If a few years ago Razer focused only on peripherals for players, the manufacturer now offers a much more complete range of products, including laptops under the standard Blade.
Designed for players wishing to take advantage of a machine that is both powerful and easily transportable, the different models in the range quickly made their mark on the sector and we invite you to discover the Razer Blade 15 Advanced today - Edition 2018/2019.
Boasting an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 Max-Q, the model of the day comes with a 15.6 inch Full HD screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Everything is built around a chassis only 16.8 mm high for a weight of 2 kg.
A machine clearly attractive on paper, appearing at a price of around 2250 € and coming to compete directly with models such as the Asus Zephyrus or the MSI GS65 Stealth. A high and justified price? Response after a good week by his side.
The Razer Blade 15 is delivered in a box as thin as its chassis. Inside, the PC comes with the following elements:
DESIGN & ERGONOMICS
Razer is used to taking care of the design of its products and the Blade range is no exception to this rule. From the first grip, this new 15.6-inch model seduces with its exemplary finishes and its particularly elegant look.
Far from the "gaming" style that is usually found in competition, the Razer Blade 15 opts for much more sober lines, not unlike the design of notebooks generally reserved for office or professional use.
With dimensions of 355 x 235 x 16.8 mm and just 2kg on the scale, the laptop joins the range of laptops stamped Nvidia Max-Q , offering an ideal compromise between portability and performance. For this new edition, the manufacturer nevertheless stands out from the competition by integrating a 15.6 inch screen in an aluminum chassis with dimensions similar to that of a 14 inch laptop . A great feat, which is due in particular to the particularly thin borders of 4.9 mm. Visually, it's rather stunning!
A little more in details, we start with the outside of the chassis. On the upper part, we find the brand logo inlaid (and backlit) in the center of a panel showing the traditional color codes of the brand.
At the rear, two supports bring excellent stability to the machine while slightly raising it so as not to obstruct the metal grilles dedicated to the ventilation of the laptop. A fairly rare choice on gaming models, since these vents are generally positioned on the sides and not on the back. We will come back to this a little later in this presentation.
At first glance, the construction of the Blade is particularly solid. The PC perfectly resists possible twists and the whole inspires a real feeling of confidence. The screen can be easily opened with one hand without the assembly sliding onto his desk. It may sound silly, but it is ultimately rarely the case on such light and compact models.
On the connection side, we find the same elements as on the previous version of the Razer Blade. We notice :
A rather well supplied connection where we appreciate the presence of a Thunderbolt port facilitating the connection to one or more external monitors , but also the possible addition of an external graphics card . In addition, all of these connectors are cleverly positioned toward the rear of the chassis to prevent contact with your mouse.
We can nevertheless regret the absence of a memory card reader as well as that of an Ethernet port for players wishing to avoid possible latencies in WiFi .
When you open the beast, you come face to face with the impressive Razer Blade 15 IPS panel and its keyboard with fully customizable Chroma backlight. With such finesse, we obviously forget the presence of mechanical switches and here we will have to settle for chiclet keys with a particularly short stroke. Obviously, it is far from ideal for chaining hours of gaming on your favorite FPS and we will always recommend investing in a good gaming keyboard, like a Corsair K63 Wireless if you do not not want to clutter you too much.
Under the keyboard, the imposing trackpad offers a nice surface for use and above all excellent responsiveness. Nothing to say about that side, it works very well and you get used to it very quickly.
Finally, on either side of the keyboard two speakers complement the equipment of the Razer Blade 15. As often, we should not expect miracles on this side but it helps out without any problems if you don't have your gaming headset handy.
A 144 HZ SCREEN CUT OUT FOR GAMING
For this new generation of Razer Blade, the laptop is equipped with a 15.6-inch IPS panel, with, as explained above, particularly thin borders on the top and sides of the chassis. A major advantage compared to certain competitors, since we take advantage here of a beautiful display surface without having to carry around a juggernaut in his backpack.
Our version of the day is equipped with a Full HD matte IPS panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 px and a refresh rate of 144 Hz . Equipment consistent with the rest of the machine configuration and which should allow you to enjoy your favorite games in excellent conditions and above all with perfect fluidity.
Note that a 60 Hz version is also offered by Razer, always in Full HD resolution.
If we unfortunately did not have the opportunity to pass the screen under a colorimetric probe, the whole is convincing. If it is obviously a purely subjective opinion here, the colorimetry seems particularly faithful to us and both the games and the films should put you in awe.
