Luxury might not be the first word that comes to your mind when you think of gaming laptops, especially when it comes to looks, we should say more, with gorgeous light bars and dot-matrix displays embedded in their lids.But with its superior performance, superior build quality, low profile design and Very For a luxurious price, the Razer Blade 15 really feels like it has crossed the boundaries of portable gaming.
Now indeed, the 2022 Blade 15 looks pretty much the same as the previous model, leading some to think it needs a facelift. But even after all these years, I still love the Blade 15’s clean lines and sturdy aluminum chassis. That said, I do wish Razer would add full RGB support for the backlit logo on the lid. I know neon green is a bit of a Razer thing, but on a premium machine like this you can’t set it to whatever color you want, which seems odd.
- Excellent build quality
- Many configuration/screen options
- strong performance
- New 1080p webcam
- Preprocessing port selection
- Battery life is just right
- Proprietary power plug
Inside, the Blade has a large glass trackpad, one of the best on a Windows laptop. New for 2022 are larger keycaps and Razer’s signature single-key chroma lighting. Another subtle design tweak is that this year, instead of a noticeable cutout for the laptop’s upward-firing speakers, Razer uses a laser to etch the grille directly into the deck, increasing rigidity while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic. There’s also a new 1080p webcam for 2022, a welcome upgrade from the 720p camera on older systems. Finally, you get a ton of connectivity, including two USB-C ports (including one with Thunderbolt 4), three USB-A ports, HDMI, headphone jacks, and even a full-size SD reader card holder.
On our $3,700 review unit, there’s a 15.6-inch 240Hz QHD display that offers the perfect balance of size and resolution. I just wish it was a little brighter. Razer says all of the Blade’s LCD displays should be able to output about 300 nits of brightness. But using the light meter, I measured closer to 275 nits. That’s fine in most cases, but if you’re in a sunny room, the colors may appear a little washed out. Alternatively, Razer offers 144Hz and 360Hz panels on other models. Just this week, Razer announced a new 240Hz OLED option, so there are plenty of displays to choose from.
performance and gaming
In terms of performance, Razer offers the latest 12th Gen Intel H-series CPUs and Nvidia RTX 30-series GPUs. The downside is that the components aren’t cheap, the 2022 Blade 15 start exist The i7-12800H, 16GB RAM, and RTX 3060 Ti costs $2,500, while a fully loaded model with an i9 chip, 32GB RAM, and the 3080 Ti can go up to $4,000.
Now, I should point out that the configuration only tops out at 1TB of storage. But for those who want more space, the Blade 15 has two M.2 slots, only one of which is available out of the box. So if you’re willing to remove the laptop’s backplane and SSD cover, putting in another drive should be pretty straightforward. Remember to use single-sided modules, as double-sided M.2 sticks will not fit.
You get what you pay for, though, because the Blade 15 plays with the best games out there.exist Shadow of the Tomb Raider At its highest graphics setting, 1920 x 1080, our Core i7, RTX 3080 Ti unit hit 124 fps, just shy of the $1,800 Asus Flow Z13 with the optional $1,400 Mobile Graphics Docking Station. (For those keeping the count, $3,200 total.) Results were similar for other games, with Blade 15 in Metro Exodus at high settings and 81 fps Forza Horizon 5 in super.
In fact, the Blade 15’s biggest weakness (besides the price) is battery life. In our local video playback test, it only lasted 5 hours and 42 minutes. This is similar to what we got from the Asus Flow Z13 (5:38), a PC gaming tablet if you remember. But compared to more traditional competitors, the Blade 15 lasted three hours less than the Alienware x14 (7:57) and four hours less than the Asus Zephyrus G14 (9:45). And in the real world, it’s not much better. Blade 15 struggles in two games Teamfight Tactics Back to back, this takes about an hour and 15 minutes of relatively light gaming.I should also note that when you drain the battery, the performance of the Blade also suffers, the frame rate is Shadow of the Tomb Raider down to about 45 fps.
Another annoyance is Razer’s charging brick. The proprietary connector is forgivable given its 230-watt power adapter, but its right-angle design means that if you plug it in the wrong way, you’ll be blocking one or both of the laptop’s USB-A ports. Honestly, the high-power delivery over USB-C isn’t fast enough.
While the Blade 15 isn’t quite as sleek or portable as the latest 14-inch consoles, there are some big, luxurious options worth mentioning. Granted, it’s really expensive, and its 15.6-inch screen and 4.4-pound body mean you probably won’t be able to throw it in your average messenger bag. But it has top-notch components, a solid frame with essentially zero flex, and impressive performance in a sleek and (relatively) subdued design. Well, except for that big glowing sign.
In a way, the Blade 15 is an excellent choice for a modern desktop replacement, especially for someone like me who doesn’t want to lug around a huge 17-inch rig. Unlike the ROG Flow Z13, you don’t need to worry about a separate graphics card dock to get peak frame rates. Thanks to the abundance of ports, you can leave all your dongles and adapters at home. So while the Blade 15 won’t make sense for anyone on a budget, it’s a real treat if you’ve got the cash.
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