For all of the years we’ve talked about the gaming-hardware company Razer and its operation of costly and (sometimes) remarkably skinny gaming laptops, we’ve frequency put those “Blade” machines by endless testing. The Razer Blade line debuted in 2011 with a adorned multitouch row that had a screen inside of it—which, at the time, was the many Pimp My Ride tweak we’d ever seen in a laptop. (“Yo dogg, we listened you like screens, so we put a screen… in your trackpad!”)
But we upheld that one up, along with many other Razer laptops, solely for its 2016 not-quite-gaming entry, the Razer Stealth. As the company has staid into a steadier lane record, we wanted to take an event to see where Razer’s purest gaming laptop line has come now that its Blade Pro variant—which has a 17″ screen but a physique that’s still pretty thin—has a indication just a hair bashful of $2,000. If you wish Razer laptop facilities like a side-aligned trackpad and a customizable, color-mapped keyboard on your gaming-ready, 17-inch laptop, this means you no longer have to compensate for Razer’s whopping $3,999 chronicle of the same model.
Our verdict? For a 17-inch gaming laptop, the Blade Pro FHD indication is totally fine, and if you wish that distance in an impressively slim physique at a $2,000 cost point, this one comes with reasonable compromises. But distinct its insanely labelled sibling, this Blade Pro UHD indication struggles to excite us adequate to suggest it—and its cost tag—over cheaper and likewise powered gaming laptops.
Pro support rate, not pro specs
The executive stumbling point, utterly frankly, is the screen. It’s just not the stunner you competence wish or design when opting for a laptop as outrageous as this one.
The “FHD” in the indication name refers to the screen’s 1080p resolution, which isn’t itself a bad aspect—though you competence wish you were getting some-more resolution, deliberation that many rival 13-inch laptops offer 1440p resolutions and beyond. The perk with this “only” 1080p screen, then, is a warn 120Hz modernise rate. That’s double the customary 60Hz you’ll find on many laptop panels.
That sounds like an overwhelming trade, right? 120Hz monitors are odd in gaming laptops, and the burst to a aloft support rate is mostly worth a trade in gaming attributes like geometry, shaders, shadows, pixels, and so on. Just by dialing back a few settings, you can presumably enjoy a silkier support rate, which is quite lovely things in genres like first-person shooters.
But the Blade Pro FHD’s 17-inch, 1080p, 120Hz guard is blank one pivotal bullet indicate in that list of attributes: non-static modernise rate. (Conversely, the some-more costly Blade Pro 4K includes G-Sync technology.) And with just adequate energy lacking, that’s a slight problem here, at slightest for the cost of this system.
Unlike a desktop complement with energy and overclock headroom to spare, the Blade Pro UHD opts for the slowest of last year’s Kaby Lake i7 mobile processors, the i7-7700HQ, with a “turbo” time limit of 3.8GHz and other notebook-related limitations. Should you simply wish to close into a 60fps modernise at 1080p resolution, that kind of cover processor will do the trick, and the system’s GTX 1060 cover version, finish with 6GB GDDR5 RAM, is a ideally excellent compare for that graphics form at medium-high settings.
But 120Hz gaming is some-more CPU-bound. As a result, when you slap a diversion onto the Blade Pro UHD and aim for that max refresh, you may very good not strech it, which instead leads to screen ripping and support rate spikes. Some players don’t mind these, but they positively revoke the fibre approaching of a guard with such a modernise rate. G-Sync and Freesync monitors residence the healthy support rate opposite you can design from complicated games as they essay for 120Hz and beyond. Their explosions and other effects can trigger support rate spikes on even plain systems, let alone ones at the same energy turn as the Blade Pro FHD.
My best instance came from contrast PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a sharpened diversion that is admittedly unoptimized but that can also scale down on PC to strech decent support rates. But we simply couldn’t get there at full 1080p resolution. I forsaken the settings to PUBG‘s lowest visible preset—with some of the ugliest textures famous to humanity, along with awful foliage digest and other visible hiccups—and still never reached a unchanging modernise above 95fps. It was customarily closer to 85fps.
And that winds up being the issue with games from the complicated era: they’re not going to hit 120Hz on this monitor. That’s totally excusable in terms of the Blade Pro FHD’s specs, and you can strech ideally excellent 60Hz opening but support rate spikes or visible tearing. But if you wish the full intensity from this notebook, in terms of its power-and-screen combo, you’ll need to step back to reduction demanding games—your Counter-Strikes, your Rocket Leagues, and your Dota 2s, which can all close above 120Hz on this complement with settings dialed down. If you’re cold with profitable for that specific portable perk, then the Razer Blade Pro is for you.
Beyond that, the screen is a standard-issue IPS panel, and unfortunately it comes true from the bureau with a conspicuous blue tint. At a limit luminance of 297 nits, the row positively doesn’t have major liughtness on its side; the limit is fine, but you’ll wish you had a little some-more at a quite splendid coffee shop.