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Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition vs. MacBook Pro: Which laptop wins?

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Video editors, photo editors and content creators in general need strong performance and a reliable display to do their work properly. 

Consumers typically go with the Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) for its portable design, intense performance and sharp display. But can Razer's Blade 15 Studio Edition, a workstation version of the company's premium gaming laptop, dethrone the MacBook and offer a better Windows alternative to Apple's best laptop?

Here's how these two premium laptops stack up.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition vs. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch): Specs compared

Razer Blade 15 Studio EditionApple MacBook Pro (16-inch)
Price $3,999$3,899
Display15.6 inches, 4K OLED16 inches, 3072 x 1920
CPUCore i7-9750HCore i7-9750H
RAM32GB32GB
GraphicsNvidia Quadro RTX 5000AMD Radeon Pro 5500M
SSD1TB2TB
PortsThree USB 3.2, one Thunderbolt 3, headphone jack, security lock slot, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, SD card slotFour Thunderbolt 3, headphone jack
ColorsMercury WhiteSpace Gray
Size13.98 x 9.25 x 0.7 inches14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches
Weight4.8 pounds4.3 pounds

Design

Both the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition and the Apple MacBook Pro have elegant CNC aluminum chassis that scream "I'm more expensive than a used car." Each laptop's lid is simple, flaunting only the company logo in the center, while the rest is colored gray (MacBook) or silver-white (Blade 15). 

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Both laptops' interiors offer more of the same with their respective colors. But while the MacBook Pro boasts black keys against its gray deck, the Blade 15 sports milky-white keys that contrast very well with the mercury base. Both machines' sides and top bezels are thin, but the MacBook Pro's bottom bezel is half the size of the Blade 15's, providing a neater look.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

At 4.3 pounds and 14.1 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches, the MacBook Pro is lighter and thinner than the Blade 15, which is 4.8 pounds and 14 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches. Their aesthetics are equally premium, but the MacBook Pro takes the victory thanks to its impressively portable chassis.

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) 

Ports

The Apple MacBook Pro continues to skimp on ports, including only four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack. The Blade 15, by contrast, has three USB 3.2 ports, one Thunderbolt 3 port, a headphone jack, a security lock slot, a Mini DisplayPort, an HDMI port and an SD card slot, giving it the edge in this round.

Winner: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Display

The panels on the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition and the Apple MacBook Pro are radically different. The former uses a 15.6-inch, 3820 x 2160 OLED panel, which is sharper and presents deeper colors, while the latter has a 16-inch, 3072 x 1920 LED LCD screen, which offers more real estate.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

In the Black Widow trailer, Scarlett Johansson's skin looked more lively on the Blade 15's screen, as it highlighted the pigments of red and pink during her self-reflecting session. However, the MacBook Pro handled dark spots much better, since its panel has a stronger anti-reflective coating. The stitching in her suit was more pronounced on the Blade 15's display.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

According to our colorimeter, the Blade 15's display covered a whopping 216% of the sRGB color gamut, which is nearly double the percentage of the MacBook's panel (113.9%).

At 429 nits of brightness, the MacBook soared over the Blade 15's 336 nits, but that difference wasn't very noticeable.

Winner: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Keyboard and touchpad

Surprisingly, both laptops' keyboards are equally shallow and don't feel very comfortable to type on.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I hit 75 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test with the MacBook's keyboard, beating the 71 wpm I hit on the Blade 15's keyboard. The MacBook's keys offered a slightly tighter click, but the Blade 15's keys were bouncier and had a little more weight to them as I typed.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Whereas the MacBook offers one-zone white backlighting, the Blade 15 features per-key RGB lighting. You also get the Touch Bar on the MacBook, but it's really just a gimmick.

The MacBook's enormous 6.2 x 3.9-inch glass trackpad is one of the smoothest touchpads I've ever tested, but the Force Touch buttons are an absolute deal breaker for me. At a slightly smaller 5.1 x 3.1 inches, the Blade 15's touchpad offers solid clicks and is almost as soft as the MacBook's surface.

Winner: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Performance

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition packs an Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 32GB of RAM, while the Apple MacBook Pro is armed with a Core i9-9880H CPU and 32GB of RAM.

On the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance test, the MacBook nailed 31,178, clearing the Blade 15's score of 20,231. The MacBook transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in just 8 minutes flat, which once again flies past the Blade 15 (10:12).

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Apple's 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD hit a transfer rate of 2,116 megabytes per second on the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. The Razer's 1TB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in 5.52 seconds; that translates to 922 MBps, which is around half the speed.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Packed with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU, the Blade 15 nailed 54 frames per second on the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (Very High, 1080p), crushing the MacBook Pro's AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU, which hit 24 fps.

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)

Audio

This bout was easier than most, as the Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) offers some of the best laptop speakers around right now; the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition's speakers are incredibly bad by comparison.

I listened to Starsailor's "Way to Fall," and the opening guitar was bright and sharp on the Blade 15. The MacBook's speakers, by contrast, hypnotized me with their accurate highs and mids. The Blade 15 barely highlighted the drums, but they sounded bright and lively on the MacBook. While the vocals were crisp on the Blade 15, the MacBook offered the depth that brought the song to life. 

The cymbals that followed were harsh on the Blade 15, but they were appropriately bright on the MacBook. When the instruments joined together in the chorus, I could distinguish them on the MacBook, whereas they sounded like a muddy mess on the Blade 15. To top it off, the MacBook's speakers were twice as loud as the Blade 15's. It was like comparing a smartphone speaker to a soundbar.

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)

Battery Life

The Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) is the battery-life king. After it continuously surfed the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the MacBook's battery clocked in at 10 hours and 55 minutes. On the same test, the Blade 15 lasted 6 hours and 2 minutes. 

Winner: Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)

Value and configurations

If you're buying either of these products, you might as well just hand over your wallet.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) base model starts at $2,399 and is outfitted with a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an AMD Radeon 5300M GPU. Stepping up to the $2,799 model nets you a Core i9 CPU, a 1TB SSD and a Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card. We tested the $3,899 model, which steps up to 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD and a Radeon Pro 5500M graphics with 8GB of VRAM.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The base model of the Razer Blade 15 costs $1,599 and comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, a 128GB SSD, a 1TB HDD, a 1080p display and a black finish. The high-end version of that model costs $3,299 and is outfitted with an RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, a 512GB SSD and a 4K OLED display.

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition costs $3,999 and comes with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU with 16GB of VRAM, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 4K OLED display and a Mercury White finish.

Overall, the Blade 15 offers the lower starting price, so there's technically more value there, but it's still expensive for what you get.

Winner: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Overall winner: Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) 

The Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch) kept its seat on the throne, thanks to its intense performance, crazy-long battery life and badass pair of top-firing speakers that put those on the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition to shame.

Razer Blade 15 Studio EditionApple MacBook Pro (16-inch)
Design (10)89
Ports (5)42
Display (15)1412
Keyboard/touchpad (15)1211
Performance (20)1719
Audio (5)25
Battery life (20)1519
Value (10)65
Overall (100)7882

However, going with the Blade 15 will net you a better graphics card, a more colorful display and a wider array of ports. And if you need a Windows PC, the Blade 15 is one of the best workstations you can buy.

Overall, the MacBook is the better laptop, especially if you value battery life and audio over everything else.