The new Razer Blade - 2019

maflynn

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I have to admit, I've not forgotten my time with the Razer blade and there still is a pang of returner's remorse. That is to some degree, I'm still a bit bummed out that I returned it. Before I dig into that, which will probably come in a subsequent post, I wanted to put forth the details of the new Razer Blade. In some sense its a spec bump and in another sense, they made some nice changes.

The update keeps the same Coffee Lake processor but offers a new GPU, which even the lower end RTX 2060 sees a reported 20% bump over the GTX 1060. For my needs the 1060/2060 are more then enough.

One thing that is a HUGE deal for me is the updated keyboard. Those secondary values, e.g., %,$, & are illuminated. This was one of the major pain points I had when I owned the original Razer Blade back in June. See Razer 15.6 review


upload_2019-1-12_10-52-57.png


I suspect not much else changed internally, so fan noise can still be an issue, charging is done so via the large brick and its large connector.

The display is Matte, which I like but its odd but the 16:9 aspect ratio is noticeable perhaps because in part I used the FHD model. Apple's retina screen out performs the FHD by a lot, its brighter and more crisp. I think Apple does a better job at scaling as well but windows is pretty decent at this point.

I don't think anything changed with the trackpad and its palm rejection wasn't as good as Apple's.

Battery life is not the greatest, the Lenovo and MacBook Pro beat it out by a large margin.

Windows vs. macOS, this one is tougher. This was the other major factor in deciding to return the Razer, but I do find myself more at home with Windows and while there are features I'd miss (iMessage probably one of the biggest things), I'm more at home with windows as I work with it all day.

The options are limited, the advanced model is a tiny bit thinner but only offers a single storage. The base model using the GTX 1060, offers dual storage but for some sad reason Razer plops a hard drive in there.

I'm leaning towards the RTX 2060, because I get the 144Hz screen, per key Chroma, I don't miss the ethernet. The RTX2060 retails for 2,300 whilst the GTX 1060 can be had for 1,600.

I'm pretty sure I can sell my MBP more then 1,600 though I don't know what the going rate is (2,000?). I also get an annual stipend from work that will offset the cost somewhat as well.

upload_2019-1-12_11-2-3.png
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
Recently looked at the Mi Gaming Notebook at one of Mi's Stores, very impressive for the price easily good a build quality as Razer or Apple, feels like it's literally hewn from solid aluminium.

Doubt many will have easy access, if I was looking for a 15" I'd own one as for me the pricing is tremendous in the region of $1100 :) New 2nd Gen looks and feels fantastic, I might just pick one anyway as the Mi is seriously a nice notebook that puts many at twice the price to shame.

Q-6
 
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SteveJUAE

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Aug 14, 2015
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I have to admit, I've not forgotten my time with the Razer blade and there still is a pang of returner's remorse. That is to some degree, I'm still a bit bummed out that I returned it. Before I dig into that, which will probably come in a subsequent post, I wanted to put forth the details of the new Razer Blade. In some sense its a spec bump and in another sense, they made some nice changes.

The update keeps the same Coffee Lake processor but offers a new GPU, which even the lower end RTX 2060 sees a reported 20% bump over the GTX 1060. For my needs the 1060/2060 are more then enough.

One thing that is a HUGE deal for me is the updated keyboard. Those secondary values, e.g., %,$, & are illuminated. This was one of the major pain points I had when I owned the original Razer Blade back in June. See Razer 15.6 review


I suspect not much else changed internally, so fan noise can still be an issue, charging is done so via the large brick and its large connector.

The display is Matte, which I like but its odd but the 16:9 aspect ratio is noticeable perhaps because in part I used the FHD model. Apple's retina screen out performs the FHD by a lot, its brighter and more crisp. I think Apple does a better job at scaling as well but windows is pretty decent at this point.

I don't think anything changed with the trackpad and its palm rejection wasn't as good as Apple's.

Battery life is not the greatest, the Lenovo and MacBook Pro beat it out by a large margin.

Windows vs. macOS, this one is tougher. This was the other major factor in deciding to return the Razer, but I do find myself more at home with Windows and while there are features I'd miss (iMessage probably one of the biggest things), I'm more at home with windows as I work with it all day.

The options are limited, the advanced model is a tiny bit thinner but only offers a single storage. The base model using the GTX 1060, offers dual storage but for some sad reason Razer plops a hard drive in there.

I'm leaning towards the RTX 2060, because I get the 144Hz screen, per key Chroma, I don't miss the ethernet. The RTX2060 retails for 2,300 whilst the GTX 1060 can be had for 1,600.

I'm pretty sure I can sell my MBP more then 1,600 though I don't know what the going rate is (2,000?). I also get an annual stipend from work that will offset the cost somewhat as well.

View attachment 815435
Great when those little previous points get put right, single SSD no issue IMO as many prefer ext drives, colour correctness a bit of an overrated spec unless your a media professional as most YouTube and the like posters audience are playing on such a wide spread of devices your wasting your time specing up for them.

Get it and enjoy :D
[doublepost=1547332615][/doublepost]
Recently looked at the Mi Gaming Notebook at one of Mi's Stores, very impressive for the price easily good a build quality as Razer or Apple, feels like it's literally hewn from solid aluminium.

Doubt many will have easy access, if I was looking for a 15" I'd own one as for me the pricing is tremendous in the region of $1100 :) New 2nd Gen looks and feels fantastic, I might just pick one anyway as the Mi is seriously a nice notebook that puts many at twice the price to shame.

Q-6
Glad to see a change in the garish design being toned down, great value, would like to see how quite it is under normal productivity else that fan noise could be a show stopper if ever present on dailies
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
Great when those little previous points get put right, single SSD no issue IMO as many prefer ext drives, colour correctness a bit of an overrated spec unless your a media professional as most YouTube and the like posters audience are playing on such a wide spread of devices your wasting your time specing up for them.

Get it and enjoy :D
[doublepost=1547332615][/doublepost]
Glad to see a change in the garish design being toned down, great value, would like to see how quite it is under normal productivity else that fan noise could be a show stopper if ever present on dailies
One I looked at was cool & quiet, admittedly it wasn't doing very much. Build quality has to be experienced, like Apple of old it makes a strong statement. The hinge is super smooth, evaporates to nothing when closed. Notebook feels super solid to the hand, like it's carved out aluminium :cool:

It's where Mac's should be; stealthy, performant, smartly priced, pissing on the competition, I'm in :cool: As for Apple what a ****ing disappointment you are :oops::( over 20 years, going, going, gone...

Q.-6
 
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GoldfishRT

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I mean, other than the performant and smartly priced part Apple is still doing largely what they've done for over a decade now.

I'm wary of the Chinese manufactures - even if I was super impressed by the Matebook X Pro. The support network isn't really here yet in the USA and there's a little part of me, call it conditioning or whatever you want, that just doesn't really 'trust' a largely unknown company from the Chinese mainland. Of course, this is hypocritical considering up until recently I'd buy a Lenovo pretty readily even if it weren't a ThinkPad.

The most Mac not-a-Mac I've seen is that new Razer Blade Stealth but boy is it expensive for an ultrabook. I guess it's not terribly worse than any MacBook but still.. $1900 for any well equipped Ultrabook is a hell of a lot of money to spend great specs or not.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
I mean, other than the performant and smartly priced part Apple is still doing largely what they've done for over a decade now.

I'm wary of the Chinese manufactures - even if I was super impressed by the Matebook X Pro. The support network isn't really here yet in the USA and there's a little part of me, call it conditioning or whatever you want, that just doesn't really 'trust' a largely unknown company from the Chinese mainland. Of course, this is hypocritical considering up until recently I'd buy a Lenovo pretty readily even if it weren't a ThinkPad.

The most Mac not-a-Mac I've seen is that new Razer Blade Stealth but boy is it expensive for an ultrabook. I guess it's not terribly worse than any MacBook but still.. $1900 for any well equipped Ultrabook is a hell of a lot of money to spend great specs or not.
Same can be said of Apple in the East, over priced, under achieving, poor support, as for security the user is by far the weakest link simple as that. Mi & Huawei are very far from being unknown, btw all Mac's are manufactured in China.

Apple continues to disappoint and continues to do so, as it simply wants to impress the kiddies, little else...

Q-6
 
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jrichards1408

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Nov 4, 2016
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Have they changed the stupid shift and arrow key placements and is this laptop silent when not under heavy load?
 

alpi123

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Have they changed the stupid shift and arrow key placements and is this laptop silent when not under heavy load?
As you see, the keyboard layout has not changed. They think it's better for gamers but I dislike it too.
 

GoldfishRT

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As you see, the keyboard layout has not changed. They think it's better for gamers but I dislike it too.
It’s such an odd argument too. I used to play a LOT of PC games and I can’t think of anything other than Trackmania that defaulted to the arrow keys.

Even all the 2d platform games I play used WASD now.

And if it were really a concern they could dip the arrow keys down like a ThinkPad.

Useless design in the name of aesthetics.

But I am a lefty and use the right shift by default. Ymmv.
 

maflynn

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It’s such an odd argument too.
If is, but overall, I'd rather have a slightly odd ?/ key placement but the keyboard is solid. I'm still not sold on why they did it, and I'm kind of bummed they didn't correct the issue with the 2019 refresh.
[doublepost=1547410769][/doublepost]
Recently looked at the Mi Gaming Notebook at one of Mi's Stores, very impressive for the price easily good a build quality as Razer or Apple, feels like it's literally hewn from solid aluminium.

Doubt many will have easy access, if I was looking for a 15" I'd own one as for me the pricing is tremendous in the region of $1100 :) New 2nd Gen looks and feels fantastic, I might just pick one anyway as the Mi is seriously a nice notebook that puts many at twice the price to shame.

Q-6
The Yter seems to really hate the fan noise, and some of the design seems quite austere. The fact that its not sold in the US, its the Chinese version of windows, and no warranty is enough to close the door on the laptop for me.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
If is, but overall, I'd rather have a slightly odd ?/ key placement but the keyboard is solid. I'm still not sold on why they did it, and I'm kind of bummed they didn't correct the issue with the 2019 refresh.
[doublepost=1547410769][/doublepost]
The Yter seems to really hate the fan noise, and some of the design seems quite austere. The fact that its not sold in the US, its the Chinese version of windows, and no warranty is enough to close the door on the laptop for me.
No it's not for everyone, my situation is different as I'd get the full warranty, Chinese Windows is a non issue as I'd upgrade with an English version and have access to a physical Mi Store. I don't personally think it's a noisy machine and the performance is very solid. Currently I don't have a need, when I do I'll revisit Mi as the quality is impressive and the performance in place.

Q-6
 
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maflynn

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Still not much is known about the RTX2060 but here's what I found on nvidia so far

In the Razer's favor I get a form factor that I really like. The keyboard is nice, the performance is stellar and heat management is better then some of the other Coffee lake based laptops. I could be wrong but I believe the aspect ratio is 3:2 and that is noticeable compared to the MBP

rtx.JPG
 

jrichards1408

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Nov 4, 2016
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Still not much is known about the RTX2060 but here's what I found on nvidia so far

In the Razer's favor I get a form factor that I really like. The keyboard is nice, the performance is stellar and heat management is better then some of the other Coffee lake based laptops. I could be wrong but I believe the aspect ratio is 3:2 and that is noticeable compared to the MBP

View attachment 816147
Get the 2070
 

c0ppo

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Feb 11, 2013
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Razer with 3:2 screen? Highly doubt it, they aim for gamers, and 16:9 is cheaper and makes more sense for gaming.
 

maflynn

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Razer with 3:2 screen? Highly doubt it, they aim for gamers, and 16:9 is cheaper and makes more sense for gaming.
I know that doesn't make sense, but I've did see somewhere that it mentioned 3:2
[doublepost=1547733048][/doublepost]
Get the 2070
The 2070 is just outside of my budget. I also think the 2060 is the sweet spot on performance vs. heat. It should run cooler, that's the case with the 2018 version, i.e., 1060 Razer is a bit cooler then the 1070 but the 1070 is significantly faster then the 1060. I was happy with the 1060, so that's why I'm just focusing on the 2060 variant of the Razer.
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
I know that doesn't make sense, but I've did see somewhere that it mentioned 3:2
[doublepost=1547733048][/doublepost]
The 2070 is just outside of my budget. I also think the 2060 is the sweet spot on performance vs. heat. It should run cooler, that's the case with the 2018 version, i.e., 1060 Razer is a bit cooler then the 1070 but the 1070 is significantly faster then the 1060. I was happy with the 1060, so that's why I'm just focusing on the 2060 variant of the Razer.
Razer is a gaming centric notebook, so it'll be 16:9 as modern games are in that format. 1070 is a push in a slim 15" chassis maybe the new ROG Zephyrus, equally it has an extreme cooling solution. 1060 versus 1070 is a big jump in performance, a big jump in power demand & cooling...

If looking to game 2060 is the way ahead or higher, what's interesting me is the 17.3" Zephyrus although I'm not sure that there's much tangible benefit over my current 17.3" GL703GS baring the obvious of around 20% more GPU performance, equally limited to 24Gb RAM.

Q-6
 

GoldfishRT

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So you know how life can be sometimes and y'all know by now I can't help myself from trying stuff (if some retailers return policy gets more strict I'm probably among those who caused it so you know).

I made the mistake of wandering into a Best Buy over the weekend. I was in there looking at drones but happened to walk by the PC section where they had a large set of boxes of Open Box / Clearance. There was an unassuming brown box but I happened to glance at the tag and it was a Razer Blade 15!

Now normally Best Buys open box deals aren't the... best buys :3 but I about rolled out of my chair when I saw the price of it:

Blade 15 2018, i7, 512gb, 16gb, 144hz 1080p display. Open box return unit. For $1534 and tax.

Now I had considered the Blade as I would spec it - with the 4k screen, well out of my price range and the 1080p screens are not my preferred but for that price, I took a chance. Out the door for almost exactly $1650.

I'm glad I did - this is by far the second most impressive Windows laptop I've tried. The execution is darn near the best I've seen this side of the OS fence. The machine has its faults but just to run down the list.

Things I like:

144Hz - is awesome. I'd rather have 4k but the buttery smooth animations are something I can get used to. It makes the whole machine feel supremely responsive. It makes gestures in Windows not feel like *****! I also appreciate the matte finish. I used to think 300 nits was too dim but I think it's entirely dependent on the surface coating. This thing is visible in all but the worst light.

Inputs - Keyboard is shallow but has way more rebound than most shallow keyboards and I'm already used to the odd shift key. Trackpad is simply the best Windows trackpad. Even the Surface products aren't as good.

Fans - They are almost always running however they are far quieter than the XPS, to the point I don't hear them in normal use.

Aesthetic - other than the green razer logo on the back I'm am super into the aesthetic of this machine. It's like a ThinkPad and a MacBook had a baby. It's sharp, angular, and slick and I love it. The keyboard RGB backlighting is wholly unnecessary but I actually enjoy it too.

Overall build - The thing is a tank. The base is sturdy and the lid is thick. No flex anywhere. Everything lines up properly. Love the braided charging cable.

Things I hate:

Speakers - They have these big huge grills, and a lot of volume, but they suck hard core. They can pop in certain circumstances (like the drivers turning on and off) and I had to go to the internet to find it's just how they are. Major bummer that a 12" MacBook has better speakers than this honking thing especially considering Razer builds some reasonably good audio solutions. From what I can gather even the new Stealth sounds better than this thing. Ugh.

Keyboard - I still don't think I should have to relearn a layout in 2019 but here we are. Also the lack of secondary functions being lit is annoying for the function keys. I'm a touch typist but that will never not be annoying. Especially with grey on black keys so I can't see **** in the dark.

Thermals - Razer has done impressive stuff with the cooling but its still a hexacore and a 1060 stuffed into a thin chassis and when you push it it gets HOT. I'm not talking the chips. I'm talking the entire machine. The palm rests. The keyboard. The top of the case. It can't be good for the longevity of anything on the device. I really can't help but think that this would be better off with a 1050TI and maybe an extra 15wh of battery. You cannot push this machine on your lap. Hell even just typing here the bottom is quite warm. Warmer than the 13" MacBook Pro gets when being pushed.

Battery life - It's okay. Maybe about 6 hours of normal use and maybe 7 if you put it to 60hz and only watch Netflix. I'm really more worried about whether or not the battery will explode from the heat or not.

Quality control - Now I want to make it very clear that this Blade is better than every single Dell XPS I tried, the X1E and X1C I tried, and two of the three Surface devices I tried. But I'm still going to whine about it because it's still expensive and I don't understand how even in this trying time for Apple they're head and shoulders above everybody else in this regard. There are no compromising quality issues with my machine, none of it affects use but they are issues. The right speaker grill has like two holes that missed being punched at the bottom of the grill, mostly unnoticeable but you can feel it (and see it if you know its there). There is very minor backlight bleed at the top of the display. The display bezel is slightly bulging out on the bottom center-left and top center left - and touching either spot as apposed to the other parts of the bezel results in visible and audible flex. The S key is famously sunken in for no good reason. You can see some glue by the feet which will come off because Razer cant affix laptop feet and haven't been able to for years now. One of the case screws might be stripped.

It's little things but they definitely do make a difference in terms of ones impression of the machine.

So would I recommend it?

For the $2200 or whatever Razer is asking for it - absolutely not. For the $1900 Amazon wants? If you want the performance and build over all else - sure.

But for the price I paid... I'm actually kind of falling in love with the Blade. I've got another week to play around with it but overall I'm impressed. Do not get me wrong, I think at all the prices they're asking it should have a higher resolution screen in 2019. 2560x1440 high refresh panels exist and I don't doubt Razer could find somebody to supply a 15" variant. But if I can get past that little bit I think I may have finally found my Windows laptop.
 

jrichards1408

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Nov 4, 2016
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Razer is a gaming centric notebook, so it'll be 16:9 as modern games are in that format. 1070 is a push in a slim 15" chassis maybe the new ROG Zephyrus, equally it has an extreme cooling solution. 1060 versus 1070 is a big jump in performance, a big jump in power demand & cooling...

If looking to game 2060 is the way ahead or higher, what's interesting me is the 17.3" Zephyrus although I'm not sure that there's much tangible benefit over my current 17.3" GL703GS baring the obvious of around 20% more GPU performance, equally limited to 24Gb RAM.

Q-6
Is that the same between a 1050 and 1060?
 

kazmac

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I finally tested these today.

I am so not ready for right hand trackpads :confused::D (I am a lefty), but at least the Microsoft rep and I got a good laugh from my phantom trackpad mine routine.

I love the colorful keys too (the Chroma?)

I liked the Stealth a lot. As helpful as a matte display is, I am all gloss though.

If there’s one thing I am learning in my transition to PCs, the aesthetics and build better be nice and not flimsy or bland. My inner design snob is not so quiet lately.
 

GoldfishRT

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Jul 24, 2014
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I finally tested these today.

I am so not ready for right hand trackpads :confused::D (I am a lefty), but at least the Microsoft rep and I got a good laugh from my phantom trackpad mine routine.

I love the colorful keys too (the Chroma?)

I liked the Stealth a lot. As helpful as a matte display is, I am all gloss though.

If there’s one thing I am learning in my transition to PCs, the aesthetics and build better be nice and not flimsy or bland. My inner design snob is not so quiet lately.
It's definitely hard to find machines with design and build as refined as Apple's in the Windows world.

The Razer is by far my favorite but it's also not quite there yet either. And the 4k screen option which I'd love to have makes it more expensive than a well equipped 15" MacBook Pro. Oof.
 

maflynn

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And the 4k screen option which I'd love to have makes it more expensive than a well equipped 15" MacBook Pro. Oof
Yeah. I really like the razer design but there's no way I can justify the cost of the 4k model. My wife would kill me
 
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