Notebookcheck

Razer Blade 2017 (GTX 1060, 7700HQ, Full-HD) Laptop Review

J. Simon Leitner (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 04/12/2017

I Am What I Am. The Razer Blade combines great performance with good mobility and a healthy dose of design. The result is an appealing notebook which weighs in at less than 2 kg and measures less than 20 mm thick. The price is not for the faint of the heart, however.

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Razer Balde 2017

As part of our in-depth look at the external GPU dock Razer Core (review to follow shortly), the Razer Blade once again made it onto our test bench - this time in its most up-to-date configuration with Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU. We reviewed both the Full-HD as well as the QHD+ version last fall - but since those two notebooks were equipped with Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ CPUs and we had some firmware issues to boot, we thought it might be prudent to take look at the version with the newest hardware. For detailed information regarding the chassis, the connectivity and the input devices, please check the following reviews:

Razer Blade 2016 (GTX 1060, 6700HQ, QHD+)
Razer Balde 2016 (GTX 1060, 6700HQ, Full-HD)

We'd also like to point out our reviews of the smaller Razer Balde Stealth: 

Razer Blade Stealth (i7-7500U, QHD+)
Razer Blade Stealth (i7-6500U, 4K)

Razer Blade (2017) (Blade Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1404 MHz, Memory: 8008 MHz, GDDR5, 378.92, Optimus
Memory
16278 MB 
, DDR4 Dual-Channel
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 157 PPI, LP140WF3-SPD1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel HM175
Storage
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphone combo-jack
Networking
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18 x 345 x 236 ( = 0.71 x 13.58 x 9.29 in)
Battery
70 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: webcam
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet Razer Chroma, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.84 kg ( = 64.9 oz / 4.06 pounds), Power Supply: 520 g ( = 18.34 oz / 1.15 pounds)
Price
2149 Euro

 

Since neither the chassis nor the configuration have changed (for more details please check our review of the Razer Blade), will start our review with a look at the display panel, for which we can supply a few additional measurements. The Full-HD display (LP140WF3-SPD1) from LG - the same panel type the company used before - posts near-identical values for brightness and contrast, although of course there are some minor variations due to the manufacturing process. 

296
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
249
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 296 cd/m² Average: 277.1 cd/m² Minimum: 30 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 272 cd/m²
Contrast: 1046:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.59 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.28 | - Ø
83% sRGB (Argyll) 55% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.23
Razer Blade (2017)
LP140WF3-SPD1, , 1920x1080, 14
Gigabyte Aero 14
LG Philips LP140QH1-SPF1 (LGD049A), , 2560x1440, 14
Alienware 13 R3
JJT6C_133KL05 (SDCA029), , 2560x1440, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
APPA033, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Response Times
-32%
-5%
-101%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
25.2
41
-63%
47.2
-87%
Response Time Black / White *
24.8
25
-1%
2.8
89%
53
-114%
PWM Frequency
21370
240
-99%
Screen
Black Level *
0.3
0.56
Brightness
257
310
542
Brightness Distribution
79
87
90
Contrast
967
1016
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.59
2.54
1.4
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.32
1.43
1.8
Gamma
2.25 107%
2.3 104%
2.16 111%
CCT
7320 89%
6337 103%
6877 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59
78
78.4
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
92
97
99.3
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-32% / -32%
-5% / -5%
-101% / -101%

* ... smaller is better

Razer Blade Chroma Keyboard with PWM
Razer Blade Chroma Keyboard with PWM

We do have some new insights concerning the use of PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and regarding the response times. We recently started using a new measuring probe, which allows for more precise measurements. From the first step in brightness reduction PWM is used - but at a very high frequency of above 21 kHz, which is higher than our existing device could measure. Users are likely not affected, since most people sensitive to flickering react to frequencies way below 1000 Hz. Interesting is the fact that Razer uses PWM also for the Chroma Keyboard - but this time at a much lower frequency of just over 300 Hz.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 21370 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 21370 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 21370 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 1402 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Thanks to our new equipment, we also observed slight changes in the response times. The black/white and grey/grey response times of 25 ms are slightly better than what we recorded for the same panel using our older instrument. The results are certainly satisfactory, although the Razer Blade doesn't stand a chance against the Alienware R13 with OLED display, as this display technology is characterized by particularly quick response times.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13.2 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 34 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (27.2 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
25.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 17.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.1 ms).

