The Razer Blade 15 is the best gaming laptop you can buy. It's an insanely slim laptop, especially considering how much gaming power it can spit out. However, Razer does offer a number of versions of its flagship gaming laptop. This can make configuration difficult if you want to save some money.
Razer keeps its selection of options tight. This way, you can avoid wasting money on upgrades that won't improve the gaming experience if you know which options to choose.
The Base Edition
The Razer Blade 15 is not just a laptop, but is available in three different models with slightly different designs: Base, Advanced and Studio Edition.
The cheapest model is the "Base Edition", which starts at $ 1,600. If you love the aesthetics of the Razer Blade, but not the price, a Base Edition is worth considering. It comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor, a 256 GB SSD and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.
You can buy three more Base Edition configurations. For $ 1,800, you get twice as much storage space and can switch to an RTX 2060 GPU. This is an improvement in performance and memory that is worth the money. You will likely be disappointed with the performance of an RTX 2060. With an additional $ 200, you get the RTX 2070 Max-Q, the most powerful version of the Base Edition.
All versions of the Base Edition have 16 GB of dual-channel RAM and a screen with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. The only exception is the 4K OLED model, which costs $ 2,300 and is limited to 60 Hz. As is well known, the 4K display is not ideal for games due to the limited refresh rate. The 4K screen is unfortunately the only way to open the "Mercury White" color option.
Aside from the performance, the Base Edition is a bit thicker and heavier than the Advanced Edition. It's 10% chunkier than the other models, though it's still small compared to other gaming laptops.
The Advanced Edition
The Advanced Edition of the Razer Blade is the most powerful gaming laptop, which is why it receives the most attention. Starting at $ 2,600, it's barely cheap. However, what you get is exceptional gaming performance regardless of the configuration chosen. The $ 2,600 model comes with an Intel Core i7-10875H, an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, and a 512 GB SSD.
Like all versions of the Advanced Edition, it has 16 GB of two-channel memory. Most importantly, it comes with a 1080p screen that has an amazing refresh rate of 300 Hz. This is the ideal control panel for games to ensure that your frame rates are never limited by the refresh rate of the screen. It also has a faster response time of 3 ms (milliseconds) compared to the 5 ms screen of the Base Edition. The Base Edition screen is still solid. However, if you want to achieve higher frame rates, the Advanced Edition is noticeably smoother.
For an additional $ 400, you can increase the graphics to an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q and storage capacity to a 1 TB SSD. This is the configuration that I have checked and that provides a fast and smooth gaming experience in every game I have played. Even the most demanding games can reach 60 FPS (frames per second), while most first-person shooters in the mid-100s with settings at max.
If you really want to increase the maximum refresh rate, games like Counter-Strike: GO or Rocket League will easily get you into the mid-200s. It's incredibly smooth gaming.
These RTX Super cards are the best laptop graphics cards from Nvidia. The Max-Q designation means that the thermal limitation was limited to the thin housing. This is now common for high-end gaming laptops, although chunkier options like the Alienware Area-51m offer graphics options that aren't from Max-Q.
If you choose between the Base Edition and the Advanced Edition, you will be wondering how the GPUs are compared. The RTX 2070 Super Max-Q in the Advanced Edition is only marginally faster than the standard RTX 2080 Max-Q in the Base Edition.
There are more differences between the two than just performance. As already mentioned, the Advanced Edition of the Razer Blade offers a chassis that is 10% lighter and thinner than the Base Edition, although it is made of the same materials. It also comes with a larger 80 watt hour battery compared to the 65 watt hour battery of the Base Edition.
Other small upgrades include an IR camera for fast Windows Hello face authentication and RGB backlighting per key. The Base Edition contains only a single zone backlight.
Finally, the Advanced Edition has a newly designed thermal system that uses steam chambers instead of conventional heat pipes.
The Studio Edition
The Studio Edition is also an option and uses professional Nvidia Quadro 5000 graphics. This is actually not a gaming laptop at all. Instead, it's meant for video editors, designers, photographers, and other content creators. This applies to all 4K laptops from Razer. However, this is specifically designed for Nvidia Quadro drivers that optimize performance in professional applications. It also ships with Windows 10 Pro instead of Windows 10 Home.
There is only one version of the Studio Edition, which costs $ 4,300 and is equipped with an Intel Core i7-10875H with eight cores, 32 GB RAM, an Nvidia Quadro 5000 graphics card and 1 TB SSD storage. Of course, this model also uses a 4K OLED screen.
The older model, which is offered for $ 4,000, only has a six-core processor and loses much of its performance potential.
The Studio Edition uses the same housing as the Advanced Edition, even with RGB backlighting per button, better thermal and smaller size.
Deciding on the guarantee is the last step before you confirm your purchase. Razer offers a one-year limited warranty for basic defects. For more than that, you have to choose RazerCare. Neither is cheap, but it extends customer support life by up to three years.
Your two options are the $ 250 basic protection plan and the $ 370 elite protection plan. Both last three years, but the Elite Plan is the only one that offers protection against accidental damage such as falls or spills. I would prefer Razer to offer an accident damage service separate from the more basic customer support plans, but Razer bundles them together.