Best Razer Blade 15 Black Friday Deals 2020
The Razer Blade 15 was among the finest gaming laptops of this past year. When it first released, the Blade 15 was available with an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU or more. A couple of months later, Razer created a far more affordable version called the Razer Blade 15 Base Model. This version costs considerably significantly less than the Advanced model and packs a GTX 1660 Ti GPU.
A lot of the things we loved about the pricier model found their way to the base edition, like the Blade 15’s attractive, unibody aluminum design and long battery life. Performance can be great regardless of the lesser GPU, and you even get an Ethernet port on the cheaper model. We just wish the Blade 15’s 1080p, 144Hz display were brighter and that the notebook didn’t get so hot when gaming.
Pricing and configurations
The Razer Blade 15 will come in Base and Advanced models.
Starting at $1,599, the least expensive Blade 15 Base Model sports a 60Hz display, a 9th Gen Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, dual 128GB SSDs and 1TB HDD hard disks, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.
Our $1,799 review unit packs the same specs but includes a 144Hz display and upgrades the SSD to 256GB. From there, you can upgrade to an RTX 2060 GPU and a 512GB SSD for $1,899. The purchase price jumps to $2,099 when you bump the GPU up to an RTX 2070 Max-Q.
The most beastly configuration includes a 4K OLED display, a 9th Gen Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics. Look away if you are on a budget because that configuration applies to $3,299.
You couldn’t mistake the Blade 15 for not a Razer laptop. This base version is a tad chunkier but shares the same DNA as the business’s other notebooks.
Those distinctly Razer design factors add a black metal chassis, a sizable touchpad and top-firing speakers. Standing out against the lid’s black surfaces may be the quickly recognizable three-headed serpent of the Razer logo.
I hate to draw way too many comparisons to the MacBook Pro but Apple users will feel right aware of the Blade 15’s unibody metal chassis and its own minimalist design. I’ve always loved the appearance of Razer’s laptops, so I’m glad this lower-cost version of the Blade 15 retains that same clean aesthetic.
At 5 pounds and 14 x 9.3 x 0.8 inches, the bottom model Blade 15 is a tad thicker compared to the Advanced model (0.7 inches thick). The HP Omen 15 (14.2 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches, 5.4 pounds) is a lttle bit larger and heavier compared to the Razer 15, as the Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (14.2 x 9.9 x 0.8, 4.5 pounds) includes a bigger footprint but weighs less.
The Razer Blade 15 Base Model has all of the ports you will need for gaming on the run or at home.
On the proper side of the notebook computer is a Thunderbolt 3 port allowing you to connect to multiple 4K monitors or fast-charging peripherals. Alongside the USB-C connection certainly are a USB 3.1 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.0 input, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4 and a Kensington lock slot.
Peek at the left side of the Blade 15 and you will find two additional USB 3.1 Type-A ports and a headphone/mic jack. There is even an Ethernet port on the bottom model to ensure an easy, stable connection if you are playing online.
There are two display possibilities on the Razer Blade 15 Base Model. Our review unit came built with a 15.6-inch, 1080p panel with a 144Hz refresh rate. Gleam 60Hz display option for many who don’t play fast-paced games.
The 144Hz refresh rate panel was vivid however, not superbright. The panel was sharp enough that I possibly could see every curl in Matthew McConaughey’s signature wavy hairstyle in The Gentleman trailer. Colors were also pretty vivid; ultraviolet lighting within an indoor garden was a saturated shade of eggplant purple. It’s a shame those vibrant colors don’t reach their full potential as a result of the Blade 15’s below-average brightness.
The lowish brightness wasn’t a problem in Hitman 2’s sunny Miami setting. Again, the panel was detailed enough that I possibly could obviously start to see the bar code tattooed on the trunk of Agent 47’s bald head. The grandstand in the auto race mission was a nice turquoise tone and the rich shades of red and blue on the flags held by French, Danish and Swedish fans stood out against the gray backdrop of the track. If the panel was simply a tad brighter those colors would genuinely have popped.
