This year’s Best and Worst Brands report finds Razer once again in a tie for sixth place. But not for long. The company continues to create gorgeous laptops sporting plenty of power. Razer’s also started expanding its horizons by targeting creative professionals with workstations that are just as tantalizing as its gaming laptops. And the company did the unthinkable, unseating Apple and ascending to the top spot in our Tech Support Showdown. The company is on the brink of a breakthrough –– if they can only add a bit more variety to its design and pricing options.
Razer’s Key Strengths
- Sleek, premium design: Razer continues to make some of the prettiest gaming laptops on the market using premium CNC aluminum and beautiful RGB lighting.
- Accurate, agile tech support: It’s official, Razer currently offers the best tech support with a deep well of researchable resources online in addition to helpful tech support representatives on the phone, social media and live chat.
- Pursuing new categories: Razer continues to embrace those outside the gaming community. It began with Blade Stealth for mobile professionals and continues with the Studio Edition line for creative professionals.
Razer’s Main Weaknesses
- No sub-$1,000 option: Although Razer’s expanding its portfolio, the company has yet to create a laptop that falls under $1,000.
Top-Rated Razer Laptops
- Best overall laptop: Razer Blade 15 (Base Model)
- Best 17-inch laptop: Razer Blade 17 Pro (2020)
- Best laptop for creatives: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Razer is often referred to as the Apple of the gaming world, and for good reason. The company doesn't offer many laptops but those it does sell are consistently great. We’ve reviewed four Razer laptops this past year and they each received a recommended 4-star rating.
It’s clear that the company has high standards. Every Razer laptop we reviewed has a sturdy unibody-aluminum chassis, a gorgeous display and top performance in their respective categories. They’re also very expensive, so committing to Razer is an investment. But if you look at our reviews of the latest Blade models, it’s an investment worth taking.
Razer offers something for every gamer who is not on a budget. There is the portable Blade Stealth, the more affordable base Blade 15, the stunning Blade 15 OLED and the beastly Blade 17. Each has their own advantages although there are a few shortcomings. For example, one complaint seen across Razer’s laptops is that they run hot. If Razer can improve in this area, then we could see some 4.5-star and even 5-star products next year.
Slim, premium chassis made entirely of metal? Check. Keyboards with vivid, captivating RGB backlighting? Check. Yep, it’s gotta be a Razer. Aside from small variations in weight and thickness, the Blade 15s we reviewed this year look the same –– almost. Right of the bat, there’s the Studio Edition which is made of a show-stopping Mercury White finish. It’s not the Quartz Pink from last year, but it shows that Razer is still willing to shake up the formula.
The Base Model and OLED versions of the Blade 15 are for all intents and purposes the same as the last year’s models. Which is fine, since Razer laptops are simply lovely in their inky blackness and glowing green snake emblems. Still, even the most stylish design can become stale after a while. Here’s hoping that Razer will shake things up next year.
Support and Warranty (18/20)
Razer has outdone themselves in the speed at which they respond to web services and social support. The company boasts a swift web response on the /r/razer subreddit, Facebook and Twitter. It only took 5-7 minutes for a Razer representative to answer our pressing questions, and if web support isn’t your cup of tea, Razer’s phone support is equally as helpful. Each call took about 10 minutes on average, and in that time, each phone support operator provided the correct information in a swift and easy to understand manner.
As far as warranty goes, Razer’s laptops come with a one-year warranty which includes free shipping for service and repairs to the laptop. Razer also has the option of RazerCare Elite for $299, which will cover any accidental damage.
Razer makes beautiful gaming laptops with its infamous three-headed snake logo, but the laptop maker isn’t known for instituting jaw-dropping, revolutionary features on its gaming rigs.
However, this year, Razer stepped it up a notch when it comes to innovation. According to Razer, the Blade Advanced 15 is the world’s first gaming laptop with an optical keyboard, which was built to give gamers an unfair advantage as they outpace their rivals with the keyboard’s lightning-fast actuation force. The groundbreaking keyboard offers greater precision and speed compared to laptops with traditional, standard keyboards.
While an optical keyboard is nice, we’d love to see more forward-thinking innovations from Razer in the future.
Value and Selection (7/15)
While Razer prides itself on crafting great gaming laptops, it has recently dipped into the workstation market. Still, Razer’s selection is pretty slim as it is, with no room for budget gaming laptops.
If you’re looking for a mainstream gaming laptop, the base model Razer Blade 15 ($1,699) will suit you well. Meanwhile, the Razer Blade Pro 17 ($3,199) will power your games with an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU and a 1920 x 1080 display with a 300Hz refresh rate. And if you need a workstation to power… well, your work, then the Razer Blade Studio Edition ($3,999) will fill your needs.