2019 Razer Advanced model - a Review

maflynn

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,922
32,268
Boston
I finally took the plunge and bought a Razer :oops: :)

I've had this now for little over a month

I opted for the advanced model with the optical keyboard for reasons listed below.
Specs:
1583409398539.png



Here are my thoughts:
Fit and finish - very Mac-like in many ways. It feels solid and built extremely well.

Speakers - a huge upgrade over the thinkpad, which were downfacing.

Keyboard - here's where things get interesting. I know with the 2019 model, Razer upgraded the keyboard keys so the secondary values like @#$ are illuminated but I opted for the 240hz display and since I was going for that why not the optical keyboard. Well that specific keyboard does not have secondary values illuminated for some wacky reason. Boy was I disappointed. The keyboard does not have the same feel or travel as the Thinkpad, and this is where I give Lenovo their due. The keyboard is fine though the travel is a tad short and its clickier then I may have preferred. I've largely gotten used to the odd / key placement - mostly because I remapped it.

Ports - inferior but manageable

Process/GPU - this is where this bad boy shines, its FAST and overall temps are in the 40s during light nominal work, gaming and benchmarks the temps creep up into the 80s and low 90s. Fan noise is surprisingly quiet mostly. Once the temps do reach the 80/90 mark the fans kick into higher gear and are more noticeable. Overall though its much quieter than the Thinkpad - in fact the noise difference is night and day.
1583412744769.png



I love the matte FHD 240hz screen, I found 4k in a 15" form factor is just too small to really take advantage of the 4k resolution. I'm quite pleased with Razer's screen.

The major reason I opted for the 240hz screen was due to PWM. I came across people complaining about PWM on the 120Hz screens (starting about December 2019), it appears Razer switched panel makers around that time and people are unhappy with the PWM. Wanting to avoid that whole headache (pun intended), I upped my budget and opted for the 240Hz screen - I'm quite pleased with that decision.

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, I find for the high price the small amount of ram (16GB) and storage (512GB) is frustratingly inadequate. I did pick up a 2TB SSD so that largely mitigates that issue though I do wish they opted for 2NVMe ports.

I'm ok with the synapse app, though for all of the bloat it doesn't really let you control too much, I'd prefer more control over the GPU and fans.

tl;dr Bought an Advanced 2019 Razer and its been a great experience.
 

retta283

macrumors 68000
Jun 8, 2018
1,660
1,399
Kingman, AZ
I am not in the market for a laptop anymore, but if I were shopping PCs I would probably go for ThinkPad or Razer. I think Razer is more gaming oriented though, weren't they the ones with the gaming phones? I'm sure that 240Hz is really enjoyable though. Glad you've been enjoying the machine.

The real shocker for me looking at this is the 8GB of VRAM. I still remember when the MBP first launched and the default option was a 128MB card. Even the first Intel iMac only had 128-256MB. I remember when Bootcamp launched a lot of people here did gaming testing, and they were impressed by how stout the Mac performed with the current 2004-06 games.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,062
3,009
Land of Smiles
I finally took the plunge and bought a Razer :oops: :)

I've had this now for little over a month

I opted for the advanced model with the optical keyboard for reasons listed below.
Specs:
View attachment 897554


Here are my thoughts:
Fit and finish - very Mac-like in many ways. It feels solid and built extremely well.

Speakers - a huge upgrade over the thinkpad, which were downfacing.

Keyboard - here's where things get interesting. I know with the 2019 model, Razer upgraded the keyboard keys so the secondary values like @#$ are illuminated but I opted for the 240hz display and since I was going for that why not the optical keyboard. Well that specific keyboard does not have secondary values illuminated for some wacky reason. Boy was I disappointed. The keyboard does not have the same feel or travel as the Thinkpad, and this is where I give Lenovo their due. The keyboard is fine though the travel is a tad short and its clickier then I may have preferred. I've largely gotten used to the odd / key placement - mostly because I remapped it.

Ports - inferior but manageable

Process/GPU - this is where this bad boy shines, its FAST and overall temps are in the 40s during light nominal work, gaming and benchmarks the temps creep up into the 80s and low 90s. Fan noise is surprisingly quiet mostly. Once the temps do reach the 80/90 mark the fans kick into higher gear and are more noticeable. Overall though its much quieter than the Thinkpad - in fact the noise difference is night and day.
View attachment 897556


I love the matte FHD 240hz screen, I found 4k in a 15" form factor is just too small to really take advantage of the 4k resolution. I'm quite pleased with Razer's screen.

