The Pinnacle of Portable Gaming
The Razer Blade (starting and reviewed at $1,899) just got another power-up. The laptop has made the jump to Kaby Lake, Intel's 7th-generation line of processors, which promise better performance and power efficiency. Pair that with a VR-ready Nvidia Pascal GPU; lovely display; beautiful keyboard and sleek, lightweight chassis; and you've got one of the slimmest gaming powerhouses on the market. Whether it's being used for work or play, the Blade is ready and able to get the job done.
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The Blade is just as striking as the original, and at 4.16 pounds and 13.6 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches, it's just as svelte. The Blade makes the smaller Alienware 13 (5.4 pounds, 13 x 10.6 x 0.87 inches) seem rotund by comparison, but is on a par with the MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro (4.2 pounds, 14.9 x 9.8 x 0.69 inches). It makes the Acer Predator 15 (8.2 pounds, 15.4 x 11.8 x 1.5 inches) look like a behemoth.
I could say that after four years, I've gotten tired of the Blade's sleek, inky-black aluminum exterior, but I'd be lying. The ethereal green trisnake logo has lost none of its enticing glow, beckoning me to run my hands over the lid, which is cool to the touch. The laptop's interior is outfitted in more obsidian-colored metal, accented by the backlit Chroma keyboard, which makes the multicolored keys look like fireworks against a jet-black sky.
The Blade's slim chassis doesn't allow for a plethora of ports, but what's here can support a formidable gaming battlestation. Along the right of the notebook, you'll find a USB 3.0 port, a Kensington lock slot and a full-HDMI port. In anticipation of the company's new graphics amplifier -- the Razer Core -- the Blade houses a Thunderbolt 3 port. When you're not using the amp, you can use the port to hook up a 4K display. On the left, there are a pair of USB 3.0 ports and jacks for the headset and power cord.
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Matte doesn't mean lackluster -- the Blade's 1920 x 1080 display is undeniable proof. My eyes delighted in the aquamarine sea offset by the bone-white cliffs in the 1080p "Wonder Woman" trailer. Details were so clear that I could see the delicate seams of Diana's famous gauntlets and the thousands of yellow and white sparks created by a bullet bouncing off it.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was just as captivating, delivering a banquet of gold, rose pinks and tangerine with the rising sun. As he rode through a particularly dense forest, the resulting rays shone through, accenting the titular hero's chain mail and ashen-white locks.
The Blade's screen reproduced an excellent 115 percent on the sRGB color gamut on our tests. It easily surpassed the thin-and-light 90 percent average as well as the Predator 15 (110 percent) and MSI Stealth Pro (111 percent). However, the Alienware 13 and its amazing OLED panel was the clear winner at 210 percent.
When tested for color accuracy, the Blade's screen produced 1.5 on the Delta-E test (0 is ideal). That's much more accurate than the Alienware 13's 4.49, and it's only slightly better than the 2.1 category average and the Stealth Pro's 1.96. The Predator 15 turned out to have the most accurate display at 14.
Averaging 289 nits on our brightness test, the Blade outshone the 247-nit category average as well as the Alienware 13 (271 nits), Predator 15 (268 nits) and the Stealth Pro (242 nits). It was no match, however, for the P55W's score of 321 nits.
Despite the top-mounted speakers, the Blade's speakers aren't as loud as I would have hoped, as they barely filled a small office space. However, I was impressed at how warm the guitar sounded on Beyonce's "Daddy Issues" as well as the trumpet's clarity even at maximum volume. Using the preinstalled Dolby Digital Plus software, I got the best result from the Music preset.
However, when I switched over to Witcher 3, the Game preset offered a better soundscape, which allowed the viciously clanging of metal to coexist against frenzied violins and handclaps. It also made the dialogue sound more present.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Razer's Chroma island-style keyboard is just as gorgeous as ever. The multicolored flat keys are well-spaced and look like sparkling jewels. The backlighting is extremely bright, making very easy to type in darkened settings.
Each key on the island-style keyboard is capable of reproducing 16.8 million colors. Combine that with the six available lighting effects (Wave, Ripple, Breathing, Reactive, Spectrum Cycling and Static), and you can trick out the backlit keyboard into something truly awesome.
When we measured for key travel, the Blade registered only 1 millimeter (1.5-2 mm is optimal) with a rather weak 51 grams of actuation, or force needed to press the keys. However, the keys felt surprisingly bouncy, and . I easily hit my usual 60 word-per-minute average on the 10FastFingers typing test.
The 4.1 x 2.5-inch Synaptics touchpad offer smooth movement with accurate gestures, including two-finger scroll and three finger swipe. And while I appreciate Razer's commitment to discrete keys, I wish they were just a wee bit thicker. Otherwise, the pair of buttons delivered solidfeedback.
In addition to making your keyboard into a pulsating ooh and ahh machine, Razer's Synapse software offers a bevy of features designed to help you play your best game. You can program macros that can be assigned to any key on the keyboard, and adjust the trackpad or fan speed. The software also gives gamers the ability to track their keystrokes and see a visual representation via a heat map.
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Graphics, Gaming and VR
The Blade retains its GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, which means you've got a hell of a lot of gaming power in a waifish frame. Want to explore a virtual wonderland? Simply plug your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift into the appropriate ports.
The laptop scored a solid 6 on the SteamVR performance test, matching the Acer Predator 15 (GTX 1060), which places both in the ready quadrant. It's good, but not enough to top the 6.5 thin-and-light average. The Blade also fell short of the 6.9 and 7.4 put up by the Alienware 13 and MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro, respectively, which also have GTX 1060 GPUs.
I had a grand old time fighting water hags in Witcher 3. After landing some solid blows on the first abomination, it dissipated into a ball of white mist to escape my assault. When it reappeared, I set the blue-gray monster on fire, igniting the creature in 57 fps at 1080p on High. The frame rate rose to 62 fps on Medium, but I definitely lost a bit of detail, such as the individual hairs on Geralt's head gently floating in the wind.