Last important point to emphasize about the screen, it is not compatible with Adaptive-Sync Nvidia G-Sync technology. A bit of a shame, especially for a model capable of a higher than average refresh rate.
RAZER SYNAPSE SOFTWARE
Like most Razer products, the Blade 15 is compatible with Razer Synapse software. From there, you can configure some options of the laptop as well as the Chroma lighting integrated into the keyboard.
The first "Personalize" tab allows us to modify the assignment of the keyboard keys, as on most USB models offered by the brand. There are many categories and actions and it is obviously possible to create your own macros.
In addition, the keyboard is compatible with HyperShift functionality , allowing you to assign an alternative shortcut when the mode is activated. A good point for MMORPG players for example.
From the "Lighting" tab, you can choose between several Chroma effects. We find the usual effects and it is also possible to adjust the brightness of the lights on two different levels depending on the type of power supply (battery or mains). The software also gives us access to the Chroma Studio , to individually configure the color and effect of each of the keyboard keys. What delight RGB fans.
Finally, the "Performances" tab, which as the name suggests allows you to adjust certain options directly related to the responsiveness of the Razer Blade 15 . It is thus possible to opt for a Balanced or Gaming mode depending on its use, but also to manually adjust the speed of the fans.
Finally, on this same page you can switch between a display at 60 Hz or 144 Hz (more greedy on autonomy).
Blade models are often offered in different configurations and care should be taken to check in detail the different references currently available in the sector. The manufacturer sometimes retains identical model names from one generation to the next, this is an even more important point to watch out for.
Our Razer Blade 15 of the day has the following components:
On paper, the laptop displays characteristics similar to that of a mid-range desktop PC and its Full HD resolution allows it to run the vast majority of titles in entirely correct conditions. The machine is also very comfortable for daily office tasks, especially if you are the type to multiply the tabs in Chrome and other complementary applications.
The 8th generation i7 processor also makes the machine perfectly comfortable on slightly heavier tasks, for image editing or video editing for example. We thus obtain a score of 4814 on PC Mark 10, and almost 1000 points on CineBench. On the side of 3D Mark Time Spy, count 6072 points for the CPU and 3766 for the GPU.
Only its internal storage of 512 GB can frustrate some players in the busy Steam library. We would have liked to find in parallel a more traditional HDD of 1 TB for example, so as to store without constraint all its titles but also its media.
To get a better idea of performance, we tested the Razer Blade under several more or less current games and especially more or less greedy. The results are up to our expectations, with a machine capable of exceeding the fateful threshold of 60 FPS without great difficulty. Note that in practice, the GTX 1060 Max-Q offers performance 10 to 15% lower than that of a GTX 1060 "desktop".
COOLING, TEMPERATURES AND NOISE LEVELS
In office use, the Blade 15 benefits from particularly silent operation and perfectly controlled temperatures. The machine does not heat up and in most cases remains inaudible, making its use particularly pleasant.
On applications a little heavier, and especially during gaming, the Razer's laptop is also doing more than honorable. By opting for the “ Balanced ” mode from the Razer Synapse software, it is entirely possible to chain the hours on your favorite tracks without necessarily having to wear headphones. Temperatures also remain quite adequate, unlike many competitors. You can always come and add a laptop cooler , but we don't think this is necessary here.
When you switch to "Gaming " mode via Synapse, the fans are much noisier, for a gain of FPS often negligible. Here, it is impossible to enjoy your games without using a helmet with good passive insulation and we do not necessarily recommend this option. To get a better idea of these noise pollution, don't hesitate to take a look at our presentation video.
Finally, let's end with autonomy. If we always recommend playing your games with your laptop connected to a power outlet, the Blade 15 does pretty well with its battery since it is possible to use it for 5 to 6 hours during office use. Once again very correct results, confirming the great versatility of the machine.
Obviously keep in mind that these values may vary widely depending on your use, the screen brightness, its refresh rate or the backlight effects.
We will be able to use the Blade very well to take lessons during the day and then come and plug it in once back home for a few gaming sessions . Allow about 1h 30min to fully recharge its battery.
Particularly well built, the Razer Blade 15 clearly has something to appeal to players looking for a compact machine that is powerful enough to enjoy all of its games in very good conditions.
Comfortable on most of the current titles, we benefit from a good fluidity thanks to its IPS 144 Hz panel while maintaining noise pollution and controlled temperatures by opting for the "Balanced" mode . The manufacturer clearly succeeds.