Review: Razer Blade Sets New Standard For Gaming Laptops
There’s a strong case to be made that Razer’s Blade might hold up as one of the best gaming laptops the company have ever put together. When it comes to performance, and to a lesser extent aesthetics, the new Razer Blade is a standout realization of the what the experience of making a gaming desktop portable should be.
Laptops are often guilty of being built too flimsy but our time with the sturdy Razer Blade saw it sidestep this common criticism. Where other gaming laptops feel like a mixed bag resulting out of a desire to fit as powerful specs as possible, the Blade comes feels delicately and deliberately balanced. The company tout the Blade’s chassis as aircraft-grade aluminum, and that’s a claim easy to believe. It feels like a singular, wholesome and dedicated machine. Where the laptops of the past have proved scant imitations of what desktops can do, the Blade feels like it’s a genuine alternative.
Like its more modestly-specced cousin, the Stealth, the Razer Blade is built around a design that’s most immediately comparable to Apple’s Macbooks. Instead of a backlit Apple logo on the cover, it’s got Razer’s serpentine brand and instead of Apple’s clean white or silver surfaces, you get a a stylish jet-dark matte finish. Like the Macbook, the Razer Blade’s design almost screams less-is-more. Beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot separating the two products – at least when it comes to aesthetics.
Again like the Stealth, the Blade incorporates the tech from Razer’s Chroma keyboard range to make the keyboard more engaging to look at. It’s a joy to type on as it rhythmically cycles through the color spectrum, giving even more-dedicated mechanical keyboards a run for their money. Razer have further sweetened the deal by also throwing in a number of advanced customization options for the Chroma integration from within the Razer Synapse application that comes pre-installed with the machine.
Even looking beyond these external aspects, the Razer Blade proves just as sharp in terms of performance. The laptop’s beating dark heart – a 6th Gen Intel i7 67000HQ processor – incorporates turbo speed technology to push the frontier for portable processing. Meanwhile the Blade’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M is up the task of delivering picture-perfect performance wherever it goes. Accompanied by 512GBs of solid state storage and 16GB on-board dual-channel DDR4 RAM, these two core components work together with the Blade’s 14-inch QHD display to deliver top-of-the-range visuals.
Capable of delivering 5.76 million pixels, it’s as sharp as laptops get when in motion – though there is certainly always room for improvement. Glare sometimes proved an issue, and the display itself wasn’t a walkaway for brightness.
In practice and in premise, the Razer Blade delivers. Overwatch, our usual benchmark for everyday playability, ran at a silky smooth frame-rate regardless of high we ranked up the settings and visual effects. We got more-or-less the same results when it came to more graphically-intense titles. That consistency extended to the Razer Blade’s battery life, which sits at a respectable six or so hours.
Like all laptops, it’ll eventually need to be replaced. However, for the foreseeable future The Razer Blade is a product that’s easy to call one of the best gaming laptops you can buy. It combines top-notch specs with minimalist design and binds it all together with the gamer-focused tech that Razer have continually shown they know best.