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Lifewire / Andy Zahn
Elegant and robust design
Beautiful 4K touchscreen display
Quiet and effective vapor chamber cooling system
Lacks dedicated DisplayPort
Poor quality webcam
Short battery life
The Razer Blade Pro 17 comes close to being a flawless laptop. Its impressive graphical power lends itself to cutting-edge gaming experiences as well as to heavy-duty productivity and creative tasks.
Razer provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for our full product review.
Much like a habitable world orbiting its star at the precise distance to support life, the Razer Blade Pro 17 inhabits that rare Goldilocks zone of the perfect laptop. Almost always you will find some Achilles heel that sours the experience, but on the surface and the spec sheet, the Blade Pro 17 appears almost angelic in its remarkable perfection. After 50 hours of testing, I found it to be an excellent laptop for both productivity and gaming.
While the bright green Razer logo and RGB backlit keyboard leave no doubt as to the fact that this is indeed a gaming laptop, the Razer Blade Pro 17 is really quite elegant and refined, with a sleek black chassis that would be equally at home in a more professional setting. Its 17-inch screen and seriously powerful components demand a certain degree of bulk, but all things considered, it’s remarkably thin and light. It’s large enough to be a true desktop PC replacement but compact enough to take on the road.
I appreciated the spacious, highly responsive keyboard, and even more the enormous trackpad.
The hinge mechanism of the Blade Pro 17 is smooth and easy to operate, but firm enough that the screen won’t wobble. The razor-thin bezels enhance the impressive good looks of the laptop. The laptop comes with a large power brick and an unusually long and impressively high quality power cable.
I appreciated the spacious, highly responsive keyboard, and even more the enormous trackpad which rivals those of Dell and Apple for accuracy and responsiveness. It makes using the laptop without a mouse a much more viable proposition, and paired with the touchscreen in the configuration I tested this laptop, is remarkable for its ease of use. Programmable RGB backlighting is a nice bonus.
The Blade Pro 17 features a respectable array of ports including three USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports (one of which is also Thunderbolt 3), an RJ45 2.5GB Ethernet port, HDMI 2.1, and a UHS-III SD card reader.
My only complaint with the overall design is that there isn’t a dedicated DisplayPort or mini-DisplayPort. This means you’ll need a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter to connect external high resolution/refresh rate displays or VR headsets to the laptop. Fortunately, such adapters are cheap and work well as I found when using the HP Reverb 2 connected to the Blade Pro 17.
The 17-inch screen of the Razer Blade Pro 17 comes in two flavors: fast or detailed. I tested the latter and was quite impressed with the detail its 4K display is capable of, as well as its color accuracy. This model is absolutely ideal for tasks such as photo editing or graphic design, as it covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color gamut and 400 nits of brightness.
If, however, you need frame rates higher than this 120Hz 4K display, you might consider instead the 1080p option with its almost obscene 360Hz refresh rate. Alternatively, Razer offers a middle-of-the-road option with 1440p resolution and 165-hertz.
Getting started with the Blade Pro 17 was simple and straightforward. Just boot it up, go through the standard Windows 10 installation process, and you’re ready to go.
The Blade Pro 17 handled everything I threw at it with aplomb, and there are only a handful of devices currently available that would be able to match it. It packs a Core i7-10875H, 32GB of RAM, a terabyte of PCIe NVMe storage (with room for extra drives), and most importantly, an Nvidia RTX 3080. Though the form factor limits this monster of a GPU in comparison to desktop PCs, you aren’t likely to notice. Whether you’re looking to play Cyberpunk 2077, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, or do some heavy-duty video editing, this laptop is up to the task.
Even in a notoriously demanding game like CyberPunk 2077 I struggled to push the laptop past its limits.
The laptop scored well in the GFX Bench Aztec Ruins DirectX 12 test, with 3,858 frames, and achieved a score of 5,347 in PCMark 10. The Blade Pro 17 also achieved consistently high frame rates when running the Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla benchmarking application with maxed-out graphics settings.