When it came to our traditional gaming benchmarks, the Blade stood toe to toe with the competition. On the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark (1920 x 1080 on Very High), the Blade notched 43 fps, topping the 36-fps average. The Predator 15 and Stealth Pro both scored 34 fps, while the Alienware 13 trailed just behind at 32 fps.
The Blade scored 60 fps on the Hitman test, holding off the Stealth Pro and Predator 15, which delivered 58 and 57 fps, respectively. However, the Alienware 13 squeaked out the win with 63 fps.
Running the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, the Blade achieved 44 fps, missing the 51-fps average. The Alienware 13, Stealth Pro and Predator 15 did slightly better, with scores of 49, 48 and 47 fps each.
When you're not battling Wyverns and Cyclops, the Blade switches over to its Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU via Nvidia's Optimus technology.
Thanks to its new Kaby Lake processor, the Blade has gotten sharper on the performance front. The laptop's 7th-generation, 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU with 16GB of RAM allowed me to watch a Twitch stream while running a full system scan on Windows Defender with 20 open Google Chrome tabs, including TweetDeck. Despite all the background activity, I was able to play Spelunky in a separate web browser.
On Geekbench 3, our synthetic performance test, the Blade notched 14,783, blowing past the 8,311 thin-and-light average. The Alienware 13 (Intel Core i7-7700HQ) wasn't too far behind with 14,658, while the Stealth Pro and Predator 15 and their last-gen 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPUs obtained 13,454 and 13,216, respectively.
The Blade's 256GB PCIe SSD duplicated 4.97GB multimedia files in 25 seconds for a transfer rate of 203 megabytes per second. It's enough to overcome the 185.1-MBps average and the Predator 15's (256GB SSD) 145.4 MBps, but not the rates for the Alienware 13 (512GB SSD) or the Stealth Pro (256GB M.2 SSD), which hit 424.1 and 565.5 MBps, respectively
When we ran the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro test, the Blade paired 20,000 names and addresses in 3 minutes and 31 seconds, topping the 4:43 average as well as the scores of the Predator 15 (3:44) and Stealth Pro (3:38). The Alienware 13 was the ultimate winner, with a time of 3:19.
The Razer Blade has typically had a less-than-stellar performance on our battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi). Not this time. The laptop lasted 7 hours and 45 minutes, which is only 17 minutes short of the 8:02 thin-and-light average. That was enough to beat the Alienware 13's 7:12, the Predator 15's 4:00 and the Stealth Pro's 2:54.
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As pretty as the Blade's aluminum chassis is, it doesn't take much to turn from a cool customer into a hot potato. After 15 minutes of running around White Orchard in Witcher 3, the touchpad measured 106 degrees Fahrenheit, which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard was even hotter at 111 degrees while the undercarriage hit 119 degrees.
Once the system cooled down, we started streaming a full-screen HD YouTube video. Fifteen minutes later, the touchpad and middle of the keyboard hit 87 and 90 degrees while the bottom reached a comfortable 91 degrees.
The Blade's integrated 1080p webcam was detailed enough to show off the myriad of triangles in my sweater dress, but not enough to see the little ridges on each figure. My test images also had a bluish tint, which made the gold in my outfit take on a dusty mustard color. Still, this a good webcam for broadcasting your wicked gaming exploits.
Software and Warranty
Aside from the versatile Synapse software, the Blade comes with several gamer-centric programs. Gamers looking to chat with friends or bark orders during a match can use Razer Comms, the company's VoIP chat service.
Razer also bundles Nvidia's GeForce Experience, which includes additional player-friendly software, such as ShadowPlay recording software. Game Optimization automatically tweaks in-game settings to get the best performance and frame rates.
Unfortunately, even Razer isn't immune to third-party software, but you'll only see a few instances, such as Pandora, Netflix, Farmville 2: Country Escape, Twitter and Drawboard PDF.
The Razer Blade comes with a one-year limited warranty.
I reviewed the $1,899 entry-level model of the Razer Blade, which has a 2.8-GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of VRAM, Intel HD Graphics 630 GPU and a 1080p nontouch display. For another $200, you can double your storage to a 512GB PCIe SSD or pay $2,499 for a 1-TB PCIe SSD.
You can also get the Blade with a lovely 4K (3840 x 2160) touch panel starting at $2,399 with 256GB of storage. The 1-TB iteration of the laptop is priced at $2,799.
Razer continues to work its feng shui magic on the Blade. For $1,899, you get an undeniably good-looking laptop that's extremely slim, despite packing a 7th-gen processor and a VR-ready Nvidia GPU. In addition to delivering great gaming and overall performance, the Blade has nearly 8 hours of battery life -- a marked improvement over past iterations.
However, if you want all the colors of the rainbow and then some, you might want to consider the Alienware 13 and its incredible OLED display. Starting at $1,799, the Alienware 13 has similar specs and power, although it's somewhat heavier and has shorter battery life. But if you're looking for a VR-ready notebook that's powerful, portable and downright pretty, you can't go wrong with the Razer Blade.Sherri L. Smith, Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget. Sherri L. Smith, on
Razer Blade 2016 vs. Razer Blade 2017: New processor delivers real performance gains
Just how different is the new 2017 Razer Blade than the late-2016 version? The benchmarks in our follow-up review might surprise you.
Razer recently refreshed its Razer Blade 14-inch gaming laptop with an updated Intel processor. Voted by the staff here at Windows Central as one of the best gaming laptops (due to its size and build quality), the Blade has a special place in our hearts.
But how big of a deal is the new 2017 Razer Blade with a 7th-Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ ("Kaby Lake") versus the late-2016 version with a 6th-Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ ("Skylake")? And is there anything else that is new?
I've been testing and benchmarking both PCs during the last week, and the results are surprising.
Razer Blade 2017 specs
- 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) matte non-touch
- 14-inch IGZO 4K (3840 x 2160) glossy touch
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz (Turbo to 3.6GHz).
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB graphics
- Storage and Ports:
- Up to 1TB NVMe SSD
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- 3 x USB 3.0 port
- HDMI 2.0
- Headphone and microphone combo
Enhancements in the Razer Blade 2017
There are a few areas that are new in the 2017 Razer Blade. Here's a quick overview of what's different:
- Faster CPU.