Performance - Gaming Laptop with GTX 1060?

The Razer Blade is a well-rounded multimedia notebook capable of handling current games as well thanks to its hardware complement consisting of a quad-core Intel i7-7700HQ CPUNvidia Geforce GTX 1060 GPU and a fast PCIe NVMe SSD. The GPU performance is of course crucial when it comes to the latest crop of games. The GTX 1060 GPU is the successor of the Geforce GTX 970M and as such an "entry-level" high-end card. The GPU offers performance roughly equivalent to the GTX 980M, which happened to be the second-fasted GPU solution for notebooks until the introduction of the current Pascal-based graphics cards.

HWInfo
HWInfo
Nvidia GTX 1060
Nvidia GTX 1060
Latency Monitor
Latency Monitor

Processor

Now equipped with an Intel i7-7700HQ (Kaby Lake) CPU, the Razer Blade is up-to-date as far as the hardware is concerned. We shouldn't expect huge performance gains, however, which is something the results of the following benchmark tests confirm as well. Compared to other compact gaming notebooks with the same CPU, the Razer Blade 2017 scores are just average, but we should point out here that the difference to the top score is just a few percentage points.. The new notebook with Kaby Lake CPU scores about 3 % higher in the Cinebench R15 single-core test and about 8 % higher in the multi-core portion than the predecessor with i7-6700HQ processor.

What's more important is the fact that the Razer Blade offers stable performance when running our Cinebench R15 multi-core test. The performance remains extremely high with no pronounced dips even during prolonged load scenarios.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
162 Points ∼73% +5%
Alienware 13 R3
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼71% +3%
Gigabyte Aero 14
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
159 Points ∼71% +3%
Asus Strix GL502VM-DS74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼70% +1%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼70% +1%
Razer Blade (2017)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
154 Points ∼69%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
152 Points ∼68% -1%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
149 Points ∼67% -3%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
140 Points ∼63% -9%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U (macOS)
131 Points ∼59% -15%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Strix GL502VM-DS74
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
743 Points ∼40% +2%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
742 Points ∼40% +2%
Alienware 13 R3
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
737 Points ∼40% +1%
Gigabyte P55W v7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼39% +1%
Gigabyte Aero 14
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
730 Points ∼39% 0%
Razer Blade (2017)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
729 Points ∼39%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
725 Points ∼39% -1%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
678 Points ∼36% -7%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
673 (min: 660) Points ∼36% -8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U (macOS)
339 Points ∼18% -53%
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
729 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
53.4 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
154 Points
Help

System Performance

Unsurprisingly, Futuremark's PCMark 8 benchmark tests also show that the new i7-7700HQ CPU doesn't have significant advantages over the predecessor when it comes to performance. Nonetheless, the notebook easily handles even demanding multimedia applications and games.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
5317 Points ∼82% +6%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
5268 Points ∼81% +5%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
5008 Points ∼77%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
4920 Points ∼76% -2%
Gigabyte Aero 14
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, LiteOn CX2-8B256
4702 Points ∼72% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
4218 Points ∼65% -16%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
2722 Points ∼42% -46%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
4765 Points ∼80% +20%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4141 Points ∼69% +5%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
4013 Points ∼67% +1%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
4010 Points ∼67% +1%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
3958 Points ∼66%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
3738 Points ∼63% -6%
Gigabyte Aero 14
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, LiteOn CX2-8B256
3717 Points ∼62% -6%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3958 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5008 points
Help

Storage Devices

Our review notebook comes equipped with a 256 GB SSD, which means that we are now in the fortunate position of having been able to test all three available SSD options. Larger SSDs are sometimes significantly faster than smaller ones, which is something we can observe here as well. Sequential reads and writes see the most noticeable improvements: the 1 TB model tops out at 1668 MB/s and 1977 MB/s for reads and writes, which is a multifold increase over the 256 GB version (311 MB/s and 1122 MB/s). The performance of the 512 GB SSD falls somewhere in the middle.

