It was back in late May when Razer announced both its Razer Blade and Razer Blade Pro, both of which carry the same NVIDIA GeForce GTX765M graphics processor, although the internal specs for both devices offer a different experience based on what kind of gamer you consider yourself. The Razer Blade Pro is powered by a 4th generation Intel Core processor which runs on 47 watts, which is 10 watts more than Razer’s previous 17-inch Razer Blade, making this the most powerful CPU ever included in a Razer system.
The Razer Blade Pro also features 8GB of fast 1600MHz DDR3L RAM, a SSD that comes in either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB and what the company is calling a “revolutionary” LCD trackpad that is driven by ten dynamic adaptive tactile keys. The Razer Pro sure does sound like a beast of a gaming laptop, so let’s see just well it performs in our review.
I pride myself to be known as a gamer as I’ve played nearly every system and have experienced way too many games in my lifetime. In my late teens to early 20s, I was more of a PC gamer than a console gamer, but in my 30s, I certainly have shifted towards console gaming as I enjoy playing games from the comfort of my couch rather than my home office.
I currently don’t own a PC that could play PC games as the strongest computer I have is my 2010 MacBook Pro. As a result, PC gaming has taken even more of a backseat in my life, but when Razer announced its new gaming laptops, I immediately became interested in them as they are products I would absolutely consider purchasing so I could game and enjoy some time on my couch as well as take my gaming machine with me wherever I go. With that said, I’m hoping I can give you PC gamers out there a fair and balanced review of Razer’s Blade Pro as I’m sure there are a number of you who would also like to be able to game while you’re on the go.
Razer Blade Pro Specs
- 17.3-inch display (1920 x 1080)
- Intel Core i7-4700HQ Quad Core Processor with Hyper Threading 2.4GHz / 3.4GHz (Base / Turbo) + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M (2 GB GDDR5 VRAM, Optimus Technology)
- 8 GB (2 x 4 GB DDR3L-1600MHz)
- Windows 8 64-bit
- 128 GB SSD (mSATA), 256 GB SSD (mSATA), 512 GB SSD (mSATA)
- Killer Wireless-N 1202 (802. 11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0)
- 3x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4a, RJ45 port, 3.5mm microphone/headphone combo port
- 427mm x 277mm x 22.4mm (16.8in x 10.9in x 0.88in)
- 2.98kg (6.58lbs)
- Integrated 74WHr Battery
Industrial Design (excellent)
The Razer Blade Pro is quite the machine as one of the first things you’ll most likely notice when you take a gander at it is that it’s quite big. The Blade Pro features a 17.3-inch display, which means the rest of the laptop needs to fit its large screen and everything seems to fit in proportion with its screen, all of which is completely covered in an aluminum black finish.
When you open the Razer Blade Pro, you’ll be greeted with its large 17.3-inch display which has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which seems like the perfect resolution for a screen this size as everything on screen seemed to fit appropriately. The surrounding area of the Blade Pro’s display has a thick bezel which looks to measure between 1 ½ inches to 2 inches in its thickness. Above the display is where you’ll find the Blade Pro’s 720p webcam."THE RAZER BLADE PRO IS QUITE THE MACHINE"
The base of Razer Blade Pro is kept minimalist as the keyboard and trackpad sit side by side, instead of having the keyboard sit above the trackpad, which is the layout most laptop manufacturers have gone with for years. Above the keyboard is where you’ll find the laptop’s power button, which when press glows green. While the Blade Pro is i use, it’ll slowly pulsate its green color, which gives the laptop a nice touch. Close to the laptop’s hinge is where its speakers are located, which sits in a soundbar layout. The speaker is barely noticeable as it blends very well with the rest of the laptop.
