Razer: 2019 Brand Report Card
Razer's on the way up. The brand jumped two spots, from eighth place to a tie for sixth. But Razer's rise isn't the result of one mitigating factor; it's the sum of a concerted effort to improve for its customers. First, we saw the brand improve markedly during our Tech Support Showdown, placing second — with only three measly points separating it from Apple. Next, the company has started playing with color, introducing head-turning hues into its typical black-and-green chassis.
And finally, the company is launching laptops at more affordable prices in an effort to reach budget-conscious shoppers. The company's not quite there yet, but if it keeps up this momentum, don't be surprised to find Razer climb the ranks again next year.
Razer's Key Strengths
- Redesigned, colorful systems: Not only did Razer redesign its entire lineup, after years of plain old black aluminum, it has also introduced eye-catching colors to its catalog, like Mercury White and Quartz Pink.
- More laptops at lower price points: The company has yet to release a sub-$1,000 gaming laptop, but by introducing base and advanced model systems, it's getting there.
- Speedy, accurate tech support: Razer gets the most improved award here, delivering polite — and most importantly, correct — tech support, which catapulted it into second place in Tech Support Showdown.
Razer's Key Weaknesses
- No sub-$1,000 option: As much as we love its slim, tricked-out gaming laptops, we also want Razer to find a way to make a notebook for gamers on a budget.
Top-Rated Razer Laptops
Razer has come into its own in the past few years. The latest batch of laptops to carry that unmistakable triple-headed snake is the best yet, averaging a review rating of 3.8. With gorgeous, durable designs, vivid displays and good performance across the board, Razer laptops are a top choice for gamers. However, you'll need some deep pockets to afford one of these rigs.
Staying true to its roots, Razer outfitted the new Blade Stealth with a discrete GPU, making it the company's first ultrabook capable of playing modern games. Despite the bump in graphics, the Blade Stealth has a sleek, portable chassis and gets nearly a day of battery life. If you need more oomph, the Editor's Choice-winning Blade (15-inch) has the longest battery life of any laptop we've tested with a beastly GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. We only wish Razer didn't use such dim displays, and that it could cut the price on some of its models.
New look? Who dis? Razer totally ditched the rounded curves and delicate lid divots of old, choosing to go with a boxy shape that we've described as retro chic. But Razer's biggest improvement is its color option. The Razer Blade 15 is now available in a stunning Mercury White frame, while the Blade Stealth turns heads in a gorgeous Quartz Pink.
However, as Razer has started to evolve its design, it's finding itself in a constant battle to be the lightest, slimmest gaming laptop on the market. It's a battle that it has lost in several instances. But with the Blade 15 boasting a width of 9.3 inches, the laptop has established itself as one of the smallest gaming laptops currently available.
Support and Warranty (18/20)
Razer amped up the quality of its tech support this year to a phenomenal degree, to the point where they're nipping at Apple's heels. On the phone, over social media and via email, Razer's agents provided ample answers and knowledge. If only its phone support were 24 hours a day, and not noon to 9 p.m. EST.
Each Razer laptop includes a standard one-year warranty, Unlike other laptop makers, Razer doesn't void your warranty if you upgrade your laptop's storage or memory.
Continuing its reputation for the sleekest gaming laptops around, Razer introduced a trio of powerful systems. The Blade 15 is the world's smallest 15.6-inch gaming laptop, available with OLED and 240-Hz displays. Plus, a vapor-chamber cooling solution keeps the temperatures down when the system’s performing strenuous tasks.
The Blade Pro 17 is nearly 25% smaller than its predecessor while sporting a redesigned hinge to provide better airflow. Last but not least, the Blade 13 Stealth is one of the most powerful Ultrabooks of its size, complete with MX 150 graphics.
Value and Selection (8/15)
Razer is primarily known for making gaming laptops, but it also makes a sleek ultraportable in the Razer Blade Stealth, which starts at a lofty $1,399 and includes Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics, solid audio and long battery life.
MORE: Best Razer Laptops
We've reviewed three versions of the Razer Blade 15: one with a GTX 1070 (older); the current base model, with a GTX 1060; and the advanced model, with an RTX 2070. We praised each of them for their svelte designs, strong performance and long battery life. The current base model starts at $1,599, and the advanced one goes up to $3,299. There are no cheaper options for regular consumers or gamers, which puts Razer at a major disadvantage.