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Razer Blade 16 (2024) review

Razer’s latest slim and light gaming laptop features a 240Hz OLED screen and a gorgeous premium chassis, but is it worth the money?

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review

Our Verdict

With a gorgeous design, an amazing screen, and solid build quality, the latest Razer Blade 16 has the makings of an absolutely lovely gaming laptop. However, it’s let down by a high price, irritatingly loud fan noise, and an overly reflective screen surface.

Reasons to buy
  • Gorgeous OLED screen
  • Superb build quality
  • Solid gaming performance
  • Slim and light chassis
Reasons to avoid
  • Annoying fan noise at default settings
  • Very high price
  • Case attracts fingerprints
  • Overly reflective screen

You really feel like you’ve spent your money wisely when you first get the Razer Blade 16 (2024) out of its box and into your hands. Its anodized black aluminum chassis feels pleasingly cold under your fingers, while its build quality, slim dimensions, and glowing Razer logo in the lid make it look and feel like a truly luxury product. It feels crass to use the word “sexy” to describe a computer, but it works here. You’d expect that, though, when this laptop lineup starts at $2,999. The question is whether it’s truly worth all that money.

It’s that base $2,999 version that I’m reviewing here and, on paper, it definitely has the makings of one of the best gaming laptops I’ve ever used. Unlike the 2023 model of the Blade 16, the new 2024 model has an OLED screen as standard, and it comes with a 24-core Intel CPU and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU as well. To see how well this new Razer machine fares, I’ve been using it as my main gaming PC for a week, as well as taking it out and about to hotel rooms, cafes, and the office, to get to know its pluses and pitfalls.

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Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Laptop playing Baldur's Gate 3 in hotel room

Specs

Razer Blade 16 (2024) specs – as reviewed
CPU Intel Core i9 14900HX
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (140W)
Display 16-inch, 2,560 x 1,600, 240Hz, OLED
RAM 16GB (2 x 8GB) SK Hynix 5,600MHz DDR5
Storage 1TB SSSTC CA6-8D1024 PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD
Networking Intel Wi-Fi 7 BE200, Bluetooth 5.4
Ports 3.5mm combo audio jack (x1)
HDMI 2.1 (x1)
microSD card reader (x1)
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (x3)
USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C with 100W power delivery (x1)
Thunderbolt 4 USB-C with 100W power delivery (x1)
Battery 95.2WHrs
OS Windows 11 Home
Dimensions (W x D x H) 36 x 24 x 2.2cm
Weight 5.4lbs (2.5kg)
Price $2,999 (£2,999)
Warranty One year laptop parts and labor, two years battery

If you’re wondering just where all that money is going, the CPU inside the Razer Blade 16 (2024) certainly accounts for a lot of it. The Intel Core i9 14900HX is a seriously powerful gaming CPU, with eight of Intel’s Raptor Lake P-Cores, which can nominally boost to up to 5.8GHz, and a huge count of 16 power-efficient E-Cores. Intel prices this CPU alone at $679, so you’re getting some hefty processing power in this rig.

However, bear in mind that this CPU is based on Intel’s now aging Raptor Lake architecture, rather than its newer, and more power-efficient, Meteor Lake architecture. It’s still a really powerful gaming GPU, but it gets hot, and in all honesty, those 16 E-Cores are largely wasted in gaming – you’re only going to use them in heavily multi-threaded software, perhaps for rendering or video encoding.

Meanwhile, graphics processing power comes from an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 laptop GPU, with Razer opening the taps to allow it to draw 140W (115W base, and up to 25W with Nvidia Dynamic Boost). This GPU has 4,608 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and GPU-Z detects it as running at a boost clock of 1,605MHz, which is in the middle of this chip’s frequency range.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Back edge with lid closed

This GPU is based on Nvidia’s latest Ada Lovelace architecture, which not only has solid ray tracing performance, but also has the benefits of support for the latest Nvidia DLSS 3 suite of AI technologies, including frame generation and upscaling, to massively boost frame rates. For comparison with desktop graphics cards, we’d expect this GPU to perform largely in line with a GeForce RTX 4060 Ti 8GB.

There are a couple of sore points in the specs list. For a start, if you’re paying three grand for a laptop, it should come with 32GB of RAM as standard, rather than 16GB. At least the supplied 5600MHz SK Hynix DDR5 RAM is upgradable at a later date, coming on a pair of SODIMMs, unlike the fixed memory in the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16.

Of course, 16GB is still fine for gaming, but it’s a disappointment in a machine at this price, especially when RAM is so inexpensive right now. Likewise, you only get a 1TB SSD with the base spec, and while that’s fine for installing a few games, it seems like a miserly cost-cutting measure in a premium machine such as this one.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Lid with glowing snake logo

Design

Design is the Razer Blade 16 (2024)’s key selling point, as this laptop is simply the stuff of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ when you lift it out of its packaging. The build quality is superb, with the T6 CNC aluminum chassis feeling strong and classy with its smooth curves around the corners.