The right side of the Razer Blade Pro has nothing going on as there’s only a few vents located at the rear, close to where the laptop’s hinge. The left side is where you’ll find all of the laptop’s ports as there are three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4a port, RJ45 port, 3.5mm headphone / microphone combo port and the port for the AC adapter. The USB ports continue the green highlights found all over the Blade Pro as they also have green connectors. Towards the rear of the left side is where you’ll find some more vents. Unfortunately, there’s no media card reader available on the Razer Blade Pro.
The underside is kept minimalist in its design as well as the majority of the area is completely clear. Towards the rear of the underside is where two large vents can be found on either side along with two long rubber legs. The front of the underside of the laptop also has two legs found at both corners, but they’re much smaller in comparison with the rear legs.
The Razer Blade Pro features a backlit keyboard which is highlighted with green on both its backlighting, but also the actual characters on each key as well. All of the keys are at a comfortable size, although the spacebar was cut a bit short to fit in more keys to the bottom-right portion. The characters on the keyboard all have a cool-looking font to them that seems like a style most gamers would enjoy. The keys themselves feel good when typing as they offer a nice mix between being clicky and spongy."A LOT OF REAL ESTATE UNDERNEATH THE KEYBOARD TO OFFER COMFORTABLE PALM RESTS"
Since the Blade Pro is such a large laptop, there’s a lot of real estate underneath the keyboard to offer comfortable palm rests. Since the trackpad isn’t located underneath the keyboard, your palms have free range to go wherever they like. The edges of the palm rests are a bit sharp, but my palms never reach the edges of the palm rests during normal use.
The trackpad is probably one of the coolest parts of the Razer Blade Pro as a small LCD screen sits below the trackpad that can be customized. When you’re waiting for a game to load or for your friends to join a game, you can refer to the trackpad to launch YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Gmail directly from the pad. A mobile version of these services will show up on the trackpad, which seems fitting considering the amount of screen size you’ll be able to use. You can scroll, select and pretty much do anything else you’d do on a touchscreen device. And if you happen to launch a YouTube video on the trackpad, the sound from the video will play straight through the laptop’s soundbar, which is a pretty nice touch.
Above the trackpad are ten dynamic adaptive tactile keys, and boy, are they adaptive. They’re pretty much keys with small LCDs sitting behind them which will change based on the application you currently have running. For example, when using the YouTube application, you’ll be presented with buttons that will allow you to browse, view your subscriptions, recommended videos and so on."THE TRACKPAD IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE COOLEST PARTS OF THE RAZER BLADE PRO"
As I mentioned earlier, the keyboard and trackpad are sitting side-by-side, which is a bit of an unorthodox layout, and it took me a bit of time to get myself used to typing to then go to the trackpad on the right side of the keys, since I’m accustomed to the trackpad to be underneath the keyboard. After I got used to it, I could definitely see why Razer went with this layout, especially when it comes to gaming since the keyboard & mouse combination are vital for games. Being able to use the trackpad as if it were a mouse is important, and having the trackpad underneath the keyboard would have made using it feel awkward, especially when playing first-person shooters.
Display (very good)
If screen size is important to you, then it doesn’t get much bigger than the Razer Blade Pro’s 17.3-inch display, which is capable of delivering a resolution of 1920 x 1080. As I said earlier, the screen size and resolution seem to be a perfect fit as websites, text and the general UI seems to be the appropriate size for a screen this large.
Unfortunately, the Blade Pro doesn’t come with a touchscreen display, which seems like a no-brainer considering how many Windows 8 games are starting to offer touchscreen controls these days and the fact Microsoft has designed its latest OS with touchscreen devices in mind."THE SCREEN SIZE AND RESOLUTION SEEM TO BE A PERFECT FIT"
Razer didn’t disclose just how bright its Blade Pro’s display is, but we found it to be the most comfortable to use around 30% – 40% of its full brightness while working indoors on a sunny day. At its full brightness, the display is readable while being used outdoors on a sunny day, but it also has a matte finish, making it a bit difficult to view if working in direct sunlight. We know most gamers do their gaming indoors, but if you happen to find yourself doing your gaming outdoors, we recommend you do so in the shade if you want to be able to see anything on the screen.