- Slightly faster RAM.
- New 4K display option (coming soon).
- New options in Razer Synapse software.
- Quieter fans and no "coil whine."
The 2017 Razer Blade should be categorized as a refresh rather than an "all new" PC, because only some of the components have been updated. Nevertheless, the new processor matters.
Not much has changed regarding the late-2016 edition, so you can read our full and in-depth review of that device for the things I skip here, such as the display, keyboard and ports. I'm focusing here on what is new and different with the 2017 edition.
Newer, faster Intel processor
The new Razer Blade 14 for 2017 features a refreshed quad-core 7th-Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with a stock core clock at 2.8 GHz and a Turbo up to 3.6 GHz. That stands in comparison to the late-2016 Razer Blade 14 with a 6th-Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ with a core clock of 2.6 GHz and a turbo up to 3.2 GHz. Both chips use the 14-nm manufacturing process and have a 45W thermal design power (TDP).
|Razer Blade 2017||Intel Core i7-7700HQ||Seventh||Kaby Lake||2.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||4|
|Razer Blade late-2016||Intel Core i7-6700HQ||Sixth||Skylake||2.6 GHz||3.2 GHz||4|
Another significant difference with the newer Kaby Lake Intel chips is 4K media handling via a dedicated media engine (Gen9.5 Media Architecture) found in the Intel HD 630 graphics. This engine boosts performance and power-efficiency but only for content with HEVC 10-bit and VP9. That means for streaming 4K video on YouTube, users should see significantly better battery life with the new Kaby Lake processor compared to last year's Skylake. There is also improved "adaptive performance" for things such as Turbo Boost, to improve overall performance and responsiveness.
Of course, both gaming laptops have discrete GPUs with the NVIDIA GTX 1060 – which has not changed – so most of the GPU punch will remain the same between them.
Overall, Intel's 7th-Generation Kaby Lake is a modest improvement over last year's Skylake implementation. It's best to consider it an optimizing release rather than one for a big performance boost.
Improved battery life in some scenarios is expected, along with slightly better thermal regulation, and improved 4K handling of streaming content. The most visible impacts, however, are the jump in speed (2.6 GHz to 2.8GHz) and improved Turbo ceiling (3.2 GHz to 3.6 GHz).
While those speed increases are nice in synthetic benchmarks, they do not significantly impact results. A different story is told, however, in real-world gaming.
Quieter fans and improved cooling
One of the biggest complaints about the late-2016 Razer Blade is that the fans, even on idle or light processing (like web browsing), would always be buzzing. Being a gaming laptop squeezed into a thin, metal body with a NVIDIA GTX 1060, none of that surprised or bothered me, but it did for others. You don't have to look far in forums to see some user complaining about the fans always being on in the late-2016 Razer Blade.
The 2017 Razer Blade solves this problem. It appears that the cooling curve has been shifted with the fans turning on less frequently. When in idle or low CPU scenarios the fans completely turn off. It's dead quiet, and it's a welcome change.
Interestingly, the CPU temperatures are higher with the CPU idling, averaging about 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) on the Kaby Lake version versus the 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) Skylake. In other words, all that fan whirring keeps the late-2016's processor very cool. The question: Is that really necessary?
CPU temps late-2016 Blade (left) are significantly cooler than the 2017 Blade (right).
Razer is considering a "fix" for the late-2016 Razer Blade's loud fans, but it is not yet evident that it can change much if the issue is hardware related or restricted.
I am not saying that the new 2017 Razer Blade is hotter when it comes to the chassis, which feels the same when in use and is quite cool to the touch. Also, all bets are off when gaming, because both laptops sound like small hairdryers when that GTX 1060 kicks into full gear and you max out the CPU.
Finally, the new 2017 edition appears to have no coil-whine issues. I'm immune to those high frequencies, so I am not bothered by coil whine. I even have a difficult time identifying it. Nonetheless, a cursory search of Razer's forums, Reddit, and other places suggest people are quite happy with the lack of coil whine in this year's model. Razer recently released a new BIOS for the late-2016 edition that addresses coil whine, as well.
Razer Blade 2017 is cooler than you think
Despite the fans being off during low CPU usage on the new 2017 Razer Blade, it runs, overall, cooler than the late-2016 version when under significant CPU and GPU load.
At a distance, the white "hot spots" are very evident on the older Razer Blade (on the left).
Running a 3DMark "stress test" for twenty minutes revealed that, on average, the 2017 Razer Blade ran about 10 degrees cooler than the late-2016 version.
Looking at the thermal images, the visible hot-spots peaking in white are very evident in the laptop on the left, in both images, which is the late-2016 Razer Blade.
A close-up of the upper keyboard deck using an IR camera shows how the 2017 Razer Blade is significantly cooler (Click to enlarge).
The peak temperature of the chassis (upper keyboard deck) was observed after twenty minutes of testing:
Infared thermal testing - Seek Camera
|Razer Blade 2017||120°F (49°C)|
|Razer Blade 2016||131°F (55°C)|
A difference of ten degrees is very significant and can make the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable for gaming.
New Synapse features
Related to the improved cooling and lower fan usage the 2017 version, the Razer Blade has two new features in the Razer Synapse software. That software lets you control the Blade's Chroma lighting, power usage, and optionally sound (if installed). Here is what's new:
- Fan Speed: New options include "auto," "low" and "high," versus old options with just "quiet mode" and "cool mode." (The default is "auto.")
- Power Control: "Balanced" for both battery and charging, and "battery saver," which disables keyboard backlight and adjusts power settings to extend battery life. (An earlier version of the app said it disabled the GPU, too, but that text has been removed with a recent Synapse update.)
I asked Razer whether those features will be coming to other Razer laptops and the answer, for now, is "no official word on future models." The reason for the shift was "… we wanted to give more power options for users like Windows settings itself."
New options in Razer Synapse, but only for the new 2017 Razer Blade (Click to enlarge).
In my testing, I did not notice a massive difference with the "balanced" versus "battery saver," which seems to reflect the native Windows Power Profiles. In theory, however, when pushing the CPU and GPU under gaming in battery saver the system won't work as hard extending battery life. If you're just using the Razer Blade for light computing, battery saver will only extend things by a modest amount.
