This gigantic laptop may be the only PC you need: we tested the Razer Blade 17

The Razer Blade 17 is a great laptop, in every way; Not only is it occupying more space than a more traditional model, but more importantly, it has hardware to match.

One of the best indicators that the Spanish laptop sector is growing is the arrival of more brands and models that, until recently, were not available in our country. A good example was when Razer decided to bring the Blades to Spain for the first time, after years focusing on peripherals.

We have already been able to test the Razer Blade 15, one of the benchmark gaming laptops, but that is not the only weapon from the green snake company; the model that really stands out from the rest is the Razer Blade 17, which boasts more than just a bigger screen.

Gigantic, for good reason

Of course, that is the first thing that strikes you about this laptop, the size. It is one of the largest that I have been able to try; Put it on the table, and you may have little free space left, but you will have to put it there because of how uncomfortable it is to have it in your lap. This laptop stretches the definition of the word “portable”; Yes, you can move it from side to side, but you are unlikely to want to.

This is one of those laptops that stay on a table, replacing a conventional desktop computer, but if you have to move it, at least it won’t cost you that much. It seems strange with all that I have said, but the truth is that the Razer Blade 17 is very light and thin for the amount of space it takes up. The key is in the use of a “unibody” aluminum chassis, created by CNC machinery from a single block of aluminum; This ensures greater robustness, but my favorite part is the anodized matte finish, which is what makes it stand out from other ‘premium’ laptops.

Razer has also responded to one of the biggest annoyances of this type of finish, which usually attracts fingerprints like no other; It is something that is especially noticeable in photographs. The company claims that it has applied a cover against the fingerprints, and although the truth is that they continue to be noticed, at least it is not as serious a problem as before.

There is not much more to say about the design, which maintains the usual sobriety in the brand; only the three snakes logo stands out in the center. The Razer Blade 17 is identical to the Razer Blade 15, and only varies in size; And that’s true even when we open it, but that’s also when we realize the difference that just two more inches make.

The RGB-backlit keyboard, which is the same as the one on the Razer Blade 15, looks tiny on the Blade 17 because of the large amount of free space on the sides. As usual, Razer has put speakers on each side of the keyboard to offer the best experience (and there are four and with THX 7.1 spatial sound); But even the speakers are not enough to eliminate the feeling that there is a lot of wasted space. Perhaps I would have liked to see something else, such as a numeric keypad or macro keys that we can configure to our liking, something that not only uses the largest available space, but also makes it more aesthetically pleasing.

Of course, this laptop isn’t great just because it is; There are good reasons why you’d want a Blade 17 over a Blade 15, and they go beyond the screen, even if that’s one of them.

Said in a direct way, The Blade 17’s screen is one of the best that I have tested on a gaming laptop; to the point that it can be “too good”, depending on the model you choose (we can choose a 1080p, a 2K or a 4K panel). In my case, I have been able to test the incredible panel of 4K resolution and refresh rate of 120 Hz, and the experience has been brutal. Technically speaking, it boasts 100% coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut, and is well calibrated enough to be used in video games and movies, although the reds may stand out too much. For some reason, it is a touch screen, something that can be useful in some use cases, but in this Blade 17 I see something unnecessary; maybe that’s why the next generation has eliminated this, in favor of improving the refresh rate.

At this size, the 4K resolution is perfect, offering the necessary sharpness; It is something that we notice just by browsing the web, but that we will also appreciate in video games. Of course, for that we first have to reach 120 frames per second at 3840 x 2160 pixels, something that is possible in only a few current and older games.

The Razer Blade 17 that I have been able to test is still based on the 11th generation of Intel Core processors, and although the range starts with the i7-11800H, this model had the i9-11900H, quite a ‘beast’ with 8 cores and 16 threads. It reaches 4.9 GHz maximum. That’s outrageous for a laptop system, but it’s necessary for a laptop like this.

It comes with 32 GB of RAM and an Nvidia graphics, starting with the RTX 3060; The model I tested had an RTX 3080, and this is where your choice of display will matter. For starters, no matter what graphics you choose, you won’t be able to play at 4K and 120fps in most modern games; but the RTX 3080 is the closest and most important, it is the one that will allow you to take better advantage of DLSS, Nvidia’s technology that starts from a lower resolution and enlarges the image by supersampling with automatic learning. It is in this way that you can take advantage of the 4K display in new titles for PC like God of War Y Rainbow Six Extraction.

In my case, this laptop has helped me to enjoy the games released in the last year with ease, although reaching 4K has been a challenge in the most demanding ones; that was the case of The Ascent, based on the latest Unreal Engine and which got 50 fps at 4K, but jumped to 90 fps at 2K resolution and therefore took better advantage of the screen refresh rate. History repeated itself in Cyberpunk 2077, it reached a maximum of 30 fps with the graphics in Ultra and in one of the scenes with more action, but thanks to DLSS, it remained at a very stable 45 fps; 60fps is easy to reach just by tapping the settings a bit. For its part, in F1 2021, reaching 70 fps in 4K is the usual with the graphics in High.

In synthetic tests, 3DMark obtained a score of 10,567 points, and in PCMark, 6719 points. All this, with the fans at full blast, of course. Even so, thanks to the use of a steam chamber, temperatures never reach excessive levels; I was surprised to touch the laptop in the area where the chips are and not burn as usual, and it sounds less than other gaming laptops I have tried.

Many possibilities

I have said before that the Razer Blade 17 can be a substitute for a desktop computer, and I am not saying it only because of the power in video games; in fact, I think the true strength of this laptop lies in its versatility, and that gamers may not be the ones to take the best advantage of it.

Take as an example the aforementioned 4K screen, which thanks to the fact that it covers 100% of the AdobeRGB color gamut, is ideal for content creators, photographers, video editors, and many other creative endeavors. That is not something we can say about most gaming laptops, which tend to prioritize gaming-related aspects. Another important detail is the webcam, which has been improved to 1080p resolution and is now much more appropriate for video calls, although we have a somewhat thick upper edge in return.

Instead, just by choosing a good processor and the right amount of RAM, it is perfectly possible to use this Razer Blade 17 as a work computer, for content creation or even for leisure; the screen is large enough for two people to watch a movie at the same time. And if the situation arises, you can always take the laptop and take it where you need it; yes, not spend a lot of time unplugged. Although Razer has done its best, the battery will not last more than four hours with normal use, and much less if we are playing games. At least the power adapter is great, but not overly so.

Also, we don’t need to use the charger that comes with the laptop. The two integrated USB-C ports are Thunderbolt 4 and allow charging of up to 45 W. That is not useful for playing games, but it is for using the laptop to navigate or work in an emergency only with a charger like the one that comes with many smartphones modern.

Speaking of ports, we have a good variety and quality, including a precious HDMI 2.1 that allows us to connect a monitor or a television without fear of bandwidth limitations, with the maximum image quality. It is added to the three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports. We even have an Ethernet port, which is preferable to reduce the ‘lag’ that the wireless network can have; For this, we have Wi-Fi 6E support, although we will need a modern router to take advantage of it. Finally, the inclusion of an SD card reader will be appreciated by photographers, who will not have to use an adapter.

All in all, the Razer Blade 17 is more than just a gaming laptop; it is a computer that fulfills all the functions that we may need in a computer. You just have to keep in mind that this versatility comes at a price: more than 2,500 euros, specifically. At the moment, it is possible to get the basic model with a Core i7 and an RTX 3060 for 2,581 euros in PcComponentes.

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