Razer Blade (2016)
Average of 4 scores (from 8 reviews)
Reviews for the Razer Blade (2016)
Solid as a Rock. The new Razer Blade packs a GTX 1060 in a great aluminum case. The laptop offers reliable input devices, Thunderbolt 3 and an amazing IGZO panel. With all this on the table, what could go wrong? Besides some smaller issues, the greatest weakness was its lackluster gaming performance. However, the latter has now been fixed with an EC update.
There are plenty of reasons why this laptop deserved to win our Best of Year award, but it's really the combination of all those strong assets that make this latest Blade a strong choice. With Apple sacrificing so many critical assets on its pro machines, it's great to see that Razer is unafraid to continue offering users what they want and need in a package that truly focuses in on the highest performance possible. If you opt for the Blade over a similarly-equipped MacBook Pro, you won't be giving up much, and what you get in return is a top-notch typing experience, blisteringly fast graphics, and a lower price. Headed into 2016, it's the professional PC laptop to beat. Even dyed-in-the-wool Mac people should consider the Blade they're looking to switch from the Mac to a comparable Windows PC with the best performance available.
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 12/06/2016
The Blade is a robust laptop, it has an understated style that hides some mouth-watering specifications within the thin chassis, and it delivers an almost flawless experience.
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 12/03/2016
Source: Mobile Tech Review
It's hard not to fall in love with the 2016 Razer Blade, and that's what we like for a machine this expensive. It has an immaculate design that's cool looking yet calm enough to take to work. Performance is very impressive, particularly for something this thin and light. Both the 1920 x 1080 matte IPS display and the IGZO QHD+ touch screen are pretty and on my short list for photo and video editors who need good color accuracy and brightness (I lean toward the 1080p matte display for lack of glare and better contrast and viewing angles).
Single Review, online available, Very Long, Date: 11/24/2016
Rating: Total score: 90%
Source: Gear Open
Of the three new Razer laptops, the Razer Blade is probably my favourite. It’s the best option for someone who needs a good laptop for work, a good laptop for gaming, and doesn’t want to compromise in either direction. It’s expensive, sure – but all thin, light and powerful laptops are. And with a slick design, it’s hard to fault the new Blade.
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 10/21/2016
Source: PC Games DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 12/02/2016
Source: PC Games DE→EN
Single Review, online available, Long, Date: 11/22/2016
Source: Lyd og Billede DA→EN
Single Review, online available, Medium, Date: 05/09/2017
Rating: Total score: 67%
Source: Ljud och Bild SV→EN
Single Review, online available, Very Short, Date: 06/02/2017
Rating: Total score: 67%
Model: Released in 2016, the Blade 14 inch from the manufacturer Razer is thought to be the convenient version for those who want a powerful laptop with comfortable design. With 1.9 kg weight only and the 14-inch screen, this notebook is compact for user to bring with when travelling. However, its performance is still similar to the previous version's, actually there are not too many changes or improvements. Razer still keeps the same graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970) as the last year’s model. This is also true for chassis, screen, touchpad, etc. Yet the Razer Blade 14 inch 2016 is powered by the i7-6700HQ processor from Intel’s 6th generation of the Core i-series. In addition, this manufacturer still develops it with some new ameliorated features for a comparative price.
Design and Display
Regarding page UltrabookReview, the general design of the Blade 2016 is rather extraordinary. Although it hasn’t changed much during a year, it’s still one of the best constructed and best looking laptops. “It’s not the fastest gaming notebook on the planet but at just 4.5 pounds (2.04 kg) with a profile that’s thinner than a dime standing on its side, you’ll have no trouble tossing it in your backpack as you walk out the door”, said page TechSpot. The chassis, as remarked from page UltrabookReview, is very well constructed. Razer opted for the same anodized aluminum unibody design, which is a good move in the reviewer’s opinion.
According to UltrabookReview, the Sharp IGZO IPS 14-inch QHD touchscreen with a maximum resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 pixels is still a real pleasure to look at after already two years. Yet, “Perhaps the only thing not to like about the screen is that it’s glossy and has a high reflection factor” (TechSpot’s quote).
Keyboard and Trackpad
For the trackpad, it’s exactly the same as in the previous models. “It works very well in my opinion, correctly registering all my touch gestures without fail. Tracking was accurate and it felt very smooth to the touch and comfortable to use”, UltrabookReview gave an opinion. Moreover, TechSpot supposed that at 10.48 cm (4.125 inch) wide, the touchpad of the Blade 14 inch 2016 is plenty large for a system of this size. Rather than integrate the mouse click buttons directly into the touchpad, Razer went with physical click buttons, a practice that isn’t nearly as common as it used to be.
Besides, the keyboard itself is more than adequate for a gaming notebook and the layout leaves nothing to be desired. The reviewer of page TechSpot said that if he had had to single out one shortcoming, it would have been that the key travel is a tiny bit shallow. According to page UltrabookReview, “Like the Razer Blade Stealth, the Razer Blade uses a very unique keyboard. It’s Razer’s Chroma variant, so each key is programmable to 16 million color choices. So if you ever wanted a keyboard with the ability to make each key a different color, this is the one for you”. Nevertheless, also from this page, the reviewer complained that one of the other big issues he had with the keyboard was there was no backlighting for the secondary key functions. On top of that, the media keys are not backlit either, so finding the key to turn off the keyboard lighting ironically requires a flashlight until you memorize its location.