Razer bumped the 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which is still soldered on and cannot be replaced, from 2,133 MHz to faster 2,400 MHz components.
Late-2016 Blade's RAM (left) vs. 2017 Blade's faster RAM (right) (Click to enlarge).
While not a massive shift, that extra boost, when combined with the new processor, gives a little extra edge to the 2017 Razer Blade.
Everything else is the same
Nothing else has changed in the 2017 edition of the Razer Blade.
Razer did bump the display from a glossy IGZO QHD+ (3200 x 1800) to a new a 4K (3840 x 2160) version, but that model is not yet available. For my testing (and personal preference) I prefer the Full HD (1920 x 1080) matte Razer Blade, and that panel is not any different this year.
The new Razer Blade still features Killer Wireless AC-1535, the same size 70WHr battery, the same non-Precision touchpad, and the laptop is physically identical in every way. The NVIDIA GTX 1060 with 6GB of video RAM is also unchanged.
Storage options still vary depending on the size you order. Versions with 512GB and 1TB sometimes get the new Samsung PM961 PCIe SSD, while others get the PM951, often due to a general shortage of components in the industry right now. (HP and Dell do this, too.)
How to upgrade the Razer Blade with a Samsung 960 EVO SSD
Of course, you can easily replace the SSD at any time if you need a faster or larger drive.
New Intel sticker (top) is way lamer than the "special" Razer black Intel one (bottom). Boo!
Finally, I should mention that Razer now uses the standard Intel sticker on the keyboard deck. That differs from the traditionally uber-cool, all-black Intel decal that was used previously. And that's super lame.
Benchmarking "Kaby Lake"
The biggest shift with the 2017 Razer Blade is the Intel processor. While the 7th Generation iteration of the Core-i series is an "optimizing release" it matters, due to the higher clock rate.
Here are some synthetic benchmarks to quantify the differences between this year's quad-core processor and last year's "Skylake" version.
Geekbench 4.0 benchmarks (higher is better)
|Razer Blade 2017||4,277||13,597|
|Razer Blade 2016||3,774||12,638|
|XPS 15 (9560)||4,503||13,587|
|Razer Blade Pro||3,660||12,325|
|Spectre x360 15||4,098||8,022|
Geekbench is more CPU intensive than GPU, and the results reflect that.
PCMark - Home Conventional 3.0
|Razer Blade 2017||3,448||Better than 71 percent of all results|
|Razer Blade 2016||3,280||Better than 67 percent of all results|
|XPS 15 (9560)||3,534||Better than 71 percent of all results|
|Razer Blade Pro||3,223||Better than 63 percent of all results|
|Spectre x360 15||2,472||Better than 41 percent of all results|
Again, while not a huge shift PCMark's Home Conventional 3.0 test demonstrates a measurable difference in overall system performance.
Geekbench 4.0 CUDA (higher is better)
|Razer Blade 2017||GTX 1060||138,758|
|Razer Blade 2016||GTX 1060||139,603|
|XPS 15||GTX 1050||75,636|
|Spectre x360 15||GT 940m||28,868|
CUDA scores show no discernible difference, which is expected because the GTX 1060 is the same between the two models. Since CUDA is very GPU dependent that is not surprising.
3DMark - Time Spy (higher is better)
|Razer Blade 2017||GTX 1060||3,639|
|Razer Blade 2016||GTX 1060||3,458|
|Dell XPS 15 (9560)||GTX 1050||1,789|
|Surface Book||GTX 965M||1,531|
|Spectre x360||GT 940m||613|
Broken down, the Razer Blade 14 with Kaby Lake scored 5.2 percent higher on Time Spy than the Skylake version. Most of that fell on the CPU increase, which gave the Kaby Lake version a 12.7 percent boost over Skylake. Since these graphics tests also involve the CPU, that translates into around a 4 percent difference in frame rates, which is not much at all: 22.55 FPS versus 23.59 FPS, or about one extra frame per second (FPS). This improvement was not enough to shift the overall "better than" score for both laptops, as they both rank as "28 percent better than all results".
3DMark Time Spy DirectX 12 tests show how the new 2017 Razer Blade compares to the late-2016 edition (Click to enlarge).
Looking at the CPU-intensive 3DMark API Overhead Test, which tests DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 API calls to the CPU, the Kaby Lake version gets 7.6 percent and 10.4 percent better scores, respectively, compared to Skylake.
3DMark - Fire Strike (higher is better)
|Razer Blade 2017||GTX 1060||9,278|
|Razer Blade 2016||GTX 1060||8,665|
|Razer Blade Pro||GTX 1080||12,976|
Fire Strike, which is for intensive gaming PCs, shows the 2017 Razer Blade with a 15 percent higher score than last year's model. For the GPU, the new Blade 14 averaged 19.58 FPS versus the 17.04 FPS in the older Skylake model.
Overall, the synthetic benchmarks reveal a slight but measurable improvement with the 2017 Razer Blade over the model from late-2016. That advantage is attributable to the higher base and turbo clock rates in the 7th-Generation Intel processor. Still, let's see how those differences manifest themselves in real-world gaming tests.
Real world gaming is a different story
Looking at real-world gaming, we can see how Rise of the Tomb Raider and Gears of War 4 differ between the two laptops.
First up is Rise of the Tomb Raider, which can scale to very high resolutions and detail. Using the pre-set at very high for graphics and toggling vertical sync I get the following results:
Rise of the Tomb Raider UWP
|Razer Blade 2017||1920 x 1080||Very High||OFF||68 FPS|
|Razer Blade 2017||1920 x 1080||Very High||ON||58 FPS|
|Razer Blade 2016||1920 x 1080||Very High||OFF||57 FPS|
|Razer Blade 2016||1920 x 1080||Very High||ON||53 FPS|
That's a significant difference and not just two or three FPS. Instead, with the Kaby Lake version, you can run Rise of the Tomb Raider with graphics at very high with vertical sync on and still get nearly 60 FPS. The real difference comes down to disabling vertical sync, where there is a 10-FPS difference between the two PCs.
