Razer: 2018 Brand Report Card
Appearing for a second year in our annual Best and Worst Brands report, Razer holds steady at eighth place. The company continues to impress us with its sleek, powerful gaming laptops and lightweight Ultrabooks.
Razer showed that it's willing to change things up with the 13-inch Stealth, decking it out in a stunning gunmetal-gray aluminum and toning down all the gamer-focused design notes. However, the company took a hit on tech support due to long hold times on the phone.
Razer's Key Strengths
- Lovely design: Razer has firmly established itself as a company offering one of the slimmest, sleekest gaming-laptop lines on the market. The company is also starting to play with color, as evidenced by the Stealth.
- Portable powerhouses: Razer continues to deliver a host of powerful components, including an 8th Gen Intel processor in the Stealth and an Nvidia GTX 1080 in the Blade Pro, despite those machines' barely there dimensions.
Razer's Main Weaknesses
- Nonresponsive tech support: We couldn't connect with Razer's call centers over the course of three days when we tested tech support.
- Expensive: Although Razer has rolled out a more affordable version of the Blade Pro, the company still doesn't offer a gaming laptop for under $1,500 or any laptop for under $1,000.
Top-Rated Razer Laptops
Razer sells only four laptops, but these premium systems offer standout designs, gorgeous screens and great performance. No wonder that the average Razer product earned 3.9 stars out of 5 in our evaluations.
One of our favorite high-end laptops, the Blade Pro blew us away with its optional 4K, G-Sync display, customizable keyboard and attractive chassis. The Razer Blade Stealth, which is a nongaming laptop that can connect to an eGPU as needed, offered great looks and portability, but weak battery life and a high price.
Razer continues to crank out some of the most alluring laptops on the market. Clad in ink-black aluminum chassis, Razer laptops such as the Blade, Blade Stealth and Pro have always been instant crowd pleasers. But as downright pretty as Razer's laptops are (especially with that bright-green tri-headed snake emblem), after a while, it's not enough to be the little black dress of the gaming laptop market.
However, Razer shook things up this year with the Blade Stealth, adding a new color to the company's one-note catalog. Focusing on business, the Stealth ditched the ethereal emerald on the logo for a more toned-down black sigil and a stunning gunmetal-gray finish. The company even swapped out those jewel-like Chroma keys for a more office-friendly white backlight. The result is something you'd never expect from Razer, which is exactly the point.
Support and Warranty (14/20)
In our undercover testing, Razer's phone-based support proved informative and expedient, except when we ran into a two-day glitch or asked about Cortana. For better assistance, check out Razer's new live-chat feature and FAQ pages.
The company's warranty policies are tip-top. Not only can you upgrade memory and storage without voiding your policy, but the company also covers shipping to and from its service centers, including two-day expedited shipping labels to get thing going quickly.
Perhaps Razer's biggest innovation this year was cutting prices. This is a premium brand, no doubt, but by adding a base model for the Razer Blade Pro that comes with a GTX 1060, Razer produced a machine that started at $2,300. This is a new low for the brand, and it could welcome new gamers.
Additionally, Razer gave us a new, more professional color for the Razer Blade Stealth. At the CES trade show in Las Vegas, Razer debuted Project Linda, a dock that turns the Razer Phone into a laptop; there's no word on when we'll see that.
Value and Selection (6/15)
Razer positions itself as a premium gaming brand, and it also prices itself that way. It has 14- and 17-inch gaming notebooks on offer in the Blade and Blade Pro, both of which are very expensive. As mentioned above, the company released the "cheaper" Blade Pro with a GTX 1060 this year that starts at $2,300.
But the company does offer an ultraportable in the Blade Stealth, a 13.3-inch model that comes in both black and gunmetal gray. That model starts at $1,249, so there's no sub-$1,000 machine in Razer's lineup.