I purchased a Razer Blade 15 a while ago and wanted to share my experience and thoughts with you. It’s been about 6ish months so far, and my overall impressions are very good. Let’s get into it.
The screen is beautiful. It’s bright, matte, and crisp. I bought the 1080p version, no touchscreen, with 144hz. I’m scaling it up by 125%, so that things aren’t so small. Use a custom scaling factor and turn on “attempt to fix blurry apps”, and nothing will be blurry on the device, even with the scaling setting.
It’s equivalent to my $240 144hz 1080p monitor I have from ASUS that I use as my daily, so I barely notice a difference switching off besides the size.
The keyboard is excellent. I use a Razer Blackwidow V2 for my desktop, and those use Razer Green switches (Cherry MX Blue equivalents), and even though I use a mechanical keyboard on the desktop, this doesn’t feel bad to type on after. One of the best laptop keyboards I’ve used. Everyone complains about the secondary functions not lighting up on the function keys, but I’ve personally just changed the colors slightly of those with the Chroma app, and then remember which color corresponds to which function. It’s not that big of a deal.
The speakers are good. For a laptop. You won’t be shaking the walls with these speakers or anything, as the bass is very weak, but they’re excellent in clarity for mid to highs. Talking to someone on a call will be no problem, as will listening to anything you might need to for work. For music, definitely pick up a pair of headphones to go with it. Besides, no one wants to hear your music blasting out of your laptop anyway.
I would compare the trackpad to the Macbook Pro’s, as do many others. It’s large, spacious (actually one of the biggest I’ve seen on a Windows laptop), and glass surfaced. It comes with Windows Precision drivers, so no bloatware and odd trackpad behavior coming from the vendor. Windows itself handles the trackpad movement and gestures, which leads to really accurate behavior.
The build quality is excellent. The screen has no flex, and you can open it one handed. It feels solid and well built, but not heavy enough to be a bother. It weighs 4.6 pounds, which isn’t as light as something like an XPS 13 or a Macbook Air, but it also has a lot more power and features, so obviously it’s going to be bigger. I put a dbrand skin on mine to hide the Razer logo, as it’s a bit flashy. The matte black dbrand skin covers it well and gives it a very smooth look.
This thing is a beast. I undervolted mine, which is a safe procedure in which you give the chip less energy. The performance is still the same, it just generates less heat. It’s a bit of a lottery if you’ve gotten a good chip or not, and how much you can undervolt. After undervolting, the fans NEVER turn on unless I’m doing something intense. Coding, web browsing, editing word documents, Spotify, the fans are completely silent. It’s great. Once the fans do turn on, it’s not an annoying sound. They’re deep enough to not be an annoying high pitched whine, and are acceptable in decibel volume. You could use this in an office and get away with it. Performance is great. Unity rendering, game playing, whatever. It packs a GTX 1060, but remember it’s the laptop version. It’s less powerful than a full desktop version would be, but is still great for a laptop. As long as you aren’t a hardcore laptop gamer, this will satisfy 99% of the population. If you’re that hardcore, you should be using a Desktop too, anyway, in which case this will also work. So in reality it’ll satisfy 100% of people. Please do note that the battery drains spectacularly fast when doing something like gaming. Here are the unofficial and anecdotal battery times I’ve been getting:
- Gaming: ~2 hours on 50-75% brightness
- Unity/3D work + Coding: ~3-4 hours on 50-75% brightness
- Web browsing/Discord/Non-intensive work: ~5-6 hours on 50-75% brightness
I recommend enabling battery saver automatically if it drops below 100%. I also automatically switch the hertz from 60 to 144hz depending on if I’m charging it or not. You can learn how to do that in a previous blog post of mine. Yes, I recommend you leave it on at all times if you’re not plugged in. It helps somewhat. I also recommend you undervolt. I’m pleasantly surprised by this things battery life. If you’re using it at 50% brightness for web browsing, it can last a good 7 hours after undervolting it. The fact that I have the ability to suddenly perform powerful tasks on my laptop if I need to is a huge bonus. Battery banks will NOT work with this laptop. The charging port is proprietary. Linus Tech Tips, a massive tech company, complained about this in a couple of different videos, saying: “If you were hoping for USB C charging, you will be sorely disappointed”. They didn’t understand the decision and tried to charge it in one of the laptop’s USB C ports, and implored Razer to add USB C charging and switch out the port next version. However, you’d think a tech youtuber channel would do their due research. According to this article and this article,
Thanks to the upgraded Power Delivery 2.0, the new USB 3.1 specification also offers a noticeably higher power supply of up to 100 watts at 20 V/5 A.
The Razer Blade’s proprietary port delivers 150 watts of power to the Blade. Therefore, it’s more than USB C can support, and thus actually better than USB C, since it charges faster. And boy, does this thing charge fast. I can get a full battery from 0% in 1.5 hours. Charging this up from 50% before you go anywhere is a breeze, because 30 minutes is probably fine to last you 5 hours.
There are a lot of others out there who have reviewed this thing far better than I have, but I wanted to throw my 2 cents into the mix. I will update again after about a year, to see if this thing lasts. Fingers crossed. One final note, do NOT buy from Razer’s store. I know this has been stated many times, but if you need more reassurance, here it is. Razer support is horrible and basically tried to steal my money. It took two months and back and forths with FedEx and the credit card company to get my money back, and I never even accepted the package from them. Trust me, you do NOT want to deal with them. Buy from Best Buy or Microsoft, someone who will be reasonable with refunds and deliveries. Again, do NOT buy from razer.com.
Overall, a very solid laptop that I am very happy and satisfied with so far.
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