Still, you could argue that the differences keep the Skylake version well within range of Kaby Lake for Rise of the Tomb Raider. That all changes for Gears of War 4:
Gears of War 4 UWP
|Razer Blade 2017||1920 x 1080||Ultra||OFF||71 FPS|
|Razer Blade 2017||1920 x 1080||Ultra||ON||60 FPS|
|Razer Blade 2016||1920 x 1080||Ultra||OFF||51 FPS|
|Razer Blade 2016||1920 x 1080||Ultra||ON||47 FPS|
I re-ran these benchmarks three times during a few days and cannot believe the difference. With vertical sync off there is a 20-FPS difference on ultra-settings. With vertical sync the Razer Blade with Kaby Lake cruises at 60 FPS without problems, whereas the Skylake version peaks at 47 FPS.
Gears of War 4 "Ultra" on 2017 Razer Blade gain about 20 FPS over late-2016 edition (Click to enlarge).
Those results tell a very different story from raw benchmarks. Some games balance the "CPU versus GPU intensity" differently, with some games relying more on the processor than pure graphics processing. That's the case, evidently, with Gears of War 4 where that extra 400 MHz in CPU boost makes a massive difference.
Finally, we also benchmarked Civilization VI using the in-game tools, which include a graphics and AI turn-taking test. Settings were maxed (ultra/ultra) with vertical sync off, on what is a more CPU intensive task.
Sid Meier's Civilization VI
|Razer Blade 2017||Graphics||Ultra/Ultra||22.51ms|
|Razer Blade 2016||Graphics||Ultra/Ultra||38.45ms|
|Razer Blade 2017||AI Turn||Ultra/Ultra||24.28ms|
|Razer Blade 2016||AI Turn||Ultra/Ultra||35.37ms|
Something like DOOM (2016), which is more difficult to benchmark, can be played on ultra settings using OpenGL, and it still achieve an average of 90 FPS, with peaks at 110 measured using FRAPS. That's about an extra 10 to 15 FPS over the late-2016 Razer Blade.
It should be clear from the synthetic and in-game benchmarks that the processor (and RAM) boost push the 2017 Razer Blade even further than last year's model.
The one thing to keep in mind is that some games are more CPU intensive than others. That means your experience will vary depending on what you play. Newer games tend to rely on the GPU more, which is why it is hard to say across the board what the performance difference will be between the two laptops.
However, it is safe to say improved gaming performance will be noticeable and measurable in most modern games.
Razer Blade 2016 vs. Razer Blade 2017: A noteworthy upgrade
The 2017 Razer Blade is a notable upgrade over last year's late-2016 version, which is only a few months old. I was not expecting such an improvement in real-world gaming, and I'm pleasantly surprised.
Nonetheless, perspective is important. While playing Gears of War 4 on ultra settings (versus high) is impressive, keep in mind that you are likely playing on a 14-inch display. It's questionable whether you can notice the difference when playing a high-intensity game. (I really can't.)
That dynamic shifts if you opt to use an external display, of course, and there the extra boost in performance and visual acuity could matter.
Perhaps the bigger deal are the silent fans during regular, non-gaming usage. While the fans can still rev up when doing more intensive tasks, it is awesome to use the Razer Blade as a regular, quiet laptop. For students in class or those who bring their Blade to the office, this improvement is significant and highly welcomed.
Battery life is also slightly better. The Full HD version here pushes out an extra 30 to 45 minutes in usage. I think it's safe to say that seven hours of light computing (with the display at 20 to 30 percent brightness) is now possible.
Razer Blade (late 2016) second opinion: a full HD gaming powerhouse
So should YOU upgrade from the late-2016 Razer Blade?
I know that's the question some are asking, and it must be frustrating because the late-2016 laptop is only a few months old. In many ways, the new 2017 edition is significantly better. If you can sell off your "old" Blade and eat a few hundred dollars for the new one, I think it's worth it. The quieter fans and improved gaming are striking. Still, it's not a night versus day situation. Razer could also improve the fans in the late-2016 version through a firmware upgrade, knocking out one of the two reasons to get the refreshed model.
Bottom line: Whether you are buying your first Razer Blade, or can upgrade to the 2017 version, you won't be disappointed in the latest PC. While the changes are modest, they make a big difference in the end, and the new Blade is even better than the last one.
Now, if the company could only fix those goofy bezels ...
See at Razer
- Significantly improved gaming.
- Silent fans during idle yet runs cooler under load.
- No coil whine.
- Slightly faster RAM.
- New 4K display option. (We did not test this.)
- Massive bezels are still unappealing.
- Secondary functions do not light up on keyboard.
- No Precision touchpad.
Razer Blade 14” (2017) - Intel 7700HQ - GTX1060
To ensure Razer Blade customers do not encounter the above issues, we advise users not to install Comodo applications at this time. If you have installed the applications, please immediately remove the following applications through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel:• Comodo Internet Security• Comodo Firewall• GeekBuddy• PrivDog
1. Right click on your desktop and click "NVIDIA Control Panel."2. Under "Manage 3D settings", click on the "Program Settings" tab.3. Select or Add the program you wish to run and select the preferred graphics processor as the High performance NVIDIA processor.
White = Sleep mode Green = On Dim Red = Low Battery (10% left) Bright Red = Lower Battery (3% left)Note* The status indicator is not a HDD indicator.
