One Cool Thing: The 2022 Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model

Razer’s Blade 15 Advanced Model is still one of the costliest gaming laptops out there, but an Intel ”Alder Lake” CPU and a new GeForce RTX ”Ti” graphics chip bring its performance to the next level. Let’s take a look!

Read more about the Razer Blade 15 Advanced right here!

00:00 – 00:28 Intro
00:28 – 01:20 Overall impressions
01:20 – 03:30 Screen size, resolution, and refresh rates
03:30 – 07:23 Power and game performance
07:23 – 08:31 Comparisons of other laptops
08:31 – 09:27 New features
09:27 – 11:19 Portability and size
11:19 – 12:14 Connectivity
12:14 – 13:01 Wrap up is your ultimate destination for tech reviews and news.

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(upbeat music) – Welcome to ”1 Cool Thing,”
PCMag’s occasional show Where we show off the hottest
stuff coming through PC Labs. I’m John Burek, this is Matt Buzzi. – Hello. – And we are here in PC Labs in New York. We have here the 2022 version
of a very familiar face, Which is the Razer Blade
15 Advanced Edition. So Matt spent the last
few days testing this Very attractive and
high-end gaming laptop. And he’s going to take us through Some of the features today. So take it away Matt. – Yes, as you said, a familiar design, We’ve seen this one quite a bit. There are some refinements this time, Which is not always the case Between the annual sort of
iterations of this design. But though relatively minor, it is By and large the same sleek design, Same isn’t always bad because This is one of the best
designs we see generally. It’s a high-quality metal build. The touch pad is one of the
best we see on Windows laptops. Thin, feels good, feels like
the money you pay for it. And it is very expensive. Even the starting model
of this laptop is $2,500. So this is, to be clear
at the front, high end. This is for enthusiasts,
this is for people where Budget and value are less
of a primary concern. You’re going for obviously
power, but also some portability. There are big gaming laptops
that give you more power. We’ll talk about the
performance in a little bit. But by buying this, this implies

You probably want to take it
with you at least a little bit, Use it on the road. Maybe it is just your everyday laptop That also plays games once you get home. – Got it. So this is the 15 or the Blade 15. Now over the last couple of years, We’ve seen an emergence
of a couple of different Screen-size categories
for laptops in general, And gaming laptops in particular. We’re starting to see 14 inchers, We’re starting to see 16 inchers, Which are truly 14 and 16 inches. And then the 15 inch class, The traditional 15 inch
class, is 15.6 inches, Kind of close to the 16s. So with the screen here,
as I understand it, This screen is 15.6, But it also has some new
stuff happening there In terms of resolution and
gaming appropriateness. – Yes, there was a few years ago where Gaming laptops started putting QHD, And even 4K resolutions into screens. And then we started to see
a little bit less of that As high refresh rate monitors kicked in, And that eventually
made its way to laptops. And now pretty much every game laptop has A high refresh display. But it’s very difficult to do High refresh AND high resolution. So it took a while for those
panels to get into production. And now we have a QHD and
240 Hertz resolution display. There’s also a 360 Hertz full HD version, And a 4K high refresh version.

So between all the different
Razer Blade 15 SKUs, You can get kind of any
combination that you want Whether you favor the resolution,
or if you favor the refresh rate. But this is a pretty good
combination of the two. This laptop for reference
has an RTX 3070 Ti in it, Which is also new. And Intel’s 12th Generation
Alder Lake processor, it’s a Core i7-12800H chip, so
those are both high end, The 3070 Ti and this chip. So only components like that Could really power a
QHD 240 Hertz display. If you had less powerful components, You’d kind of be wasting
the monitor, the display. It wouldn’t really be able to
display frame rates that high The resolution would be too
demanding for the parts. But we did find in testing, There is a point to having
this display in this laptop. – Right, yeah. ’Cause that was one of the things Over the last couple of years
as we’ve seen RTX 3000 series GPUs and to much lesser
extent Radeon 6000 series, GPUs come into machines, You’re actually able to take advantage Of very high refresh rate panels. Whereas before if you had 1080p panel Which went to 144 Hertz
and a lot of games, You could sort of take advantage of that. But when you’re talking 240
Hertz or 300 Hertz panel, That’s quite a jump there. So with the 3070 Ti you have in here, This kind of, I wouldn’t say suffers But is sort of governed by
the same sort of variability In how much power it can consume. And it depends on how many watts that the

