There are no shortages of quality gaming displays, but the gaming company Razer has never made one with its signature flair and style. The Razer Raptor 27 has had a long road since its "early-design-phase" announcement nearly a year ago until it finally hit store shelves.
I've been using the 27-inch HDR 2560 x 1440 display with a 144Hz refresh rate for the last few weeks. Here is what you need to know about it and why I'll be buying one.
Nearly perfect (but pricey)
Razer Raptor 27
Bottom line: A gorgeous 27-inch gaming monitor that can walk the talk. The Raptor 27 is amazing for daily work for photo and video editing, watching a movie, and going at it hard for gaming. Unique features and a cool design set it apart from the rest. While the $700 price is high it's worth it for these abilities.
- Non-Glare IPS WQHD.
- Outstanding color accuracy.
- HDR + 144Hz.
- Cable management and design.
- NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.
- Proprietary cables.
By the numbers
Razer Raptor 27 specs at a glance
Razer is well-known for designing products for gamers, so it should be no surprise the Raptor 27 ticks all the right boxes for this genre.
|Screen size||27 inches|
|Resolution||2560 x 1440 (WQHD)|
|Refresh rate||144 Hz|
|Sync||NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible
178° wide viewing angles
|Response time||1 ms|
|Brightness||420 cd/m² (350 typical)|
|Ports||One DisplayPort 1.4
One HDMI 2.0b
Two USB Type-A 3.2 Passthrough
One USB Type-C PD (DP1.4 in Alt-mode)
It's worth mentioning that the Raptor 27 also supports picture-in-picture (PIP). This lets you run a secondary display source to the Raptor 27 besides the main PC. Users can pick half the display or just the corner to display this second screen.
On paper, these are all excellent features to have in any high-end display, especially one that uniquely transverse gaming and graphics work. But there's a lot more to this monitor than just the raw numbers.
Cool, but functional too
Razer Raptor 27 design is outstanding
Razer brings some unique features to the table with the Raptor 27. The most obvious is the radical focus on cable management. While most companies solve managing HDMI and DisplayPort wires by putting a hole in the display stand and calling it a day, Razer created a whole new approach.
The Raptor 27 tilts at 90-degrees revealing all the inputs behind the display. The cable then routes through the monolith stand (which also is convenient for an Xbox controller) and puts them in separate channels. Each channel then has a snap-in metal cover that locks the cable into position while giving a clean look.
These cables are bright green and flat with angled connectors. They look fantastic, but, are proprietary (though any cable can work). The Raptor 27 hid the wires unlike any other display, and were you to spy them from the rear, they look super cool.
All this setup is a bit tedious with running the flat cables, snapping them in, etc., but for purists of minimal design, it is well worth the extra 15 minutes of setup.
The display has a cloth back that feels premium. There's a Razer logo (that does not glow), and the screen has height-adjustment slots too.
Razer has managed to strike a remarkable balance between gaming, pro graphics, and a stylish design.
Perhaps the best feature, though, is the physical joystick on the rear bottom lower right. This nob can be used to adjust all the monitor's settings, and compared to many other displays is a joy to use. Of course, if you use a Type-C or Type-A cable to run back to your PC, you can use Razer's software to control all the settings that way – another nice trick.
No Razer peripheral would be complete without some RGB Chroma. Out of the box, the bottom of the display cycles through all the colors, but users can configure brightness (including turning it off), colors, and styles through the Razer Synapse software.
This is a good display
Razer Raptor 27 color accuracy and performance
Many gaming monitors that are lower-cost push high refresh rates at the expense of color accuracy. I've run a few of these displays, but Razer fines the right balance between visual acuity and features for gamers that are not gimmicks.
For example, the Raptor 27 is 144Hz refresh with 1ms response. Many gaming displays now push 240Hz, but often at the expense of viewing angles and non-IPS technology. I run an HP Omen Obelisk with a Core i9-9900K with 64GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080Ti with RAID-0 SSDs. The number of times a first-person AAA shooter can come close to 200 frames-per-second without reducing graphic quality to low is very minimal. Razer using 144Hz is the sweet spot for gaming, period.
For color accuracy, Razer delivers. The company claims 95 percent for DCI-P3 – which is crazy high for a gaming display as that approaches the professional graphics monitor category. My review unit hit 96 percent. Adobe RGB is 90 percent, while sRGB is 100 percent putting this in a single category traversing gaming and graphics genres. Razer claims all displays are factory calibrated, and that seems to hold.
