The Blade 18 is Razer’s largest and strongest laptop computer but. It is received a giant, beautiful 240Hz show, a slick unibody body and virtually each port you may want. It can be configured with the quickest silicon you will get on a laptop computer in the present day, together with an Intel Core i9 CPU and an NVIDIA RTX 4090 GPU. There’s only one drawback: a totally loaded config prices $5,000.
To place that into perspective, that’s 10 occasions costlier than the common value of a brand new laptop computer or pill within the US, which is round $495 in keeping with Indexbox. That principally makes the Blade 18 the Rolls Royce of gaming notebooks. Suffice it to say, until you’re the offspring of an oil baron, you’re most likely not going to purchase one. So in an try to determine who the Blade 18 is actually for, I requested Razer to ship over a base mannequin of the laptop computer, which fits for a barely extra inexpensive value of $2,900 to see how a lot you are actually getting for all that cash.
- 240Hz show
- Premium aluminum chassis
- Helps top-notch parts
- Nice port choice
- Extraordinarily costly
- Very quick battery life
- No further show choices
Design and show
If you happen to can look previous its value, there’s little or no dislike concerning the Blade 18’s design. Razer’s aluminum physique is tremendous sturdy, with nearly no flex on its lid and deck. Its keyboard additionally feels nice and comes with per-key RGB lighting, although some could also be a bit dismayed that Razer could not discover room for a numpad even on a laptop computer this massive. And due to help for tons of ports together with an HDMI 2.1 jack, Ethernet, a full-size SD card reader and a number of USB Kind-A and Kind-C connectors, you may by no means have to fret about carrying a dongle or dock round — which is an efficient factor as a result of at 6.8 kilos the Blade 18 is heavy sufficient by itself.
Whereas it is not that a lot bigger than the Blade 17, Razer’s greatest laptop computer ever positively doesn’t slot in my regular messenger bag, and it rattling close to bursts the seams on my on a regular basis backpack too. So if I need to carry it round (not that I actually need to), I’ve to interrupt out my massive journey backpack, which might be for the very best as a result of its padded straps are form of a should in case you plan on carrying across the Blade 18 and its 1.7-pound energy brick for any size of time. That mentioned, for a desktop alternative, really utilizing the Blade 18 in your lap is not as awkward as you may think. Regardless of its measurement, the pocket book is balanced nicely and it tends to maintain thermals in test throughout common use, although in case you’re gaming you are still going to need to discover a desk or desk.
My one gripe with the Blade 18 is the dearth of further show choices. On the outdated Blade 17, Razer supplied a alternative between a 240Hz QHD panel or a 144Hz UHD display, the latter of which might be nice for content material creators who desire a cellular workstation for enhancing 4K movies. Plus, once you consider that an SD card reader comes commonplace, transitioning from taking pictures footage to enhancing is so simple as yanking a card out of your digicam and slamming it within the Blade. And in contrast to the Blade 15, there’s no possibility for an OLED panel both. Now it’s fairly attainable that Razer is saving a few of these upgrades for a forthcoming Studio model of the Blade 18 designed expressly for content material creators, however that’s not a lot of a comfort to individuals in search of a brand new machine in the present day.
A base Blade 19 positively is not a slouch with an Intel Core i9-13950HX chip and an RTX 4060 GPU. However as soon as once more, it is actually the worth proposition I am questioning. That is as a result of in case you do desire a laptop computer with massive efficiency however in a barely smaller package deal, ASUS’ Zephryous M16 could be configured with an i9 CPU and an RTX 4090 for $1,000 lower than the Razer Blade 18, whereas the base version of the M16 options an RTX 4070 GPU beginning at simply $1,950.
The one small difficulty is that in case you’re pairing an RTX 4060 with a 240Hz show, you may’t actually take full benefit of that quick refresh price until you are taking part in lower-spec esports video games like CS:GO or League of Legends. For instance, in Cyberpunk 2077, the Blade 18 posted a mean body price of simply 62 fps at 1920 x 1080 on Extremely. And once I tweaked the sport’s settings to attempt to get the very best out of that 240Hz show, the Razer solely managed 122 fps with excessive textures and NVIDIA’s DLSS set to Extremely Efficiency mode. That mentioned, even with the bottom mannequin, there is not actually any title the Blade 18 cannot deal with, so you may simply take your video games on the highway.
Talking of touring, whereas it could be good to have the ability to simply seize the laptop computer and go, leaving the Blade 18’s energy adapter at house is principally by no means an possibility. On PCMark 10’s Fashionable Workplace battery check, it lasted simply two hours and 57 minutes, which is a full hour and a half lower than ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus M16. And whereas it shouldn’t be a giant shock, in case you’re taking part in video games with out being plugged into the wall, you may anticipate runtimes of two hours or much less.
Okay, so again to my authentic query: Who is that this factor actually for? If you happen to’re coming from a smaller system, transferring to the Razer Blade 18 is sort of like that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry nearly blunders his way into a menage a trois earlier than backing out. Dwelling with a laptop computer this massive isn’t merely upgrading your machine. It’s important to change the way in which you journey, it’s essential to purchase costlier peripherals that gained’t look shabby subsequent to your fancy laptop computer, and also you’ll most likely need to get some wealthy pals who don’t thoughts sending a driver to choose you up once you need to have a LAN session. It’s not only a extra highly effective strategy to recreation, it’s an entire new way of life alternative.
Alternatively, in case you like taking part in video games and making movies, the Blade 18 definitely has the dimensions and the efficiency to do each nicely, although its display isn’t ultimate for content material creation. Actually, the primary use case for the Blade 18 is in case you’re on the highway loads or in case you’re somebody like a recreation developer and also you desire a transportable workstation which you could lug round to indicate off your upcoming title. Again within the day, that honor usually went to programs like MSI’s big 17-inch Dragon and Dominator laptops, which have been even thicker and heavier, repeatedly weighing in at over 10 kilos. However as a part of a brand new breed of desktop replacements, the Blade 18 provides help for the quickest laptop computer parts out proper now, however in a comparatively much less cumbersome, although nonetheless massive chassis.
That mentioned, the fact is that for most individuals, the Blade 18 doesn’t make a ton of sense. There are a variety of different desktop replacements that aren’t fairly as fancy for a whole bunch (and even hundreds) much less. And in case you nonetheless desire a machine with severe efficiency that’s simpler to hold round, there are rivals just like the Zephyrus M16 too. Okay, so what’s left? Luxurious and status, as a result of you probably have a sky-high price range and desire a tremendous premium gaming laptop computer, there is not a lot that may prime a totally loaded Blade 18. However for everybody else serious about getting in on the bottom stage with a base mannequin, your cash would go loads additional elsewhere.