Performance and Emissions
Equipped with a sixth generation Skylake Core i7-6700HQ processor, the Razer Blade should be very capable of essential web tasks, along with some more intensive productivity workloads such as heavy spreadsheet editing, photo editing and more (a remark from page TechSpot). “Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, so there is no way to upgrade it in the future”, complained UltrabookReview. The Blade 2016 version falls in line with other laptops using the Nvidia GTX 970 chip. As an evaluation from UltrabookReview, in Witcher 3, this laptop itself just reached 38 - 42 fps at High Setting at 1080p resolution, the CPU was at 83 Celsius degrees, and GPU temperature was 85 Celsius degrees, while the frame rate fell to around 25 - 30 fps with Ultra settings. When it comes to graphics performance, the 970M was able to run most modern games at the native 3,200 x 1,800 resolution at normal/medium graphics quality. Bumping up to high/ultra at this resolution resulted in a framerate drop that’s below acceptable standards.
For the heat, whereas most notebooks take in fresh air from the bottom of the system and expel it out of the side or back, the Blade disposes of hot air via vents below the display that channel air up from the bottom of the screen. Using an infrared temperature gauge, the reviewer of page TechSpot found that the wrist rest never climbed above 40.56 C (105 Fahrenheit) during heaving gaming, which is barely warm. But for UltrabookReview, under gaming loads, the laptop gets extremely hot. Hence, it will definitely be difficult to do long sessions directly on your lap. Also from that page, they thought: “Under full gaming load, the laptop’s fan start to get extremely loud. The pitch was pretty high, which made the noise more noticeable to others in the room”.
Battery Life and Audio
About the battery, as commented on UltrabookReview, “The Razer Blade lasted a stellar 7 hours and 45 minutes before shutting down using stock “Power Saver” power profile, 40% brightness, Wi-Fi off, bluetooth off and running 720p movie in a continuous loop. I am pretty impressed with the battery readings I was able to measure with the Razer Blade”. Sadly, the Blade doesn’t follow this trend. Its 70 Wh battery regularly struggles to last longer to three-to-four hours, even when doing basic tasks, such as word processing and web browsing.
As for the speakers, they are good but not great. Evaluated from TechSpot, it feels as though the speakers are right on the edge of being overpowered. “Unfortunately, the speakers aren’t the highest quality in terms of putting out sound. Still, as far as gaming laptops go, they are pretty good” (quoted from UltrabookReview).
In conclusion, the Razer Blade 14 inch 2016 did not have considerable upgrades as user expected. Yet, the beautiful and high resolution display of this laptop as well as its thin and slim design could conquer most customers, even though they are extremely awkward. Furthermore, the performance of this notebook is not really an disadvantage, however, do not consider it an advantage as well. Yet, the laptop is still powerful enough for every demands even some heavy gaming. “I’m very impressed with this year’s (2016) version of the Razer Blade. Although there are a couple areas that need a little more work, I think they’ve improved in a couple key areas that have piqued my interest” (from the UltrabookReview’s perspective). On contrary, there are some flaws existing, such as: the Nvidia 9 series mobile GPU is on its way out, or a touch display is useless on a non-convertible system. In general, page UltrabookReview concluded that this is a powerful laptop, considering the small size. They really did a nice job taking up as much space in such a small footprint and keeping the weight low and let’s not forget it is still having decent battery life.
Press Review by Capuchino SaberNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop): The mobile GTX 1060 is based on the GP106 chip and offer 1280 shaders. Compared to the identically named desktop version it features a slightly lower clock rate. Games in Full HD and maximum details should run fluently on the card. With these GPUs you are able to play modern and demanding games fluently at medium detail settings and HD resolution. » Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Graphics Cards and the corresponding Benchmark List.
Intel Core i7: The Intel Core i7 for laptops is based on the LG1156 Core i5/i7 CPU for desktops. The base clock speed of the CPUs is relatively low, but because of a huge Turbo mode, the cores can dynamically overclock to up to 3.2 GHz (920XM). Therefore, the CPU can be as fast as high clocked dual-core CPUs (using single threaded applications) but still offer the advantage of 4 cores. Because of the large TDP of 45 W / 55 W, the CPU is only intended for large laptops.
6700HQ: Skylake-based quad-core processor for notebooks. Offers an integrated HD Graphics 530 GPU and is manufactured in 14 nm.» Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Processsors.
Above all, this display size is used for subnotebooks, ultrabooks and convertibles. For all three types, this size is quite large. The biggest variety of subnotebooks is represented with this size.
Large display-sizes allow higher resolutions. So, details like letters are bigger. On the other hand, the power consumption is lower with small screen diagonals and the devices are smaller, more lightweight and cheaper.» To find out how fine a display is, see our DPI List.
This weight is typical for very big tablets, subnotebooks, ultrabooks and convertibles with a 11-13 inch display-diagonal.
Razer: Razer USA Ltd. is an American hardware manufacturer founded in 1998. The focus is on gaming devices as well as accessories; traditionally computer mice. The products were often named after fables or animals. However, Razer also offers laptops under the series name "Blade".
There are reviews on the Razer Blade series since 2013, but not overly many. The market share in the laptop market is low and the ratings are average (as of 2016).
77.2%: This rating is not convincing. The laptop is evaluated below average, this is not really a recommendation for purchase.
» Further information can be found in our Notebook Purchase Guide.