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Razer Blade Pro 17 is the first laptop to do 4K UHD gaming right. Here's why

Razer Blade Pro 17 is the first laptop to do 4K UHD gaming right. Here's why
Razer Blade Pro 17 is the first laptop to do 4K UHD gaming right. Here's why
The new and elusive 17.3-inch 4K UHD 120 Hz AU Optronics display can only be found exclusively on the Razer Blade Pro 17 at the moment. We don't know when it will begin shipping on competing laptops, but we do know that it offers the best 4K UHD gaming experience on a 17.3-inch laptop due to its significantly faster response times and refresh rates than any existing 17.3-inch 4K UHD IPS panel. 17.3-inch OLED panels have yet to become widely available.

Gaming laptops with 4K UHD displays aren't new. One of the first 17.3-inch gaming laptops equipped with a native 4K UHD display was the EVGA SC17 released back in 2016. While this may have sounded great on paper back in the day, the panel suffered from one major issue: extremely slow response times.

Black-to-white and gray-to-gray response times on the aforementioned 17.3-inch EVGA laptop were as long as 26 ms and 22.8 ms, respectively, compared to just 4.4 ms or 5.6 ms on the latest 15.6-inch fast refresh rate panels designed specifically for gaming. Ghosting was abhorrently noticeable on the EVGA to even the untrained eye which made the laptop a poor choice for fast-paced games. If you wanted a 17.3-inch 4K UHD laptop with the same fast refresh rates and response times as the newest 15.6-inch 1080p MSI GS65 or Razer Blade 15, then you would have been out of luck - until now.

The Razer Blade Pro 17 was recently announced to ship with a new 4K UHD IPS panel that promises fast response times, a 120 Hz native refresh rate, and full AdobeRGB coverage - three attributes that were previously impossible to find together on a 17.3-inch 4K display. We had the chance to test out this particular Blade Pro 17 SKU and have discovered that it utilizes an AU Optronics B173ZAN03.3 IPS panel - a first in our database. Our measurements below confirm that it is able offer significantly faster response times than any other 17.3-inch 4K UHD IPS panel before it while feeling twice as smooth as any 17.3-inch 4K UHD IPS due to its higher 120 Hz native refresh rate. Perhaps more impressively, it is able to achieve this while maintaining the traditionally wide gamut and high contrast ratios of 4K UHD IGZO panels. 4K UHD OLED laptop panels have yet to become available in 17.3-inch screen sizes and reaching a stable 120 FPS is not necessary to take advantage of a 120 Hz panel.

There are a few drawbacks to the new AU Optronics panel to keep in mind. For example, it still trails recent 15.6-inch 60 Hz 4K UHD OLED panels in both contrast ratio and response times despite the faster refresh rate. Furthermore, 50 percent gray to 80 percent gray response times could still be faster when compared to the AU Optronics B173HAN04.0 panel as found on the Blade Pro 17 FHD SKU. Price is also a huge boundary at $3700 USD for the Blade Pro 17 equipped with the 4K UHD 120 Hz display.

If you want this particular 17.3-inch 4K UHD 120 Hz panel, then you'd have to get the Razer Blade Pro 17 as of this writing. We fully expect other 17.3-inch laptops to offer this same panel as an option in the near future.

Razer Blade Pro 17 4K UHD 120 Hz
AU Optronics B173ZAN03.3, IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Razer Blade Pro 17 RTX 2060
AU Optronics B173HAN04.0, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 7590 9980HK GTX 1650
Samsung 156WR04, SDCA029, OLED, 15.6, 3840x2160
Gigabyte Aero 17 XA RP77
AU Optronics B173ZAN03.2, IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
AU Optronics AUO41EB, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
MSI GS65 Stealth 9SG
Sharp LQ156M1JW03 (SHP14C5), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
EVGA SC17 GTX 1070
Sharp LQ173D1JW31, IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
15.2 (8.4, 6.8)
6.8 (3.6, 3.2)
2.3 (1.1, 1.2)
45.6 (24.4, 21.2)
51 (24, 27)
13.6 (8, 5.6)
45.6 (22.8, 22.8)
Response Time Black / White *
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
2.4 (1.1, 1.3)
30.4 (16.4, 14)
31 (18, 13)
12 (7.6, 4.4)
35.2 (9.2, 26)
PWM Frequency
59.52 (100)
23260 (19)
1042 (29)
Screen
Brightness middle
346.7
300.4
421.2
667.3
445
282.3
399.1
Brightness
332
289
417
633
462
269
360
Brightness Distribution
91
93
94
90
83
90
81
Black Level *
0.27
0.32
0.46
0.5
0.32
0.4
Contrast
1284
939
1451
890
882
998
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.62
2.32
6.06
3.53
4.75
1.17
4.78
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.36
3.81
11.89
6.88
7.79
3.29
7.65
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
3.81
2.95
3.79
1.06
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.5
1.5
2.8
0.9
4.49
1.3
3.8
Gamma
2.25 98%
2.3 96%
2.15 102%
2.17 101%
2.49 88%
2.2 100%
2.03 108%
CCT
6175 105%
6764 96%
6235 104%
6533 99%
7374 88%
6643 98%
7288 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
87.2
57.4
81
87.1
87
63.8
86.9
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
100
89
99.6
100
100
97.5
100
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 10 > Razer Blade Pro 17 is the first laptop to do 4K UHD gaming right. Here's why
Allen Ngo, 2019-10-30 (Update: 2019-10-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.