Razer released the all new Razer Blade 15 recently, featuring a 15.6″ 144Hz Display, i7-8750H Processor, and a GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU in just 17mm of thickness and 2.7kg of weight. Compared to past Razer Blade laptops, noticeable improvements in build quality & a complete design overhaul is can be seen. There are four variants available with varying screen options from FHD 60Hz, FHD 144Hz and 4K Touch 60Hz and either a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 GPU, both being the Max-Q versions.
Let’s have a look at it’s major aspects.
Price & Where To Buy
The Razer Blade 15 (2018) ranges from $1899 to a pricy $2899 4K Model. There are four different variants available –
- Blade 15 – FHD 60Hz Display, GTX 1060, 256GB SSD – $1899
- Blade 15 – FHD 144Hz Display, GTX 1060, 512GB SSD – $2199
- Blade 15 – FHD 144Hz Display, GTX 1070, 256/512GB SSD – $2399 or $2599
- Blade 15 – 4K 60Hz Touch Display, GTX 1070, 512GB SSD – $2899
The laptop is currently available on Razer’s official website for US Customers. To buy it in your country, keep checking Amazon and other major retailers specializing in selling gaming hardware. We’ll update here as soon as we get more info for the laptop’s availability in India.
Performance is great on the Blade 15 with its top of the line specs. For the processor, it uses the Intel Core i7-8750H Processor with 6 Cores, 12 Threads and a Base/Boost clock of 2.2GHz/4.1GHz. For graphics, the laptop sports Max-Q versions of either the GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 depending on which laptop variant you get. For RAM, all variants have 16GB of Dual-Channel, DDR4 2667MHz Memory which is expandable to 32GB. This is something people really wanted as previous versions of the Razer Blade laptops had non-upgradable memory and the memory modules were soldered on to the motherboard.
Here are the GeekBench 4.2 Scores for this laptop –
In Gaming, it handles all recent AAA titles at Full HD Ultra Settings very well, with more than 60FPS and sometimes even more than the 100FPS mark. Here are some videos comparing the 1060 & 1070 Max-Q GPUs to the 1060 & 1070 Normal Laptop GPUs, with gaming benchmarks. Scores for the Razer Blade wil be very similar.
The display on the Blade 15 is breathtaking. There are three options – 4K 60Hz with a Touchscreen, Full HD 144Hz, and Full HD 60Hz. These displays are all IPS Panels with the 4K Panel having 100% Adobe RGB support, while others have 100% sRGB support. The screen gives excellent viewing angles, great color reproduction, is really bright at 310 nits and very fast if you opt for the 144Hz version. I highly recommend you get the 144Hz if you’re planning on buying this laptop – it’s well worth the money and 144Hz is a total game changer.
The Blade 15 doesn’t have NVIDIA G-Sync though. This is a drawback for many but Razer says that G-Sync Panels have higher power consumption. The Blade 15 is supposed to be mobile gaming laptop and battery life is an important characteristic, so it does make sense that they haven’t included G-Sync in their Display. If battery life isn’t important to you, then there are other gaming laptops present and Razer too, has the Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptops with G-Sync capabilities. The display is also edge to edge, being 4.9mm thick from the left and right side.
Battery life is important in laptops, and the Razer Blade laptops never disappoint. The new Blade 15 has a 80Wh lithium-ion battery on all variants. This battery lasted around 4 hrs at 50% Screen Brightness on the PCMark 8 Battery Life test, and ran for 7.5 hours while playing a 1080p video at 50% brightness & volume. Razer hasn’t advertised any estimated battery life, but they did mention that future Razer Synapse Control Panel Updates will give the laptop even more battery life through software optimizations.
And yes, as promised by Razer, the battery life is better than the previous iteration of the Razer Blade despite the inclusion of a 6-core processor and larger screen this time.
Build Quality, Cooling System and Ports
The Blade 15 is solidly built – no questions there. It’s built with an aluminium chassis, with the total weight being approximately 4.5 lbs or 2.7kg. The laptop is very thin at 0.66 inches or 17 mm. The Blade 15 is 15% smaller on average compared to other gaming laptops with the same specifications – making it the world’s smallest gaming laptop to pack such monstrous amounts of power.
Even with such low thickness, the laptop manages to have a ‘Innovative Vapor Chamber Cooling System’ as termed by Razer. The Blade 15 has a custom vapor chamber for cooling with two fans for dissapating heat. The laptop remains under 45-50C on top portions while playing games, so using it during long sessions won’t get uncomfortable. The fans can get noticeably loud as reported by some reviewers, but it’s not much of a hassle if you use headphones.
In terms of ports, the Razer Blade 15 has 3x USB 3.1 Ports, a 1x Thunderbolt 3 Port, a 1x HDMI 2.0b port, a 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4 port, a 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack and the Kemingston Lock & Power ports. No Ethernet port is present, but USB Adapters are widely available.
The Keyboard & Touchpad
The keyboard featured on the Blade 15 is a fully customizable Razer Chroma capable RGB Keyboard. The layout is not normal though – it is the standard QWERTY Layout for the most part but the arrow keys are on the left side of the Right Shift key, instead of being on the left like normal keyboards. Most people wouldn’t be accustomed to this but with a few days you can get used to this.
The Touchpad is made up of glass, has Windows Precision Drivers and is large in size. It has included gestures for improved navigation and works very well for normal tasks.
Conclusion & Disadvantages
The Razer Blade 15 is a breathtaking gaming laptop, no doubt. It’s small in size, built very well, has amazing specifications, handles recent games extremely well, and the display is gorgeous & fast. It has all the ports you’d need, a very impressive battery life despite it’s size & specifications, and the design looks great too. I can only see two cons – the fan can get a bit loud at times and the keyboard layout. Both of these aren’t significant at all though.
The Razer Blade 15 is easily one of the best portable gaming laptops out there!
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