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Razer is back with a new Blade lap­top, and it’s the com­pany’s best look­ing ma­chine yet. The 2018 Razer Blade is milled from a sin­gle block of alu­minum, and the re­sult is a sleek, dusky beauty that you can use for both work and play.

The Blade rep­re­sents a shift in Razer’s de­sign lan­guage, and it takes on a more an­gu­lar and blocky look that is rem­i­nis­cent of the

Razer Phone.

How­ever, Razer says that this sharper (lit­er­ally) look is also a re­sult of the ex­i­gen­cies of a more com­pact de­sign. The more squared-off cor­ners al­low Razer to push com­po­nents fur­ther to the edge of the chas­sis, mak­ing ad­di­tional room for things like a larger bat­tery and a more spa­cious com­po­nent lay­out.

Im­age qual­ity on the Blade’s Full HD IPS dis­play is top-notch. Col­ors re­ally popped for me, and the slim bezels cre­ated a more ex­pan­sive and im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence that has been sorely lack­ing on Razer lap­tops be­fore this one. View­ing an­gles were also ex­cel­lent, as ex­pected of an IPS panel, while the matte nish helps to dull re­flec­tions.

How­ever, I found my­self run­ning it at 100 per cent bright­ness most of the time, so it feels like it could be a bit brighter.

The screen’s top bezel is also markedly thicker than those at the left and right, but it does mean that there’s still room for a we­b­cam there. In the quest for ever slim­mer bezels, many man­u­fac­tur­ers have had to com­pro­mise and re­lo­cate the we­b­cam to the bot­tom bezel, which gives rise to some se­ri­ously un­flat­ter­ing cam­era an­gles.

If you ask me, a marginally thicker top bezel is a small price to play for a more func­tional de­sign. An­other thing I re­ally like is the larger than av­er­age Win­dows Pre­ci­sion Touch­pad.

At 130 x 80 mm, it pro­vides more us­able space and im­proves the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence. The glass-topped touch­pad is su­per smooth, pre­cise, and re­spon­sive, with good feed­back for the in­te­grated left- and right-click but­tons. The RGB back­lit key­board is pow­ered by Razer’s Chroma soft­ware, and the light­ing is bright and even and very pretty to look at. The Chroma con­fig­u­ra­tor pro­vides ex­ten­sive perkey cus­tomiza­tion op­tions, and you’ll have a eld day tweak­ing it to suit your pref­er­ences.

As with all slim de­signs, cool­ing is a con­cern, and Razer says the Blade uti­lizes va­por cham­ber tech­nol­ogy to keep the lap­top cool in­stead of more con­ven­tional heat pipes. It uses this for both the CPU and GPU, the vac­uum-sealed va­por­ized liq­uid helps dis­si­pate heat from the other com­po­nents as well.

In ad­di­tion, it em­ploys a spe­cial nanopar­ti­cle layer be­tween the key­board and the in­ter­nal com­po­nents to block heat trans­fer to ar­eas that the user touches most of­ten, such as the palm rests.

The right Shift key is lo­cated next to the ar­row in­stead of the ques­tion mark.

The Blade charges via a pro­pri­etary power con­nec­tor.

At 17.3mm thick, this is the thinnest lap­top in this shootout.

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