This is one of the most beautiful looking laptops I have reviewed. It is simply stunning in the flesh. As I said last week, it reminded me immediately of a black MacBook Pro laptop. Not a bad thing at all.
Both 14 inch and 17 inch models are very thin and beautifully constructed. The two images above show them side by side.
Underneath there are very few cooling vents, apart from the top right and left sections. air is pulled in from underneath and expelled out the left and right sides of the chassis at the rear. As I will explain later in more detail, it is a very good cooling system and it works significantly better than the 14 inch model.
The Razer Blade Pro looks great in photographs, but it is even better in the flesh.
It is crafted from anodized aluminum and it feels fantastic in the hand. No unwanted flex, no poorly engineered corners, and no groaning noises when you adjust the lid. Its built to very high standards.
My only problem using the laptop was the frequent need to clean it. Fingerprints galore on all the surfaces within only a few hours and I don’t sweat much at all either.
The 17.3 inch TN panel is not up to the same quality as the 3K IGZO Sharp panel built into the 14 inch Blade. Viewing angles on the TN are noticeably worse, however it is less reflective and easier to read in specific environments.
The 14 inch IGZO panel produces much richer colours, as we would expect. The only downside for gamers would be the slower refresh rate. I measured the refresh of the Blade Pro panel to be close to 1ms, rather than 6ms from the 14 inch model. This alone may be a deal breaker for some gamers.
Not a lot happening at the front or rear of the laptop. There is a little cut out section at the front to make it easier to open by hand. This is something Apple have been doing for years, and I can’t help but feel that Razer have ‘borrowed’ some of Apple’s better (yet simple) design ideas. PC Purists will hate to even consider this, but Apple have a good track record with their MacBook pro range.
The 17 inch model has all of the USB 3.0 ports along the left side. There is only only a Kensington lock and air vent on the right side. I can’t help but feel this is a flawed layout configuration. Why?
The 14 inch Blade has two USB 3.0 ports on the left side with another USB 3.0 header on the right side – ideal for connecting a mouse. In addition to the trifecta of USB 3.0 ports, is a HDMI, GB LAN, Headphone/Microphone port, and power adapter connector. A large cooling vent runs along the rear of the left side, identical to the right side.
I really do love to get my hands on a finely constructed laptop and whether you like Razer or not, this is pretty much a showcase of quality engineering.
The power button is stunning, oversized, and pulses green when the machine is turned on. We like how the keys have green accenting, so even when the backlighting is off, the colour scheme is clear to see. The word ‘BLADE’ is engraved into the chassis, between the power button and the panel. A speaker grill runs along the top of the laptop in front of the heavy duty hinge.
The keyboard is excellent, and while not in the same class as a quality mechanical design we feel it is more than usable for modest work loads on the move. I am not a fan of the single height return key, but our American readers keep trying to silence me, so I won’t focus on that too much today.
Hang on, why no trackpad below the keyboard?
Razer have ditched the traditional trackpad hardware and instead incorporated a colour touch screen with ten physical buttons above it and two underneath. I go into this implementation in more detail on the next page as there is a lot of on offer. It looks deeply unimpressive when the Blade Pro is turned off, but trust me, it is worth a deeper analysis on its own page.