Razer Blade 2017 Review: Solid Gaming Performance In An Ultrabook Form Factor

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Razer Blade 2017: Final Thoughts & Conclusion

There's no question about it -- the Razer Blade is a really hot piece of hardware. This machine makes fewer compromises for gamers or power users seeking a notebook that will not slow them down on the road. Its looks are both striking and reserved at the same time, with build quality that stands toe-to-toe with the best of breed on the market.

razer blade 2017 three quarters
The GeForce GTX 1060 GPU on board renders even today's top titles in all their glory in Full HD and should have enough headroom to tackle many of tomorrow's offerings as well. The Razer Blade is VR ready as well, for total gaming immersion. If, for some reason, the Blade's gaming performance is not up to task, it can be amplified with a GTX 1080 Ti in a Razer Core graphics dock thanks to the on-board Thunderbolt 3 port.
razer blade 2017 left ports
From a pure productivity standpoint, the Razer Blade is similarly hard to beat. 16GB of system memory is ample for most any tasks from photo and video editing to 3D modelling or crunching numbers across an array of spreadsheets. The Kaby Lake Core i7-7700HQ delivers offer excellent performance for a notebook class device, with support for eight threads to multitask like a boss.
razer blade 2017 display

The on-board Killer networking WiFi is a nice addition too. In our testing with Killer's E2500 LAN which utilizes the same prioritization technology, we showed that Killer's solutions can deliver a dramatic improvement in latency reduction while gaming with mixed network traffic. Additionally, the Killer Wireless-AC 1535 supports 802.11ac Wave 2 for MU-MIMO and Transmit Beaming, which improves performance on congested wireless networks and offers greater signal range. The Killer team and Razer worked with us to giveaway one of these Razer Blades to a lucky reader back in April.

Not all is perfect with the Razer Blade, however. First and foremost, the Blade did get loud during our testing as its fans kicked in. With such a small form factor, something has to give somewhere. Users can either step down graphical fidelity to ease on thermals or else don a set of headphones when gaming to otherwise ignore its dull roar, but this is one of the trade-offs compared to larger, traditional gaming notebooks.

razer blade 2017 keyboard and trackpad
The Razer Blade lacks an SD card reader, which is a bummer for photographers who might otherwise enjoy bringing the Blade on photography excursions. It can be worked around easily with a USB reader or by directly connecting a camera to the computer, however. So it isn't the end of the world even if it necessitates carrying along another accessory or two.
razer blade 2017 full interior
We also wish the Razer Blade had replaceable system memory. Sure, 16GB of RAM is a good amount for now, but some power users will be put off by not having the option to install 32GB at some point. If an issue arises with the Razer Blade's memory, users are stuck replacing the entire motherboard. Compared with Dell's XPS 15 which has a similar form-factor and user-serviceable SO-DIMM slots, this is difficult to ignore. Soldered DRAM chips are increasingly more common with ultra-thin systems, however.

Still, the $1899 Razer Blade does so much right that we are more than comfortable recommending it. This machine has been a lot of fun to play with over the last couple of weeks. Yes, there's better price/performance value for the money on the market currently, but we'd be hard-pressed to find another notebook that performs on the level of the Razer Blade in such a sharp, lightweight package.
hothardware recommended
 hot not 
  • Ultra Slim Powerhouse
  • Good battery life
  • Solid Aluminum Chassis
  • All-Out Gaming Performance
  • Full RGB Keyboard
  • Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
  • No SD Card Reader
  • Loud fans under heavy load
  • Non-upgradable Memory
  • Low SSD Write Speeds


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