Features like HDR400 are also welcomed. While not "true" HDR where 1,000 nits of peak brightness is preferred, HDR400 does make watching movies and video content much better. The peak brightness of the Raptor 27 is close to 450-nits in my tests, while non-HDR settings are closer to 350-nits. Max brightness is also negatively affected by enabling reduced motion blur.
While this is not an official NVIDIA G-Sync (or G-Sync Ultimate) monitor as it lacks the physical hardware, it is a G-Sync Compatible display. The distinction is trivial if the screen avoids tearing during games, and that is what I experienced – it performs just like as expected. Ultra-Low Motion Blur (ULMB), combined with variable refresh rate and factory calibration, delivers an exceptional gaming experience. For those with AMD graphics cards, you also get AMD FreeSync too, making this display neutral for graphic card choice.
The non-glare coating is also superb for those who work in bright rooms and detest reflections.
There was no discernable backlight bleed when using lightbleedtest.com.
A few complaints
Things you will not like about Raptor 27
One could lament the price of the Raptor 27 at $700. But the excellent ASUS ROG PG279Q 27 (165Hz), which lacks HDR400, AMD FreeSync, and DisplayPort 1.4, is $640 at Amazon, putting it in the ballpark of the Raptor. The same applies to the LG 27GL850-B 27 ($625), while the curved MSI Optix-MPG27CQ is around $450. That means you are at most paying $75 more for the Raptor 27, but with it, you get excellent cable management and design, HDR400, sweet RGB lighting, and exceptional color accuracy with no light bleed. (The popular AOC Agon AG271QG, by contrast, is $50 more than the Raptor 27).
Those nifty flat green cables are custom for the Raptor 27. While any cable can technically work, Razer's are unique to complete the overall aesthetic. Luckily, all the wires are included, so unless you are prone to frequent wire changes, it should not be an issue. But if you lose a cable or break one (which seems unlikely), you'll have to contact Razer for a replacement.
An easy decision
Should you buythe Razer Raptor 27?
The Raptor 27 has won me over for a few reasons. The DCI-P3, AdobeRGB color accuracy, non-glare, and WQHD resolution make this a suitable choice for photo and video editing. For my daily work behind a PC, this monitor has been nothing but a joy to use. It's easy on the eyes, the HDR400 brings a slight boost to watching videos, and it just looks awesome on a desk with Philips Hue lighting and other Razer peripherals (like my Razer Basilisk Ultimate, Firefly V2 mat, and Razer Nommo speakers).
I'm ordering the Razer Raptor 27 ASAP. If that's not an endorsement, I'm not sure what is.
But the Raptor 27 is not all work, unlike other "pro" graphics monitors. When I want to game, the Raptor 27 delivers with that ideal 144Hz refresh, 1ms response, motion-blur reduction, and adaptive-sync.
I'll also say that WQHD (2560 x 1440) is my favorite resolution for a desktop monitor. Sure, 4K is outstanding, but finding one with HDR, G-Sync/FreeSync, 1ms response, and 144Hz without breaking the bank is hard (though the Acer Predator XB273K is close at $830).
Then there's the look of the Raptor 27. It breaks the mold. Razer, though, didn't just make it look cool by adding RGB – a low bar – but instead solved a problem with fresh-looking cable management. It's an extreme solution, but there are a lot of PC gamers who want nothing but tight, clean, and minimal design, and the Raptor 27 fills that niche unlike any other display on the market.
While it is not a low-cost monitor, Razer has managed to strike a remarkable balance between gaming, pro graphics, and a stylish design that has been absent from this category. Although I must return this review unit, I'm ordering my own Razer Raptor 27 to replace it ASAP. If that's not an endorsement, I'm not sure what is.
A perfect balance
Razer Raptor 27
Perfect for gaming or graphics work
Razer's first monitor strikes the right balance between high-end gaming, consuming video content, and photo editing. The 27-inch anti-glare WQHD delivers exceptional color accuracy, brightness, and a sweet 144Hz adaptive refresh sync that will satisfy AMD and NVIDIA fans. But the excellent cable management, unique look, and RGB lighting seal the deal, making this a perfect display for work or pleasure.
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