Razer Blade Review (2017)
Created by Jimmy Thang on
Razer is marketing its latest 14-inch Blade gaming laptop as “Powerful. Portable. Perfect.” After going hands-on with it over the past few days, our responses are: kind of, yes, and definitely no. Razer’s laptop will appeal to users who want a small, sexy notebook, but it makes glaring compromises in the name of portability.
Table of Contents
- Game Benchmarks
- 3DMark Time Spy Benchmark
- VR Benchmark
- SSD Benchmark
- CPU Benchmarks
- Battery Test
Razer’s 2017 Blade is very thin at .7 inches thick. Its unibody aluminum chassis feels exceptionally well-made, and doesn’t flex like cheaper notebooks we’ve seen. Its 0.7x13.6x9.3-inch frame and 4.1 pound weight make it extremely portable, which is perhaps its key-selling feature. Overall, the matte black laptop looks sleek. It helps that the power brick is also quite diminutive for a gaming laptop, measuring 5.9x2.3x0.8 inches.
While Razer sells a 4K variant, our unit came with a 1080p panel. It’s a really good one, though, and offers a bright 350-nit IPS solution that offers vivid, accurate colors with wide viewing angles.
The Blade has one of the best keyboards we’ve seen in a laptop. While it may not be mechanical, it does feel tactile and clicky. The keys are also individually backlit and support Razer’s Chroma RGB lighting software that provides up to 16.8 million colors. There are also different color options that pulsate, do the wave, and more.
There are two speakers on both sides of the keyboard that sound clear and crisp. They’re also relatively powerful despite the laptop’s small size. The Synaptics trackpad beneath the keyboard also works well and supports two-finger swiping gestures, and we like the fact that it has discrete left and right click buttons.
One area where the laptop is lacking is in the ports. The Blade offers an HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, a hybrid analog headphone jack, and a Thunderbolt 3 connection. While the Thunderbolt 3 port--with its superfast 40Gb/s transfer speed capability--is appreciated, we don’t like how the Blade omits an SD card slot and Ethernet port; the latter is crucial for any serious gaming laptop.