The 256 GB SSD could potentially be a bottleneck for the base configuration, especially if gaming is on the agenda. Users who don't want to pay for the upgrade (+200 Euro / ~$215 for 512 GB, +650 Euro / ~$695 for 1 TB) might consider transferring their Steam or Origin library to an external SSD.

Razer Blade (2017)
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Razer Blade (2016)
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
Gigabyte Aero 14
LiteOn CX2-8B256
Alienware 13 R3
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Apple SSD AP0256
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
35%
113%
60%
35%
93%
Write 4k QD32
308
480
56%
508
65%
441
43%
311.2
1%
419
36%
Read 4k QD32
565
573.4
1%
591.9
5%
601.6
6%
593.1
5%
657
16%
Write 4k
134.3
139.6
4%
145.6
8%
131.2
-2%
140.2
4%
23.5
-83%
Read 4k
34.8
42.22
21%
58.08
67%
44.93
29%
37.65
8%
16.1
-54%
Write 512
310
603.5
95%
1030
232%
814.2
163%
405.6
31%
1481
378%
Read 512
682
654.8
-4%
800.1
17%
984.7
44%
1070
57%
1183
73%
Write Seq
311
603.4
94%
1668
436%
794.6
155%
789.4
154%
1336
330%
Read Seq
1122
1296
16%
1977
76%
1584
41%
1373
22%
1662
48%
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Sequential Read: 1122 MB/s
Sequential Write: 311 MB/s
512K Read: 682 MB/s
512K Write: 310 MB/s
4K Read: 34.8 MB/s
4K Write: 134.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 565 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 308 MB/s

GPU Performance

An evaluation with the 3DMark benchmarks shows that the Razer Blade scores at the lower end of the range when compared to other gaming laptops with the GTX 1060 GPU - our previous tests showed similar results. Compared to the previous Blade with GTX 970M GPU, the performance has increased by a solid 50 %, however.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Gigabyte Aero 14
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14731 Points ∼29% +6%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14693 Points ∼29% +6%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14450 Points ∼28% +4%
Asus Strix GL502VM-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14347 Points ∼28% +3%
Alienware 13 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
14275 Points ∼28% +3%
Razer Blade (2017)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
13870 Points ∼27%
Razer Blade 14 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel Core i7-4720HQ
9571 Points ∼19% -31%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
2696 Points ∼5% -81%
3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Gigabyte Aero 14
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11625 Points ∼30% +7%
Gigabyte P55W v7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11426 Points ∼29% +5%
Alienware 13 R3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11323 Points ∼29% +4%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11261 Points ∼29% +4%
Asus Strix GL502VM-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
11186 Points ∼29% +3%
Razer Blade (2017)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-7700HQ
10853 Points ∼28%
Razer Blade 14 2015
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel Core i7-4720HQ
7321 Points ∼19% -33%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
1657 Points ∼4% -85%
3DMark 11 Performance
12114 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
9313 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
4948 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Witcher 3 log: constant performance
Witcher 3 log: constant performance

As always, we subject the test candidate to a series of real-world gaming benchmark tests. While the Razer's scores towards the bottom in a comparison with other notebooks equipped with the GTX 1060 GPU when running Rise of the Tomb Raider or Witcher 3, the results for Deus Ex Mankind Divided or For Honor are very good indeed.     

During our Witcher 3 stress test (fixed position for 60 minutes, ultra preset) the recorded results show fairly constant performance of between 36 - 40 fps. The changing weather and the day/night cycles can explain the difference between the lower and the higher endpoints of the range. At no point we saw any significant dips which could be attributed to throttling. The CPU temperature stabilized around 70 °C, die GPU just under 80 °C.

