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Razer Raptor 27 review: Smart, striking and a little bit silly

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The Good The Razer Raptor 27 is a very good 27-inch display for 1440p gaming. It gets pretty bright and has a broad enough color gamut to make your games pop, and it's packaged in a striking design.

The Bad The cabling may be impractical if you work on a crowded desk or need to replace cables. Tall people may find they can't raise it high enough for comfort. Plus, it's expensive.

The Bottom Line It's a great 27-inch gaming monitor for 1440p setups, but you may want to consider the Razer Raptor 27's design drawbacks before buying.

8.2 Overall
  • Design 7.8
  • Features 8.3
  • Performance 8.2

The Razer Raptor 27, the company's first dip into the seething waters of the gaming display market, is the mullet of monitors: elegant business in the front; aggressive party in the back. If I had to come up with a single word to describe it, I'd go with "overdesigned." It's strikingly stylized and a bit impractical. Its bright 27-inch, 2,560x1,440-pixel panel is quite good, and its feature set, which includes support for FreeSync and G-Sync-Compatible adaptive refresh, a wide color gamut and a 144Hz refresh rate, hits most of the right notes you'd expect for its big $700 price tag.

That's on the high side, though, since you can get the just-as-terrific, albeit less fancy-schmancy, 4K Acer Predator XB273 for only $100 more. The bulk of Razer's lesser competitors hover in the $400 range.

The striking design is an interesting translation of Razer's black-slab laptop aesthetic, and there are some things I really like about it, like the elegant Chroma-compatible underglow. Plus, the dark gray fabric back adds to the classy vibe you don't normally get from a gaming monitor.

The monitor raises and lowers via channels in the back. While I love the gray fabric, I can't help but picture it covered with orange cat hair.

Sarah Tew/CNET

To access the connectors, you can tilt the display back 90 degrees. That kind of ease of access is a touch few monitor manufacturers think about, but which makes life so much better when you work on a crowded desktop or need to frequently get to them. You can't rotate the display, but the base rotates smoothly on a desk while still resisting sliding in any other direction.   

Razer Raptor 27 specifications

Price $699
Size (diagonal) 27-inch
Panel type IPS
Resolution 2,560x1,440 pixels
Aspect ratio 16:9
Maximum gamut 95% P3
Brightness (max/typical) 420 nits/380 nits
Windows 10 HDR Video, wide color gamut, games  
Adaptive sync FreeSync, G-Sync Compatible
Vertical refresh rate 48-144Hz
Gray/gray response time (milliseconds) 4ms
Connections 1x HDMI 2.0b, 1x DP 1.4, 1x USB-C with DP 1.4 support, 2x USB-A 3.2
Audio Headphone jack
Release date October 2019

I've noticed, however, that the rubbery material it uses leaves marks on surfaces like the laminate bench it's been sitting on here in the CNET Lab -- the dock for the Viper Ultimate has the same base and the same problem.

But the cabling is just kind of nuts. Razer designed it to use flat, bright green cables with right-angle connectors that feed through individual channels in the back. That means if a cable is bad you need to replace it with a matching one from Razer, or suffer with a third-party flat cable that doesn't look the same, or worse, a standard cable that doesn't bend in the right ways, all defeating the purpose of the highly stylized design. 

It tilts 90 degrees so you can get to the connectors underneath. A really, really big convenience.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The cables don't glide easily through the channels, so getting everything to lie properly can be a pain. While DisplayPort, HDMI, USB-C cables and a USB-A extender come in the box, there's no matching DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable... which you'd need to connect to a Razer laptop, or most any laptop, to get G-Sync compatible adaptive refresh. Although it supports USB-C alt mode (DisplayPort) for connecting via USB-C, Nvidia requires the monitor be on the GPU bus for all G-Sync variable refresh, but USB-C is on the internal GPU/CPU bus.

The cabling design is kind of high-maintenance. But the underglow on the base is cool.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Plus, that side-by-side channel design means the base has to be huge at a time when most manufacturers are going small to conserve desk space. And I've already noticed a ding in it which I can't unsee. 

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