Razer's gaming laptops - what are the best to buy in 2018? And are they worth the price?

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Razer has never shied away from a very specific identity: they make machines and peripherals aimed squarely at the gaming market, brightly lit, sleek looking products that also excel in performance in exactly the way that modern games push hardware. Founded by a Singaporean entrepreneur in 2005, Razer has always focused strictly on this very specific niche, and it's laptops are no different (though if you're in the market for a desktop PC instead, take a look at our money-saving guide to building your own). 

If you're in the market for a balanced machine that's priced according to the way it's capable of handling multiple tasks or a heavy traditional workload, Razer is probably not for you. The focus on high end gaming means the majority of expense is because of powerful GPUs designed to render modern games at high resolutions and silky smooth frame rates. For gamers, though, this dedication to performance means Razer's laptop lineup is more than a procession of pretty cases. Of course, be sure to check out our laptop buying guide for helpful tips before  you commit. 

 Why buy a Razer laptop? 

Razer’s focus on gamers means their systems are designed for high performance when running modern games. These aren’t machines created to take on the heavy processing loads of video rendering or encoding, for instance, but they’ve got the GPU muscle to rival many desktop leaders and gorgeous displays selected to make games pop.

The other big advantage of buying a Razer is that while their laptops are all pre-loaded and ready to rock right out of the box, they also offer a variety of customization options within each of their major models. This is especially true for the Razer Blade 15, which offers four major alternatives at a variety of power and price points. If you’re looking for something capable but inexpensive, Razer has several options, but its Pro line also caters to the highest end of performance and display.

These are also machines that put a premium on design and visual flair, meaning they look great and are crafted with comfort in mind. Appropriate to their branding, the Blades are slim and light and easy to schlep to a cafe or a LAN party, and their slender profile and vivid lighting are bound to turn heads.

 So which Razer laptop should I buy? 

Razer Blade Stealth 13

The Razer entry model still packs a punch

CPU: Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8550U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB-1TB SSD | Screen: 13.3” QHD+ Touch

Incredibly light and portable
8th Gen Intel processor provides incredible power for an Ultrabook
Bright crisp screen larger than its predecessor
Integrated graphics chip will struggle with demanding games

If you want an attractive, competent Ultrabook but are shopping on a budget, the Razer Blade Stealth is a great, affordable option. The latest model comes with a lovely, thin-bezeled high definition touch screen and a powerful 8th Gen Core i7 processor, and a broad range of options concerning storage and chassis (the black model is particularly striking, and showcases the keyboard’s RGB lighting to great effect). At under three pounds, it’s a slim little featherweight, and one of the best looking Ultrabooks on the market. 

While even the Stealth isn’t exactly a bargain basement proposition, as high end gaming Ultrabooks go it’s on the lower end of the price spectrum, and Razer offers refurbished versions of the older Stealth models at even more competitive prices. 

Razer Blade 15

The versatile middle option

CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: GeForce GTX 1060 - 1070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB - 512GB + 256GB SSD | Screen: 15.6” (1920x1080 - 4K multi-touch)

Multitude of build options
Great GPU selection
Gorgeous display
Slightly shorter battery life than competitors

One of the key attractions of the Razer Blade 15 is the variety of hardware options Razer offers in this model. But regardless of where you settle on GPU and display, the Razer Blade 15 is a highly capable machine, particularly for such a slim and lightweight laptop, and has quality of life touches in abundance. Powerful, clear speakers, a wonderfully tactile keyboard with full RGB lighting, a responsive, high quality touchpad, and a big, bright screen push it up towards the top of its class. 

The Razer Blade 15 also packs a ton of welcome port options, with four USB slots, a mini DisplayPort, and HDMI, and for such a slim package it feels sturdily constructed. It’s a versatile option for gamers looking for power and portability, and thoughtful design touches mean it justifies its premium price tag. 

Razer Blade Pro 17

A pricey powerhouse for the very demanding

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ - i7-7820HK | Graphics: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB - 1080 8GB | RAM: 16 - 32GB | Storage: 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD - 2TB SSD | Screen: 17.3” (1920x1080 - 4K multi-touch)

Spectacular display
True mechanical keyboard
Capable of substituting for your desktop
Gets hot and loud at peak performance

The Pro is the choice for gamers-on-the-go who demand the best from their portable hardware and are looking for a desktop experience they can carry in their bag. The Pro packs the best keyboard available on the laptop market, a genuine mechanical board that’s comfortable and looks and feels great, with Razer’s proprietary ultra-low-profile mechanical switches. In a nod to desktop users, the trackpad is positioned to the right of the keyboard where a mouse might normally sit, and like the pad on the other models it’s a very precise and comfortable pointer. The high end option also comes with one of the best display options currently available, a 17.3 multi-touch IGZO screen packing Nvidia’s prized G-Sync technology. It’s a beautiful, incredibly powerful piece of portable computing that could easily replace your desktop as your go-to PC for gaming and more mundane applications. 

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