There’s none of the cheap, angled plastic that often plagues gaming laptops here. The glowing Razer snake logo on the lid adds further to this impression, as does the RGB lighting on the keyboard that greets you when you start it up.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Ports on right edge

There’s a decent selection of connections as well, and I was glad to see a generous array of standard Type-A USB ports included, with Razer eschewing the USB-C and multiple dongles trend seen on Apple and Dell’s latest machines.

I just liked the fact that I could plug my Razer Mamba Tournament Edition mouse straight into the laptop without having to faff around with dongles or adapters. Likewise, I liked being able to plug my wired analog headphones straight into the mini jack port, and there’s a handy SD card reader that saves you from having to connect your DSLR camera to the machine as well.

You get three Type-A ports, which are ideal for plugging in your own keyboard and mouse, as well as a USB thumb drive. They also all support the USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard, so you get 10Gbps of bandwidth, compared to just 5Gbps on a standard USB 3.0 port. There’s also a pair of Type-C ports, both of which can provide up to 100W of power for charging, and one of them also supports Thunderbolt 4 with USB-C.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Ports on left edge

You can use the latter for all sorts of tasks, including display output to multiple monitors, wired networking, and even hooking up an external GPU box if you want more graphics power in the future. Again, I was also happy to see a full-size HDMI 2.1 output on the edge, which you can plug straight into a 4K monitor.

Flip the laptop over and you’ll see two large cooling fans sitting directly above the vents, and there are also a lot of vents on the back edge of the machine, which are discreetly covered by the bottom of the screen when you open up the lid.

It all gives the impression of a laptop that’s been designed by a team of people who like quality kit – Razer is making a statement here, rather than just packing high-end hardware into a cheap plastic chassis. That adds to the weight, though – at 2.5kg (5.4lb) it’s heavier than the 1.95kg Asus ROG Zephyrus G16, and while the Razer is light enough to carry a decent distance without hurting your shoulders, it does start to weigh you down if you’ve been walking around with it on your back for a while.

There are some irritating hiccups with the design, though. I’ll get the big one out of the way first, which is that the fan noise made by this machine is horrendous. All gaming laptops make a fair bit of fan noise when gaming or under other heavy loads, but this is like sitting next to a permanently boiling tea kettle. Yes, you can put a 24-core Raptor Lake CPU into a slim and light laptop chassis, but the result is a really horrible noise. It largely disappears if you put on a headset, but the noise is still likely to irritate anyone sitting near you.

Thankfully, you can adjust the fan speeds in Razer’s Synapse software, which can massively reduce the amount of noise, but this comes at the cost of clock speeds and reduces performance. Even with the fans running at the default speed, though, we still didn’t see the CPU clock speed boost beyond 5.6GHz in games, which is 200MHz behind its ostensible top speed, and it dropped all the way down to 3.8GHz when maxing out all its cores in Cinebench. It’s not just heat here, of course, but also the power supplied to the CPU – either way, you can’t get the most out of this CPU with this laptop.

Secondly, the screen has an overly reflective glossy surface, which can be distracting in use, particularly if you’re in a room with bright lights, or next to a window in a cafe. Some OLED gaming monitors can get away with this as you can control the lighting in your room but for a mobile device reflections are a big problem.

Thirdly, and finally, that metallic chassis really draws attention to fingerprints. If you want to keep this laptop looking classy, you’ll need to regularly wipe those prints away with a cloth.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: 240Hz OLED screen corner sticker

Features

The big feature of this machine is undoubtedly the 240Hz OLED screen, which Razer claimed was a world first for a 16-inch laptop when it originally released the Blade 16 (2024). This OLED screen is also one of the main advantages of this new model over its predecessor, the Razer Blade 16 (2023).

It really does look amazing in use, with a high contrast ratio giving you deep blacks in games. I found this particularly noticeable in games with dark dungeons, such as Diablo 4 and Baldur’s Gate 3, as the screen can create a dark and moody atmosphere, but you can still see what’s going on without having to whack up the brightness and make all the blacks turn light gray. Meanwhile, colors are bright and vibrant, while not looking over-saturated.

Thanks to the fast response times of OLED panels, games look good running at high frame rates on this display as well. However, as we’ll come to later, you’ll struggle to get many games running at a high enough frame rate to sync with the 240Hz refresh rate of this panel, particularly at this display’s 2,560 x 1,600 resolution. However, that resolution is ideal for the 16-inch screen.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Reflection of keyboard RGB lighting on screen

The pixel density is sharp, and it’s based on Samsung’s QD-OLED tech, so you get a slightly sharper image with even bolder, brighter colors than with LG’s WOLED panels. At this pixel density, you also don’t get the problems with fuzzy text that we’ve found with some OLED gaming monitors. When I was working, I also really liked having the extra height from the 1600p screen over a 2,560 x 1,440 model, which gave me a bit more vertical headroom for a few extra lines of text.