Обзор ультрабука Razer Blade Stealth
По данным Ассоциации программного обеспечения для развлечений (ESA) средний возраст геймера в США за 2015 год составляет 35 лет. Что в очередной раз подтверждает тезис о том, что в игры играет не только молодое поколение, но и вполне взрослые люди. Это такие же заядлые игроки, но с утра они ездят на работу в офис и в течение дня решают разнообразные рабочие вопросы. Вполне можно допустить, что некоторые из них присматриваются к игровым ноутбукам, но не готовы каждый день носить с собой 2-4 кг, чтобы скоротать вечером время за любимой игрой. Возможно, именно поэтому новый ультрабук Razer Blade Stealth вызвал такой живой отклик у публики во время выставки CES 2016, где и был впервые представлен. Дело в том, что компания Razer использовала не новую, но очень интересную концепцию, при которой портативный ноутбук может подключаться к внешним видеокартам для увеличения производительности в играх. Проблема заключалась лишь в том, что раньше это не работало. В чём же отличие решения Razer? Оно заключается лишь в одном: в использовании порта USB Type-C, который совмещён с Thunderbolt 3. Это действительно то, что может перевернуть наше представление о подключаемых к ноутбукам док-станциях, а также их возможностях. Ведь Thunderbolt 3 поддерживает 4 линии PCI Express 3 и скорость передачи данных до 40 Гбит/с. К сожалению, к нам Razer Blade Stealth приехал без док-станции, поэтому пока мы рассмотрим лишь сам ноутбук, а его основные игровые возможности в следующем материале.
Razer Blade Stealth поставляет в небольшой транспортировочной коробке, внутри которой находятся ещё две: одна с ультрабуком, а вторая с компактным зарядным устройством.
Дизайн и материалы
Чтобы у вас никогда не возникли сомнения в том, что Blade Stealth – это ультрабук от Razer, компания выкрасила его корпус в чёрный цвет и разместила на крышке свой крупный логотип с зелёной подсветкой.
Но если даже этого окажется мало, то, открыв крышку, вас может ослепить клавиатура с разноцветной подсветкой.
Впрочем, абстрагируясь от особенностей Razer, а также игровой тематики, которой придерживается бренд, выглядит Blade Stealth стильно.
Ноутбук получил относительно компактный корпус шириной — 321 мм, глубиной — 206 мм и толщиной – 13,1 мм. При этом его вес достигает всего 1,25 кг.
Благодаря матовому покрытию и тонкому профилю, Razer Blade Stealth ассоциируется с каким-нибудь компактным авто после тюнинга. И если учитывать, что внутри этого «малыша» вполне производительная начинка, то, по сути, так оно и есть.
Материалы компания Razer подобрала соответствующие: корпус сделан из металла, дисплей прикрывает защитное стекло, и лишь клавиатура у Blade Stealth пластиковая.
В данной версии Razer Blade Stealth используется 12,5-дюймовый сенсорный IGZO дисплей c разрешением 2560х1440 точек и соотношением сторон 16:9. При этом производитель также предлагает версию с 4К-экраном, которая должна обеспечивать 100% охват цветового пространства Adobe RGB. Впрочем, дисплей у базовой версии Razer Blade Stealth и так отличный.
По нашим замерам, минимальная яркость экрана составляет 12 кд/м2 , максимальная — 362 кд/м2, а контрастность 1707:1. При этом дисплей обладает больше, чем 100% охватом цветового пространства sRGB с уклоном в зелёные тона, цветовой температурой на уровне 6500К, практически эталонно гаммой 2.2 с небольшим отклонением на светлых тонах и равномерной подсветкой.
В реальности экран Razer Blade Stealth демонстрирует насыщенную цветами картинку, оставляя впечатление как от Super AMOLED матрицы. Не всем могут понравиться такие яркие цвета, но к ним легко привыкнуть.
Платформа и производительность
Как уже было описано выше, основная идея Razer Blade Stealth заключается в том, чтобы сделать ультрабук, на котором в принципе можно было бы играть в игры. Для этого высокую производительность графики должна обеспечить внешняя видеокарта, которая вставляется в специальный док, подключаемый к ультрабуку через порт USB-C. В самом же Razer Blade Stealth используется 2-ядерный процессор Intel Core i7-6500U с частотой 2,5 ГГц (3,1 ГГц в режиме Turbo Boost), 8 ГБ оперативной памяти LPDDR3-1866 МГц и SSD (PCIe M.2) на 256 ГБ. Для прорисовки интерфейса и базовых задач есть встроенная графика Intel HD Graphics 520.
Производительность процессора Intel Core i7-6500U заметно ниже, чем у решений, которые обычно используются в игровых ноутбуках. В тесте PCMark 8 Home 3.0 ультрабук набирает 2593 балла.
Таким образом, использование топовой внешней видеокарты теряет смысл, и вероятней всего рассчитывать на возможность играть в последние игровые хиты на максимальных настройках графики не стоит. Ведь Razer Blade Stealth вряд ли это потянет, но мы проверим это уже с док-станцией. При этом важно отметить, что встроенное видео не рассчитано на запуск игр. Но, например, поиграть в Tropico 3 на средних настройках или Civilization V на минимальных можно, если это доставит игроку удовольствие.
Но если отбросить, что Razer Blade Stealth способен или не способен в плане игр, то перед нами всё равно оказывается очень производительный ультрабук, которого будет достаточно для решения практически любых задач.
Как и положено компактному ноутбуку, разъёмов у Razer Blade Stealth не очень много.На правой грани устройства находится порт USB 3.0 и HDMI 1.4b.
На левой: USB-C, который используется для зарядки, 3,5 мм разъём для наушников и ещё один USB 3.0.
К сожалению, в Razer Blade Stealth не нашлось место под слот для карт SD.
Клавиатура и тачпад
В Razer Blade Stealth используется клавиатура островного типа с технологией Chroma, которая предусматривает индивидуальную LED подсветку клавиш, каждая из которых может отображать всю цветовую модель RGB.
Это позволяет создавать массу вариантов подсветки, используя один цвет или их комбинацию, а также сопровождать её разнообразными эффектами, например плавным переливанием из одного цвета в другой.
Сложно представить, кому может понадобиться столько вариантов подсветки в клавиатуре ноутбука, но возможностей настройки под себя здесь масса. У клавиатуры целых 20 градаций яркости подсветки и на максимальном уровне она практически выжигает глаза. Настройка клавиш осуществляется через утилиту Razer Synapse, которая позволяет переназначать их, создавать макросы, и соответственно менять подсветку на свой вкус.
Работать с клавиатурой Razer Blade Stealth при этом очень приятно, клавиши нажимаются плавно с хорошо различимым ходом, и при этом находятся друг от друга на достаточном расстоянии.
