Rapid Review: Razer Blade Pro 17

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Razer Blades are instantly recognizable for their sleek, black coat and glowing green triple-snake logo — and they're powerful units. Some of the most impressively designed and specced-up gaming laptops you can find. We've looked at the Stealth in the past and were very happy with it, overall - so how does it's Big Daddy, the Razer Blade Pro, stack up?

What Is It?

The Razer Blade Pro is touted as a 'desktop in your laptop', an overclocked wunderkind that can perform all manner of tasks but is chiefly designed to give you a gaming desktop experience - with all those bells and whistles - on the go. It's a performer, first and foremost, and it has a really, really big screen in a surprisingly tiny body.

We took a look at the Full HD model, which includes the specs below:

Specifications

OS Windows 10 (64-bit)
Processor Quad-Core 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Storage/Memory 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD/16GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM
Screen 17.3" Full HD, 1920x1080
IPS, 120Hz, 16:9 aspect ratio, matte screen
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
Battery 0Wh rechargable lithium-ion polymer battery (~4 hours)
Dimensions (H x W x D) 22.5mm x 424mm x 281mm
Weight 3.07kg
Price (RRP) $3399.95

What's Good?

For a 17-inch laptop, a real beast, getting the weight down to 3kg and the height to just over 22mm high is an excellent achievement. The Blade Pro gives you a really capable gaming laptop that actually can function on the go. I used the laptop while I was travelling overseas, kept it in my backpack while I was away and for the most part, didn't notice a huge difference in load between it and my (much lighter) Surface Laptop. Obviously there's a clear weight difference, but the form factor is great and the real estate the keyboard and screen occupies is all well-utilised. It blows other comparable laptops out of the water in the design department, but boy I'd love smaller bezels on the screen.

For everyday tasks, there isn't anything to worry about. Numerous tabs, streams and windowed games all ran smoothly when I was putting the Blade Pro through its paces.

It's bloody beautiful, too. We only got to sample the Full HD model (the much more expensive 4K model has a superior screen, the GTX 1080 and better audio fidelity, among other things) but it's a laptop that makes colours pop. That clear advantage comes in games like Overwatch and while I was away I trialled Sea of Thieves quite a bit - it performed incredibly well and at times made me sad that I had to return it and play that one on the Xbox instead.

What's Bad?

The biggest thing is, as is the way with Razer products, price. This is an expensive unit and it's always advertised as a 'desktop inside a laptop'. I don't mind that tagline, but if that's the case, the only real advantage you get with the Blade Pro is the mobility and if you take that away, why not go for the much cheaper desktop option? That'll be a personal preference and the counterpoint is that you get all this power in a well-crafted machine that should be able to go the distance.

I'm not a huge fan of the touchpad and plugged in my own mouse whenever I was seated anywhere for more than five minutes. Some people are into it, but being just offset to the right of the keyboard, it was too unusual for me to change my routine. On top of that, with all that raw power coming off the machine, it does tend to run hot. It's not a deal breaker and you won't be frying eggs, but it is something to be conscious of.

Battery life continues to be an issue, but you have to accept that with the huge power drain that the specs put on the unit, fixing that battery life is going to need some wholly new energy saving measures. The Blade Pro just isn't there yet, but it seems Razer are making efforts in that space.

Should You Buy It?

What do you want in a gaming laptop? Absolute mobility but compromised power? Incredible power but a laptop that you have to strap to your back to carry? The Blade Pro tries to slot in between the two, providing some of the beefiest specs you'll find in a gaming laptop in a small footprint. The only concern is how hot is runs and how much it costs. If you've got cash to burn, this is a gaming laptop that's hard to look past — but it will be restrictively priced for many, who will find viable desktop alternatives at a much cheaper cost.

Interestingly enough, Razer have recently announced a refresh of their base model Blade. It doesn't quite have the same 17-inch screen as this, but it does have the latest Intel processor and comes in weighing a kilo less. It's a pretty impressive piece of kit. You can read more about that here, if you think the 17 inches are too large.


Rapid Reviews is Lifehacker's bite-sized buying advice on the latest technology products.


As Lifehacker editors we write about stuff we like and think you'll like too. Lifehacker often has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.


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