Manufacturer has allocated as a maximum. So what’s going on here with this one, As we’ve seen in a lot of
previous gaming laptop reviews, The same GPU could be configured For a wide range of power consumption Which affects performance. What’s going on here? – All of the new Blade 15 are 105 Watts. That’s what Razer told me. So that is on the moderate to higher end. But there are some bigger
17-inch laptops especially That can really boost
the wattage up further. You obviously want to set a limit where The laptop can run and not overheat And be functional in a
thin chassis like this. So Razer put that limit on it, Knowing that’s the sweet spot For the performance they want to get, Versus keeping this design
pretty thin and portable. And it largely worked. It gets a little loud
and it gets pretty hot, But not really anything outside the bounds Of a normal gaming laptop. We have definitely heard louder
even Blade 15s in the past. So I think the balance
has gotten a bit better, Whether that’s more efficiency
out of the processor And the GPU working together, Whatever it is, it’s a better
sort of audio situation. It does rev up kind of
loud at its most strained, But the average fan noise
and performance was good. We saw 70 frames per second, And or higher in the most
demanding game, we tested, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla On the maximum settings, at 1080p.

So that’s pretty good frame rates, It still hits 60, thereabouts at QHD. So even in a game like that, There is a point to having
both the high refresh screen And the high resolution. Games like F1 2021 is another one we test. Hit a 100 FPS with DLSS
on or 90 with DLSS off. So a very good performing laptop. Games like Rainbow Six Siege, Where you really want
frame rate super high To take advantage of
the high refresh screen, Into the 100s and 200s. So pretty much does what
it’s supposed to do. Obviously you’re paying a lot. This SKU is $3,000. So make of that, what you will. Some of that price is for the components. There are laptops out
there that have equivalent Performing parts, but aren’t
in such a thin chassis. So those might be less
money for that power. Whereas this is a little
more money for that power Because you’re also
getting the thin design. – Got it. So with a 3070 Ti, if you are Trying to compare this on the market Without having seen test numbers. Again, say a 3070, not Ti, Or a 3080, not Ti, how did this perform If you have those numbers in your head Versus some other 3070,
or 3080, not Ti SKUs. It’s very hard to tell
if these things could all Be at different power levels. It’s a sliding scale, within
each category, so how- – You could you could have
a 3070 Ti that performs

Like a 3080, or one that performs More like a 3070 based on the wattage. At least at this 105-watt configuration, It kind of fell right
in the hierarchy where You might expect it to between the two. Our comparisons that we
use for performance testing Kind of made that kind of nice
and neat for our purposes. Like it performed slightly better Than something we compared
against, the Alienware X15. A little less expensive, that
model, but similar parts. And I believe that was that was a 3070. It was mostly a better
performer than that, There were occasional
tests where the Alienware Will take the lead or vice versa. Mostly the Blade 15 and its
newer processor were superior But compared to the bigger laptops Like the Lenovo Legion 7,
that’s a 16-inch machine, A little bigger around the
same price for the AMD model. And that performed a little better. There was a little more thermal room. I believe it had an RTX 3080. So that performance was clear, Maybe 10 more frames per second on those Demanding types of games. So you can get a pretty
clear sense of like Should I pay all in for the
power and the frame rate And a little less portable of a laptop? Or should I buy this laptop that Has a little bit of both? – So the machines that
would compete with this, You would say be something
like an Alienware X15 Any others that come to mind, That you would say are
sort of in the same zone? I mean, obviously the
body is a different class

Than say like that Lenovo
Legion you were talking about Which is more plastic. – Yeah, it’s a little bigger, A little less premium feel. This whole thing again, like
the RGB keys is all very Razer. You know, we’ve seen this great touch pad So you’re paying for
all that stuff, right? It’s thin, the battery
life was pretty good, About five and a half hours. Not mind blowing, but solid. If you do wanna go more
of the portability route, We really like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, The new 2022 model, That’s probably the best
pure portable laptop, A little or less power, still expensive. Again, we’re talking in the range where These things are mostly all $2,000. We have a whole separate
recommendation list Of cheaper laptops around a
thousand dollars mid-range. But if we’re purely comparing
this for what it is, And they do keep making new
versions of this every year And charging that much money,
so people are buying them. I know a lot of you’re like, I’m not paying $2,500 for a laptop. But people are buying them. So that’s the kind of
thing we compare against, Other laptops that cost that much. – That makes sense, yeah. Cause I mean, if they have not Really heavily refreshed this series for, X number of generations now, They’re clearly doing something right. Or at least the market thinks
they’re doing something right. So actually, could you
run through what is,