Тачпад в Razer Blade Stealth производства Synaptics, выполнен в виде сенсорной панели, которая прогибается у нижнего края, имитируя нажатия клавиш мыши. Работает тачпад относительно точно, но для этого придётся провести некоторое время за его настройкой. Благо, настроек в тачпадах Synaptics всегда много.
Шум и нагрев
Для вентиляции корпуса в Razer Blade Stealth используется кулер, забор воздуха и выдув для которого находятся на нижней части корпуса.
Работает кулер практически всегда, но услышать его можно разве что в полной тишине, если, конечно, сильно не нагружать ультрабук. Впрочем, даже при высокой нагрузке шум кулера не очень громкий и не раздражает. Корпус при этом нагревается не сильно, и больше всего это ощущается в правой верхней части над клавиатурой, в то время как область под ладонями и клавишами остаётся еле тёплой.
По бокам от клавиатуры Razer Blade Stealth находятся мультимедийные динамики с хорошим запасом громкости.
При этом и в наушниках ультрабук звучит практически образцово. Даже на половине громкости звук кажется уже предельно громким. В устройстве есть поддержка кодеков Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition 7.1 .
В Razer Blade Stealth установлен несъёмный аккумулятор на 45 Вт*ч, которого при яркости 50% будет достаточно для почти 6 часов работы в режиме чтения.
В обычном режиме использования, который включает посещение сайтов, почту, мессенджеры, работу с документами и прослушивание музыки при той же яркости 50% можно рассчитывать на 4,5-5 часов работы. При относительно высокой нагрузке ультрабук выдерживает 3-3,5 часа. В итоге автономность Razer Blade Stealth нельзя назвать маленькой, но хотелось бы, чтобы она была на уровне 7-8 часов, которые сегодня являются «золотым стандартом» для ультрабуков.
Плюсы: размеры и вес, дизайн, дисплей, производительность (как для ультрабука), невысокий уровень шума, хорошие динамики
Минусы: нет слота для карт SD, автономность могла бы быть выше
Вывод: Razer Blade Stealth - это ультрабук в металлическом корпусе от известного производителя игровой периферии Razer. На фоне других 12,5-дюймовых ноутбуков, модель выделяется хорошей производительностью, сохранив при этом компактные размеры. Кроме этого, у неё отличный дисплей и удобная клавиатура с огромным количеством вариантов подсветки. А вот чего Razer Blade Stealth не хватает, так это слота для карт SD, а также более высокой автономности. Данный ультрабук может заинтересовать тех, кто ищет производительное компактное решение для работы, но также рассчитывает иногда играть в игры, пусть для этого и потребуется докупить док-станцию с видеокартой
|Операционная система||Windows 10 Home|
|Разрешение||2560 x 1440|
|Процессор||Intel Core i7-6500U|
|Количество ядер процессора||2|
|Оперативная память, ГБ||8|
|Максимальный объем оперативной памяти, ГБ||8|
|Жесткий диск, ГБ||-|
|Графический адаптер, объем памяти||Intel HD Graphics 520|
|Внешние порты||2x USB 3.0; 1x USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt; HDMI; Headphone output/Microphone input combo|
|Размер, мм||321 x 206 x 13.1|
|Емкость, мАч||нет данных|
|Количество ячеек||нет данных|
|Напряжение батареи, В||нет данных|
Редакция выражает благодарность интернет-магазину 3ona51.com за предоставление устройства на обзор
Razer Blade Pro 17” (2017)
My 2017 Razer Blade Pro is experiencing display instabilities when G-SYNC is enabled. The display will flicker at times.
This could be caused by a driver compatibility issues with your GPU driver. Please confirm you have the latest driver installed on your computer. (v382.33 or higher)
You can download v382.33 using this link. Should you have any difficulties using the current driver please contact the Razer Support Team.
If you do not have Razer Synapse installed, please download it here.
Settings / Display / Advanced Display Settings / Color Management / Advanced Tab / Device Profile / THX
White = Sleep mode Green = On Dim Red = Low Battery (10% left) Bright Red = Lower Battery (3% left)Note* The status indicator is not a HDD indicator.
Razer Blade 2017 Review - IGN
Share.Thin and powerful but a bit noisy. By Seth G. Macy
Editor's note: This review has been updated to include discussion of the Blade's fan control settings, as well as information about its battery life, based on software that became available after our review.
Razer has built a reputation for producing high-quality gaming accessories and PCs, and the Razer Blade (See it on Amazon) / (See it on Amazon UK) gaming laptop is no exception. Build-quality is top-notch, and its super thin profile, understated design and personalization options are at a level far above comparably-equipped gaming laptops. Of course, its gorgeous build and svelte size comes with a heavy price tag, making it a gaming laptop only suited for well-heeled gamers or those who must have maximum portability. For everyone else, it's not the best option.
Before we get into the details, here are the specs of the Razer Blade sent me for review:
- Display: 14-inch 1920x1080 IPS Matte Display
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz
- Memory: 16GB DDR4 2400Mhz
- OS: Windows 10
- OS Drive: 256GB SSD PCIe M.2
- Storage Drive: N/A
- Optical Drive: N/A
- Ports: 3 x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, combination headphone/microphone port
- Battery: 70Wh lithium-ion polymer
- Weight: 4.0 pounds
- Price: $1,899
The 14" Razer Blade sports Intel's latest-generation i7 processor, the quad-core Kaby Lake i7 7700HQ running at 2.8GHz, and it can boost up to 3.8GHz. Handling the graphical heavy lifting is an Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of video RAM. It also comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM, which is pretty standard for a laptop in this class.
For storage, the base model comes with a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and there are no complementary storage options so you can't have an SSD and a hard drive, like in a lot of gaming laptops, but this is the price you pay for having such a thin notebook. There are configurations with 512GB and a full 1TB SSDs, but the cost increase is about $200 per 256GB. That means the 1TB model is $600 more than the base model, coming in at $2499 USD. There's also a 4K version of the Blade, but it only offers 512GB and 1TB SSD configurations.
