Razer doesn't need a second chance. It proved as much when it released the daring Razer Blade and now once again with the Raptor 27, its first-ever gaming monitor. For a first attempt, the Raptor 27 feels impeccably refined and even has useful features we've never seen on competing monitors.
But the star of the show is the Raptor's 27-inch WQHD (2560 x 1400-pixel) panel, which offers gorgeous picture quality along with a fast refresh rate and HDR400 support. It even supports both AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync to reduce screen tearing when you're playing a fast-paced FPS.
Beyond that captivating panel, the Raptor 27 sports a sleek, minimalist design with just the right amount of RGB lighting and some innovative features that solve cable-management and port-accessibility problems.
The Raptor 27 is the perfect visual companion to Razer's sleek aluminum gaming laptops. Modern, sleek and glowing with some subtle RGB flair, this is easily one of the best-looking monitors I've reviewed.
In fact, the Raptor 27 is a refreshing change of pace from the gaming monitors that flaunt gaudy lighting, aggressive angles or obscure branding.
The Raptor 27's sleek, L-shaped base looks beautiful and doesn't take up desk space because you can place your trinkets and gadgets on its low-profile rectangular platform. On the back is a luxurious black fabric that reminds me of speaker grille cloth. On top is a subdued black-and-chrome Razer logo that trades flash for class.
Soft RGB lights glow underneath the base, outlining the monitor like a player indicator icon in a video game. The colorful hue is the only design element that suggests the Raptor 27 is designed for gaming.
The modern design elements continue on the display, where razor-thin bezels flank the 27-inch panel. These slim frames drew my eyes into the screen and also gives the Raptor a modern aesthetic. The Raptor 27's panel measures 24.2 x 15.4-19 inches, and the entire unit weighs in at 21 pounds.
The Raptor 27 has a fairly generous height adjustment, with the lowest point down being flush with the base; the maximum height is 5 inches tall. The screen also tilts up 90 degrees so that it is facing the ceiling. You probably won't ever need this orientation, but it makes it much easier to access the ports.
Unfortunately, the Raptor 27 doesn't swivel or rotate, and there is no VESA mount.
Installation and setup
The Raptor 27 takes next to no time or effort to set up. The Raptor ships fully assembled, with all the cables you'll need, including an HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-A and USB Type-C. The small power brick is no bigger than the ones that charge laptops. The only trick to setting up the Raptor 27 is finding enough desk space for its wide base.
Ports, cabling and interface
This is the wackiest port setup I've encountered on a monitor. Five deep grooves in the back of the base lead to a generous selection of inputs, which includes an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort 1.4, a USB Type-C input and two USB 3.2 Type-A pass-through ports.
The bright green flat cables Razer packages with the Raptor stand out against the restrained black monitor. Some will hate the bold contrast, but I suspect most people (including myself) will love the look. The cables' unique shape allows them to thread snugly in the channels in the stand and hide almost completely out of sight. I had trouble getting the cord into the grooves, but a bit of elbow grease did the trick.
Ports positioned on the back panel of a monitor are usually difficult to access, but that isn't the case with the Raptor 27. Razer cleverly engineered the monitor so that the display tilts 90 degrees upward until the screen faces the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor. This motion shifts the downward-facing ports so that they face outward, toward you. In this position, the cables are much easier to reach and plug in.
The main interface is controlled by a directional knob on the bottom-right side of the monitor. Pushing it in or moving it in any direction brings up a circular menu icon with quick access to brightness/contrast and input source. You can turn off the monitor by moving the joystick down. Moving the knob to the right brings up the main menu, where you can fine-tune the monitor to your preferences.
Dedicated gaming settings include six different modes: FPS Game, Racing Game, MMO Game, streaming and default. You can also toggle Adaptive-Sync, Overdrive strength, Motion Blue Reduction, HDR and Refresh Rate Counter. The only notable omission is an sRGB mode; all content is viewed in the DCI-P3 color space.
Along with brightness and contrast, the colors setting gives you the ability to choose a color profile. We found the Normal (6,500K) setting provided the best white balance, but you can go warmer or cooler if you want.
The Raptor also supports picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes if you want to put multiple windows on the large, 27-inch screen.
The Raptor 27 boasts a 27-inch, 2560 x 1400-resolution display with a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a 1-millisecond response time. The IPS panel supports HDR400, which means it has a wide color gamut and a high maximum brightness.
I really enjoyed playing Middle-Earth: Shadow of War on the Raptor 27. Colors were vibrant, from the Orcs' ugly moss-green Orc skin to their red war paint, which was the same vivid red as the blood that poured out of them when I stuck my glowing blue Mithril blade into their hearts.
The quick refresh rate came in handy as I frantically slashed my blade around while desperately evading a hoard of the ugly beasts. And while I failed to stay alive, my character moved smoothly across the large display at around 65 frames per second, without any hints of ghosting or motion blur. Better yet, Nvidia G-Sync did its job in preventing screen tearing; the monitor also supports FreeSync if you have an AMD GPU.
While the Raptor 27 is meant for gaming, I thoroughly enjoyed using it at work. The large panel meant I could split the screen in half and work on multiple windows simultaneously, while the high pixel count ensured text and photos looked crisp.
Watching the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gave me a sneak peek at what it'll be like to watch the last chapter of this epic sci-fi saga in theaters. Kylo Ren's T-shaped lightsaber beamed a sumptuous red, and the panel was so detailed that I could see the blue reflection of Rey's lightsaber reflecting against her hazel eyes.
The Raptor 27 did an excellent job in our benchmark tests, although it didn't get as bright as advertised. Our Klein-K10 colorimeter clocked an average of 295 nits, which is well below the rated 400 nits. By upping the contrast and switching to HDR, we were able to get that figure up to 326 nits, but at the expense of image quality. That's a solid result, but again, below what we were expecting.
Discrepancies between what manufacturers post and what our measuring tools read aren't uncommon. Even though it didn't hit the advertised rating, the Raptor 27 gets plenty bright, and even outshone the Asus ROG Swift PG27A (234 nits) and the MSI Optix MPG27CQ (288.6 nits).
The Raptor 27 did even better on our color range test, covering an excellent 162.1% of the sRGB color gamut. That makes the Raptor 27 more vivid than the impressive ROG Swift PG27A (130%) and the Optix MPG27CQ (140%).
When we tested the DCI-P3 color space, the standard for movies and TV shows, the Raptor excelled with a rating of 114.8%. We haven't conducted this test on comparable monitors, but the Raptor has an even wider range of colors than Alienware's OLED AW5520QF (100.5%).
Color accuracy is also excellent; The Raptor 27 has a Delta-E rating of 0.3 (lower is better), which is much better than the Optix MPG27CQ (1.02) and the ROG Swift PG27A (1.96).
Razer puts on one hell of an opening act. The Raptor 27 is as much a success as the daring Razor Blade that jumped onto the laptop scene six years ago.
At $699, the Razer Raptor 27 is at the top of the price range for a 27-inch monitor, but you'll be happy you saved up for it. Between its sleek profile, subtle RGB lighting, easy installation and gorgeous display quality with tons of features for gamers, the Raptor 27 is among the best gaming monitors on the market. Yes, there are cheaper alternatives that give you a similar picture quality, but none of those gives you as complete a package as the Raptor 27.
With the Raptor 27, Razer has proven that it still has tricks up its sleeve. In the same way that its Blade laptops disrupted the gaming laptop industry, the Raptor 27 feels like the next big thing in monitors, and we can't wait to see what Razer comes up with next.