Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop (17″, GTX 1080, 2017) Review

     
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Does the name Razer ring any bells for the general public? Probably not. How about for the gaming fanatics? Hell, yes! They are a manufacturer of high-end gaming systems, most notably their latest Razer Blade Pro which the company calls “The Desktop In Your Laptop“. Knowing what player’s desktops are capable of, this is an exciting claim for the mobile gaming folk. Without further ado, let’s see if the new Razer spits performance second to none, as the manufacturer very much likes to make us believe!

4K Display, All About Crisp Image

The new Razer Blade Pro from 2017 is a big model! Its 17.3″ display is huge, with black bezels surrounding the screen. Thankfully, the 3840×2160 resolution – which also goes by the name 4K UHD – comes handy for avid gamers and video editors. The image quality on such resolutions is magnificent, and you can fit several browser windows, images or videos on the screen simultaneously. The display has G-Sync enabled to minimize screen tearing and 16:9 aspect ratio for widescreen effect. It’s also world’s first THX certified laptop screen, backing up the expectations for sharp image, accurate colors and smooth video.

The laptop’s HDMI 2.0 port outputs 4K @ 60hz video, so you can connect an extra monitor to the notebook if you want to. There should be enough capacity in the GTX 1080 graphics card to handle two monitors at the same time.

One of the Best Laptops Performance-Wise

Razer has stuffed a full-blown GeForce GTX 1080 (8GB GDDR5X) graphics card inside its new pinnacle model. This is the fastest video card there currently exists, so no matter what your intentions are only smooth frame rates can be expected. For example, on 4K and maxed out settings the GTX 1080 even outperforms two GTX 980 (SLI configuration) on many instances. You can expect around 60 frames per second on many games, including BioShock Infinite, Tomb Raider and GTA 5. This is as good as it gets; just know that the GPU isn’t considered upgradeable on this model.

The other components that decide the fate of gamers and power users are top-shelf material as well. Especially the storage section is impressive: it’s made up from two 256GB, two 512GB or two 1TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drives set up in RAID 0 configuration. In essence, the available space will be either 512, 1024 or 2048 gigabytes. Moreover, the RAID in the form of disk striping increases the performance quite much, however brings no fault tolerance to the table.

The processor is overclocked Intel Core i7-7820HK, the fastest CPU there currently is, with four cores, 2.9GHz base clock speed, 3.9GHz turbo and 4.2GHz OC’d speed. Obviously, it’s a 7th generation Kaby Lake model, the latest technology Intel has so far developed. The RAM stands very comfortably at 32GB DDR4 2667MHz dual-channel memory (can not be upgraded, but at this amount it shouldn’t be a problem).

Gaming Performance Video

Interfaces and Ports In Check

At the sides, the Razer Blade Pro houses a few ports, most notably the USB Type-C which also works with Thunderbolt 3. The Razer Core, an external graphics card enclosure, can be hooked up to that; however, with the heavyweight GTX 1080 card already in place, using the Razer Core with some graphics card doesn’t make that much sense. In addition to the USB-C, also three regular USB 3.0 port are available to keep your gaming mouse and other devices connected. As noted in the display section of this review, the laptop also sports a full-sized HDMI 2.0 for all kinds of external monitors.

A small thing, but important for photographers, is the inclusion of SDXC card reader. You can insert the memory card full of photos from your camera to the reader, and transfer photos in an easy way. What this notebook doesn’t have is an optical drive, but in the era of Internet downloads and streaming this is becoming a true non-issue!

You can either plug cable to Gigabit Ethernet port, or use the 802.11ac wireless adapter if you think WiFi is the way to go.

Other Features and Benefits, Including Great Battery Life

Often, a gaming laptop can not be praised for its long lasting battery. With Razer Blade Pro, it’s different. The model features a built-in 99Whr battery, which according to many user reports on Amazon.com lasts around 6 hours, provided the screen brightness is set at ~50% and the laptop is used for non-gaming tasks. This is magnificent battery life for a gaming laptop; just keep in mind the duration will drop to one hour or so when under gameplay.

There is some fan noise under load, such as when playing high quality videos & gaming. For many kinds of day-to-day tasks, however, the laptop stays quiet. The keyboard is programmable and backlit by Razer Chroma – the key colors can be individually changed.

Pros:
Performance unbeaten - Gaming laptops are never slow; in fact, they are some of the snappiest notebooks there are. However, this Razer Blade Pro is the fastest of the fastest, providing performance second to none with Intel's top dog processor, GTX 1080 graphics card and SSD setup.

Innovative display - Already the 4K resolution is an exciting feature; but the THX certificate also makes this display to stand out from the crowd. Expect crisp image and smooth-rolling video, no less.

Battery life - Almost all the time batteries in gaming laptops are poor. However, in this Razer, you will enjoy around six hours of use for many productive tasks. Try to find a player's laptop with better battery duration!

Cons:
Pricey - No matter how you look at it, this notebook costs a lot. There are gaming laptops considerably cheaper than this Razer - yet those less affordable models also have less performance, less features.

Currently, the Razer Blade Pro from 2017 seems to be the fastest laptop in the market. Not only for gaming, but for general, high-end productive tasks the capacity of this notebook exceeds expectations. In a word, there is nothing a GTX 1080 card, Core i7 and a couple of solid-state drives couldn’t do. The 17-inches 4K THX certified screen makes sure gaming and other sessions stay enjoyable, and plenty of peripherals – even a secondary high resolution display – can be connected. Pretty much the only disadvantage is the price as the Razer costs two-three times a regular gaming notebook. However, what those “lesser” gaming laptops can not deliver, this Razer definitely can. For the gamers that only settle for the best, the Razer is a surefire choice.

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