As bezels and chassis continue to shrink, it only makes sense to see 17-inch laptops come back into popularity. After all, most are now roughly the size of yesteryear's 15-inch gaming machines. While the Razer Blade Pro 17 is not new – Razer's been making it for years – the refreshed version for 2020 sets the bar for a premium gaming mobile desktop.
Starting at $2,600, the Blade Pro 17 is by no means cheap, but if you can only have one PC (for desktop and travel), this should be it.
Replace your desktop
Razer Blade Pro 17
Bottom line: The refreshed Blade Pro 17 for early 2020 brings a stunning 4K touch display with 120Hz refresh and a more affordable 300Hz full HD option. Combined with an RTX 2080 Super Max-Q GPU and a blazing fast eight-core Core i7, this portable desktop replacement gets it nearly all right.
- 4K 120Hz is living the dream
- Outstanding performance for a laptop
- Excellent audio
- Windows Hello IR
- Plenty of ports
- Super expensive
- 300Hz display is a bit gimmicky
- No Xbox Wireless support
At a glance
Razer Blade Pro 17 design and features
I last reviewed the Blade Pro back in December 2017. Since then, it was the only 17-inch premium gaming laptop around. While the market hasn't changed, the Blade Pro 17 is a much better-looking device today. Razer's bezels were always an eyesore, but the company has committed to the trend of making them as thin as possible with outstanding results. And forget that matte full HD display as this year, Razer offers a full 4K one but the twists of 120Hz (full HD is still available but at an overkill 300Hz).
For graphics and CPU, Razer is offering up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super (Max-Q) and a powerful, eight-core Intel Core i7-108750H (Turbo Boost to 5.1GHz). Sorry, fans of AMD, not this year. RAM can go up to 64GB DDR4, which is typical these days, and up to 2TB of PCIe SSD can be configured for storage. If that's still not enough, there's a second PCIe/SATA slot to add another drive.
Although Razer has been using this refreshed chassis since April 2019, it's a great choice. The very blocky design is perfectly symmetrical and minimalist to the extreme. Some will say Razer still borrows a lot from Apple, but that's not a bad thing.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-108750H (Turbo Boost to 5.1GHz)|
|Display||17.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 300Hz, 100% sRGB
17.3 4K (3840 x 2160) TFT touch display at 120Hz, 100% Adobe RGB
|Storage||512GB to 2TB PCIe SSD
Open M.2 Slot (PCIe, SATA)
|RAM||16GB (8GB x2) dual-channel DDR4
Upgradable to 64GB with Intel XMP Support
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q
|Keyboard||Anti-ghosting, per-key RGB Chroma keyboard|
|OS||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Networking||Intel AX201 (Wi-Fi 6)
|Ports||3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (shared with TB3)
1x Thunderbolt 3
RJ45 Ethernet (2.5Gb)
One power port
One HDMI 2.0b
One UHS-III SD Card reader
|Audio||Built-in stereo speakers
7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
3.5mm headphone/microphone port
|Webcam||HD webcam 720P with Windows Hell IR|
|Battery||70.5 WHr lithium polymer battery
Compact 230W Power Adapter
|Weight||6.06 lbs (2.75 kg)|
|Dimensions||19.9 mm (H) / 395 mm (W) / 260mm (D)
0.78 in x 15.55 in x 10.24 in
|Finish||Anodized Matte Black|
On a 17-inch laptop that weighs 6lbs (2.75kg), there is no excuse not to have a full assortment of ports. Razer delivers with everything that you need today, including two Type-C 3.2 (and shared Thunderbolt 3), three Type-A 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 2.0b, RJ45 Ethernet, and a UHS-III full SD card reader.
The build quality and materials used on this laptop are the same that Razer has been using on its smaller Stealth and 15-inch models. There's little flex, sparing use of plastics, and the familiar matte black anodized metal that still picks up fingerprints. This is a laptop in need of frequent wipe downs.
Razer Blade Pro 17 display and camera
For this review, Razer sent us the 4K model at 120Hz refresh and touch. It's an outstanding choice. While there is a new full HD option (non-touch) with a jaw-dropping 300Hz refresh, I think the 4K panel is the better choice, save for the $600 price increase (which also double storage to 1TB). While 300Hz is "neat," unless you're dropping graphics quality to low, most triple-A games won't get close to that frame rate.
Razer promises factory calibration for its display now, and I am happy to report it's not just hype. Color accuracy came in at 100 percent AdobeRGB, 100 percent sRGB, and 95 percent DCI-P3 – exceptional for a gaming PC.
Brightness is also particularly good, peaking at 434 nits at the maximum setting and 22 nits at zero percent. Of course, I will suggest to Razer what I do for all companies who are not Dell these days and recommend they add an anti-reflective coating, which retains the vibrancy and minimizes light glare.
The 720P web camera, however, is tragically inadequate. One could argue in 2019 that webcams, especially in 6mm thin bezels, are not a priority. Pro gamers are more likely to use something from Logitech, and regular users are unlikely to leverage the camera. Much has changed, however, with a web camera becoming more of a priority in the current world. The resolution, quality, and low-light ability here are pretty terrible.
There is some good news, however, as Razer is now using infra-red facial recognition with Windows Hello for fast, seamless logins to Windows 10 without needing a password. Razer was slow to adopt bio-authentication technology, but its solution here is excellent.
Razer Blade Pro 17 keyboard and trackpad
Razer is known for tweaking its keyboards to suit gamers with anti-ghosting rollover, per-key RGB, and consistent key actuation. Razer is also matching its other recent keyboards with a now full-sized shift key and smaller directional arrows, changes requested by gamers and fans of the Blade series.
Typing is on the shallow end, which is surprising considering the size, but it's quite good and reliable whether playing a game or writing a term paper. The keycaps are on the smaller size, however, and with all the space on this deck and key spacing, I would not mind seeing Razer make the keys a bit larger.
The trackpad is massive and powered by Microsoft Precision drivers. It is also lined up perfectly in the middle since no number pad shifts the entire keyboard layout. Clicking is soft but consistent with no dead spots. Accuracy in mousing is particularly good, and I had no issue with palm rejection when typing. I wouldn't mind if the trackpad's clicking was crisper, but maybe instead, Razer can move to a haptic system like other laptop manufacturers are doing in late 2020.
All the sound
Razer Blade Pro 17 audio
The PC space has been slowly catching up to Apple in the sound department, and I have always thought Razer's were near the top in the Windows world. The dual top-firing speakers on the Blade Pro 17 deliver particularly good audio that is loud, crisp, and supported by some fine Dolby Atmos tuning.
Volume at just 50 percent hits 72 dBA, which is just below that of playing a live piano. Of course, being a 17-inch laptop, you hope that Razer would stick in quality speakers that can reach such heights, and I am glad it has delivered.
Of course, hardcore gamers may prefer to use higher precision gaming headphones, and there is a 3.5mm headphone jack for that purpose (or plenty of Type-A ports for digital connections).
bring the power
Razer Blade Pro 17 power and performance
On paper, the Blade Pro 17 with an eight-core Core i7-108750H processor stacked on an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super (Max-Q) should deliver impressive performance, so long as the thermals match the output. And therein lies the benefit of a beefy 17-inch laptop: Razer has much more room for thermal dissipation versus cramming it all into a historically smaller 15-inch chassis.
The Blade Pro 17 does very well in overall performance with the i7-108750H getting similar results to the Dell XPS 15 (9500) on Geekbench.
More sustained and demanding tasks like 3DMark Night Raid the Blade Pro 17 yielded a respectable 42,699 placing it just below a full gaming desktop PC for 2020 (49,855). On Fire Strike, the Blade Pro 17 pulled in 18,070, and 8,209 on Time Spy (the thermally constrained XPS 15 could only eke out 3,936 for comparison).
Fire Strike (Higher is better)
|Razer Blade Pro 17||RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q||18,070|
|MSI GS66 Stealth||RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q||17,260|
|Maingear Vector||GTX 1660 Ti||14,052|
|Lenovo Legion Y740 15||RTX 2070 Max-Q||14,669|
|Lenovo Legion Y740 17||RTX 2080 Max-Q||16,303|
|Dell XPS 15 (7590)||GTX 1650 Max-Q||7,763|
|Lenovo Legion Y730||GTX 1050 Ti||6,890|
|Lenovo Legion Y7000||GTX 1060||10,137|
|Razer Blade 15||GTX 1070||13,560|
|Acer Predator Triton 700||GTX 1080||14,572|
|HP Omen 15||GTX 1060||8,722|
|Razer Blade Pro 17 i7||6,587|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i 15||4,757|
|Lenovo Legion 5i 15||5,118|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||5,707|
|Acer Spin 3 (SP314-54N)||3,674|
|HP ENVY x360||4,755|
|Acer Swift 3||4,861|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14||4,759|