The base model's 256GB of storage is definitely a problem, especially for a gaming laptop. We filled it up quickly loading up games and software for benchmarks. Add your music, files, photos, and whatever else, and you hit the ceiling fast. Many other comparable laptops have a storage hard drive and leave the SSD to the OS and programs that benefit from an SSD's speed.
Fortunately, all the ports on the Blade are high-speed, so external storage won't bring you down too much. It has a Thunderbolt 3 port, as well as three USB 3.0 ports, facilitating the quick transfer of data between devices. Beyond that, there's an HDMI 2.0 port and a combination headphone/microphone jack. There's no Ethernet port, which is a major bummer on a gaming laptop, but it does have Killer Wireless AC-1535 connectivity, as well as Bluetooth 4.1.
From a design standpoint, the Razer Blade is simply beautiful. A matte black milled-aluminum chassis makes the accents on the laptop (the green USB ports and Razer logo on the lid) really pop, and it's impressively thin too, especially considering it has a GTX 1060 inside. When closed, the Razer measures just 0.70-inch tall, with an almost impossibly thin display. The 4K model is the same thickness, but weighs slightly more, coming in it 4.3 pounds versus the base model's 4.1 pounds. Even the power brick for the Blade is downright tiny, and is one of the smallest we've seen among comparably equipped laptops. The only downside to its matte black finish is it does attract fingerprints.
Lights and Keyboard
It wouldn't be a Razer product if it didn't have customizable lighting, and naturally the Blade is Chroma-enabled so you can trick out the lighting scheme in all sorts of really cool ways using Razer's Synapse software. In addition to enabling certain lighting patterns you can go so far as to customize individual keys, which is awesome. If you want to set just your WASD keys to glow blue while the rest of the keys lighting pulses in and out, you can do it in the software. Beyond that, pushing the function key dims all the keys except the top row of function keys, which is a really nice little touch that makes it easy to do things like adjust volume or brightness.
The keyboard itself feels phenomenal. Typing on it isn't quite as satisfying as typing on a mechanical keyboard, but as far as laptops go, it's top-shelf. The keys have just the right amount of travel and spring to them, making them as satisfying to use as they are to look at.
What's not so great are the right and left buttons on the trackpad. They're just too small. The Blade is a 14-inch notebook, but sacrificing button size on the trackpad is puzzling. I often found myself missing the buttons entirely because they just don't feel like they're where they ought to be.
The Blade's 1080p display is sharp and bright, and its matte finish keeps it from reflecting too much ambient light. Even in full sunlight, it's possible to see the screen, but it's still best viewed in the shade. The Blade's built-in stereo speakers, located on either side of the keyboard, produce passable sound without distortion at the upper limits of its volume.
Here's how the Razer Blade sent to use for review did in our tests. It's being compared to three other systems with the same GPU; two of which have the same CPU as well: the Alienware 13 and the MSI GE62VR, while the Asus GL702VM has the Skylake version of the CPU. As you can see the Razer Blade performs exactly as expected given its hardware configuration, and is literally the same as some of its rivals, for the most part. The 6GB GTX 1060 handles DirectX 12 with no problems, and does a great job with older DirectX versions. Hitman gets a passable 29 fps at the game's highest settings, and I also tested Hitman at its lowest settings, and it ran at 74 fps. Overall it wasn't the fastest of the similarly configured systems, but basically the same as the Alienware 13 and Asus notebooks, and just a tick slower than the MSI Camo system.
Also, though I love a powerful laptop as much as the next gamer, and I also love a thin notebook, the two are difficult to combine since this laptop's powerful parts create a lot of heat that has to be exhausted out of a razor thin chassis, pardon the pun. Though the Blade's fans do a great job keeping everything cool, they are quite loud when either the CPU or GPU are under heavy load. Razer does offer a few options here at least, as the Razer Synapse software has a "Power" tab that lets you toggle between fan profiles labeled Auto, Low, and High.
In testing I found that if I left it on Auto the fans would turn on whenever there was a load on either the CPU or GPU, but not when just browsing the web or even watching a demanding 4k movie. When it was set to "low" the fans would still turn on if I put a load on the CPU or GPU, but they would spin at a lower RPM (at least that's what seemed like they were doing based on the amount of noise they were making), which was audible but not as high-pitched as when it was set to auto. The only downside to this solution is with less cooling the parts get hotter, and that heat is transferred to the chassis. Also, at a certain temperature the fans will spin up regardless of what it's set to, as the parts need to be cooled off to maintain their integrity and not simply melt into the chassis. As an example, I saw the GPU get up to 89C running Heaven, so the fans are a very necessary component in such a thin chassis. Overall though, I'd say the "low" setting makes fan noise much more tolerable, but once the system gets warm you're going to need a pair of headphones.
Despite the Blade's thin profile and high-performance parts, it actually has a sizable 70Whr battery, which is a bit larger than those found in most gaming laptops these days, which tend to be around 50Whr. Razer says it should be good for about 5 hours of runtime. To test it out we looped a 4k video at 50 percent display brightness, and found it lasted for about 2 hours and 22 minutes, which was the longest runtime of any laptop in the group we tested by about 30 minutes. It beat some of the other laptops by an hour, which is a sizable margin on a stress test. Overall it's better than average for a gaming laptop. These laptops are not designed to actually run games on the battery, though at least with the Blade you can web surf for several hours and enjoy better battery life than on larger and bulkier laptops.
The Razer Blade is available in several configurations, but the one we tested is around $1,700 depending on who you buy it from. You can configure it with more storage as well, which obviously bumps up the price on Amazon on $2000 or more. There are no significant discounts on the machine to report:
• See the Razer Blade on Amazon
• See the Razer Blade on Amazon (UK)
There's certainly a lot to like about the Razer Blade as it's a gorgeous, well-performing laptop. I love the thin chassis, its sharp display, and little things like its terrific keyboard and customizable lighting let you know it's a top-of-the-line laptop. Unfortunately this beautiful piece of hardware suffers from a few flaws including not much storage, excessive fan noise when gaming, and the lack of an Ethernet port. These are all trade offs required by its ultra-thin size basically, but If your needs are split evenly between portability and gaming power, it's easily one of the best laptops available.