The Good Usually a great Razer design, ideally in an alternative Mercury White color scheme. Excellent performance, especially given the small size. One of the only gaming laptops with a very thin screen panel.
The Bad Faster RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 GPUs are not available in white. The system can get very hot, which has led to some complaints on the Internet.
The Bottom Line The Razer Blade 15-inch gaming notebook keeps pace with the Nvidia RTX trend. The base model feels expensive, but the top-end version impresses with a good combination of price and performance.
When my PC gaming neighbor announced that he had just purchased a new gaming laptop, I was a little annoyed that he did not come to me for advice on buying laptops. Then he told me that he had purchased a new version of the RTX 2060 Razer Blade, and I couldn’t release it because I would probably recommend it first.
This new version of the blade, presented at CES 2019 , is virtually unchanged from the previous model, at least externally. Inside, there are new Nvidia RTX GPUs. There are also some tiny chassis adjustments to accommodate new details, as well as a webcam that works with Windows Hello face recognition.
But, so what? RTX GPUs and Intel Core i7-8750H processors already distributed. What really sets Razer Blade apart is the quality of design and build, and to a lesser extent, custom software.
Keep up with the wars
The biggest design leap occurred last year when the Blade made the much-needed leap from a 14-inch to a 15-inch screen, keeping it roughly the same and shaving off the screen bezels (border around the display) with almost nothing.
Razer launches new display and updated Blade gaming laptop by Dan Ackerman02:48Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle Razer lights up with a new display and updated Blade gaming laptop AutoplayOnOff 00:00 02:48 Settings
This review version has the added benefit of an additional Razer White Mercury White color scheme, available only in this RTX 2060 configuration. Along with a 512GB SSD and a 1,920×1,080-pixel 14GHz display, it’s a hefty $ 2,349 (£ 2,200, $ 3899). Considering the hardware, design, and accessories, this may not be outrageous, but keep in mind that the price of Nvidia GTX 1060’s previous-generation laptops can easily go down to $ 899 or more – of course, with slower processors and less storage .
In the Blade Series, jumping to RTX 2070 or 2080 can be up to $ 700. In the opposite direction, Razer is still selling the GTX 1060 configuration (Blade only, without the “Advanced” tag) for $ 1599.
Razer Blade 15
|Price as reviewed||$2,349, £2,200, AU$3,899|
|Display size/resolution||15.6-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel display|
|CPU||2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz|
|Graphics||6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
Speed vs. style
If you are investing in Razer Blade, you are more interested in design, style and comfort than the high frame rate that drives the speed. Why am I saying this? Because for about $ 2,300, you can buy the Lenovo Legion Y740 with a high-end Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU.
But this is not necessarily the correct answer. Especially if you spend a lot of time on tasks without laptops, or use it as your main daily laptop, these aesthetic and ergonomic options become much more important.
In its white and silver edition Blade has a sophisticated professional look and is very reminiscent of the MacBook Pro ($ 1,056 to Walmart) . Unlike many other gaming laptops, you won’t catch a single miss to pull this off at a corporate meeting (most likely, it’s just jealous looks).
If you need to get a little glare, run Razer Synapse software, which offers many system management features but will mainly be used to adjust the multi-colored lighting effects for the keyboard, as well as to switch between gaming and balanced power profiles. Razer Synapse requires that you use this email address, which I have always considered unnecessary.
Power vs. heat
The biggest knock I can think of against the Razer Blade is that you pay a premium (over $ 2,000) for the lower end of the GPX RTX 2060. During testing, it’s not as powerful for gaming as the new RTX 2070 or RTX 2080, as well as lagging behind the higher-end GTX 1080 GPU. In some cases, the differences are minimal, but in others there is a wide gap. Fortunately, you can trade up to those faster GPUs, and the $ 2999 RTX 2080 version actually has competitive prices.
Although Blade 15 did well in our testing, I spoke with several people who purchased the system at retail and complain about the heat it produces. Thermal issues have also been discussed online in several places. It’s always hard to say how widespread the hardware problem is because only those who feel they have a problem are more likely to publish it.
After conducting some additional tests on our inspection apparatus, we found that it really got very hot, even when pressed by its aggressive fans. During the game, the metal bar above the keyboard quickly hit 120 F (49 C). The bottom panel, which houses the largest openings, is just as hot, so it’s not a laptop that belongs to your actual circle (at least during the game). The internal temperatures of the processor remained for us in the mid 70’s, but I also saw a message on the Internet about the speed of the processor penetrating into the 90’s.
A secret gaming laptop
Especially in its Mercury White version, the Razer Blade 15 combines the best of creative laptops – a slim design with a great screen and a high processor level; with the best gaming laptop – the latest graphics equipment, high screen refresh rates, a gaming keyboard, and fun programmable headlights.
Two questions give me some pause. The system is warming up, no doubt about it, but a small number of serious complaints online can be survivors. I asked Razer to comment, and the company said in part, “This Blade actually handles thermal products better than the previous generation.”
The second question is price, and this is one of the few times I would suggest switching to a top-class model to get the best value. Unfortunately, the available RTX 2080 is unfortunately not currently available in white.
|Alienware Area-51m||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.6GHz Intel Core i9-9900K; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080; (2) 512GB SSD RAID 0 + 1TB HDD|
|MSI GS75 Stealth 8SG (Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD|
|Acer Predator Triton 500 (Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q)||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; (2) 512GB SSD RAID 0|
|Asus Zephyrus GX701 (Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q)||Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 24GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 1TB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion Y740-15||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Razer Blade 15 (Nvidia RTX 2060)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion Y740-17 (Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Alienware 17 R4 (Nvidia GTX 1080)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 ; 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD|