Razer’s Blade has been one of the vital iconic gaming laptops in the marketplace over the past decade and this 12 months isn’t any exception. I’ve spent the final a number of weeks with the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition in its highest configuration. Coming in at an eye-watering $2999, is that this the flagship gaming laptop computer you’ve been ready on or merely one other contender for greatest gaming laptop computer of 2021?

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition Review

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition – Design and Features

What’s in a reputation? In this case, quite a bit. As a high-end laptop computer from Razer, you’ll be able to rely on centered gaming efficiency. The “Blade” speaks to its skinny and light-weight design – nicely, fairly mild, anyway. This unit incorporates a 15-inch Full HD Display configured to run at an esports-grade 360 Hz. Under the hood, it’s operating on a tenth era Intel Core CPU, an Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU, and 32GB of system reminiscence. The complete specs as configured are:

  • Price: $2999.99
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10875H (8-core/16-thread, Max Boost 5.1 GHz)
  • Display: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS 360Hz
  • Graphics: RTX 3080 (Mobile Version)
  • Memory: 32GB DDR4, 2933 MHz, 64GB Maximum
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe (Expandable with Additional Slot)
  • Networking: Wi-Fi 6E AX210, 2X2, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2
  • Battery: 80WHr, Up to 7 Hours, 230W Adapter
  • I/O Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), Supports 20V USB-C chargers with PD 3.0, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A), USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, Supports 20V USB-C chargers with PD 3.0, SD Card Reader, UHS-III, HDMI 2.1 output (Up to 8K 60Hz or 4K 120Hz)
  • Dimensions: 0.67 x 9.25 x 13.98 inches
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs

Like most Razer laptops, the Blade 15 is on the market in a number of configurations that can set you again wherever from $1699 to $3299 relying on the elements and show you select. On the cheaper finish, you’ll be downgrading to an Intel i7-10750H, an RTX 3060, and half the reminiscence and storage. The costliest model is much like the one I’m reviewing in the present day however is provided with a 4K OLED touchscreen.

The exterior design of the Blade 15 is much like final 12 months’s mannequin. It’s outwardly easy however unmistakably a gaming laptop computer. The matte-black aluminum chassis is unassuming aside from Razer’s giant, backlit snake icon smack-dab within the heart. The lighting will be turned off, however if you happen to’re hoping to cover the actual fact you’re carrying a gaming laptop computer to class or the workplace, suppose once more. Personally, I moderately just like the look of it lit up in traditional Razer inexperienced.

Thin and light-weight has been the title of the game in gaming laptops for a number of years. The Blade sequence positively embraces this maxim and this 12 months’s mannequin is available in at solely 0.67 inches thick. I used to be simply capable of slide it into my messenger bag and nonetheless have room for papers and supplies. It’s mild, however not industry-leading at 4.4 kilos. Over the course of the day, my bag positively began to really feel heavy carrying the laptop computer with me, but it surely’s a trade-off for the extra-durable design and caliber of elements therein.

The aluminum chassis may be very sturdy and inflexible. There’s no discernable display screen flex opening the laptop computer, which has been a priority on different fashions. An all-metal shell additionally aids in warmth dissipation however does imply the whole lower-half of the laptop computer ultimately feels heat to the contact. Unlike the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 I final reviewed, the world above the keyboard didn’t get so scorching, which speaks to the vapor chamber cooling answer Razer has utilized. The largest draw back to the body is that it’s an absolute fingerprint magnet. It will present each little bit of oil out of your fingers, which leaves it trying messy inside a day of regular use.

The Blade 15 is a beast of a gaming laptop computer. It’s Intel Core i7-10875H processor options 8-cores and 16-threads of processing energy, however extra vital for in-game body charges is its 5.1 GHz enhance clock. It pairs splendidly with the Nvidia RTX 3080 mobile graphics card which is at present essentially the most highly effective in the marketplace. Like all RTX 30-Series mobile GPUs, it gained’t run fairly as quick as a desktop 3080 however completely dominates at 1080p gaming. The 1TB NVMe SSD can be very quick, lowering load occasions to the naked minimal, and has sufficient storage to carry a good number of video games and purposes. It additionally sports activities a second M.2 slot to shortly increase the storage with out the necessity to reinstall Windows. The system got here with 32GB of pre-installed reminiscence, which is greater than sufficient for any game in the marketplace in the present day along side streaming apps and even a couple of browser home windows with room to spare.

These specs additionally make the Blade 15 a really strong alternative for streamers and content material creators. While many video games aren’t capable of leverage all eight cores of the CPU or all 32GB of DRAM, many inventive purposes will fortunately use these sources and profit from them. I recorded 4K video on to the laptop computer with OBS and an Elgato CamLink after which edited it in Adobe Premiere Pro – the method was nearly seamless. Like most (all?) shopper laptops at present obtainable, it did stutter when rendering sure aftermarket transitions, however its potential to deal with huge video recordsdata with ease was spectacular. Since the unit has a 1080p display screen, most players can be working with 1080p video recordsdata and the expertise was even smoother there.

The actual spotlight of the display screen is its extremely quick 360 Hz refresh fee, which is able to compete with cutting-edge 360Hz and 240Hz gaming displays. This can supply actual advantages in movement readability and responsiveness in case your response pace is as much as the problem. Even although the RTX 3080 is a robust mobile GPU, it gained’t be pushing many video games to 360 FPS exterior of esports, nonetheless, so be cautious if you happen to’re anticipating to play AAA video games at such excessive body charges. Still, providing such a excessive refresh fee pays dividends within the smoothness of video games even under 360 FPS, so it’s a welcome addition – albeit one that can extra shortly drain the battery.

The laptop computer additionally has numerous different options going for it. For daily use, the keyboard is excellent. The keys supplied higher journey and tactility than most different laptops I’ve examined, which made typing reliably correct. The touchpad can be very giant, which makes navigation fairly simple and even opens the door to some informal gaming if you happen to neglect your mouse at house. The keyboard provides vibrant, saturated, per-key programmable backlighting and can be utterly programmable akin to Razer’s standalone keyboards. Above the display screen can be a 720p webcam with Windows Hello compatibility for biometric login.

To both aspect of the keyboard are the built-in audio system, which function THX Spatial Audio and seven.1 encompass sound assist. They are capable of get exceptionally loud and appear to challenge out in a means that offers a higher sense of area than you’d count on from a pair of laptop computer audio system. They work very nicely for many sorts of content material, although bass is stereotypically missing. The dynamic vary and frequency response of the transducers is sufficient to give rifles a satisfying “crack” in Battlefield V – they only don’t have sufficient punch for a superb explosion.

As a gaming laptop computer, connectivity is way more vital than laptops designed for productiveness. The Blade 15 has it in spades. There are three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Type-C port, one other USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 (the latter two ports additionally supporting 20V chargers with PD 3.0), a combo audio jack, a UHS-III SD card reader, and an HDMI 2.1 video output for exterior displays able to 8K40 or 4K120 output. For networking, it helps WiFi 6E for high-speed wi-fi web however doesn’t supply an RJ-45 ethernet port. It additionally helps the most recent Bluetooth 5.2 customary for wi-fi peripherals. Taken as a complete, this can be a beneficiant array of connectivity choices that simply permits for a full array of USB peripherals and exterior storage and show choices – simply have in mind you’ll want a USB ethernet adapter if you need a wired web connection.

Compared to numerous different RTX 30-series laptops we’ve checked out right here at IGN, the Blade 15 seems to have a surprisingly sparse association of vents to assist its cooling. This is partially as a result of Razer cleverly hides the rear exhaust beneath the sting of the lid, but it surely’s additionally as a result of there are flat out fewer vents. The motive for that is that the laptop computer makes use of a vapor chamber cooling answer that higher isolates thermal move by the unit. This method to cooling is frequent on graphics playing cards and high-end CPU heatsinks because it permits the producer to raised information the move of warmth and direct it within the path of blowing air. In this case, that ends in warmth expelling from the rear of the PC.

In apply, the cooling answer proved to be fairly efficient, albeit not exceptionally so. The CPU frequently peaked at 100C, a conduct that’s frequent amongst gaming laptops with this explicit chip. The GPU, then again topped out at 77C after intensive testing. Not unhealthy, however proper in step with the equally outfitted MSI GS66 Stealth that featured extra conventional heat-pipe cooling. In addition, the Blade turned fairly loud beneath heavy load managing these thermals, forcing my spouse to show the TV up whereas sitting subsequent to me on the sofa. There is an ongoing stability on the earth of gaming laptops between warmth, noise, and efficiency. In this case, there’s positively room to raised stability these components.

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition – Software

When it involves software program, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition is delightfully sparse. My unit shipped with a fundamental Windows set up along with Razer’s Synapse administration software program. This was my first expertise with a Blade laptop computer however I used to be aware of Synapse from many peripherals over time, so getting up and operating with it was quick and straightforward.

Upon opening it for the primary time, you load into the Dashboard which reveals an image of the laptop computer. Clicking it takes you to the Customize display screen with an summary of the keyboard. This is a moderately counter-intuitive design since this display screen doesn’t truly assist you to change the settings of the laptop computer. Instead, clicking a key opens up the programming choices, precisely like a standalone Razer keyboard. You can document macros, create shortcuts to launch packages, map media controls, and extra. Thanks to Razer Hypershift, you’ll be able to even create complete secondary layouts for storing macros or alternate key units.

The lighting tab controls your system lighting. The obtainable choices assist you to management system-wide guidelines – resembling how lengthy it must be idle earlier than disabling lighting to protect battery or brightness – to particular person lighting presets. The illuminated emblem will be made to breathe or keep lit at a customized brightness, whereas the keyboard is way more programmable with animated presets like hearth, rainbow waves, spinning shade wheels, or solely customized layouts created within the Chroma Studio. These lighting results will also be synced with different Razer peripherals to shortly color-match your entire setup.

When it involves precise system settings, these are tucked away on the efficiency tab. Razer has carried out an arguably too good job simplifying the settings right here. Performance modes are restricted to Balanced and Custom when plugged in and simply Balanced when operating on battery. Setting customized specs doesn’t give the identical diploma of management discovered on flagship MSI or Asus gaming laptops and as a substitute offers you a fundamental efficiency slider. Custom fan curves or overclocking are out of the query with this model of Synapse.

This tab additionally lets you select the present GPU mode. Like another RTX 3080-equipped notebooks, the Blade 15 helps Nvidia Optimus and may intelligently swap between the built-in GPU on the processor or the devoted RTX 3080 to avoid wasting battery. Enabling Optimus defaults the system to 60 Hz exterior of video games, nonetheless, which may be very noticeable even in fundamental mouse motion. That mentioned, it’s very efficient in extending battery life by a lot of the day.

Benchmarks

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition

Origin EVO15-S

MSI GS66 Stealth

Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Price as examined

$2,999

$2,997

TBA

$1,799

CPU

Intel Core i7-10875H

Intel Core i7-10870H

Intel Core i7-10870H

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS

GPU

Nvidia RTX 3080

Nvidia RTX 3080

Nvidia RTX 3080

Nvidia RTX 3070

3DMark Time Spy

9973

10163

9623

9417

3DMark Fire Strike

21765

19318

19725

20947

3DMark Night Raid

48029

44155

40996

35633

Total War: Three Kingdoms

82

80

83

71

Borderlands 3

88

89

89

110

Metro Exodus

63

63

64

57

Hitman 3

134.5

129.4

NA

113.9

Unigine Heaven 4.0

123

135

124

123

PCMark 10

6697

6029

5892

7016

PCMark 10 Battery Test

5:52

1:56

5:44

5:01

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition – Performance

As a flagship gaming laptop computer, what actually issues most is the way it performs in video games. I carried out my testing utilizing IGN’s customary array of video games and benchmarks. Since thermal options could make such an enormous distinction in total efficiency, I’ve shared the outcomes alongside different competing laptops with comparable specs. All of my checks have been carried out at Ultra settings.

Note: We added Hitman 3 to our take a look at rotation after the MSI GS66 had already been returned, in order that entry is marked with an NA.

The Razer Blade 15 carried out very nicely throughout these checks. In synthetics, it led the pack in all however 3DMark Time Spy. Performance in Unigine Heaven did fall barely behind the Origin EVO15-S but it surely made up for that with actual world efficiency good points in Hitman 3. In different game checks, the Blade 15 carried out proper on par with different mobile RTX 3080s we’ve examined.

Since the NVMe SSD on this drive was undisclosed, I additionally examined its pace utilizing CrystalDiskMark. If supplied spectacular, if not leading edge, outcomes. At 2.9 GB/s for each learn and write speeds, the Razer Blade 15 will be capable to optimize load occasions and supply good efficiency in inventive apps like Premiere Pro. Still, given the value, I might have favored to have seen Razer embody a drive that runs a bit sooner. The identical is true of the reminiscence, which is clocked to solely 2933 MHz versus the 3200 MHz supplied by a few of the competitors. These may look like small issues, however keep in mind, the Blade 15 Advanced Edition is definitely costlier than many fashions at present obtainable in the present day.

For gaming exterior of those checks, the Blade 15 was wonderful. Even although I’m not an esports participant, the fluidity of movement with the 360 Hz display screen was improbable. There is subtly extra readability in fast turns and the system does really feel extra responsive, although I want it got here with Nvidia G-Sync as a cherry on high. I additionally liked how shade wealthy the display screen was, which made each gaming and watching reveals on Netflix extra pleasurable. It was additionally good to have the ability to use and benefit from the built-in audio system. They do sound skinny however are completely enough for gaming and loud sufficient to listen to clearly even when sat again with a controller.

For regular use, it was additionally exceptionally good. The keyboard was nice for getting work carried out and the touchpad made carrying a separate mouse non-obligatory for me. The webcam additionally labored nicely and colleagues on the opposite finish reported that I each appeared and sounded good. I do want it was barely lighter, nonetheless, as I may positively discover it in my bag after some time.

Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition – Battery Life

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition options a big 80 WHr battery. This falls considerably behind the likes of the ROG Zephyrus or MSI GS66 Stealth that provide 90 and 99 WHr batteries respectively. Still, it optimizes battery utilization nicely. With Optimus enabled and the display screen and backlighting at 50% brightness every, it lasted 5 hours and 52 minutes within the PCMark 10 Modern Office Battery Test. This falls wanting the common workday; nonetheless, by turning lighting off utterly and additional dimming the display screen may seemingly be prolonged to the total seven hours of rated uptime.

An fascinating function of this laptop computer is the braided cable on the charging brick. The brick is giant and rated for 230 watts, so is already difficult to hold together with the laptop computer itself if you happen to want extra battery life (and also you simply may). The braided cable appears very good on the floor and will definitely assist defend the charging cable over time, however may be very stiff and tough to handle. It’s additionally flat-out larger, taking over more room in your bag. In the top, I would like one thing slimmer and simpler to work with.

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Purchasing Guide

The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition is on the market from the Razer Store for $2999. Razer additionally provides alternate configurations starting from $1699 to $3299. The line-up will also be bought from Amazon.

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