|Surface Laptop 3 15 (AMD)||4,006|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14||3,202|
|Surface Book 3 15||4,393|
|Samsung Galaxy Book Flex||3,924|
|Dell XPS 13 (9300)||4,524|
|Surface Laptop 3 15 (Intel)||4,604|
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1||4,554|
|Surface Pro 7 (i5)||3,992|
Geekbench 5.0 (CPU) (Higher is better)
|Device||CPU||Single core||Multi core|
|Razer Blade Pro 17||i7-10750H||1,314||6,164|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i 15||i7-10750H||1,271||5,172|
|Lenovo Legion 5i 15||i7-10750H||1,226||5,993|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||Ryzen 9 4900HS||1,221||7,982|
|Acer Spin 3 (SP314-54N)||i5-1035G1||1,185||3,524|
|HP ENVY x360||Ryzen 5 4500U||1,100||4,564|
|Acer Swift 3||Ryzen 7 4700U||1,131||4,860|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14||Ryzen 5 4500U||1,087||4,570|
|Surface Laptop 3 15||Ryzen 5 3580U||769||2,720|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga||i5-10210U||1,069||3,754|
|Lenovo Yoga C640||i3-10110U||1,015||2,111|
|Lenovo Yoga C740 14||i5-10210U||1,094||3,767|
|Samsung Galaxy Book Flex||i7-1065G7||1,317||4,780|
|Dell XPS 13 (9300)||i7-1065G7||1,284||4,848|
|Surface Laptop 3 15||i7-1065G7||1,336||4,893|
|HP Elite Dragonfly||i7-8665U||1,125||2,942|
|Surface Laptop 3 13.5||i5-1035G7||1,177||4,413|
|HP Spectre x360 13||i7-1065G7||1,006||3,402|
|Surface Pro X||SQ1||725||2,819|
|Galaxy Book S||SD 8cx||685||2,681|
CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)
|Razer Blade Pro 17||3,023 MB/s||2,375 MB/s|
|MSI GS66 Stealth||3,247 MB/s||2,711 MB/s|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i 15||2,170.35 MB/s||1,082.21 MB/s|
|Lenovo Legion 5i 15||3,308 MB/s||2,960 MB/s|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||1,907 MB/s||1,751 MB/s|
|Acer Spin 3 (SP314-54N)||1,630 MB/s||885 MB/s|
|HP ENVY x360||1,530 MB/s||864 MB/s|
|Acer Swift 3||2,161.99 MB/s||1,214.84 MB/s|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14||2,199.10 MB/s||1,017.07 MB/s|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14||3,405 MB/s||1,512 MB/s|
|Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga||3,188.82 MB/s||1,685.61 MB/s|
|Lenovo Yoga C640||1,906.78 MB/s||970.69 MB/s|
|Samsung Galaxy Book Flex||3,376 MB/s||2,983 MB/s|
|Dell XPS 13 (9300)||3,000 MB/s||1,217 MB/s|
|HP Spectre x360 (Optane)||2,092 MB/s||515 MB/s|
|Dell XPS 13 2-in-1||2,400 MB/s||1,228 MB/s|
|HP Elite Dragonfly (Optane)||2,124 MB/s||548 MB/s|
|Lenovo Yoga C740||3,408 MB/s||2,982 MB/s|
|LG gram 17 (2020)||3,477 MB/s||2,900 MB/s|
|Surface Laptop 3 15||2,028 MB/s||806 MB/s|
|Surface Laptop 3 13.5||2,338 MB/s||1,583 MB/s|
|Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)||1,641 MB/s||1,025 MB/s|
Cinebench (R20) (Higher is better)
|Razer Blade Pro 17||Core i7-10750H||2,623 to 2,681|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i 15||Core i7-10750H||2,771 to 2,818|
|Lenovo Legion 5i 15||Core i7-10750H||2,736 to 2,826|
|ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G14||Ryzen 4900HS||4,197 to 4,390|
|Dell XPS 15 (7590)||Core i9-9980HK||3,174 to 3,283|
|HP ENVY 32 AIO||Core i7-9700||2,906 to 3,073|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (Gen 2)||Core i7-9850H||1,730 to 2,495|
|Dynabook Portégé X30-F||Core i7-8665U||1,242 to 1,313|
|Lenovo ThinkPad P53||Xeon E-2276M||2,686 to 2,701|
|Surface Laptop 3 13.5||Core i5-1035G4||1,584 to 1,606|
|Surface Laptop 3 15||Core i7-1065G7||1,703 to 1,745|
Running Cinebench multiple times in a row can show whether or not a laptop's CPU is going to suffer from thermal throttling. Not much of a performance dip at all for multiple runs.
The 1TB SSD also delivers excellent results with 3,023 MB/s sequential read and 2,375 MB/s write, matching current high-end laptops in this class. Those speeds are necessary to lessen any bottlenecks while gaming. Users can also add in a second SSD should they wish to expand storage abilities.
The exciting story comes with stress testing that i7-108750H. Running PCMark's synthetic Time Spy Stress Test, which loops through twenty-five times in a row to measure framerate stability, the Pro 17 passed with an excellent 98.4 percent. The GPU peaked at 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit). Looking at Cinebench R20, which was run five times sequentially to measure drops in performance, the Blade Pro 17 began at 2,681 but only fell to 2,623 – and excellent result.