In practice, this meant that even in a notoriously demanding game like CyberPunk 2077 I struggled to push the laptop past its limits. With maximum settings enabled I only encountered noticeable frame rate dips when traveling at extremely high speeds through particularly dense portions of the city. During normal play it was a remarkably consistent experience.
The same goes for every other game I threw at it, including using it extensively for VR experiences such as Star Wars: Squadrons, where a high and consistent frame rate is absolutely critical. This makes the Blade Pro 17 ideal for room-scale VR, particularly if you want to show it off at a friend’s house or if the ideal space in your house for VR isn’t convenient for a desktop PC.
Of course, for photo and video editing, all that oomph is very much welcome. It’s more than capable of handling power-intensive content-creation tasks. Notably, it never got especially hot or loud even under heavy gaming or productivity load. This is thanks to Razor’s innovative vapor chamber cooling system, which is also part of what allows the laptop to be so thin and light.
It’s more than capable of handling power-intensive content creation tasks.
The prominent speaker grills of the Blade Pro 17 make it clear that this laptop is unusually serious about audio quality. Music, movies, and games benefit enormously from this, and I honestly didn’t feel the need to hook it up to dedicated speakers or a headset. It did an excellent job of reproducing the wide range of tones in 2Cellos cover of “Thunderstruck”, which I used to judge the audio devices that I test. Overall, the Blade Pro 17 has easily one of the best sound systems I’ve ever found in a laptop.
The Blade Pro 17 has easily one of the best sound systems I’ve ever found in a laptop.
Having a webcam on a laptop is a necessity, and it’s good that the Blade Pro 17 has one, but I was genuinely surprised by how poor the quality of the video is. You only get 720p, though for a webcam that isn’t necessarily a problem. The big issue is how grainy the footage looks, even in decent light. It gets the job done, but I would have expected more from such an expensive device.
The Blade Pro 17 lacks anything that could really be described as bloatware. The only pre-installed software I found on the laptop is Razer Synapse, which is essential for controlling the RGB backlighting.
As you’d expect, the Blade Pro 17 has all the latest networking hardware you need for lightning fast connectivity, including Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and an Ethernet port. It was consistently fast and reliable, and I never experienced any issues with connectivity.
A caveat of packing so much power into the Blade Pro 17 is that you can’t expect much in the way of battery life from it. It was only good for about 4-5 hours unplugged, though this of course varies based on power saving settings and what you’re using it for. However, it’s important to note that you’re essentially running a full-blown gaming PC here, so I’d consider this relatively poor battery life an acceptable compromise for the extreme power and portability of the device.
With an MSRP of $3,600 as tested, the Razer Blade Pro 17 is certainly pricey, but when you consider the powerful components that are in such high demand and are so difficult to find, this laptop actually offers decent value for money. Its ability to function as both a portable gaming machine and a desktop replacement make that high price tag easier to stomach.
If you’re in the market for a top-end gaming setup, the question of laptop versus desktop is a lot trickier than it used to be. The performance and price difference is still there, but it’s remarkably slim. Since components are difficult to get a hold of, building your own gaming PC isn’t really an option. If you want one of Nvidia's latest graphics cards, your best bet is going to be a prebuilt.
The two best options right now are arguably the Razer Blade Pro 17 and the Alienware Aurora R11 Gaming Desktop. With comparable configurations, the R11 does offer more performance at a lower price point. However, most gamers won’t notice that performance gap, and with its stellar screen, excellent keyboard, and powerful speakers, the Razer Blade Pro 17 makes up much of the difference in terms of overall value. Unless you have to have that extra performance, or if you already have high-quality peripherals, the portability of the Blade Pro 17 gives it an attractive edge.
The perfect combination of portability and power in a laptop.
Rarely does a laptop get so much right as the Razer Blade Pro 17. It’s both a true desktop replacement and an ultraportable powerhouse. It also preserves its gaming roots while also being refined and professional so it won’t look out of place in a professional setting. If your budget allows for it, this is as close as you get to a no-compromises device.
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