Razer Blade 15 Review (2019)

8.5 Total Score
Razer Blade 15 Review

The Razer Blade 15 is a sleek, powerful and relatively affordable option for gamers who have a low tolerance for compromise when it comes to specifications, power, performance, and battery life.

PROS
  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid overall and gaming performance
  • Good audio
CONS
  • Dim display
  • Shallow keyboard
Add your review

Razer recently created a digital advantage for the 15-inch gaming notebook market with the Razer Blade 15, which is impressive in its sleek design and powerful performance. But because of the pricing, all players, with the exception of the most deeply fed players, could not have fun – until now. The latest version of the blade presents the beautiful durable design that we hope to combine with an Intel Core i7 processor and a GPU Nvidia GTX 1060 Max-Q. It’s also one of the first Razer laptops to offer dual-storage and Gigabit Ethernet. The new blade gives a master class by navigating the treacherous path between affordability and power. This is our Razer Blade 15 Review.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Design

The small, rounded corners of the Blade 15 give the laptop a square shape reminiscent of epaulet-like shoulder pads that can be found on the powerhouses of these old-school women. Or maybe it’s like repeating in my head Huey Lewis and The News ‘Hip To Be Square’. Anyway, it’s a great retro style that I’m digging.

The Razer Blade 15 is mostly made of CNC aluminum every night. The lid (slightly visible in the center) features a green three-headed snake characteristic of Razer that emits a seductive glow. When I opened the lid, my eyes were fixed on the Chroma keyboard, which seemed to shine in its little star-shaped hull-shaped hole against the total darkness of the space that forms the black aluminum frame. To fully reproduce the brightness of the keyboard, the speakers are mounted on both sides of the recess, the power on/off button being hooked to the left speaker.

While Apple’s design relies entirely on four USB-C ports and a headphone jack for data, video output, and peripherals, the Blade 15 offers three standard USB 3.1 ports, a Thunderbolt 3-compatible USB-C port, a full-size HDMI output, a mini-DisplayPort, and a headphone jack. It is clearly better equipped for things like mice, external hard drives and desktop monitors, with much less need for a cumbersome dock.

Razer remains true to its light play value because the Razer Blade 15 weighs 4.7 pounds and measures 14 x 9.3 x 0.8 inches. It is slightly lighter than the Alienware m15 (14 x 14.8 x 10.8 x 0.7 ~ 0.8) and the Asus ROG Strix Hero II (5.1 kg, 14.2 x 10, 3 x 1 inch), but heavier than the MSI GS65 Stealth Thin (4.1 pounds, 14.1 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches).

Razer Blade 15 Review – Keyboard and TouchPad

Chroma keyboards from Razer are always pleasant to watch. I wish they were a little more comfortable typing. Despite their 65-gram actuation force, the ultra-low stroke keys have always reached a low point due to their short stroke of 1.2mm (1.5mm is our minimum accepted). The chiclet-style keys lacked significant pop. I registered 65 words per minute with the FastFingers type test 10, a little less than my usual 70 words per minute.

With 5 x 3 inches, the touchpad of Blade 15 is absolutely huge. Unlike the abandoned Blade 14, the 15-inch omitted the discrete mouse buttons instead of the big pad. Windows 10 gestures such as pinching to zoom and three-finger swiping worked well. It was even easy to call the action center. The bottom corners of the touchpad were reasonably clickable for the right and left mouse buttons.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Display

The 15.6-inch matte panel of the Blade 15 is alive and well, so Zoe Renee’s cherry red tights can appear on the screen during Jinn’s trailer. The details were clear enough that we could see the individual curls in the magenta and lilac strands of the girl. The 60 Hertz screen was no problem for getting crisp images while reading The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I pulled a column of orange-red fire at an incoming bandit, knocking him to the ground and writhing in pain. I ran with my sword and took the time to admire the brilliance of ash gray locks of Geralt before joining my next enemy.

Based on our tests, the Razer Blade 15 screen can reproduce 156% of the sRGB color gamut. It far exceeds the average of 110% of consumer notebooks and 120% of those of Hero II. The M15 and Stealth Thin are tied at 150%. But it would have been nice if the panel of the blade 15 was brighter. With an average brightness of 257 nits, it fell below the category average of 284 nits. Hero II, M15, and Stealth Thin also performed better with 276, 284 and 293 nits, respectively.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Audio

Do not be fooled by the discreet pair of speakers mounted on top: the Razer Blade 15 becomes quite noisy and remains relatively accurate. While listening to Pentatonix’s “Can’t Sleep Love,” I could clearly hear each part of the five-person harmony at maximum volume. Thanks to the powerful momentum of the Dolby Atmos software, the sound has managed to cover all of our medium-sized test labs. Of the six available settings (Movie, Dynamic, Music, Game, Voice and Personalization), I found that Dynamic and Music produced the most enjoyable results.

