Handling the graphical heavy lifting is the Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card with 6GB of video RAM. That's the best price-versus-performance card in the current Nvidia lineup. It also comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM, which is pretty standard for a laptop of this caliber. The Blade kept up with the game Doom at high settings when frame rate was locked at 60fps, with almost no dropped frames, even in chaotic situations. The Nvidia 1060 will also support VR headsets like the or the , which is a relatively new feature for laptops.
The newer Intel Core i7-7700HQ is also a big plus. One big advantage of Intel's latest CPUs is better battery life, and the Razer Blade's battery lasted 8 hours and 15 minutes in our CNET Labs battery testing, up from 5 hours and 41 minutes in the previous model. Note that gaming off the battery will give you much shorter battery life, usually a couple of hours at most in our experience.
The Blade doesn't have a huge storage hard drive in its default config, but thanks to high-speed ports, using external storage isn't a big hassle. Quick transferring is available via the Thunderbolt 3 port and three USB 3.0 ports. There's no Ethernet port on this bad boy, which can be an issue if you want to download 25GB or larger games from Steam or other online game stores.
It can competently double as a workstation in a professional environment, though it's overpowered as a work or family computer. While running Chrome, I had about 20 tabs open, while streaming HD video, before it started to show any signs of lag.
The Blade's aluminum chassis gets hot easily when gaming, making it uncomfortable to have on your lap. It does cool down pretty quickly after you're done playing. It has two fans on the bottom that deal with the heat the graphics card generates. They can get very loud. The fans spin up a frenzy for all tasks, not just gaming, though they're a little quieter in those cases.
The Blade's 1080p display has a matte finish that's sharp and bright. Just because it's matte doesn't mean it's lackluster. The Blade's full HD screen displays clear details, vibrant colors and satisfying brightness, no matter if you're playing Doom or watching the. It's visible in direct sunlight and doesn't reflect a lot of ambient light in bright environments.
Built-in stereo speakers produce decent sound without much distortion at max volume. The top-mounted speakers aren't as loud as I'd like but they are clear and crisp, with warm soundscapes during gameplay.
Any way you slice it
While the Razer Blade is a gorgeous gaming laptop, it lacks the customization of a full-size gaming laptop or desktop, and costs more than other gaming laptops with similar specs. That makes it hard to recommend for either very serious or very budget-minded gamers. But if portability and style are top priorities, the Razer Blade hits those marks while still playing most of today's games at high settings and full-HD resolution.
Razer Blade performance charts
|Price as reviewed||$1,899|
|Display size/resolution||14-inch 1,920x1,080 display|
|PC CPU||2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ|
|PC memory||16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz|
|Graphics||6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
|Razer Blade||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060; 256GB SSD|
|Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming (2017)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 256GB SSD|
|Alienware 13 R3 (OLED late 2016)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060; 512GB SSD|
|Dell XPS 15 (2017)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHZ Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050; 512GB SSD|
|HP Omen (17-inch)||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Asus ROG Strix GL753VE-DS74||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti; 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD|