If it doesn’t have RGB lighting, is it really a Razer product? Razer’s tendency to equip its products with rainbow LEDs has become the subject of jokes, though the company seems to take it with pride, even equipping its first-ever gaming monitor, the Razer Raptor 27, with an RGB stand. It might seem a little silly at first, but once you delve past the Raptor’s colorful gimmick and dive deeper into its specs, build, and performance, you’ll find that Razer’s first gaming monitor is another exceptional example of the company’s ability to deliver a quality product.
Display and performance
Adorned with an RGB-lit base, the Razer Raptor 27 provides a gorgeous, vivid image on its 27-inch IPS display, which looks doubly nice with its thin bezel. Games look sharp at the screen's native resolution of 1440p, and the change in color tone between Valorant and Call of Duty: Warzone demonstrates the Raptor’s adept range. Bright sunny days in games like Saints Row: The Third Remastered and Metro Exodus are exceptional--the sun peeking through an overpass or set of buildings in Saints Row looks beautiful. Darker scenes, however, is where the Raptor struggles a little. Testing with the most recent Resident Evil games, dark hallways can look more gray than black. While these black levels leave us wanting, with the right settings, the Raptor is still capable of producing a good-looking image.
The Razer Raptor boasts a 144Hz refresh rate and G-Sync compatibility via FreeSync, both of which help it run and perform wonderfully. This provides a real advantage for competitive games like Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, and Call of Duty: Warzone, where going from a low refresh rate monitor to a high one could make for a substantial improvement in your K/D ratio. In addition to much smoother gameplay over your typical 60Hz, the Raptor’s 144Hz refresh rate contributes to quicker reactions to movement and better precision aiming on the screen. For example, this makes sniping that enemy who pops into view much easier, dropping them before they can duck back into cover.
The image quality and fast refresh rate combine to make for one of the better 1440p gaming monitor experiences out there today, though the display is not without its downsides. The HDR400 support doesn’t output enough nits of brightness to achieve the desired baseline of HDR10, making the HDR support less than desirable. It’s still capable of providing a great image with HDR disabled, but the Raptor’s HDR doesn’t deliver the improvement one would hope for.
Razer Raptor 27 specs
|Display: 27-inch IPS|
|Resolution: 2560x1440 (1440p)|
|Refresh Rate: 144Hz|
|Contrast Ratio: 1000:1|
|Bezel size: 2.3mm|
|Adaptive sync: FreeSync, G-Sync Compatible|
|Ports: HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C, two USB 3.2|
The Raptor is built quite well, feeling much sturdier than other monitors with similar specs. The actual display is thick, with a more substantial body than monitors typically have. It’s attached to an all-metal stand that makes the whole monitor feel secure. This stand allows the display to be tilted up and down, which you’ll definitely need to do when setting up the monitor and plugging in your cables. If you don’t have enough room to tilt it all the way up, it can be quite cumbersome to plug in your DisplayPort and HDMI cables. Additionally, running the cables through the stand’s built-in cable jockeys can take some time. While this process can prove frustrating, once everything is set up, it provides you with clean cable management and a mess-free look.
Navigating the Raptor’s menus and changing your settings is handled exclusively by a tiny joystick on the back of the monitor. You can use this plastic nub to access various menus by pushing up, down, left, and right as well as clicking in to confirm your selection. It’s certainly serviceable, but as is the case with most monitor controls, it’s not intuitive--at times, I found myself pushing in the wrong direction by accident.
The Razer Raptor’s display is beautiful, and its chassis is among the best we’ve tested. Like the company’s gaming laptops, it feels almost Apple-like in its construction. However, that brings with it a particularly demanding price tag. At $700 USD, it falls on the expensive side of 1440p gaming monitors. A comparable monitor, LG’s 27-inch GL850-B, features almost the exact same specs as the Razer Raptor 27 and a similarly gorgeous display, but it costs $500. Comparing side-by-side, the Raptor’s display looks slightly brighter than the GL850-B in addition to its heavier RGB-lit stand and sturdier build. The Raptor edges the GL850-B out, but other than these small cosmetic differences, it’s a very similar experience between both monitors.
The bottom line
Despite its similarities to cheaper alternatives, the experience afforded by the Razer Raptor 27 is an excellent one, propped up by a design that rivals Apple and specs that can serve the most dedicated of PC gamers. Its fast refresh rate helps it excel in competitive settings, while its vibrant image quality makes it a great choice for those who enjoy detail-heavy single-player games as well. The Raptor is expensive, but supplementary features like its RGB lighting and cable management help make this monitor unique, and its premium build quality is befitting of its premium price tag.
- Fast refresh rate and 1440p resolution pair nicely
- Superb build quality rivals Apple’s designs
- Vibrant colors
- Ability to tilt 90 degrees allows easy access to ports
- Bright settings look gorgeous...
- ...though darker scenes look more gray than black
About the author: Mat Paget tested the Razer Raptor 27 as his main daily monitor for about two months, and while he could live without RGB lighting, he misses the cable management and clean look. Razer loaned the Raptor 27 for review purposes.
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