01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra
Deus Ex Mankind Divided
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:2xMS AF:8x
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
30 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
29.4 fps ∼98% -2%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
28.1 fps ∼94% -6%
1920x1080 High Preset AF:4x
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
55.9 fps ∼100% +2%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
55 fps ∼98%
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
52.4 fps ∼94% -5%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
64.1 fps ∼100% +12%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
61.8 fps ∼96% +8%
Asus FX502VM-AS73
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
61.3 fps ∼96% +8%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
60.7 fps ∼95% +6%
Asus Strix GL502VM-DS74
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SSD 960 Evo 250GB m.2 NVMe
60.2 fps ∼94% +6%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
57 fps ∼89%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
74.5 fps ∼100% +5%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
72.6 fps ∼97% +2%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
71 fps ∼95%
Mass Effect Andromeda
1920x1080 Ultra Preset (Resolution Scale Mode off) AA:T
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
43 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 High Preset (Resolution Scale Mode off) AA:T
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
50 fps ∼100%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
39.4 fps ∼100% +6%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
38.4 fps ∼97% +4%
Gigabyte Aero 14
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, LiteOn CX2-8B256
38.3 fps ∼97% +4%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
38.3 fps ∼97% +4%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
37 fps ∼94%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
76 fps ∼100% +12%
Gigabyte P55W v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D256
70.4 fps ∼93% +4%
Acer Aspire VN7-593G-73HP V15 Nitro BE
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
68 fps ∼89% 0%
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
68 fps ∼89%
For Honor
1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:T AF:16x
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
71 fps ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 14
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, LiteOn CX2-8B256
42.4 (min: 27.1) fps ∼60% -40%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:8x
Razer Blade (2017)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
94 fps ∼100%
Gigabyte Aero 14
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, LiteOn CX2-8B256
56.3 (min: 45.9) fps ∼60% -40%
low med. high ultra
The Witcher 3 (2015) 1836837fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 1587157fps
Deus Ex Mankind Divided (2016) 1035530fps
For Honor (2017) 1459471fps
Mass Effect Andromeda (2017) 1225043fps

Emissions - Quiet in the Office, Noisy when Gaming

System Noise and Temperature

The newest iteration of the Razer Blade is completely silent during idle or when performing office-type tasks like browsing, as both fans aren't spinning at all. Only longer load periods affecting either the CPU and/or the GPU will cause the fans to spool up - and then the system can actually get very loud. Case in point: during our real-world Witcher 3 test, we measured 51 dB, which is quite noisy (maybe even obtrusively so) while gaming. For this reason, we recommend the use of high-quality headphones.

The surface temperatures remain low at low load levels, although the temperatures climb sharply when gaming. Positive is the fact that the palm rests as well as the left side of the keyboard (WASD) remain quite cool (see the thermal images below).

Witcher 3
 35.9 °C45.1 °C43.9 °C 
 39.4 °C43.6 °C41.9 °C 
 32.3 °C34.3 °C36.1 °C 
Maximum: 45.1 °C
Average: 39.2 °C
45.6 °C46.6 °C41.2 °C
40.6 °C42.5 °C38.7 °C
34.2 °C35.2 °C33 °C
Maximum: 46.6 °C
Average: 39.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  57.4 °C | Room Temperature 21.5 °C | Raytek Raynger ST
Heat signature top (Witcher 3)
Heat signature top (Witcher 3)
Heat signature bottom (Witcher 3)
Heat signature bottom (Witcher 3)

Energy Management - Outstanding Battery Life

Power Consumption

Let's take a look at the power consumption: during idle as well as under load, the power draw under load is slightly lower than that of the previously-reviewed model with QHD+ display (i7-6700HQ). The Skylake Full-HD version had an unusually high power draw by comparison.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.65 / 1.03 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7.5 / 12.1 / 14.3 Watt
Load midlight 73.5 / 110.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Razer Blade (2017)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), , IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Razer Blade (2016)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512, IGZO, 3200x1800, 14
Gigabyte Aero 14
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), LiteOn CX2-8B256, IPS, 2560x1440, 14
Alienware 13 R3
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK, OLED, 2560x1440, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, Apple SSD AP0256, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Power Consumption
-42%
-20%
-18%
-13%
44%
Idle Minimum *
7.5
14
-87%
9
-20%
8
-7%
7
7%
2.1
72%
Idle Average *
12.1
18
-49%
14
-16%
13
-7%
12
1%
7.6
37%
Idle Maximum *
14.3
21
-47%
22
-54%
20
-40%
18
-26%
8.2
43%
Load Average *
73.5
70
5%
72
2%
78
-6%
76
-3%
56.4
23%
Load Maximum *
110.2
146
-32%
124
-13%
146
-32%
161
-46%
59.8
46%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

