Razer Blade 2015 (College Review)

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One of the leading high-performance gaming hardware companies has released the latest version in their gaming laptop line, the Razer Blade 2015. Overall, this high-end laptop line has been a success, and the Razer Blade 2013 has so far been the favorite. The 2015 brings a ton of upgrades to the table as compared to the Razer Blade 2014. Can the new model challenge the 2013 as the new favorite? Or will the Razer Blade 2015 fail to reach expectations like last year’s model? Let’s find out in the only college-exclusive Razer Blade 2015 review.


Features

  • 3 USB 3.0 ports
  • Compact 150-watt power adapter
  • Nvidia GeForce Experience
  • Battery Boost
  • ShadowPlay
  • Game Stream
  • Razer Synapse 2.0
  • Razer Comms
  • Razer Cortex
  • Razer Surround
  • 10 point Touchscreen
  • One-year Warranty

Specs

  • Screen Size: 14″
  • Screen Resolution: 3200 x 1800
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6 GHz
  • Memory: 16B DDR3 SDRAM
  • Hard Drive: 128GB/256GB/512GB SSD
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M
  • Wireless: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac (2.4 + 5.0 GHz Dual-band)
  • Average Battery Life: 4 hours 52 minutes
  • Weight: 4.47 lbs

Specs Review: When looking for a high-end gaming laptop to take to school, the Razer Blade 2015 should be a serious consideration. The screen size of 14″ is the same as last year’s model, and the dimensions also remain the same (0.7 by 13.6 by 9.3 inches). The weight is also the same, 4.47 lbs, making it very light and portable. The display has also not changed. The Razer Blade 2015 has a QHD+ 3,200 x 1,800 resolution, with an Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide panel (this offers impressive quality color). It also has a 10-point touchscreen (just like the 2014), something that is rare on most gaming laptops. With this stunning resolution/display, the 2014 ran into performance issues. But the 2015 comes prepared to handle such an intense display. The Intel Core i7-4702HQ 2.2GHz has been bumped up to an Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6GHz. And the 8GB of RAM in the 2014 has been doubled to 16GB of RAM. These two upgrades alone make for an impressive jump in general-use and gaming performance. The graphics card has also had a significant upgrade. The Razer Blade 2015 is now equipped with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, up from the 870M version of the 2014. With the 970M’s 3GB of dedicated memory, the graphics performance is top of the line. This graphics upgrade fixes a lot of the issues of last year’s model (the high-resolution display was too much for the capabilities of the 870M, making it run extremely low FPS on maximum settings). The baseline gaming tests(1,366 x 768) for the Razer Blade 2015 are the best of any gaming laptop on the market. Let’s look at these tests:

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Picture from pcmag.com

But even with the 970M and 3GB of dedicated memory, the Razer Blade 2015 still falls behind with the 3,200 x 1,800 resolution. When playing at this resolution on maximum game settings, FPS falls below 20. Although the upgrade in graphics doesn’t full equip the 2015 to play at 3,200 x 1,800 on max settings, you can still play demanding titles at better-than-full-HD resolutions, which in itself is impressive. A real boost from last year’s model lies in the battery life. The 2015 lasts close to 5 hours (4 hours and 52 minutes), up over a half hour of usable time from the 2014 (4 hours and 15 minutes). This isn’t even just an upgrade in the Blade line, 4 hours and 52 minutes ties for the most battery life in ultraportable gaming laptops. Fan noise does not seem to be as big of an issue as the 2014, although it is still noticeable. Besides the slight discrepancy between graphics and display, the only other issue that is prominent is heat, with temperatures hitting 128 degress. With so much hardware packed into such a sleek chassis, heat will always be an issue with this design. The Razer Blade 2015 also carries a hefty price tag of $2399.99 MSRP. But with any of Razer’s laptops, expect to be spending a lot. And with the 2015 model, you will get what you are paying for.


Customer Review Summary (from online reviews):

  • “All in all a top gaming laptop with great features”
  • “The newest Razer Blade ultraportable gaming laptop has a lot to love”
  • “Slim, ultraportable design”

Conclusion for College Students: All of the upgrades that Razer has put into this new model has improved the Blade a ton. The Razer Blade 2015 has made some major improvements to the problems of the 2014 (graphics performance, battery life, fan noise). Heat still remains an issue, but with the design, heat problems are inevitable. The 2015 is by far better than the 2014, and pcmag.com says “it also offers a better overall value than the previous Editors’ Choice, the Razer Blade 2013.”. For gaming at college, the Razer Blade 2015 is a perfect fit. If you don’t mind the high price tag, and you want a top of the line ultraportable gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 2015 is the laptop that you should bring to school.
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About Author

dmerritt

Hey everyone! I'm Devin. I'm a video game addict. Some of the games I play include World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and many many many more. I also love computers, and that's why I write these posts!