Razer proudly boast that their Blade 15 is the world’s smallest 15.6″ gaming laptop. We got our hands on one of the ‘Advanced’ spec models to find out what the wee beastie is like to live with.
The Razer Blade 15 really is an impressive looking slice of black aluminium, and the impressiveness continues when you open it up. Bezel? What bezel?! The screen almost fills the machine’s dimensions from edge to edge, with only 4.9mm to speak of in the border department.
It’s a cool screen too, in our case spitting out Full HD at a baby’s bottom-smooth 144Hz, powered by a GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. From our tests colour representation looked bang on, too.
Speaking of colour, Razer’s Chroma system is installed, giving the keyboard a ridiculous 16.8 million possible colours. Each key is individually programmable through pre-installed Synapse 3 software too, so you can make it as bland or as disco as you desire. This system is also very handy for setting up macros for various games (many of which are already out there ready for downloading), and even for less fun computery pursuits such as design or office work.
As for the actual keyboard functionality, the layout is very squared-off, and takes a little adjusting to if you’re coming from a full-size collection of keys – especially the arrows. This adjustment time is also applicable, perhaps obviously, to key travel, with the Blade’s flat and shallow keys taking some time to adapt to if you’re used to going the big-travel keyboard clack. For further getting around, a large touchpad is front and centre, and also takes some getting used to. We took a while to alter our stance so as not to have our pointer darting all over the screen whenever our wrists dared to come anywhere near the unit.
If you’re looking at a machine such as the Razer Blade 15 then you’re most likely looking for gaming power, with perhaps just a teensy bit of practical usage justification thrown into the mix. The machine’s relatively understated look certainly fits that latter bill, as does its solid yet not-too-heavy frame. The keyboard and trackpad suffice once adapted to, and there’s more than enough processing power to accomplish all the productivity in the world. Naturally, however, it’s really all about the gaming oomph. Every shooter that we threw at it performed perfectly, and with settings set to the equivalent of “stun”, too. Between the Nvidia GPU, the zippy eight-gen Intel I7 processor and 16GB of RAM and the internal SSD there’s power here to burn.
“Naturally, however, it’s really all about the gaming oomph.”
Ah yes, power. If you’re looking at using the Blade on the road, you’ll want to bring along the power brick – and it is alarmingly brick-like in its heft. You see, while gaming power is the Blade’s strong suit, battery life isn’t. Razer advertise up to six hours, but without over-the-top use we never got close to that. There’s a lot to cool here, and the fan noise backs this up, so we suspect that’s where a lot of the power is being gobbled up.
Ultimately we found the Razer Blade 15 to be great at what it’s advertised for – gaming – and it’s certainly a stunning-looking gaming machine in that it doesn’t scream “Look at me!!!” from every angle (should you prefer a modicum of subtlety, of course). It has a decent selection of ports – including full size HDMI and 3x USB 3.0 – which is appreciated, but if you plan to use it for a lot of productivity in-between the fun times, then it make not tick all of your required boxes.