Razer gaming laptop systems are among the latest in a long line of thinner high-performance gaming laptops on the market, but should you buy one? Over the years, gaming has become more mobile. And while console games have taken a bite out of the PC desktop gaming market, we have yet to see a gaming laptop system that could measure up to the graphics and performance of a powerful gaming desktop.
In the old days, you had to settle for less when buying a gaming laptop: less memory, less processing power, and an inferior graphics card. However, today's gaming laptops have managed to close that gap in a big way using newer high-performance technology.
And with virtual reality taking over the gaming industry, mobile gamers now realize new dimensions of gameplay undreamed of just 10 years ago.
Introducing the Razer Gaming Laptop
Razer is one of the world's leading brands in PC and console gaming. The company was founded in San Francisco, California, and Singapore in 2005, and has since become one of the most widely recognized brands in the gaming industry. Their products have won best in CES (Consumer Electronics Show) seven years in a row. Some of their awards include People's Choice Award, Best Concept, and Best Gaming Device. Razer makes mice, keyboards, audio, gaming laptops, gaming desktops, mobile phones, console controllers, gear, and apparel.
The current Razer gaming laptop systems offer 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch displays. Let's take a closer look.
Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop features
The 15.6-inch Razer gaming laptop model has two tiers. The base model offers an Ethernet port and dual storage capability, while the advanced model has a faster refresh rate, options for a more powerful graphics card, and a thinner, lighter chassis. You can also purchase a "Mercury White" edition exclusively from the Razer website.
The 15.6-inch advanced model features a 4.9mm thin bezel, and the unit measures 0.66-inches thick. You also get sRGB or Adobe RGB support. And you can choose between the high definition model with a 144hz refresh rate and 1920 x 1080 display or the 4K model which offers a 3840 x 2160 touch display. This model provides an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 core processor and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card with Max-Q design. The advanced model also comes with 16GB of DDR4 Dual-Channel - 2667MHz RAM upgradable up to 32GB.
You can choose between a 256GB or 512GB SSD (solid state hard drive) that includes an additional 2TB HDD storage drive. The advanced model features the Vapor Chamber Cooling System which uses cutting-edge thermal materials that quietly and efficiently dissipate heat.
The Razer gaming laptop can also be used as a desktop, with the option of hooking up to three monitors, a keyboard, and mouse for some deadly serious gaming. The advanced model's single-zone backlit keyboard has customizable per key RGB Lighting powered by Razer Chroma, which offers gamers 16.8 million colors to fully illuminate every individual key.
The touchpad is a precise glass touchpad with Microsoft Precision Touchpad support that offers gamers precision control. There's also the Razer Synapse 3 advanced control system software that allows players to customize lighting, manage profiles, adjust fan speeds, and even juice up graphics performance in game mode.
Customer reviews and pricing
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A lifelong XBOX gamer praised this Razer gaming laptop for how well it ran his most graphics-intensive games with no issues like lag or screen tearing. He also said that he used his system to run resource-intensive applications like AutoCAD, AutoCAD Inventor, and various Photoshop applications. Others appreciated it's durable, lightweight frame.
However, some complained that the laptop ran hot, had loud fans, and the battery life is short compared to other laptops. Razer offers a one-year limited warranty on its systems.
Razer Blade Pro 17 Gaming Laptop features
The Razer Blade Pro 17 4K model is the most massive Razer gaming laptop in the series. The 4k Touch model offers a 17.3 4K UHD G-SYNC touchscreen display that provides 100 percent RGB color space coverage of 8.3 million pixels. The 4K Pro is also VR ready with its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. It has USB, display port, PCI express, and thunderbolt device connections. Its top model comes with a Quad-core 7th generation Intel Core i7-7820HK processor which overclocks up to 4.3GHz. The 4K Pro also comes equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB video card. It also has NVIDIA G-SYNC technology which synchronizes the display refresh rates to the graphics processor, giving gamers much smoother visuals and performance.
As for storage, you have two SSDs configured in a RAID 0 for up to 2TB of storage. It's pre-loaded with 32GB of DDR4 Daul-Channel 2667MHz RAM. It also boasts the world's first ultra-low profile mechanical keyboard which promises the feel of a high-performance desktop keyboard. The keyboard also has optimized reset points, an actuation force of 65g, and anti-ghosting capabilities. And like the 15.6-inch model, you can turn your Razer gaming laptop into a desktop gaming computer that connects up to three monitors, a keyboard, mouse, and any other gaming device you can think of.
The 4K Pro also has the same cutting-edge thermal design as the high-end 15.6-inch model using Vaper Chamber technology. So, in theory, you shouldn't have to worry about ironing your pants while marathoning Call Of Duty Black OPs 4. And like the 15.6-inch model, the battery also gives 6 hours of power per charge.
Customer reviews and pricing
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Many reviewers were impressed by this Razer gaming laptop system's light design, graphics processing power, and speed. They raved that their games looked great on this system. However, for the 4K model, there were a few detractors who claimed that the laptop overheated frequently and would shut down unexpectedly. They also complained about a possible battery defect. And some didn't like the feel of the keyboard
It seemed as though the HD model received a lot more positive feedback than the more expensive 4K model. It includes Razer's one-year limited warranty.
