Razer’s laptops are like MacBooks for gamers. They’re chic, just as slim, and more powerful than anything that comes out of Cupertino. Plus, these are some of the few gaming laptops that can pass in a business meeting as well as a LAN party.
So which laptop in Razer’s stable is right for you? Is it the surprisingly potent 12-inch Stealth, the 14-inch Blade (one of the slimmest gaming rigs on Earth) or the 17-inch behemoth that is the Blade Pro? The following guide will help you decide.
Editors’ Note: Razer has announced a new Blade Stealth (starting at $1,399) with a bigger and sharper 13.3-inch touchscreen display, a 7th-gen Kaby Lake processor and 16GB of RAM. Targeting mobile professionals, this will be the first Blade laptop to ship in gunmetal gray aluminum, and it offers slimmer bezels than the previous version.
The Blade Stealth: For Those Always on the Move
Pros: Designed to take on the likes of the Dell XPS 13 and Apple Macbook (12-inch), the Razer Blade Stealth serves up power and speed. Starting at $899, this svelte little beauty (2.8 pounds, 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.52 inches) is made of the same stunning CNC aluminum, gorgeous display and captivating customizable Chroma keyboard as its bigger brethren.
In the interest of retaining those ultraportable dimensions, the Blade Stealth is only equipped with an integrated graphics card. While you’ll be able to play less-demanding titles like Dirt 3, games like Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider or Grand Theft Auto V are pretty much out of the question.
However, you can transform the Stealth into a full-fledged gaming system if you invest in the $499 Razer Core, the company’s graphics amplifier. All you need is the right desktop graphics card and boom! You’ve got a lean, mean gaming machine that will give a bonafide gaming laptop a run for its money.
Cons: Although it’s big on speed, performance and, of course looks, the Blade Stealth is lacking in the battery department. This system asted only about 6 hours on our battery test, which is below average for an ultraportable notebook. The keyboard is also a bit shallow for our tastes.
The Blade: For Gamers Who Play on the Go
Pros: The crown jewel in Razer’s lineup, the Blade offers an alluring mix of power, portability and longevity that makes it perfect for gaming on the go or settling in for a long quest on your couch. Weighing just 4.2 pounds, this is one slick beast.
Starting at $1,899, the Blade offers the latest 7th-gen Intel processors, beginning with Intel Core i5. And thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, the Blade is one of the thinnest VR-ready laptops on the market. It also has the typical Razer aesthetic, down to the glowing customizable Chroma keyboard.
In terms of games, the 1060 GTX GPU will net you a solid 60 fps on most titles on High. And if you’re feeling up to it, I definitely recommend plugging in an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and taking a walk on the virtual side. But, ultimately, the Blade is ideal for gamers that don’t want a massive desktop replacement taking up valuable space, but still want to play games at high framerates. And if you need it to, the Blade can definitely pull its weight as a productivity machine.
Cons: Thanks to that aluminum frame, the Blade can feel as hot as it looks. And with a chassis this compact, something had to be sacrificed. In the case of the Blade, the speakers aren’t as loud as I’d expect, so you’ll want to have a good headset or external speakers handy.
The Blade Pro: For Creative Professionals and Gamers with Deep Pockets
Pros: Back in the day, the 17-inch MacBook Pro used to be the end-all, be-all for creative professionals. But that system has gone the way of the dodo, leaving a 17-inch hole in many a video editor, music maker and game creator’s heart. Fortunately, Razer has the solution with the Blade Pro.
With a starting price of $3,699, the Blade Pro serves up a crazy vivid 4K Nvidia G-Sync display along with THX-certified audio. You also get an Intel Core i7 processor and a Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU — currently the most powerful mobile GPU available — all in a chassis that’s 0.88-inches thick and a manageable 7.8 pounds. The system also comes with a pair of lightning-fast PCIe SSDs and a programmable scroll wheel.
With the GTX 1080 and the G-Sync display, you can expect some seriously high framerates minus the unsightly tearing that can sometimes occur when the display fails to keep pace with the GPU. And like its smaller brother, the Blade Pro is more than capable of supporting VR. But outside of gaming, this laptop is made to create, whether it’s music, video, gaming or even designing a building.
Cons: At $3,699, this bad boy is crazy expensive, so only deep-pocketed creative professionals and gamers need apply. And while I commend Razer for creating the world’s first ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard, the keys were a bit shallow for my taste, despite their iridescent beauty.
|Razer Blade Stealth||Razer Blade||Razer Blade Pro|
|Screen||12.5 inches, 2560 x 1440 / 3840 x 2160||14 inches, 1920 x 1080 / 3840 x 2160||17.3 inches, 3840 x 2160|
|CPU||Core i5-7200 U / Core i7-7500U||Core i7-7700HQ||Core i7-7820HK|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620||GTX 1060||GTX 1080|
|RAM||8 – 16GB||16GB||32GB|
|Storage||128 – 2TB SSD||256 – 1TB SSD||512 – 2TB SSD|
|Size||12.6 x 8.1 x 0.52 inches||13.6 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches||16.7 x 11 x 0.88 iunches|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||4.2 pounds||7.7 pounds|