Razer Blade (15-inch) Review: Slim Bezels, Hot Temperatures

The Razer Blade  boasts one of the best designs we’ve seen thus far. Coupled with its attractive lighting and thin bezel, the 15-inch Blade will catch anyone’s eye. But even though it offers a premium experience as well as great synthetic and gaming performance, it’s hefty  price ($1,900 to start, $2,400 as tested) is hard to swallow.

Specifications

Display

15.6” FHD (1920x1080) IPS, 144Hz refresh rate

CPU

Intel Core i7-8750H

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design

Memory

16GB DDR4-2667MHz

SSD

512GB M.2 SSD

HDD

Optical

NetworkingIntel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 9260

Video Ports

HDMI 2.0
Mini DisplayPort 1.4

USB Ports

USB 3.0 x 3
Thunderbolt 3 over Type-C
AudioCombo audio jack
Camera

Built-in webcam (1MP/720P)

Battery80Wh

Power Adapter

330W

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

Dimensions (WxDxH)

13.98 x 9.25 x 0.68 inches (WxDxH)

Weight

4.63 lbs

OtherPrecision glass touchpad
Anti-ghosting keyboard with Razer Chroma backlighting
Kensington Lock

Price (as configured)

$2,400

Exterior

The Blade doesn’t try to attract attention Its top cover has a black anodized finish, decorated only with the light-up Razer logo in the middle. One thing you will notice right away (or, perhaps, won’t notice) are the incredibly thin bezels. On the top, the bezel accommodates the 1.0 megapixel camera and array microphones.

The interior is similar to the lid in that it features a black anodized finish with no decoration around the keyboard, touchpad, or speakers. The right speaker grille surrounds the inconspicuous power button.

The bottom panel has a simple design: more aluminum construction with very little in the way of design, which is a good thing for the Blade 15’s minimalistic aesthetic. There are two small air intake grilles for the CPU and GPU fans, as well as exhaust cutouts near the rear for the aluminum heat fins. Finally, there are two long rubber feet to keep the Blade stable.

The Blade measures 14 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches and weighs 4.6 pounds, making it one of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops on the market. However, this small size means compromises in its thermal performance.

The left side of the laptop features two USB 3.0 ports and a combination audio jack, while the right has Thunderbolt 3 over Type-C, another USB 3.0 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort and a Kensington lock.

Display

The Blade  features a 15.6-inch Full HD  matte IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate. It also uses Nvidia’s G-Sync technology to sync games’ frame rates with the graphics card, eliminating screen tearing. The display was  vibrant to my eye and exhibits great contrasts at minimum and maximum brightness. It covers 112 percent of the sRGB color gamut and measured 260 nits on our light meter.

Input Devices

The Blade features a tenkeyless keyboard with decent travel distance, but the keycaps feel rather hollow. Furthermore, the keys are spaced awkwardly far apart, which makes for an uncomfortable typing experience.

On the other hand, the Blade’s glass touchpad feels incredibly intuitive. It’s one of the largest touchpads I’ve seen on a laptop, which is impressive given the Blade’s size. Tracking and multi-gestures are incredibly accurate, and there’s very little surface drag. My only gripe is its uneven clicking distance; the middle of the touchpad has a shallow clicking distance, whereas the left and right clicks travel much further.

Interior

The Blade’s bottom panel is attached to the chassis with 10 hex head screws.

From left to right, you’ll find the M.2 SSD slot, two DDR4 memory slots and an Intel Dual Band Wireless- AC 9260, which handles the Blade 15’s wireless capabilities. On the back half, a large shroud covers the heat sinks and heat pipes, with two fans surrounding them on either side. The large, 80Wh battery spans the entire front end of the Blade.

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