The Razer Blade 15 (2023)’s minimalism does have something to recommend it. Razer Blade 15in Laptop is sticking with its stylish, slab-sided, aluminum chassis for the 2023 refresh of its top seller, deciding not to upgrade anything beyond the screen and the most essential components for performance. This is in contrast to so many other manufacturers who are going down the OTT route for their gaming machines.
The Razer Blade 15 (2023) hasn’t changed much in terms of appearance, but it’s still a formidable opponent.
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An Overview of the Razer Blade 15 (2023) with Crucial Details
The laptop lies in the middle of Razer’s lineup of gaming laptops, above the ultraportable Razer Blade Stealth and below the Razer Blade Pro 17 (2023), which is designed more for casual gaming. The 15 is, in essence, the most affordable proper gaming computer Razer has to offer and is built to game nonstop all day.
As has already been mentioned, not much has changed in terms of design this year, save from a few minor adjustments, which I’ll discuss below. The specifications have already undergone all significant modifications.
The brand-new Blade 15 has a 15.6-inch IPS display with a high refresh rate of 144Hz or 300Hz, Full HD resolution, or as a 4K, wide-gamut OLED non-touch or touchscreen.
With 16GB of system RAM and either a 256GB or 512GB NVMe SSD, the inside features either the new six-core 2.6GHz Core i7–10750H or the new eight-core 2.3GHz Core i7–10875H CPUs.
You can choose from GPUs like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, RTX 2070, RTX 2070 Super, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Super, with pricing increasing proportionally as you move up the range. In other words, there are many options to fit a variety of budgets.
Review of the 2023 Razer Blade 15: Cost and opposition
The Advanced Model and the Base Model are the two primary Razer Blade variations. Both are strong and easily handle the newest games, but the Advanced model has a few extra features and a little bit more power.
I received the Base model with the 144Hz Full HD non-touch screen for this evaluation. Its internal components include an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, a single 512GB NVMe SSD, processor speed of 2.6GHz on a six-core Intel Core i7-10750H and 16GB of RAM. The list price for this model is £2,100, but by choosing the less capable GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, you may save quite an amount of money. The cost is now roughly $1,700.
The price increases to £2,400 if the Full HD display is swapped out for a 4K DCI-P3 OLED (non-touch) panel, and it rises even more if the GPU and CPU are upgraded. A staggering £3,350 will buy you the top-of-the-line Advanced model with the 4K OLED touchscreen, Intel Core i7–10875H CPU, and RTX 2080 Super GPU.
Those are significant sums, to be sure, but how do they stack up against competitors? The Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch is the first device on the list, with prices starting at £2,399 for a model with a six-core, 2.6GHz, ninth-generation Intel Core i7–9750H processor, 16GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card, and 512GB of storage. That is an additional £300 for a laptop with a weaker GPU but a larger, higher-resolution display, a larger battery, and a more streamlined frame. However, that isn’t exactly a gaming laptop, and the RTX 2070 in the comparable Blade 15 is no match for the AMD GPU in that machine.
The most recent Dell XPS 15, which we haven’t yet examined, is more expensive and closer to an equivalent specification than the Blade while being thinner and lighter. Again, this is not a gaming computer, and a high refresh rate display is not an option either.
The Gigabyte Aorus 15G XB, which we tested with a Core i7–10875H, 16GB of RAM, an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super, and 512GB of storage for £2,199 (with the ordinary RTX 2070 it’s £1,999), is the closest rival we’ve reviewed thus far. This computer is undoubtedly a gaming machine. It performs better overall than the Blade and has a mechanical keyboard, but it is less beautiful and more substantial.
Review of the Razer Blade 15 (2023): Design and Features
The new Razer Blade 15 is unquestionably the best gorgeous gaming laptop you can purchase (as the same was true of the previous model). Although other competitors have marginally lighter, smaller cases, there isn’t much in it. The Blade is only slightly heavier and thicker than the similarly stunning (and more expensive) 16in MacBook Pro at 2.1kg and 19.9mm, respectively.
