Hardware and performance
The stellar design and good screen are partnered with high-powered components. The higher-end models feature an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor overclocked to up 4.3GHz, 32GB of 2667MHz DDR4 memory, and a selection of dual PCIe SSDs set up in RAID 0 configuration. No question, that thing would fly.
However, the base model reviewed here is no slouch either, offering 16GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD and a 2TB hard disk, and an Intel Core i7-7700HQ. The latter is now a last-generation processor, but it remains powerful: it's got four hyper-threaded cores, and its 2.8GHz stock speed reaches 3.8GHz with Turbo boost.
The Core i7-7700HQ delivered a blazing score of 126 in our benchmarks, with consistent results across image editing and multi-tasking – proof that this chip is adept with single-threaded software and multi-threaded tools. It's well ahead of every other laptop we've tested.
The Razer's Geekbench single- and multi-core results of 4,147 and 13,269 further bolster its work credentials. The only way you're getting much more CPU performance from a laptop is by using a machine with an overclocked or a desktop processor – and those rigs are more expensive and much heavier than the Blade.
The Razer does fall a little behind in SSD speeds. Its results of 1,573MB/sec and 978MB/sec are good – but the Apple's PCIe storage is faster.
Graphical grunt in the higher-end models comes from an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 with 8GB of memory. The base Full HD model offers a GeForce GTX 1060 – a mid-range chipset that has enough power for graphically intensive work applications and after-hours gaming. Razer has deployed the version with 6GB of memory, rather than 3GB, which we're pleased about – although this chip doesn't have the professional certifications that you'll find on a Quadro or Radeon Pro component.
Nevertheless, it's potent. It blitzed through Dirt Showdown with an average of 102fps, and ran modern games like Witcher 3 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at 40fps and 38fps.
That doesn't just bode well for playing games – it means that this chip will handle photo and video work too, alongside other graphically intensive applications.
The GTX 1060 will also outpace the latest MacBook Pro in graphical benchmarks. The MacBook Pro 15 can be configured with an AMD Radeon Pro 560 with less memory and lower speeds than the Nvidia card.
The Blade performed well in thermal tests despite the slim construction and powerful components. It was silent when running less intensive tasks, and it was only a little louder when its CPU and GPU were subjected to a system-wide stress-test. It's quieter than many powerful laptops, and easy enough to drown out with a headset or speakers.
There weren't any temperature issues. The CPU's peak temperature of 92°C is a little high, but not dangerous, and the GPU peaked at a fine 76°C. The metal above the keyboard and on the rear of the base panel got a little warm, but it was never uncomfortably hot - and that's not a problem if this machine will be used on a desk.
The battery, though, is more akin to gaming laptops. The Razer lasted for just short of three hours in our video test – not even half as long as the latest MacBooks. You won't even get half a day away from the mains with this machine, which will prove restrictive in a business environment – long meetings may not be possible without plugging in, for example. It's definitely a portable desktop-replacement rather than a genuine portable.
As you would expect, the Razer Blade Pro doesn’t come cheap, starting at $3,399.95 for the base model with Full HD display. The price jumps to $5,899.95 or higher for the 4K model, although that also includes an overclocked Intel Core i7-7820HK, double the RAM, even faster graphics, THX certification, and a selection of RAID0-configured dual SSDs, ranging from 512GB to 2TB in total capacity.
But that’s the price you pay for a machine of this quality – the 15in MacBook Pro, for example, starts at $3,499.
If you want an alternative to the MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 15, with larger screen, more graphical grunt and which is very adept at gaming , the Razer Blade Pro is a stellar alternative.