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According to your colorimeter, the Razer Blade 15 Base Model’s display covers 107% of the sRGB color gamut, so that it is more colorful compared to the displays on the Omen 15 (102%), ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (71 fps) and the category average (109%).
The Blade 15’s display reached only 275 nits of brightness, that makes it much dimmer compared to the panels on the Omen 15 (320 nits) and the category average (279 nits). The Razer at least outshined the ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (240 nits), which we criticized to be too dim.
Keyboard and touchpad
The Blade 15’s chiclet-style backlit keyboard is decent, but I’d prefer to employ a mechanical keyboard when gaming. For a notebook computer this thick, the keys are actually quite shallow. That always results in an unhealthy typing experience, ,but these keys are actually pretty bouncy and do not require much force to actuate. I’m much less in love with RGB as my colleagues but I expect a lot more than single-zone lighting as of this price.
I typed at 123 words each and every minute with an accuracy rate of 95% on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which is faster than my 119-wpm average.
In the event that you thought only Apple makes an excellent touchpad, reconsider. The Blade 15’s massive 5.1 x 3.1-inch touchpad is smooth and responsive. My fingertips enjoyed gliding off the plush surface as I easily executed Windows 10 gestures, including pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipes to change between open windows.
I’m really impressed with the dual top-firing speakers on the Blade 15’s deck.
In Hitman 2, I possibly could hear cars humming around a track as I hid in a filthy, fly-infested dumpster looking forward to my pursuers to stop their search. The speakers were clear enough that I possibly could hear the charter of bystanders through the ringing gunshots fired toward me when i mistimed my escape.
The speakers did an excellent job of capturing the airy, dream-like quality of Brandon Flower’s “Between Me and You.” Piano chords were crisp and Flowers’ voice was front-and-center. The speakers did an excellent job filing a medium-size room, but bass thuds in Glass Animals’ “Pork Soda” were weak.
Gaming, graphics and VR
Packing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU with 6GB of VRAM, the Blade 15 can play modern games on high settings without dropping below our 30 fps threshold. I thrilled Hitman 2 and enjoyed between 65 fps and 80 fps as I snuck around cops and eliminated targets.
The Razer Blade 15 constantly outperformed rival laptops built with the same graphics card on our benchmark tests. The Blade 15 ran Rise of the Tomb Raider (1080p on HIGH) at 46 fps, which tops the Omen 15 (44 fps, GTX 1660 Ti) and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (43 fps, GTX 1660 Ti) however, not the mainstream gaming average (48 fps).
We saw similar results on the Hitman test where the Blade 15 notched 80 fps, whereas the Omen 15 (78 fps) and ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (73 fps) didn’t come near that mark. Again, the gaming average (84 fps) edged out those laptops.
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The Blade 15 also did an excellent job on the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark, powering the favorite game at a reliable 64 fps. Again, your competition didn’t match the Razer, although the Omen 15 (60 fps), ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (57 fps) and the gaming average (59 fps) devote decent results.
Metro: Last Light is a demanding game, however the Razer Blade 15 Base Model played the post-apocalyptic first-person shooter at 55 fps, beating the Omen 15 (40 fps) and the category average (40 fps).
If you are not in a gaming mood, the Blade 15 does not have any problem running a day to day workload. I didn’t notice any slowdown when I opened 20 Google Chrome track of the Blade 15. The notebook was quick to load webpages even when there have been four 1080p YouTube videos running in the backdrop and multiple gaming streams on Mixer and Twitch.
Packing a Core i7-9750U CPU and 16GB of RAM, the Blade 15 Base Model did an excellent job on our performance benchmarks, notching an 19,542 on the Geekbench 4.3 test. HP’s Omen 15 (19,956, Core i7-9750H) did better upon this particular benchmark and the Razer couldn’t match the mainstream gaming category average (20,284). On a positive note, the Blade 15 crushed the AMD-powered ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (14,106, Ryzen 7 3750H).
It took the Blade 15 only ten minutes and 47 seconds to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution using the Handbrake app. The Omen 15 (12:34) and the ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (14:23) needed additional time to complete the same task, as did the common mainstream notebook (10:51).
