Razer Blade 15 Hands-on: Bigger and a Lot Better

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We're at the end of an era. After 5 years, the 14-inch Razer Blade is being retired, meaning it's time to say goodbye to what has been one of the lightest, slimmest gaming laptops available. In its place, gamers can say hello to the new 15.6-inch Blade, which Razer is calling the smallest gaming system in its class. Starting at $1,899, the new notebook has lots of goodies crammed into its larger, but still relatively slim chassis.

Design

Razer's been making some bold moves with its designs as of late. It started with the 13-inch Blade Stealth being made available in black and Gunmetal Gray. The new Blade is still made from black CNC aluminum, but Razer got rid of the rounded curves of the previous laptops for a more boxy shape. The company also ditched the pair of lines flanking the glowing green Razer emblem (that's still there).

Measuring 14 x 9.3 x 0.68-inches and weighing 4.6 pounds, the Blade is notably larger than its predecessor (4.2 pounds and 13.6 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches). But it's also slimmer and lighter than a lot of its current competition, including the Asus Zephyrus ROG M GM501 (5.5 pounds, 15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.8 inches), HP Omen 15 (5.7 pounds, 15.3 x 10.9 x 1 inches) and Alienware 15 R3 (7.4 pounds, 15.3 x 12 x 1 inches).

As far as ports, you can expect a trio of USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, a headset jack and a power input.

MORE: Which Razer Laptop Is Right for You? Blade vs Stealth vs Pro

Razer Blade 15 Specs

From the looks of its spec list, the Blade is going to be a lean, mean gaming and multitasking machine. The $1,899 base model will ship with a six-core, 8th Gen 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of VRAM and a 1920 x 1080 (60Hz) display.

If you have deep pockets, you might want to consider the $2,899 model, which bumps the storage, GPU, VRAM and display up to a 512GB PCIe SSD, GTX 1070 GTX Max-Q GPU with 8GB of VRAM and a 4K touchscreen, respectively.

Honestly, I would prefer a full GPU option along with the Max-Q selection, but in the pursuit of slimness, I can be happy with what Razer's offering.

Display

The 14-inch variant of the Blade is gone and with it goes those unsightly thick bezels. Razer has shaved the bezels down to 0.19 inches along the sides, allowing the company to squeeze a 15.6-inch panel into a 14-inch chassis. And despite the near bezel-less design, Razer managed to fit a webcam in the top bezel, something competitors should note.

02 Razer Blade 15

The Blade is available with several screen variants and refresh rates: Full HD with 60Hz, Full HD with 144Hz and a 4K touch panel with 60Hz. The 144Hz, 1080p screen and 4K panels will be individually color calibrated before they leave the factory. The 4K display on the demo version of the Blade seemed both bright and vivid, but I'm going to reserve judgement until I can test it with our own colorimeter and light meter. 

Keyboard and Touchpad

This just wouldn't be a Blade without the island-style Chroma keyboard glittering at every keystroke. And just like any other Razer product, you can customize the colors, effects and brightness in the Razer Synapse control panel. And in case you have to spam in multiple attacks, the anti-ghosting keyboard will register all of your keystrokes.

And in another sign of change, Razer is swapping out the two discrete mouse buttons in favor of a massive precision touchpad. The new touchpad should deliver more accurate gestures and swipes.

MORE: Best Gaming Laptops (Including VR-Ready Gaming Laptops)

Battery Life

A bigger chassis translates into a bigger battery -- 80Wh to be exact. Razer didn't share estimated battery life, but the company did mention that it is adding a couple of new power management options to its Synapse control panel. Stay tuned for the full review to see how the Blade survives our battery test.

Outlook

The 14-inch Razer Blade had a great run. When it debuted back in 2013, it totally changed what we thought a gaming laptop should be. A company that was known for making mice and keyboards was suddenly the trendsetters when it came to gaming laptops that were impossibly slim and powerful. But all good things come to an end and now it's time for Razer to explore a bigger challenge. And from what I've seen so far, the 15-inch Blade is a great new start and a welcome addition to the Blade family.

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5 comments
  • Christian Silva Says:

    atleast they dint make the mistakes they made when making the razer blade pro . that laptop was a nightmare. now its better pft

  • Joseph Says:

    I hope Luis Tech Tips gives a dedicated video to this, specs look good and I really wanna see his review before I buy

  • Alexandria Says:

    Do not buy the Razer Blade Pro, it has a terrible keyboard that mistypes. See Linus' Tech Tips review if you don't believe me or try a demo one for yourself, the regular blades have great keyboards on par with or better than the original MacBook Pro full-height keys. I used a Blade 14 for 2 weeks and it was fantastic and convinced me to wait out the Aero 15X and other earlier 6 core gaming laptops to get Razer's offering and this Blade 15 beats the Blade Pro in every way.

  • Nikki Says:

    I love the editor in the video, succinct showing of the slimness and design choices.

  • Robert Says:

    I rather spend more money to buy Razer Blade Pro... ugly keyboard design and low harddrive storage...

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