However, there are certain distinctions between this model and the earlier 2019 Blade machine that are important to keep in mind, as well as some significant but less obvious differences between the Base model and the Advanced models.
Starting with connectivity. This year, the Base model gains a second USB-C connector, bringing the total to two. A Thunderbolt 3 port is located on the right, and a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port (maximum 10Gbits/sec) is located on the left. If you have the Base model linked to your monitor via USB-C all day, it is a pity because neither of them can be used to charge the device. That’s a feature that’s exclusive to the Advanced model, which in my opinion is quite unnecessary.
These USB ports are augmented by three more USB A ports, all of which are USB 3.2 Gen 1 (maximum 5Gbits/sec) and are located on the right and left of the device, respectively. The Advanced model also lacks a Gigabit Ethernet connector. I know, it’s perplexing, isn’t it? The Mini DisplayPort is also gone from the 2023 Blade, but a full-sized HDMI output is still present on the right edge.
Additionally, the machine has modifications within, which are accessible by unscrewing 10 tiny Torx T5 screws that are positioned around the bottom panel’s corners. Here, the Blade 2023 substitutes a single empty full-length M.2 slot for the 2.5in SSD bay from the previous model, while the Advanced variant eliminates the free slot entirely. On the other hand, the Blade 15 (2023) Advanced features a little larger battery and a superior vapor-chamber cooling mechanism than the Base model.
It’s very ordinary fare elsewhere. Wireless networking is handled via a 2x2 MIMO Intel AX201 WiFi6 adapter and a Bluetooth 5 module.
The webcam is a rather unimpressive 720p piece of junk that has trouble in bright and dark environments. However, the speakers are loud and the microphone is passably decent. They lack richness and body, though. The Razer is much behind the MacBook Pro in terms of webcam and audio configuration, especially the excellent studio microphone. Additionally, no Razer Blade 15 supports biometric login, which feels a touch antiquated.
Review of the Razer Blade 15 (2023): Display
The Base model’s 144Hz 1080p display is a decent one, but it won’t wow you with its picture quality. At typical viewing distances, it is perfectly sharp and, up to a point, also fairly bright.
For indoor use, a maximum of 377cd/m2 is OK, and it will be visible outside in a shaded location if you want to work or play some games on your patio. With a sRGB gamut coverage of 87.1% (out of a total of 90.3% by volume), color representation is flawless. sRGB also has no significant issues with color accuracy, with an average Delta E of 1.94 (the lower the better).
It is not a MacBook Pro 16-inch display, but it is also not very offensive. Additionally, it is much brighter than the 240Hz panel on the Gigabyte Aorus 15G, albeit being slightly less colorful.
Review of the Razer Blade 15 (2023): Keyboard and touchpad
The touchpad and keyboard don’t especially bother me either. The former is more comfortable and has a more logical arrangement than the 2019 model, albeit having a very shallow key action. The right Fn key is now located between the Alt and Ctrl keys instead of the problematic location it was in last year, which causes many fewer accidental presses.
The keyboard has RGB backlighting, as you might anticipate. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that the Advanced model offers per-key customizability, whereas the Base model does not. One cannot highlight the WASD keys in one color while having the rest of the keyboard display a different color, pulse, or cycle between the colors in response to material on the screen (like in the illustration below).
The better option is the touchpad. It is large by current standards, measuring 130mm in width and occupying the wrist rest almost entirely from top to bottom at a height of 80mm. It’s a joy to use if you’re on the go and need to get some work done quickly, but I expect most gamers will still want to augment it with a dedicated gaming mouse.
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Review of the Razer Blade 15 (2023): Performance
And now for the important part. How effective is the Razer Blade 15 (2023)? The answer is, predictably, very dang well, thanks to the very newest 10th generation Comet Lake Intel CPUs inside and Nvidia’s RTX graphics.
The Blade performed admirably across the board, though not any faster or slower than expected given the specification. I ran the machine through a variety of benchmarks, from our own media-focused transcoding, image conversion, and multitasking tests, through cross-platform CPU and graphics tests, to a range of real-world gaming benchmarks.