The New Razer Blade is Razer's 14" high-end, portable, VR-ready, gaming laptop that became available for purchase in October of 2016. It's powered by Intel's 6th Generation Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core Processor (2.6GHz / 3.5GHz) with Hyper-Threading and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1060 GPU(6GB GDDR5 VRAM) based on the Pascal Architecture. The laptop contains 16GB of dual-channel system memory(2133 MHz) and a PCIe-based SSD with options of 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. It has a Unibody Aluminum Chassis that's 0.70" thick and weighs about 4.16lbs. It includes Killer Wireless 802.11ac communication and Bluetooth 4.1. It charges off of a 165W compact power adapter and comes with a one-year warranty.
~Design/Chassis: A lot of work went into the design of The New Razer Blade and its design will impress virtually anybody, this is one sleek looking laptop. The smooth CNC aircraft grade aluminum chassis is light and highly durable; it's denseness, matte black finish with rounded edges and signature glowing Razer symbol on the top give the laptop a high-end, expensive look. Even though It's marketed as a "gaming laptop", to those who just want a high-powered laptop to do some video, sound or photo editing, it could easily pass for an alternative to the MacBook Air. It sets the standard for how a modern, portable gaming laptop should look: attractive and sophisticated, without drawing too much attention to itself.
The hinge of the laptop feels strong and the lid rotates on the fulcrum smoothly without juddering or any abnormal noises. The lid snaps shut securely but since it sits flush with the bottom half of the chassis it's somewhat difficult to open the lid from the sides but there is an indentation on the front of the laptop to allow you to easily open the lid.
It's very light and comfortable to hold and carry around. It feels like an expensive machine just holding it but one thing you'll notice soon enough after picking it up are the fingerprints.. It's not uncommon to metal laptops but if you're like me and can't stand the site of them, you'll be cleaning the Razer Blade quite often. It also has two 11" long rubber seats that run along the bottom side of the laptop.
~Display: The 14" screen for the Full HD model of The New Razer Blade(which I'm reviewing here) is a 1920x1080 matte/non-glossy display and does not have touch screen capability. In comparison, the QHD+ version of the New Razer Blade sports a 3200x1800 glossy IGZO(Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) capacitive touch-screen display.
For this 14" screen, the 1080p resolution is more than sufficient, the screen looks gorgeous. Spending the extra amount for the same 14" but at a higher resolution isn't necessary. The non-reflective screen for this Full HD version makes it more suitable for use in both the sunlight outside and dark environments; I used this New Razer Blade outside in the sun a number of times and while not 100% perfectly readable, the glare on a matte screen is much less a problem compared to a glossy screen. Images appear very crisp and bright, the screen responds quickly, reading a large amount of text is comfortable on the eyes and the screen is easily viewable from either side angle—which is one of its best features and a great attribute if friends are gathered around watching you game or your playing a video. I streamed a handful of movies such as Casino Royal, Iron Man and Finding Dory and each one of them looked great. The blacks are deep and the colors are bright and vibrant without looking washed. It's a stunning IPS display.
~Audio/Sound: It's more than likely that you will be using your own set of external speakers or headphones on the laptop but the quality of the internal stereo speakers is only decent. While I haven't noticed any distortion from the speakers—even with the volume very loud—and higher pitched sound effects come through clearly, the lower end is certainly lacking.
~Keyboard & Touchpad: The keyboard is a solid design and one of the best I've ever used. The keys have short, punchy travel and bouncy return. The keys are slightly noisier than my Dell XPS laptop but quieter than an average desktop keyboard and there no flex or bend to the panel when typing, It's structurally sound.
They keys are powered by Razer Chroma, which is Razer's individual key backlighting software that's available on numerous Razer products such as Laptops, Razor Core, Mice and Desktop Keyboards. Each key is capable of reproducing 16.8 million colors. There is a fair amount of personal customization available; you can change the duration, brightness, which color you would like to use with the chosen effect or you could choose a select number of keys for individual backlighting(such as common keys W,A,S,D, used for gaming) and leave the remaining keys without a backlight effect.
One thing I wish that was backlit are the top symbol keys. If you're in the dark(unless you have the keys memorized) it's hard to see where the symbols are.
