THE RAZER BLADE
IF YOU HAD TO DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT LAPTOP IT WOULD PROBABLY BE THIS
When it comes to laptops, there’s usually a choice between a sober, work-friendly model, a bulky gaming machine and a svelte ultra-portable which sacrifices power for battery life. For years we’ve had to choose between one or the other or, in rare instances, a model that can excel at two of three facets. But not anymore. Finally, the trifecta has been achieved! Say hello to the latest Razer Blade.
A TOUGH YET THIN STUNNER
First off there are the looks. The matte-black finish oozes sophistication and yet it would not look out of place at a LAN party or in an office. The super-thin lid is solid enough to protect the screen from knocks and its new, sharper lines look cutting edge. The screen bezels are now unbelievably thin on either side and make more room for more screen: Razer has somehow increased the display size from 14 inches to 15.6 inches with only a minimal effect on chassis dimensions.
There are different screen options available for different requirements too and all leave the factory having been individually colour-calibrated. One choice is the sRGB-certified, gamefriendly, Full HD gaming display with a 144Hz refresh rate for silky-smooth gaming. There’s also a 4K Ultra High Definition unit that’s certified for the Adobe RGB colour space for those who eschew gaming gains for maximum resolution. The latter is also available as a touch screen. Whatever you choose, the vibrant colours look stunning when set against the signature monolithic black of the chassis.
And what a chassis it is! Milled from a single block of aluminium, it’s so solid that it feels almost bombproof and yet this aerospace-grade technology means the whole package weighs just 2.1KG. It’s one of the thinnest models in its category too with a height of just 17mm and a width of just 35.5cm.
A DELIGHT TO USE
Set against the chassis is the RGB LED keyboard where every key is individually lit. Razer’s Synapse app allows for multiple lighting effects which can range from mesmerising, decorative colour fluctuations to performance-enhancing, game-specific lighting configurations. The Razer Chroma technology that drives it means you can even synchronise your lights with external Razer devices. Whatever your preference, the full-sized keyboard and low travel keys are comfortable to type on for extended periods, whether that’s for typing a lengthy office report or owning n00bs into the small hours.
Flanking the keyboard are stereo speakers which will impress you with their performance – you won’t expect the power or the rounded, punchy bass that exudes from such a small chassis. They also support Dolby Atmos technology so you can rest assured that the best multimedia and movie audio effects will be compatible. Adjacent to these resides a large, glasscovered touchpad that is super responsive.
But what lies beneath? The new Razer is no show pony. Inside this mildmannered reporter of a notebook is a true, thoroughbred, powerhouse of a super machine. Sporting the latest and greatest Intel 8th Generation Core i7 processor – a 2.2GHz hexacore i7-8750H with 4.1GHz Turbo Boost – that’s flanked by fast, 2,666MHz RAM and a speedy NVMe hard drive, the Razer flies through any processing task that you throw at it. But that’s not all. It also sports discreet graphics to the tune of Nvidia’s GTX 1070 GPU which means it easily plays the latest and greatest games at the highest settings which, of course, look fabulous on the amazing screen. It’s a gamer’s dream! (If for some reason you require even more power, know that Razer’s Blade is also compatible with the Razer Core external GPU enclosure.)
Now at this point some gaming notebook aficionados may be shifting in their seats recognizing that powerful processors in
small chassis can frequently cause overheating issues which can simultaneously make notebooks uncomfortable to use while suffering performance throttling. But once again Razer has you covered.
Not only are Intel’s 8th generation processors and Nvidia’s Max-Q technologywielding GPUs designed to operate optimally at high temperatures, the layout of Razer’s chassis has been specially tailored to deal with heat dissipation. It uses Razer’s special, copper, vacuum-sealed vapor chamber which is more efficient than the traditional heat-pipe cooling methods used in other laptops. The chamber contains deionized water which turns to vapor while quickly and efficiently carrying heat to the integrated heat exchangers. Bleeding edge technology such as nanoparticle Nasbis sheeting and graphitebased pads are used to further control heat and reduce hotspots. All the while, twin 44-blade fans quietly move high volumes of air across the components and away from the notebook.
THE COMPLETE PACKAGE
Following that back to the outside… in a laptop that has everything you need to support the most up-to-date connectivity and Razer provides. There are three USB 3.1 Type-A ports for the fastest, traditional connections, plus a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port for the latest devices. Video out is catered for with a full-sized HDMI 2.0b port plus a Mini DisplayPort (version 1.4). Wi-Fi is taken care of thanks to Intel’s AC 9260 dualband wireless chip and BlueTooth 5 is also supported. Finally, above the screen is an HD webcam that sits between dual-array microphones for crystalclear speech.
But what about portability? It’s all well and good having a laptop that does it all, but it’s not much cop if you can’t stay away from a power socket for more than a few minutes. Once again Razer rises to the challenge and nails the trifecta: you can expect the Blade to playback Full HD movies for a whopping six hours! If you need to perform some heftier tasks while out on the road, know that it ran PCMark’s gruelling battery test for almost four-and-ahalf hours!
This is an ultimate laptop. It excels at everything and leaves no key feature unaddressed. It’s available in multiple SKUs from $2,900 (Nvidia 1060 graphics, 256GB hard drive and 60Hz screen) through $3,999 (Nvidia 1070 graphics, 512GB hard drive and 144Hz screen) all the way up to $4,699 for the 4K touchscreen version. Whatever your preference, there’s a Razer Blade that does it all available for you.
“This is an ultimate laptop. It excels at everything and leaves no key feature unaddressed”
The new Razer Blade (centre) joins the Razer family of powerhouse laptops, which includes the Razer Blade Stealth (left), and Razer Blade Pro (right)
Stylistic flourishes adorn the Blade, while thoughtful design and features make it a dream to use