The flip side to such sustained performance is heating. Temperatures peaked at a scorching 59 degrees Celsius (138 degrees Fahrenheit), making the Blade Pro 17 too hot for your lap. That said, seriously gaming with this behemoth on your legs seems quite unlikely due to its weight and size. Conversely, if you are using the Blade Pro 17 as a regular laptop for web and video, the heat is never an issue due to the abundance of relatively quiet fans.
Turning to some real-world gaming with that 4K 120Hz display and the Blade Pro 17 holds up quite well. On Doom: Eternal and Destiny 2, you can undoubtedly game at full 4K on high graphics settings while doing around 70 to 90 frames-per-second (FPS) depending on the scene. If you want the full glory of 120 FPS, merely dropping to a 2K resolution will get you that and be consistent too. It's a sight to behold especially at 17 inches. Of course, you'll want the Blade Pro 17 plugged in for this task.
Finally, I don't want to harp on battery too much here. The 70WHr is actually on the small size considering the size and weight of this PC. If you're going to use this as a mobile computer for web and email, you're looking at five hours. If you want to game, knock that down to two hours, depending on how you configure the processor usage. Something like the Dell XPS 17 is a better "on the move" 17-inch laptop, unlike the Blade Pro 17, which is meant to be utilized plugged in and at a desk.
Should you buy the Razer Blade Pro 17?
Who it's for
- Those who want serious, premium gaming in a stunning laptop
- Those with money to buy the best
- Gamers who also may edit video (or vice versa)
- Those who need a portable desktop replacement
Who it isn't for
- Those on a budget
- Those who prioritize portability over performance
- Those who need just a secondary laptop
The Blade Pro 17 is a stunning achievement. I feel this way about most 17-inch laptops in 2020 as they are effectively yesteryear's 15-inch workstations. If you were OK with a six-pound notebook back in 2014, then the Blade Pro 17 is all of that plus outstanding performance and a stunning display. Sitting behind a 17-inch 120Hz screen to the game is significantly better than 15-inch, and given a choice, I go with a 17-inch model all the time.
Of course, the Blade Pro 17 needs context. Yes, it is portable, and you could even toss it in your backpack or bring it on a plane (good luck using it, however). But Razer sees the Blade Pro 17 as a portable desktop replacement, not a standard laptop. That makes this laptop ideal for those who want serious performance and just one PC that can (with a flip) go with them when warranted. Not many people need that trade-off, but for those who do, the Blade Pro 17 delivers.
Independent of this review, our game's editor Jez Corden bought the 300Hz full HD edition. He is blown away by it, call it a "beast," and considers it a worthy upgrade from his Blade 15 from 2019. Corden is also planning to use it 95-percent of the time at home in the UK but bringing it with him when he visits Germany. He is getting near-desktop PC performance, but it all can go with him by closing the lid. This choice makes more sense than an eGPU and Blade 15, as taking an eGPU with you on a flight is a weighty pain.
But if you need a laptop primarily – that is, something that you are packing with you every day, and need to use away from home frequently – Razer's Blade 15 or even Blade Stealth 13 are smarter buys. Paring either up with a Razer Core for the home will get you similar performance.
While the 300Hz full HD display is the more affordable option beginning at $2,400, I genuinely believe the 4K 120Hz model ($3,600) is a more exciting purchase. Compared to the $2,400 starter price, the extra $1,200 gets you a 4K 120Hz touch screen, RTX 2080 Super (up from RTX 2070), and double the storage at 1TB. I find 300Hz displays a bit gimmicky, but if that is what you can fit in your budget and are OK with full HD, then you'll be fine. There's no real downside to a 300Hz display; it's just not something I often see being utilized.
One thing that does bother me is I feel Razer should have included Xbox Wireless natively with this laptop (you can use Bluetooth, of course). That ability lets you connect Xbox controllers with haptic feedback and wireless headphone support. Sure, it's an extra chip, and some licensing, and "real" gamers frown up controller usage, but it just seems like the kind of bells and whistles a $2,400 laptop should include, especially when aimed at gaming.
There are not many 17-inch laptops to choose from, especially the premium-tier made for gaming. In that sense, the Blade Pro 17 is an easy recommendation. It's expensive and massive, but it also does what it sets out to do and does with style. Any gamer or video editor would appreciate what the Blade Pro 17 brings to the table - literally. For those who are less about gaming and more about professional work, Dell's XPS 17 is a worthy alternative. While not as powerful, it puts productivity first with longer battery life, better speakers, and a lower price ($1,400 starting).
Overall, Blade Pro 17 is a significant milestone. It combines nearly all the best there is right now in the laptop space into one portable machine. While there are some minor drawbacks like the web camera or just sheer volume of the device and charger, it's an excellent option for a gaming-focused desktop replacement.
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