The Touchpad tracks your finger smoothly, it's sturdy and easy to use but I wish that the right and left select buttons below the touchpad were slightly larger. When I'm using the touchpad and I go to press down on the left button to select—without looking down at the touchpad—I have to search for the button with my finger because the thing's so darn small that most of the time you reach over it or not far enough.
~Ports: The New Razer Blade has 3 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI out, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack and a single Thunderbolt 3(USB-C) port. There are no ports on the rear or front of the laptop(keeping with the clean look), only the left and right sides. There is no SD card slot, which is a bit of a disappointment.
~Performance: And here's the main reason you would be purchasing The New Razer Blade and I'm happy to say that It performs just as a high-end gaming laptop should. I've played a variety of games from the more simple(Costume Quest, Castle of Illusion, ABZU) to more demanding(Metro: Last Light, DOOM, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided) and each one of them played well and kept a consistent frame-rate at 1920x1080 resolution with all of the bells and whistles turned on very high or ultra settings.
While playing DOOM(2016) with every advanced video option turned to Ultra settings at 1920x1080 the Blade is able to maintain a steady range of 50-55fps with a minimum of 39fps.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided with all settings on turned up to Very High/Ultra at 1920x1080 it was able to maintain an average of 52fps with a rare dip down to 36fps. Batman: Arkham Knight: The benchmark test and gameplay yielded the same results: 1920x1800, 50fps average and 33fps minimum.
Metro: The Last Light Redux turned out to be the most challenging game I tested for the New Razer Blade, with the video options on Very High the frames-per-second end up in the low 20s(I was getting from 20-24fps), so you'll have to drop Texture Filtering down to AF 4X and SSAA down to 2X in order to maintain a solid 50-60fps. I also ran the 3DMark Fire Strike test(scored a 9,038) and Time Spy test(scored a 3,100).
~Battery: The Battery life for this 70Wh battery is pretty decent. For low load tasks( Watching TV Shows/Movies, Browsing Sites,ect) it'll last just about 5 hours on a full charge. After I fully charged the battery, I played a few games on very high/ultra settings to see how long the battery could last.
I played DOOM and then Deus Ex:HR non-stop for about 2 hours and 15 minutes until the battery was fully depleted.
The Charger itself does get very warm, I clocked the temperature of the charger at 148F
~Heat/Temperature: This is probably the biggest complaint I have with The New Razer Blade, It does get hot and the fans do get quite loud at full speed—which is anytime you run a visually demanding game—but keep in mind, it is a very thin gaming laptop so it shouldn't exactly be surprising to anyone that these fans can get loud at times. You can still hear the sound from the stereo laptop speakers when the fans are whirring but most of the time you'll want to be using headphones or external speakers so you won't have a problem hearing the game you're playing or somebody overhearing the fans during a voice chat. Since it is a gaming laptop and it's being pushed to run high-end games, It's to be expected that it would throw some heat and the fans would be a little loud but on the positive side I've never had it get to the point though where a game crashed because the temperature was too high.
At idle or just performing low to mid-level load tasks such as browsing the web or streaming videos, the blade's fans are virtually silent.
Underneath the laptop can get quite warm under stressful applications. After running benchmark tests, I temp tested the underside of the body using an infrared thermometer and pegged temp at 113F, the keyboard at 109F, the touchpad at 87F and the screen at 90F. The keys closer to the touchpad are obviously cooler, while the keys closer to the screen are warmer. Since those rubber strips on the bottom don't lift the laptop much off of the surface, the Razer Blade needs to be placed on a hard flat surface in order to dissipate the heat properly.
~Price: The price is on the higher-end of the spectrum but is on par with the equivalent New Alienware 13 and GIGABYTE Aero laptops but is slightly more expensive than the Asus ROG Strix GL502
~Overall Thoughts: The New Razer Blade runs a little hot but It's also one of the fastest and most attractive game laptops out there. During the two months or so I've been using it, it's also proved durable and reliable - there's nothing worse than finally purchasing a big-ticket item only to have it riddled with issues that lead you to regret your purchase. To sum it all up; If you want a machine that can run any game out there, with decent battery life, has a bright and stunning display, and that stands-out, not just as a gaming laptop but as a sleek ultra-portable, then this is for you.