Chasing in the footsteps of an annoying witch during Witcher 3, I walked with confidence in the forest. The trees whipped wildly as a storm approached, and loud wind noises swept through the lab, as a flute was playing softly in the background. No setting can, however, do anything to boost the bass. There were hints of when I listened to Elephant Man’s “Pon De River Pon Da Bank”, but not enough to make a difference.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Gaming and Graphics

Armed with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with a 6GB VRAM, the Blade 15 has no trouble getting a solid frame rate, even for the most demanding titles with settings higher. During my part in Witcher 3, I came across a group of bandits on horseback and hit one of the bad guys. His arm was flying at 59 frames per second on Ultra at 1920 x 1080. The settings went up to 65 frames per second when I dropped the settings to High.

When we performed the Rise of the Tomb Raider performance test, the Razer Blade 15 reached 37 fps, averaging 33 fps. With a full 1060 processor, the Hero II beat the blade with 38 fps, while the Stealth Thin and the Alienware m15 with their GPU GTX 1070 Max-Q scored respectively 44 and 49 fps. In the Hitman test, the blade gained 70 fps, an average of 65 fps. Once again, Hero II has advanced with 72 frames per second. The m15 and the thin stealth stood on a dead fire with 79 fps.

At the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, the Blade reached 15 49 fps, which is above the category average of 44 fps. The Hero II (52 fps), the Stealth (61 fps) and the M15 (66 fps) were particularly better. With a score of 6.9 on the SteamVR performance test, the Blade 15 is a viable candidate in virtual reality that beats the average of the 6 competitors. The Hero II performed slightly better with 7.4, while the Stealth Thin and the m15 did even better with 9.5 and 10.1 respectively.

When you do not perform any graphically demanding task, the Razer Blade 15 switches to its integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 graphics processor.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Performance

Although marketed as a gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15 can do more than just its share of productivity. I shot 30 Google Chrome tabs with a combination of Slack, Twitch stream and Netflix, and the Blade 15’s 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H with 16GB of RAM managed it with confidence. Blade 15 scored 18,771 on the Geekbench 4’s overall performance test, which closed the 18,234 category average. With their own i7-8750H processors, the Stealth Thin scored 17,184, while the Asus Hero II and the m15 reached 20,690 and 21,450 respectively.

It took 11 minutes and 13 seconds for the Razer Blade 15 to transcode a 4K video in 1080p, which is slightly faster than the 11:32 average. The Stealth Thin lasted at 12:01, while the M15 and Hero II claimed 9:51 and 9:36 respectively.

This iteration of the blade is the first to offer a dual storage option. The 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD from the notebook (with a 2TB hard drive at 5400rpm) duplicated 4.97GB of mixed media files in 9 seconds for a 565-megabyte file transfer rate per second, an average of 295.3 Mbps per category.

The Stealth Thin (5.2GB M.2 SSD) accumulated 193.3 Mbps, while the Hero II (256Mb NVMe PCIe SSD SSD) offered a respectable speed of 462 Mbps. However, the dual 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs of the Alienware m15 delivered a smoking 1,017 MBps.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Heat

All this aluminum looks great, but it can be very hot. I spent 15 minutes in Witcher 3 looking for a witch. At the end of the time, I measured the touchpad, the center of the keyboard and the Blade 15’s chassis. The touchpad was a bit warm at 93 degrees Fahrenheit, but the keyboard and bottom touched 107 and 108 degrees, respectively. It is well above our comfort threshold of 95 degrees. Once our game test was over, we let the system cool down for 15 minutes and play HD video in full screen. The touchpad and the middle of the keyboard measured 85 and 92 degrees, while the bottom reached 97 degrees slightly warm.

Razer Blade 15 Review – Battery Life

In terms of battery life, Razer is usually at the bottom of the list. But the Razer Blade 15 recorded an impressive 6 hours and 9 minutes with our battery test (continuous web browsing with Wi-Fi with a brightness of 150 nits), beyond the category average of 4:30. He surpassed both the MSI Stealth Thin (5:40) and the Asus ROG Strix Hero II (4:56), but could not surpass the Alienware m15 (6:25).

Razer Blade 15 Review – Conclusion

Over the years, Razer has created extremely thin and extremely expensive gaming laptops, thus preserving budget-conscious players. Razer solves the problem with the Blade 15 base model. For $1,799, you get one of the world’s lightest 15-inch gaming laptops, with solid performance, dual storage options, Gigabit Ethernet, and more than 6 hours of battery life. However, you can get the basic model of the Alienware m15 for $1,379. It has similar specifications with a better screen and longer battery life, but you will have a shock on the RAM.

If you want more power and you can spend more, you’ll find the Asus ROG Strix Hero II at $1,945, which features an Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU and a display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, but you will suffer seriously all your life from the battery.

But overall, the Razer Blade 15 is an elegant, powerful and relatively affordable option for unsophisticated players to compromise on specifications, power, performance and battery life.

Let us know your views on our Razer Blade 15 Review by sharing your thoughts with us in the comments section.

8.5 Total Score
Razer Blade 15 Review

The Razer Blade 15 is a sleek, powerful and relatively affordable option for gamers who have a low tolerance for compromise when it comes to specifications, power, performance, and battery life.

PROS
  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Solid overall and gaming performance
  • Good audio
CONS
  • Dim display
  • Shallow keyboard
Add your review
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