The major reason I opted for the 240hz screen was due to PWM. I came across people complaining about PWM on the 120Hz screens (starting about December 2019), it appears Razer switched panel makers around that time and people are unhappy with the PWM. Wanting to avoid that whole headache (pun intended), I upped my budget and opted for the 240Hz screen - I'm quite pleased with that decision.

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, I find for the high price the small amount of ram (16GB) and storage (512GB) is frustratingly inadequate. I did pick up a 2TB SSD so that largely mitigates that issue though I do wish they opted for 2NVMe ports.

I'm ok with the synapse app, though for all of the bloat it doesn't really let you control too much, I'd prefer more control over the GPU and fans.

tl;dr Bought an Advanced 2019 Razer and its been a great experience.
Congrats at last :)

How long has this taken :D

I have found on my Blade 2019 Studio version maybe a handful of times the Synapse throws a wobbly and your preferred settings are ignored and it stays on some rainbow cycle but a close and re-open of the app seems to sort it out

Enjoy
 

AndyMacAndMic

macrumors 6502a
May 25, 2017
602
978
Western Europe
I finally took the plunge and bought a Razer :oops: :)

I've had this now for little over a month

I opted for the advanced model with the optical keyboard for reasons listed below.
Specs:
View attachment 897554


Here are my thoughts:
Fit and finish - very Mac-like in many ways. It feels solid and built extremely well.

Speakers - a huge upgrade over the thinkpad, which were downfacing.

Keyboard - here's where things get interesting. I know with the 2019 model, Razer upgraded the keyboard keys so the secondary values like @#$ are illuminated but I opted for the 240hz display and since I was going for that why not the optical keyboard. Well that specific keyboard does not have secondary values illuminated for some wacky reason. Boy was I disappointed. The keyboard does not have the same feel or travel as the Thinkpad, and this is where I give Lenovo their due. The keyboard is fine though the travel is a tad short and its clickier then I may have preferred. I've largely gotten used to the odd / key placement - mostly because I remapped it.

Ports - inferior but manageable

Process/GPU - this is where this bad boy shines, its FAST and overall temps are in the 40s during light nominal work, gaming and benchmarks the temps creep up into the 80s and low 90s. Fan noise is surprisingly quiet mostly. Once the temps do reach the 80/90 mark the fans kick into higher gear and are more noticeable. Overall though its much quieter than the Thinkpad - in fact the noise difference is night and day.
View attachment 897556


I love the matte FHD 240hz screen, I found 4k in a 15" form factor is just too small to really take advantage of the 4k resolution. I'm quite pleased with Razer's screen.

The major reason I opted for the 240hz screen was due to PWM. I came across people complaining about PWM on the 120Hz screens (starting about December 2019), it appears Razer switched panel makers around that time and people are unhappy with the PWM. Wanting to avoid that whole headache (pun intended), I upped my budget and opted for the 240Hz screen - I'm quite pleased with that decision.

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, I find for the high price the small amount of ram (16GB) and storage (512GB) is frustratingly inadequate. I did pick up a 2TB SSD so that largely mitigates that issue though I do wish they opted for 2NVMe ports.

I'm ok with the synapse app, though for all of the bloat it doesn't really let you control too much, I'd prefer more control over the GPU and fans.

tl;dr Bought an Advanced 2019 Razer and its been a great experience.
Congrats as well!. I must say it does not come as a surprise for me :) . You where eye-balling the Razer for quite some time! One thing I did not understand about your keyboard: does it or doe it not have secondary values illuminated ?
 
  • Like
Reactions: maflynn

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,062
3,009
Land of Smiles
Congrats as well!. I must say it does not come as a surprise for me :) . You where eye-balling the Razer for quite some time! One thing I did not understand about your keyboard: does it or doe it not have secondary values illuminated ?
Think as he went for the newer optical KB the secondary keys are not illuminated only the 2019 late standard KB are illuminated

But I assume the function key illuminates just the top row when pressed
 

kazmac

macrumors G3
Mar 24, 2010
8,427
6,219
Any place but here or there....
Congrats @maflynn - enjoy the Razer. I know you've wanted one for awhile. Thanks for mentioning PWM and the 240 display, very helpful.

When you mention the ports are inadequate, do you mean too few ports or something else?
I need to buy a Windows machine by the end of next week, so I am narrowing down choices here (Either from Best Buy or Microsoft which negates the Asus Studiobook. B&H's refusal of returns gets a big old hell no from me).
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,922
32,268
Boston
Regarding the keyboard.
the function keys light up as do the number keys but their secondary values don't.

For instance the number 3 key also doubles as #. On the razer keyboard, the # is not illuminated, so if you're typing on the laptop in less then ideal conditions and need to adjust to volume using fn-function key, you'll have a hard time seeing the volume value on the function key.

Also I didn't mentioned the trackpad, its much better then the thinkpad's

By the way, I am tickled pink over the laptop, I absolitely love it. No knock on the Thinkpad, though the Razer's GPU is much more powerful and overall its a better machine for my purposes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,062
3,009
Land of Smiles
The
!@#$%^ values are not illuminated on my keyboard but I see they are in that picture
Yep it seems really dumb they can't do that on all their KB's, how annoying at times

Does your function row and arrow keys only illuminate on pressing the fn key

It also takes sometime to getting use there is a fn just right of the arrow keys
 
  • Like
Reactions: Queen6

Thysanoptera

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2018
790
765
Pittsburgh, PA
Not everything is rainbows and unicorns, I find for the high price the small amount of ram (16GB) and storage (512GB) is frustratingly inadequate. I did pick up a 2TB SSD so that largely mitigates that issue though I do wish they opted for 2NVMe ports.

I'm ok with the synapse app, though for all of the bloat it doesn't really let you control too much, I'd prefer more control over the GPU and fans.
I have 4TB Sabrent in my Stealth which mitigates lack of space when I don't feel like taking my Base Blade 15 with me (which has 9.68TB inside).

If you're not into fancy RGB effects on keys, there is a tool 'knife' on github, which provides basic key back light control (just static color, same for all keys). And this color persists through reboots, from the very cold boot, so you're not getting that breathing effect until Synapse starts. You need to uninstall Synapse though for this to work, which will drop you down to 35+80W on CPU/GPU power. So, you kind of need to unlock Bios and remove power limits (GPU will stay at 80W though, but with CPU you will beat @Queen6 results all day long).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Queen6

Bandaman

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2019
542
1,116
You can upgrade both the SSD and the RAM ... so that's actually a huge plus for that laptop.
 

c0ppo

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2013
1,471
2,699
@maflynn

Could you do a simple test for me?
With multiple applications open, press win key + tab.
Is there a significant lag when doing that? Or any lag at all? Choppiness?

Thanks ?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,922
32,268
Boston
Does your function row and arrow keys only illuminate on pressing the fn key
1583496798722.png


I have 4TB Sabrent in my Stealth which mitigates lack of space when I don't feel like taking my Base Blade 15 with me (which has 9.68TB inside).
I have the Sabrent 2TB and I'm generally happy with the extra storage. Its a tad slower then I was expecting but I'll live with that given the lower price.

If you're not into fancy RGB effects on keys, there is a tool 'knife' on github, which provides basic key back light control (just static color, same for all keys)
Thanks for the info, I'll poke around with that

Could you do a simple test for me?
No lag, I have 19 windows open and alt-tab blows through all of them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SteveJUAE

Queen6

macrumors 604
I have 4TB Sabrent in my Stealth which mitigates lack of space when I don't feel like taking my Base Blade 15 with me (which has 9.68TB inside).

If you're not into fancy RGB effects on keys, there is a tool 'knife' on github, which provides basic key back light control (just static color, same for all keys). And this color persists through reboots, from the very cold boot, so you're not getting that breathing effect until Synapse starts. You need to uninstall Synapse though for this to work, which will drop you down to 35+80W on CPU/GPU power. So, you kind of need to unlock Bios and remove power limits (GPU will stay at 80W though, but with CPU you will beat @Queen6 results all day long).
I'd like the 17" however they are vastly over priced in my region. Likely sit it out until 2021 as not really seeing much that's going to be worth the price/performance, barring the jump to i9 versus this Asus. New is always nice and there are also other toy's to be had ?

Q-6
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2015
3,062
3,009
Land of Smiles
View attachment 897752


I have the Sabrent 2TB and I'm generally happy with the extra storage. Its a tad slower then I was expecting but I'll live with that given the lower price.


Thanks for the info, I'll poke around with that


No lag, I have 19 windows open and alt-tab blows through all of them.
Not that I fiddle with settings/Bios etc that much, but as I bought my 15" Studio version blind, from the US with no returns or warranty or service for 4K.

I think its the only legitimate one in Malaysia as I had to fill out the first set of import forms for this model :rolleyes:

However, Contra to reviews my one was not under volted, so I tweaked it a little in a vain attempt to knock the edge off some long term heat fatigue, so I feel a little less exposed, with no noticeable detriment.

So have a look :)
 

c0ppo

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2013
1,471
2,699
No lag, I have 19 windows open and alt-tab blows through all of them.
No, not alt-tab. But Windows Key + Tab. Alt tab blows through any device I've tried and owned. But WinKey + Tab is slow and laggy on almost any laptop device I've tried. Some suffer more from this, some less.

But considering you own a FHD device, with really beefy internals, I'm rather curious on how it behaves in your laptop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
9,851
8,293
Vilano Beach, FL
Hopefully it will run solid, when they do, it's neat hardware, however, we had a couple of issues, one more than one machine (dealt with them extensively as part of my former AR/VR company), and the only way we were able to get even some mediocre service was being able to engage with the HQ/offices on the west coast (things were less-than-acceptable attempting to deal with them remotely). Side note: don't even get me started on our $4K Aorus machines ...
 

grmlin

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2015
185
82
Sounds very good! I'm about to leave MacOS for work/development, as the 15" I use drives me crazy. I'm using Linux on my home PC instead and I love it. I think linux support is ok with the Razer laptops, and the thermals seem to be pretty good.

It's just too bad that I can't buy the Blade with a US keyboard here in Germany. So it's not an option sadly :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: maflynn

maflynn

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,922
32,268
Boston
Hopefully it will run solid,
Its been stable fast and problem-free (knocks on wood). I opted for an Amazon purchase with the extended warranty they offer, I think it was @c0ppo who mentioned using Amazon or Best buy's extended warranty to avoid Razer's and I used that with this purchase.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kazmac

c0ppo

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2013
1,471
2,699
Its been stable fast and problem-free (knocks on wood). I opted for an Amazon purchase with the extended warranty they offer, I think it was @c0ppo who mentioned using Amazon or Best buy's extended warranty to avoid Razer's and I used that with this purchase.
Indeed I did. As I don't live in USA, or country that has amazon at all, I often order from Amazon. I find their CS to be great, so I don't mind even paying extra for it. But often it's cheaper for me to buy from amazon.com, import and pay customs, then to purchase in my own country. Really stupid, but it is the way it is :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: maflynn and kazmac

D.T.

macrumors G3
Sep 15, 2011
9,851
8,293
Vilano Beach, FL
Its been stable fast and problem-free (knocks on wood). I opted for an Amazon purchase with the extended warranty they offer, I think it was @c0ppo who mentioned using Amazon or Best buy's extended warranty to avoid Razer's and I used that with this purchase.
The ones we had that didn't fail in the short[er] term, seemed to have run a decent amount of time **, I know of one i that's still in use (child hand-me-down for some gaming) * Yeah, that sounds like a better option, using Amazon as a warranty source. I had the same thing with a recent TB3 device, outside of Amazon, you're dealing direct (i.e., screwed ...) through Amazon, they get stuff done (as they'd hate to lose that channel for distribution).



** I happen to keep in touch with a guy who bought a Mini of mine, '12 model, still his main media server :D Our 2010 MBP still runs decent too, I guess we'll see what gives up first o_O
 

maflynn

Moderator
Original poster
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,922
32,268
Boston
The ones we had that didn't fail in the short[er] term
I've seem to see these machines fall into three camps. The first have problems out of the gate, the second have issues down the road, and finally the third.
 

Similar threads

  • maflynn
11
Replies
11
Views
397
  • PeterJP
6
Replies
6
Views
522
  • maflynn
35
Replies
35
Views
1K
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.