Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Today we are taking a look at one of Razer's new Razer Blade 15 notebooks with refreshed Intel CPUs and platform features. Most notably we are going from four cores to six cores, we are getting more future proof WIFI and improved cooling.
The notebook can be configured with a GTX 1070 or 1060, both with Max-Q design. Most of the models come with a 1080P 144Hz display, but there is also a 4K 60Hz display option available as well. Let's take a look at what Razer has in store for us.
Our model uses the 1080P 100% sRGB IPS matte display, an i7-8750H CPU, a GTX 1070 with Max-Q design, 16GB dual-channel DDR4, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and an 80Wh battery. It comes with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, and mini-DP. Weighing in at 4.63lbs and measuring 13.98"x9.25"x0.63" the notebook is quite thin and doesn't weigh as much as some other 15" gaming notebooks.
The Blade Pro in our configuration chimes in at $2,599.99.
Razer's box is simple, and packaging is equally as simple.
Accessories include AC/DC power adapter, AC power cord, stickers, and a micro-fiber cloth. The AC/DC adapter is rated at 11.8a at 19.8v, so 230W.
The top and bottom are quite simple, and yes, the Razer logo lights up when the system is on. The aluminum body construction feels sturdy and high-quality, although fingerprints are easy to spot. The bottom features some intake vents as well as some exhaust vents. Two large horizontal rubber feet will keep the notebook in place on a smooth surface.
The front of the unit features a slight lip where you can grip the display to open the notebook. The rear features a large center hinge. On the left, we have Razer's proprietary charging port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a headphone combo jack. On the right of the device, we find a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0 port, a mini-DP port, and a Kensington lock slot.
The QWERTY keyboard is backlit with RGB LEDs behind each key, interestingly enough, you can feel airflow near certain areas as the blower fans pull air in from the key areas as well. You can use Razer Chroma to control the RGBs.
The touchpad is their Precise Glass Touchpad, and its texture is a welcome alternative to traditional touchpads.
The power button is integrated into part of the speaker guard mesh.
Physical Overview Continued
We get a 1MP 720P camera along with an array microphone.
The notebook opens up roughly 135 degrees.
Here we can see the notebook all opened up, and the new vapor chamber in its greatness. The new technology is different from what Razer has used in the past. The huge chamber uses graphite-based ser-grade thermal materials, 69 fins on the heat exchangers, and custom 44-blade fans. With the battery on the opposite side of the notebook, weight is distributed pretty evenly.
We find Intel's latest Wireless-AC 9260NGW, which is capable of 2x2 wireless AC up to 1.733Gbps. We also see Razer is using 8GB Samsung memory modules.
Right above the 80Wh battery, we find the 512GB NVMe SSD. It is a Samsung MZ-VLW5120, which is like a PM961.
Software and BIOS
Dolby Atmos comes installed to optimize audio.
Razer's Synapse program can be used to take advantage of all of Razer's software.
The BIOS holds all the settings you might need to configure the notebook, but there isn't much to configure.
System Performance Benchmarks
CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks
These benchmarks are run using default settings and configuration.
AIDA64 AES and HASH
Handbrake 4K and 720P Transcoding
The 8750H is destroying the 7700HQ in anything multi-core dependent, which is to be expected. It falls a bit short on Handbrake, but that could be a frequency dominant thing. Overall, performance rocks for such a thin notebook.
Gaming Performance Benchmarks
UNIGINE Heaven 4.0
Ashes of Singularity
The Razer 15 is demolishing the Razer Blade Pro by a decent margin, and I think it's due to two extra cores coupled with better cooling on a GPU heavily dependent on cooling. It's a 15" mobile gaming beast.
System IO and Battery Performance
System IO Benchmarks
Internal Storage Read Test:
Internal Storage Write Test:
ixChariot Network Throughput:
Razer gave the new notebook a huge NVMe upgrade, and while the notebook will only take one storage device, it's a lot faster. Networking is solid.
The battery performance is slightly worse than the 17inch notebook, but that could be due to a large number of factors. It's not the worst battery performance, and you can't have it all.
Here we can see that the notebook does warm up a decent amount, but part of the reason is that the metal chassis is a good thermal conductor. We can also see where the intake fans are since they can draw air through the keyboard.
We can see the vapor chamber doing its job, concentrating the heat so that it can be blown out.
What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts
Much more CPU Power: With two extra cores and high turbo clock the new i7-8750H work pretty well as a gaming CPU, especially if other things are running in the background. The CPU is quite well paired with the GTX 1070 with Max Q design, and the two are a match made in heaven with the 1080P display.
Construction: We loved how well built the notebook was, and it met the level of expectations we expect from Razer notebooks. We love the unibody construction.
New Vapor Chamber: The new vapor chamber is the future of high-end notebook cooling, and we hope to see it implemented in other notebooks from Razer down the line. It seemed to do an excellent job of cooling the CPU without
Battery Life: We found that the battery life of this notebook was a bit lacking, even more so than on the previous 17" model we reviewed.
The Blade Pro was a very beastly gaming PC, but it was a bit large and heavy, queue the Razer Blade 15. The new Razer blade has a much more advanced CPU with 50% more cores, and it seems to pair perfectly with the GTX 1070 with Max-Q design.
Overall, we were toughly impressed with the notebook, but its battery will drain extremely quickly if all you are doing is gaming, but normalized use should last you a day. The vapor chamber might be a pricey option, but it does excellent cooling both the CPU and GPU with ease and without too much noise. If you are in the market for a high-end 15" gaming notebook built to last, give the Razer Blade 15 a look.
The Bottom Line: We highly recommend the Razer Blade 15 with the new 8th Generation processor to anyone looking for a dependable, durable, fast, and gorgeous notebook.
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