Our Blade 15 review unit was included with a 256GB PCIe SSD and a 1TB, 5,400-rpm HDD. That SSD duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files in only 9 seconds for a price of 565.5 MBps. That comes short of the speed of the Omen 15’s 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (728.3 MBps) but outraces the storage in the ROG Zephyrus G GA 502 (424 MBps) and the common mainstream gaming notebook (466 MBps).
With a runtime of 5 hours and 48 minutes on our battery test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits), the Razer Blade 15 Base Model has great endurance for a gaming laptop. Competing laptops with GTX 1660 Ti graphics, just like the Omen 15 (3:05) or the ROG Zephyrus G GA502 (4:48), perseverence down a long time before the Blade 15. Razer’s notebook computer even tops the mainstream gaming category average (4:01) by a lot more than an hour.
The Razer 15’s metal chassis got warm inside our everyday heat testing and downright scalding whenever we played Hitman 2 on High graphics settings.
Underneath of the notebook computer reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit and the guts of the keyboard hit 98 degrees directly after we watched a 15-minute video in full-screen mode. With that result, the Razer Blade 15 topped our 95-degree comfort threshold even before our gaming tests. Whether it’s any consolation, the touchpad was only warm to touch, at 88 degrees.
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I had to eliminate the Razer Blade 15 from my notebook computer after playing Hitman 2 for a quarter-hour. The lower of the notebook computer near to the hinge reached a blistering 132 degrees as the center of the keyboard (117 degrees) and the touchpad (98 degrees) were also warm to touch.
I’m glad Razer found a method to put a webcam on the Blade 15’s top display bezel, however the quality of the camera is pretty lackluster. A selfie I shot inside our candlight office was blotchy. The edges of the photography looked smeared and my face could possibly be confused for a watercolor painting. On a positive note, the lens didn’t overexpose the lights hanging above me and the colors were pretty accurate.
You could utilize the laptop’s webcam in a pinch but we recommend buying one of the better external webcams.
Software and warranty
The Blade 15 has a couple of gaming-focused programs: Razer Cortex and Razer Synapse. Both software have beautiful interfaces and so are packed with useful features.
I spent almost all of my amount of time in Synapse, which enables you to set macros, change keyboard lighting, select from performance modes and switch the panel between 144Hz and 60Hz refresh rates.
Razer Cortex, a similarly polished app, does everything you’d expect from something optimization tool, like release RAM and remove unneeded files. In addition, a casino game Booster mode enables you to optimize performance when gaming. Check boxes enable you to quickly toggle on/off processes, from turning off programmed updates to clearing your clipboard.
Other third-party software include Dolby Atmos for changing sound profiles and Nvidia’s GeForce Experience, a one-stop look for keeping drivers up-to-date to sharing this content you grab while playing.
The Blade 15 Base Model runs Windows 10 Home. As such, you can get a variety of bloatware, thanks to Microsoft. Some applications you will most probably never use include Candy Crush Friends, Farm Heroes Saga and Microsoft Solitaire Collection.
Razer sells the Blade 15 Base Model with a one-year warranty. Observe how Razer fared inside our Best and Worst Brands and Tech Support Showdown special reports.
The Razer Blade 15 is an extremely good gaming laptop, but a questionable value when comparing it with competitors. At $1,699, Razer is asking a whole lot for a notebook computer with a GTX 1660 Ti graphics. On the other hand, laptops with better graphics performance at less price don’t possess the same premium construction or long battery life. If you are ready to exchange unibody aluminum for plastic, then HP’s Omen 15 is an effective option. You might even get the Lenovo Legion Y740 with an RTX 2060 for approximately the same price as the Blade 15.
The extra money you may spend on the Razer Blade 15 could have been much easier to justify if the notebook computer didn’t have such a dim display and didn’t run so hot under much workload. Despite those faults, the Razer Blade 15 Base Model is a recommended gaming notebook computer that packs capable graphics performance in a sleek, attractive package.