Earlier this year Razer announced a refresh of their critically acclaimed and best-selling premium gaming notebook, the Razer Blade. Ever since it was announced we’ve been aching to get one. However, just like millions of gamers all over the world, it was simply out of reach. Initially local online stores were selling it for more than Php120,000 making it an impractical purchase. As time went by prices started to stabilize and last week we finally pulled the trigger and got one via Widget City. It finally arrived at the Unbox HQ and we’d like to share with you guys our unboxing and initial impressions!
To kick things off here’s a refresher on the specifications of the 2015 Razer Blade:
Razer Blade (2015) Spec Sheet
- 2.6GHz (3.6GHz max) quad-core Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU
- 16GB system memory (DDR3L-1600MHz)
- 14-inch IGZO Quad-HD touchscreen display, 3200×1800 resolution
- 256/512GB SSD (SATA M.2) options
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- 70Wh lithium ion polymer battery
- Windows 8.1
- SRP: Php119,000+
Unboxing and Initial Impressions
The Razer Blade, in our opinion, has the best packaging in any gadget that has ever landed here at the Unbox HQ. The first box (the topmost photo) is actually just your usual brown shipping box. The main container is inside. Once you pop open that brown box you’ll find another black box which contains the actual laptop and accessories.
The black box itself is well-designed. It’s made from hard carton that was made to look like black Carbon Fiber. The green lining along the sides breaks the monotony of the all-black color and gives it a Razer vibe (Black and Green are Razer’s primary brand colors).
The first thing that you’ll see when you open the box is the Razer Blade and it looks absolutely stunning. The black matte aluminum finish and the green Razer logo just screams to be touched and felt. Unfortunately the first time we put our fingers on it we encountered the first issue with the device. It’s a smudge and fingerprint magnet! As you can and will see in all the photos, our fingerprints and palm marks are all over it. If you’re the OC type you’ll definitely want to keep a microfiber cloth with you handy.
Other than the laptop, we found the power brick (kinda big) and your usual Razer manuals and stickers. There was also a small piece of black microfiber cloth which you will definitely use often.
In terms of hardware build and design, the Razer Blade is very similar to the MacBook Pro Retina. The only real difference is that this one comes in black and it has a Razer logo as opposed to Apple’s usual space grey. Now while some Apple purists might get angry, for us it’s not an issue. The Blade feels and looks superb.
Along the sides are the various ports. We found 3 USB 3.0 slots, an HDMI port, power, and headphone/mic. Unfortunately there are no micro SD slots. There’s also no CD/DVD writer/reader but that’s not really an issue for us since we usually download all of our games via STEAM these days.
At the bottom there are rubber linings which are meant to slightly prop up the laptop and keep it from scratching. It doesn’t strip away easily so don’t worry about it peeling off.
Lastly on the front we have an LED light. It pulses green when it’s plugged to the power brick, orange when it’s low battery, and white when the laptop is closed.
The Chiclet keyboard on the Razer Blade is the best laptop keyboard that we’ve ever typed on. We daresay it’s better than the Chiclet keyboard of the Apple MacBook Pro. It felt much more tactile and it was simply a joy to type on for writing our articles and it was also very responsive when we were playing games. This also isn’t your typical keyboard as it uses Ghosting technology which allows you to press on multiple keys at once. While this might not have value to your everyday professional, it’s a great feature for gamers who press down on a lot of keys fast and it’s critical for the machine to be able to register all of them accurately.
The keyboard is backlit (yay) and it has over 10 levels of brightness. Why it has so much, we don’t know.
If there’s one thing we don’t really like about the Razer Blade, it’s the trackpad. The pad itself isn’t a problem but we didn’t like the two physical buttons below it. The design feels a whole lot like the design you would see in old IBM machines. It’s not a dealbreaker but it’s something that we didn’t appreciate.
The 14-inch Quad HD display of the Razer Blade is phenomenal. The sharpness and the level of detail that you get out of it is crazy good and the colors are accurate. Combine that with the monstrous internals and it delivers highly enjoyable gaming experiences. If there’s one concern that we have with it, it’s too glossy. Again, not a dealbreaker but it can get annoying sometimes if there’s light bouncing off it.
In terms of performance, we’ve only been able to register a few hours of gaming on this thing (Dragon Age: Inquisition and StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm). So far we noticed the frame rate drops to around 40-50 if you’re playing on the default maximum resolution of 3200 x 1800. If you want a smoother and optimized experience you might want to kick the resolution slightly lower (runs exceptionally well on 1920 x 1080, around 90 fps) or adjust the graphics settings. Obviously this is dependent on the game you’re actually playing. We encountered slight lags on Dragon Age: Inquisition but it all went away once we lowered some of the graphics specs to Medium from High.
By the way, The laptop does heat up fairly quickly, especially during intense marathon gaming sessions. The fans also tend to get a little loud over time if you’re continuously stressing it.
Lastly, we are very happy with the external speakers on the Razer Blade. The audio is crystal clear, powerful, natural, and controlled. This is a welcome surprise since most laptops have terrible speakers and we didn’t expect the Razer Blade to be any different.
Initial Verdict: Happy Gamer Here!
As far as initial impressions are concerned, we’re totally blown away with the Razer Blade! The sleek black and solid design combined with the monstrous internals makes it a beastly portable gaming laptop. We look forward to finishing Dragon Age: Inquisition and eventually The Witcher on this, hehe.
Watch out for our full review in a couple of weeks!
PS: If you want to get one now though you can do so here. It’s definitely pricey at Php119,000 so don’t even think of buying it unless you have a lot of extra cash. At the end of the day it’s a luxury buy so only proceed with getting one if you’re very liquid and you have a lot of savings.