Razer Blade 15 Base Model review
Quick verdict: The 2020 Base Model of the refreshed Razer Blade 15 notebook line boasts a new keyboard and plenty of processing power, although the really exciting extras are saved for the pricier models.
- The updated Intel CPUs perform well
- Up to RTX 2070 GPUs available
- Great display
- Battery life is poor
- Gets VERY hot under heavy strain
- The best new features are on the Advanced Models
Razer has a strong pedigree in gaming notebooks, with plenty of devoted fans that like the company's approach to notebooks with a strong performance. Typically in the notebook space, that would equate to yearly updates that mirror that year's best CPUs and GPUs and not much else.
That's not quite what Razer has done with its 2020 Razer Blade 15 lineup, with a choice of configurations for both the "Base" and "Advanced" models that can get a little confusing. What we've reviewed here is the Razer Blade 15 Base Model, but it's neither the cheapest nor the most expensive Base Model that you can buy. It's really important to check the spec sheet of any of these laptops before you buy, as there's quite a range of power options and specifications, even within the most basic of Razer's updated laptop line.
That being said, the model we tested performed pretty well for its price point, as well as having a few little quirks.
- Striking black design is still standard
- Keyboard layout is less cramped than older Razer models
- Plenty of performance power
- Gets very hot under sustained load
- 65W battery gives ordinary performance
- Fast charging
- Lots of fun – for a price
Should you buy it?
Razer knows its market very well indeed, and there's a lot to like about the Razer Blade 15 Base Model notebook, even if your budget can't quite match up to the even flashier Advanced or Studio Edition Blade Models.
While there are elements that are just specification bumps, they're bumps in all the right directions, with a generally excellent display, plenty of both processing and GPU power to play with and a subtle but welcome change in the keyboard layout. The Razer Blade 15 Base Model doesn't start anywhere near "cheap" in laptop terms, but it's pretty easy to see where its value lies.
Just don't take it too far away from any wall charger for too long.
Pricing and availability
The Razer Blade 15 Base Model that we tested, which comes with a GeForce RTX 2070, a 15-inch 144Hz LCD screen, a 512GB SSD and an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, has a retail price in Australia of $4,099.
The top tier model that matches those specifications but adds a 4K OLED display costs $4,699.
There's also a $3,699 model that drops to an RTX 2060, 512GB of storage and a GeForce 1660Ti for $3,399.
The Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model ships in three configurations. All three feature an 8-core Intel Core-i7 10875 CPU, with the entry level model offering a 512GB SSD, a 300Hz full HD LCD screen and a GeForce RTX 2070 Super Max Q for $5,299.
The mid-range Advanced Model bumps up the GPU to a GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max Q and a 1TB SSD for $6,099 and for the fully cashed-up gaming fan, the top tier has all that plus a 4K OLED display for $6,699.