It looks like Razer was able to improve the power management as well during the switch to Kaby Lake - at least that's what our standardized WLAN test indicates: with a run time of 9 hours, the new Razer Blade not only easily outperforms the Skylake predecessor, but also other high-performance compact gaming laptops quite easily.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3
9h 05min
Razer Blade (2017)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 70 Wh
Razer Blade (2016) FHD
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 70 Wh
Razer Blade (2016)
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 70 Wh
Gigabyte Aero 14
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 94 Wh
Alienware 13 R3
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 76 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, 49.2 Wh
Battery Runtime
-22%
-55%
-4%
-41%
4%
Reader / Idle
760
909
524
Load
59
129
90
66
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
545
427
-22%
243
-55%
524
-4%
320
-41%
566
4%
H.264
312
358
483

Pros

+ solid aluminum chassis and high build quality
+ slim with upscale looks
+ Chroma Keyboard with many options
+ good WiFi performance
+ matte IPS display
+ Thunderbolt 3 + HDMI 2.0
+ very good battery life

Cons

- prone to fingerprints
- very loud under load
- no SD card reader

Verdict - Gaming Laptop or Multimedia Notebook?

In Review: Razer Blade, courtesy of Razer Germany
In Review: Razer Blade, courtesy of Razer Germany

It certainly appears to us that Razer has continued to improve the Blade since our first review and eliminated various weaknesses in the process. What remains unchanged is the outstanding chassis, which - as far as the build quality and the finish is concerned - could almost serve as a reference in the Windows world. Only fingerprints (which accumulate rapidly) remain an issue.

The keyboard is quite decent and we happen to really like the touchpad, which responds readily and allows the fingers to glide easily. The pointing device features two dedicated mouse buttons as well - a rarity these days. Given the compact dimensions, the Blade offers all the connections we could ask for - but while we might not care too much about the omission of the Ethernet port, we do think that the lack of an SD card reader is rather disappointing.

The Full-HD display complements the rest of the hardware, especially since the Geforce GTX 1060 is able to handle most current games at the native resolution and at high settings. Users interested in the creative side of things might want to consider the optional QHD+ display (see our review here), which not only has a higher resolution, but also better coverage of the professional color spaces and it's is easier to calibrate as well.      

As far as the performance is concerned, the combination of the Intel quad-core CPU and GeForce GTX 1060 is undoubtedly a very powerful one. Although the compact notebook trails similarly-equipped gaming rigs slightly, the system consistently performs at a very high level even during prolonged periods of load.
This brings us to one of the few, but glaring disadvantages: the Razer Blade might remain utterly quite during idle or while websurfing, but during gaming, the system can get obnoxiously loud. We definitely recommend headphones when playing games.

Last but not least, the battery life is solid as well: the Blade ran for 9 hours during our WLAN test, so the laptop also earns the title as the "longest-lasting gaming notebook". 

There are faster gaming laptops as well as less expensive ones out there - but not one of them manages to look as sexy as the Razer Blade.

But what is the Razer Blade exactly? A highly mobile gaming laptop or a powerful multimedia allrounder with gaming ambitions? Our automated rating system would assign the Blade an outstanding score of 89 % ("Very Good") if we classified it as a multimedia notebook. Classified as a gaming rig, however, the notebook "only" scores 87 %, which is still quite excellent. The discrepancy is caused by how the individual subscores (see our explanation here) are calculated. Given these facts, we decided to classify the Razer Blade as a multimedia notebook. Rest assured that the Blade is a decent gaming laptop as well, but all things considered, the notebook is a better suited as a highly mobile companion for creative users with high performance needs. 

Razer Blade (2017) - 04/07/2017 v6
J. Simon Leitner

Chassis
93 / 98 → 95%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
63 / 81 → 77%
Weight
65 / 67 → 96%
Battery
92%
Display
92%
Games Performance
92 / 85 → 100%
Application Performance
92 / 92 → 100%
Temperature
83%
Noise
75 / 95 → 79%
Audio
66%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
81%
89%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Razer Blade 2017 (GTX 1060, 7700HQ, Full-HD) Laptop Review
J. Simon Leitner, 2017-04-12 (Update: 2017-04-12)
Bernhard Pechlaner

Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).