Webcam (very good)
The Razer Blade Pro features an HD webcam which is capable of taking photos at up to 2MP. For the purpose of our review, we put it up against the Toshiba KIRAbook’s 720p webcam.
In our webcam testing, we found the Razer Blade Pro took a great photo during the daytime as the image it produced had a nice amount of detail, its color was accurate and there was no weird blurring of anything else strange going on in the photo. To compare, the KIRAbook, whose webcam we found to be quite poor, produced an image that had an unnatural glow to it and didn’t have as much detail as the Blade Pro’s webcam.
For you gamers who like to send your friends or enemies messages after you completely dominate them in a game, the Blade Pro’s webcam will allow them to see you gloat in a nice amount of detail.
If you’re eyeing the Razer Blade Pro, its performance is probably one of the most important areas as a gaming laptop wouldn’t be a gaming laptop if it wasn’t able to play the latest games with all of its details set to a ridiculously high rate. Well, we’re happy to report the performance of the Blade Pro is just as good as you’re expecting it to be.
One of the first benchmarks we like to run for our PC reviews is PCMark 7, which is a benchmark used in order to simulate real-world tasks such as opening applications, booting up your computer and doing some mild graphical tasks.
In our PCMark 7 benchmarks, the Razer Blade Pro received the highest score we’ve seen yet in a laptop with a score of 6005. We already knew the Blade Pro had some seriously impressive specs under its frame, which include an Intel Core i7 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M GPU, DDRL3 1600MHz RAM and a SSD. All of these components come together in a way where you can expect a smooth experience through a great majority of applications you’ll run on the laptop.
The second benchmark we like to run on our test machines is 3DMark 11, which is a benchmark that is more demanding as its primary focus is how well it’ll perform as a gaming machine. And we’re not talking Facebook or Flash-based games here as those tend to not demand so much from a system, but instead, actual games like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed or any other current-generation games. This is one benchmark you’re going to want to pay the most attention to if you’re considering buying a gaming laptop or PC.
As we expected based on the Razer Pro’s specs, its 3D Mark 11 scores are extremely impressive and, once again, has reached a score we have yet to see in any laptops we’ve reviewed. In its 3D Mark 11 benchmark, the Blade Pro scored a P4173. This means you shouldn’t expect to come into many issues with the Blade Pro when it comes to playing games, but at the same time, you shouldn’t expect it to offer an insane amount of high-quality details that you’d find in high-end gaming PCs. In other words, you should expect a comfortable experience for the majority of games you’ll most likely play on the Blade Pro.
The final benchmark we like to run on our PCs is Geekbench. The purpose of Geekbench is to test a system’s raw CPU performance by throwing mathematical equations at it. This benchmark doesn’t test a laptop’s ability to handle real-world applications, so keep that in mind when viewing its results.
Seeing how the Razer Blade Pro delivered an impressive score in our PCMark 7 benchmark, we didn’t expect any less in our Geekbench benchmark. The Blade Pro once again gave us the highest score we’ve seen in a laptop as it scored a 9880 in our Geekbench benchmark. We already knew the Intel Core i7 CPU that’s powering the Blade Pro was a powerful processor, and this benchmark result only solidifies what we already knew: this is a powerful machine.
Value for weight, price (good)
There’s no way of sugarcoating this. The Razer Blade Pro is heavy. Considering what is under its hood, it has to be in order to perform as well as it does. The Blade Pro weighs a total of 6.58lbs, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for you depending on just how much you travel and just how much gaming you expect to do. This is an area we feel is important enough to include in our reviews as what’s the point of having a mobile computer when its performance isn’t worth its weight?
