Enlarge / The Razer Blade Pro FHD, with a week of fingerprints on its black aluminum frame.
For all those years, we've talked about the Razer video game company and its range of expensive and (sometimes) remarkably thin gaming laptops. We rarely put these machines "Blade" to the test. The Razer Blade line debuted in 2011 with a flashy multitouch panel that had a screen on the inside, which at the time was the biggest tweak of Pimp My Ride. ("Yo dogg, I heard you love the screens, so we put a screen … in your trackpad!")
But we spent that one, with most other Razer laptops, with the exception of its not-enough-game 2016 entry, the Razer Stealth . As the company sits in a more stable folder, we wanted to seize the opportunity to see where is the purest Razer gaming laptop line now that its Blade Pro variant – which has a 17 "screen but still a relatively thin body If you want Razer laptop features like a side-aligned trackpad and a customizable keyboard, color on your 17-inch laptop ready to play, it means that you no longer have to pay for the huge amount of $ 3,999 Razer version of the same model.
Our verdict? For a 17-inch gaming laptop, the Blade Pro FHD model is fine, and if you want that size in an incredibly thin body at a price of $ 2,000, it comes with reasonable compromises. But unlike its incredibly expensive brothers and sisters, this model Blade Pro UHD barely excites us enough to recommend it – and its price – on cheaper and more powerful gaming laptops.
Pro frame rate, not the pro specifications
Say hello! "To the Razer Blade Pro FHD.
It is very, very difficult to bring out this text "Blade" as engraved in the lower bezel.
A cult, huh?
Stickers and insurance.
The central stumbling block, frankly, is the screen. This is not stunning you might want or expect when opting for a laptop as huge as this one.
The "FHD" in the model name refers to the 1080p resolution of the screen, which is not a bad aspect – although you want to get more resolution, since Many 13-inch laptops offer 1440p resolutions. . The advantage with this "only" 1080p screen is therefore a refresh rate of 120Hz. This is the double of the 60Hz standard that you will find on most laptops panels.
That sounds like an awesome trade, right? 120 Hz monitors are rare in gaming laptops, and switching to a higher frame rate is often worth the trade in game attributes such as geometry, shaders, shadows, pixels etc. Just by going back to a few settings, you can probably enjoy a more silky frame rate, which is especially nice in genres like first-person shooters.
Features at a glance: Alienware 13 R3 (Revised)
Display 1920 × 1080 IPS at 17.3 inches (127 PPI)
Windows 10 Home x64
Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz (Turbo Boost up to 3.8 GHz)
DDR4 16 GB 2400 MHz
Intel HD 630 (integrated) coupled with Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5 memory
256GB PCIe M.2 SSD, 2 TB hard drive (5400 rpm)
Killer 1535 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet
3 x USB 3.0, USB Type-C, HDMI 2.0 output, Thunderbolt 3, SDXC card reader, headphone / microphone combo jack
0.88 "x 16.7" x 11 "(22.5 x 424 x 281 mm)
6.68 pounds (3.03 kg)
720p webcam, Razer Chroma backlit keyboard
$ 1,999 as configured
But the Blade Pro FHD's 17-inch, 1080p, 120-Hz monitor misses a key point in this attribute list: the refresh rate of the variables. (Conversely, the more expensive 4K Blade Pro includes G-Sync technology.) And with just enough power, it's a small problem here, at least for the price of this system.
Unlike a desktop system with power reserve and overclocking, the UHD Blade Pro opts for the slower mobile Kaby Lake i7 processors from last year, the i7-7700HQ, with a "turbo" of 3.8GHz related limitations. If you just want to memorize a refresh of 60 fps at a resolution of 1080p, this type of portable processor will do the trick, and the GTX 1060 version of the system, with 6GB of GDDR5 memory, perfectly fits this graphic profile settings high.
But the games at 120 Hz are more related to the CPU. As a result, when you apply a game on the UHD Blade Pro and aim for maximum refresh, you may not reach it, resulting in screen tears and frequency spikes. 39; images. Some players do not care, but they absolutely reduce the fluidity expected of a monitor with such a refresh rate. The G-Sync and Freesync monitors deal with the natural variance of the frame rate that you can expect from modern games while they aim for 120 Hz and beyond. Their explosions and other effects can trigger peaks of frame rate on even solid systems, let alone on those of the same power level as the Blade Pro FHD.
My best example is to test PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, a shooting game that is certainly not optimized, but which can also be reduced on PC to reach decent cadences. But I just could not get it at full 1080p resolution. I've dropped the parameters of PUBG's lowest visual preset – with some of the ugliest textures known to mankind, with a horrible vegetation rendering and other visual hiccups – and n & rsquo; Still not reaching a constant refresh over 95fps. It was generally closer to 85 frames per second.
And that ends up being the problem with games of the modern era: they will not hit 120Hz on this monitor. This is quite acceptable in terms of the specifications of the Blade Pro FHD, and you can achieve perfectly perfect 60 Hz performance without frequency peaks in images or visual tearing. But if you want to unlock the full potential of this notebook, in terms of Power-and-Screen combo, you'll have to go back to less demanding games: your Counter-Strikes, your Rocket Leagues and your Dota 2, all of which can lock. above 120Hz on this system with the selected settings. If you pay for this specific portable benefit, then the Razer Blade Pro is for you.
Beyond that, the screen is a standard IPS panel, and unfortunately it comes straight from the factory with a visible blue hue. At a maximum luminance of 297 nits, the panel certainly has no significant luminosity on its side; the maximum is good, but you will want to have a little more in a particularly bright cafe.