Clearly new on this versus
the last generation. I know, just sort of at a
glance it looks very similar. But there are some subtle changes. – So yeah, they added a 1080p webcam, And the fingerprint resistant coating, Last time they updated the Blade. So new this time there is a
nice new speaker grill that Sort of is a little more modern. It blends in, it’s kind
of just perforations Into this one sheet, which is
what we see on most laptops. And we just think that looks better. The old style was kind of this grill That looked a little out of place. The power button also formerly
was embedded into that. It is now right there
dedicated on the keyboard. Into its own button which is A little more satisfying to hit. So it’s minor things like that. It’s not groundbreaking, But every new little addition Much like any of the laptops we like. Like a MacBook that gets updated, Or the Dell XPS that gets updated, Just small iterations that
make it a little bit better Since they put out an
annual or even twice a year Update to these laptops. – So in terms of portability and space, Since there are so many
more sort of clear classes Of gaming laptop now at 14,
15 — which is 15.6 — 16 and
17, how does this weigh out? Or in terms of portability
for its class versus, I mean 14’s obviously a lot smaller. You know, you’re talking an
inch and a half less screen, But it’s very close to 16. And once you’re 16, you’re almost at 17.

So like how does this play
out in terms of portability? – For some, for some people,
the 16 might be worth it, For that little extra
screen real estate and power But you might get above five
pounds or around five pounds. This is 4.4 pounds. It’s really not overly heavy. Part of that’s also the metal. Like it’s a little heftier
because of the metal build. So the 14-inch laptops
might be closer to three, Maybe a little over three. So you really, it depends on the person How much you care is an
extra pound in your bag Gonna make that much of a difference. How much do you intend to
take the laptop with you? But by and large, being
around that weight, I think the Alienware X15
weighs about the same amount Off the top of my head. Is kind of where you
want a laptop like this. You don’t want it to be too thin, There’s diminishing returns. Thin looks good, I think there
was a race to make everything Thin, thin, thin, but there’s, I think it has gotten to the
point where it’s actually Like a little better to go the other way. You’re not gonna notice
a millimeter or two more And to an engineer that
makes a lot of difference On the components and the thermals. Whereas to the end user, Like being slightly more thin Isn’t really worth all that much, Compared to the weight, I’d
rather it go in that direction. – And if you’re talking
about an ounce or two When you factor in machine like this which Lasts five and a half, six hours
I think you said on battery?

If you have to carry the power brick, Any sort of deviation in the
weight of the power brick Is probably gonna make up for, Deviation in the laptop itself. You know, if you want a game on the road, You have to take the power brick. Cause any machine pretty much is gonna- – That five plus hour battery will turn Into two or one. That if you’re playing games. – You’ll see dialed-back performance too. So really if you’re
gonna game on the road, You’ve got the wire with you. Anything new with the connectivity? Or the connectivity,
pretty much status quo? – Pretty much the same,
it’s a proprietary charger. There are USB-C port with
Thunderbolt 4 support, And a USB-C without, and HDMI as well As standard USB-A ports. So it’s a good selection. There’s a terabyte of
storage in this model also. And an SD card slot. So it’s kind of everything you need, To nothing really to complain
about or that’s missing. – So Thunderbolt 4 is taking the place of I guess like a HDMI or a mini-DisplayPort As the video out of choice in the machine. In this kind of machine. – There’s one HDMI. – Oh there is an HDMI
my bad, okay, got you. But you could also presumably do a USB DisplayPort over USB via
the Thunderbolt port. – So options, people
like options, but yeah. I mean, it’s sort of tried and true.

We know what we’re getting,
obviously we we expect to have to pay A lot for this this type
of design and performance, But you get what you pay
for in that sense, at least. – Fair enough. Well, is there anything
else that you think We need to highlight in
the Blade 15 this year? Or I say this year, but we
may well see another one- – We may well say, We say, you know, this is
the 2022 model for now. Sometimes we do like late 2021
was the last one reviewed. ’Cause the last couple months of the year, They find a reason to redesign or rev it. Maybe there is a new processor launch. So we’ll see what happens
as 2022 progresses, But, yeah, I think that’s pretty much The wrap up for this. I think we hit on everything
that really is important. – All right, so the
Razer Blade 15 with new 12th Generation Intel Alder
Lake mobile H series processor And 3070 Ti in our test unit, Check out our full review on Matt will have all the details, All the numbers and his final score. And thank you for watching. We will see you again soon. (upbeat music)

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