Our Research Process
In researching our two Razer gaming laptop systems, we studied all the information on the Razer website and compared their promises to reviews from Amazon customers. Past customers give potential buyers the best insight into a product. And while some may complain about occasional problems such as defective products or customer service horror stories, others give surprisingly useful tips. It's all about separating unlucky isolated experiences from the systemic issues that potential buyers need to know about before parting with their money.
Other Gaming Laptops to Consider
While a Razer gaming laptop may look impressive on paper, it's important to measure it against other gaming laptops on the market. So we've found three other premium gaming laptops, listed their features, customer reviews, pricing, and warranties to help us decide which system is most worthy of your hard-earned dollars.
These three systems are the OMEN X by HP 17-inch Gaming Laptop, the GIGABYTE Aero 15X v8-BK4 15" Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, and the MSI GS65 Stealth15.6" 144Hz 7ms Ultra Thin 4.9mm Bezel Gaming Laptop.
Let's take a closer look at what these systems have to offer.
GIGABYTE Aero 15X v8-BK4 15" Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop
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The GIGABYTE Aero 15X v8-BK4 15" Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop features a full-HD Pantone X-rite 1920x1080IPS anti-glare LCD within a 5-millimeter thin bezel frame. The Aero sports an Intel Core i7-8750H (2.2GHz-4.1GHz) processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GDDR5 8GB Max Q graphic card. It also supports NVIDIA's Optimus technology. And it comes with 16GB of DDR4 2666MHz Ram upgradable up to 32GB. The Aero also has a 512GB M.2 NVME PCIe Gen3x4 SSD. And it has an impressive 10-hour battery as well.
Reviewers raved about the Aero's fantastic display, superior temperature control, quiet fan, blazing fast Wi-Fi connection, and long-lasting battery. Some common complaints involved a minor screen bleed issue, there's a slight amount of screen bounce, and the system comes with a lot of performance inhibiting bloatware. The bloatware, as well as a few other minor software issues, can be easily solved by performing a clean install of Windows. And it's also important to make sure all the drivers are up-to-date, as with any system.
MSI GS65 Stealth15.6" Gaming Laptop
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The MSI GS65 Stealth15.6" Gaming Laptop features an anti-glare wide view angle 15.6-inch display. It comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core (3.9-4.1GHz) processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8G GDDR5 graphics card. The Stealth has 32GB of DDR4 2400MHz RAM upgradable to 32GB. Its storage is comprised of a Super RAID 4 configuration of two 512GB SSD (NVMe) for a total of 1TB. This laptop is VR ready and features Steel Series per-key RGB customizable lighting with anti-ghost key (84 key).
Customers gave the laptop's processing power and speed high marks, noting that it had no problems handling the most graphically demanding titles. They also enjoyed its long battery life. The most common knocks against the system were that its fan can get very loud when using its gaming cool boost feature. And a customer wasn't happy about having to pay for shipping to return a defective unit.
OMEN X by HP 17-inch Gaming Laptop
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The premium edition of the OMEN X by HP 17-inch Gaming Laptop features a 17.3-inch IPS anti-glare WLED-backlit diagonal FHD 120HZ display (1920x1080). It has an Intel Core i7-7820HK Quad Core (2.9-3.9GHz) processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5 graphics card. The OMEN X comes with 16GB of DDR4 SDRAM upgradable up to 32GB. It has a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and a 1TB HDD. Battery life lasts up to 5 hours and 30 minutes. The OMEN X also features NVIDIA G-SYNCH technology.
Customers celebrated the laptop's beautiful display, processing power, and speed. They also said that the system ran relatively cool compared to other laptops in its class. The main complaints concerned it's keyboard and speaker quality. Some also complained that it was cumbersome.
Razer Gaming Laptop: The Good and Bad
Both Razer gaming laptop systems had their fair share of upsides and downsides. When buying a gaming laptop, it's important to remember that while many laptops may promise advanced cooling capabilities, certain limitations will still apply. Laptops will run hot if you game for hours at the highest settings. The GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) will have to work harder, which means it will draw more power, which means it will produce more heat. There's no getting around that fact of life for mobile PC gamers.
Something else to keep in mind, not all problems that customers experience are universal to every unit. But they are worthy of note as a potential issue.
Razer Blade 15 pros
Razer Blade 15 cons
Razer Blade 17 pros
Razer Blade 17 cons
Which Gaming Laptop Do We Recommend?
So do we recommend purchasing a Razer Blade 15 or 17 gaming laptop? The short answer is no. Battery and power supply issues of both Razer blade models, as well as complaints about Razer's claims process, makes this a risky purchase. Plus their advertised "Vapor Cooling Technology" doesn't seem to live up to the hype. An alarming number of customers complained about overheating units.
However, we do highly recommend both the MSI GS65 Stealth 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop and the OMEN X by HP 17-inch Gaming Laptop. Both units are consistently rated very highly by Amazon customers and seem to have no significant issues, aside from a few reported defective units.
The only reason we chose the MSI GS65 Stealth over the GIGABYTE Aero 15X v8-BK4 15-inch Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop had to do with a reported minor "screen bounce" and "bloatware" issues with the Aero. However, the Aero by far had the best warranty of the bunch. And the Aero is also highly acclaimed for its performance, so it might be worth a look as well.
Razer generally makes great quality products, and while many customers were perfectly happy with their systems, we believe that Razer needs to correct a few issues before we can recommend their gaming laptops.