Benchmark tools provided by Futuremark.
What we liked
Great 4K screen with exceptional colour response and viewing angle
Portable and relatively light
Long battery life
Decent gaming performance across the board
Killer Wireless, Bluetooth, and Thunderbolt 3
What we didn't like
Not powerful enough to handle games like DOOM in 4K without lowering detail settings
Noisy under load
We gave it:
8.5
OUT OF 10