In our value for its weight equation, the Razer Blade Pro performs well enough where its weight is worth the trouble you may have lugging it. A 6005 PCMark 7 score is nothing to laugh at, and even though it weighs a back-straining 6.58lbs, then get yourself the most comfortable bag with extra support as the Blade Pro is worth the trouble.
Battery Life (very good)
"IN NORMAL USE, EXPECT 4-5 HOURS OF BATTERY. WHEN GAMING, MUCH LESS!" By now, we’re sure you’ve realized there’s a lot under the hood of the Razer Blade Pro, which means most people would expect its battery performance to suffer. While the laptop’s battery isn’t the best we’ve seen, it actually isn’t as bad as we thought it would be, especially considering its running on both an Intel Core i7 CPU as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M and all of the additional energy-sucking bells and whistles like its LCD trackpad, green lighting and 17-inch display.
The Razer Blade Pro features a 74WHr battery, which is pretty big, although not the biggest battery we’ve seen in a laptop. The first battery test we ran on the Blade Pro was a long-term battery drain test, which has the laptop sitting on our desk, doing nothing for an hour. For this test, we keep the Wi-Fi on and the display at 50%, and as a result, we noted a drop of 18% in the Blade Pro’s battery, which means you can expect over 5 hours of battery life under these same conditions.
Since we know you probably won’t want to be leaving your Razer Blade Pro sitting on your desk for hours, we run additional tests that put a further drain on its battery. We ran two types of video tests on the laptop: a streaming video and local video test. The purpose of these tests is to see how well the battery performs when either streaming or watching local videos on your device. In our streaming video test where we kept the screen’s brightness sitting at 50% and watched a 1080p video for an hour, we noticed a drop in the Blade Pro’s battery of 28%, which means you can expect around 3.5 hours of battery life when streaming videos. For local videos, we followed the same conditions of watching a 1080p video for an hour with the screen’s brightness set to 50%, and we noticed a drop in the laptop’s battery of 23%, which means you can expect a little over 4 hours of battery life when watching local videos.
Letting your Razer Blade Pro sitting around and watching videos probably aren’t the reasons you’re considering picking up this gaming laptop as we have a feeling you might want to play some games more often than not. Well – if you want to play games, we recommend you have your Blade Pro connected to a reliable power source as we ran the Resident Evil 6 benchmark tool with the laptop’s battery at 52%, and its battery completely drained just 26 minutes later. So you should expect well under an hour of battery life if you decide you’d like to play a game that pushes the system’s graphics without being connected to a power source. Again, we’d highly recommend against this, but we do understand you gotta scratch that gaming itch sometimes.
Battery Charge (very good)
When your battery gets dangerously low, you shouldn’t expect the Razer Blade Pro to take too long in order to full charge itself as we noted in an hour, the laptop was able to charge itself by 54%. This means you’ll be able to fully charge the laptop in under 2 hours.
Conclusion (very good +)
"THE RAZER BLADE PRO RECEIVED THE HIGHEST PERFORMANCE SCORE WE HAVE SEEN YET IN A LAPTOP" The Razer Blade Pro performed exceptionally well in a number of our tests, especially in our performance benchmarks. Gamers would be quite happy with Razer’s current gaming laptop as it’ll certainly keep up with modern-day games and continue to support future games for a few years.
There are some issues with the Razer Blade Pro to keep it from receiving our excellent rating, one of which is its weight. Yes – our research shows that the Blade Pro’s performance certainly makes it worth lugging around, but the fact of the matter is that most people won’t want to travel too far if they have 6.58lbs in their backpack. We believe the Razer Blade Pro is the ideal gaming laptop to bring over to a local LAN party, but you might want to reconsider if you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling, unless you have the back muscles of an Adonis.
If you take your gaming serious and want to have a more portable solution while you’re on the go or if you’re moving from one area of your home to another frequently, then the Razer Blade Pro is the gaming laptop for you. It has the performance, the unique look and we really liked its LCD trackpad, that is, once we got used to its unorthodox location.
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