To top it all off, the screen even supports Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, meaning you can synchronize the refresh rate with the frame rate output of your graphics card, even (and particularly) when it’s not at 240Hz. This makes for smooth motion in games, with no horrible tearing artifacts ripping across moving objects on the screen.

I also love the RGB lighting on the Razer Blade 16 (2024), particularly on the keyboard (though the glowing snake on the lid is also really cool). You can control it through Razer’s Synapse software, and set your own lighting for each key, but it also automatically picks up some games when you’re playing them and adjusts the lighting accordingly.

If you fire up Baldur’s Gate 3, for example, a red wave passes across the keyboard as it’s loading, and then the lights change according to what’s on screen. Get to a point where you need to roll a dice, and the keyboard creates a polygon D20-esque shape in yellow lighting in the middle of the keyboard, with a red H key in the middle. Pass the roll, and the keyboard lights turn light blue. Fail the roll and they go red. It’s completely unnecessary for gaming, it’s totally superfluous to requirements, and I love it.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Playing Baldur's Gate 3 with reflective screen next to cafe window

In action, the keyboard is fine. The keycaps are a decent size, and while the action is a bit shallow compared to some mechanical laptop keyboards, I found it fine for typing and gaming.

However, there’s no numpad here, and while I know there’s a trend for removing these on gaming keyboards, I still find them incredibly useful for quickly inputting numbers in spreadsheets. A numpad might not have much use in most games now, but there’s clearly room for it in this chassis, and it seems a shame not to have it. Meanwhile, the large, precision glass touchpad is responsive, and gives you plenty of room to get where you want when working.

It’s also good to see all the latest connection standards supported on the new Blade, including Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, not to mention Thunderbolt 4. You might not need all these new features now (I, for one, am still using Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac in my house), but a laptop at this price should last a long time, and support for the latest standards enables you to get the most out of your laptop for a longer period of time.

Finally, the sound is surprisingly good for a laptop that’s just 2.2cm tall, with the Blade 16 (2024) containing two sub units and a pair of tweeters. The bar is low for laptop sound, of course, and it’s no match for a separate set of decent speakers or a headset, particularly when it comes to bass, but you get a surprisingly full and loud sound from this slim laptop that’s fine for gaming.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Game benchmark results graph

Benchmarks

As we suspected, the mobile GeForce RTX 4070 GPU in the Blade 16 (2024) struggled to play the latest games at high settings using the screen’s native 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. Without any help from DLSS, the Blade 16 only averaged 23fps in Cyberpunk 2077 at the Ultra ray tracing preset, and its average of 42fps in F1 23 at Ultra High settings was similarly disappointing.

However, if you enable DLSS, you can get much more out of this laptop. In F1 23, you only need to enable DLSS Super Resolution to increase the average frame rate to 66fps, with a 50fps minimum. That’s a solidly playable result at these graphics settings. Just to recap, DLSS Super Resolution still renders text, menus, and your heads-up display (HUD) at the full resolution, but it drops the game rendering resolution underneath, using Nvidia’s Tensor cores to upscale the image using AI. F1 23 still looks great at these settings, so that’s a win.

Meanwhile, enabling DLSS Super Resolution wasn’t enough to push Cyberpunk 2077 past 60fps, but this GPU also supports Nvidia’s AI frame generation tech, using DLSS 3, which uses AI to generate extra frames between the “real” frames and make the game run smoother. Enabling this saw the average hit 74fps, with a 45fps minimum – a solid result.

If you’re prepared to drop the resolution, you can get even better results, of course. Running Cyberpunk 2077 at 1,920 x 1,200 at the Ultra ray tracing preset, along with DLSS Super Resolution and frame generation, saw this laptop averaging a massive 110fps, and only dropping to a minimum of 56fps. Basically, as long as you’re prepared to enable DLSS, or drop the resolution, you can play the latest games at really high graphics settings on this laptop.

When it comes to games without ray tracing, our Total War: Warhammer 3 benchmark averaged 56fps with a 40fps minimum at the native 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, which is a playable result for this game – you’ll only need to tweak a few graphics settings to get it running at a higher frame rate.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Cinebench benchmark results graph

Also, while the Razer Blade 16 (2024) might make a lot of noise when it’s cooling its mighty Core i9 14900HX CPU, this chip gives you an enormous amount of CPU power. This was demonstrated in Cinebench R24, where the 24-core chip produced a multi-threaded result of 1,473.

To put that in context, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16, which uses Intel’s new Meteor Lake-based Core 9 Ultra 185H (16 cores total, with only six P-Cores), only scores 1,049 in this test, meaning the Razer machine is 40% faster. If you want to use your machine for heavily multi-threaded content creation software, whether that’s video editing, 3D rendering, or something else, this is a really quick, portable machine.

Finally, we also ran some storage benchmarks on the included 1TB SSSTC CA6-8D1024 SSD, which uses the PCIe 4.0 interface. In CrystalDiskMark, it clocked up sequential read and write speeds of 4,130MB/s and 4,123MB/s respectively, which are quicker than any PCIe 3.0 drive, but at the bottom end of results for a PCIe 4.0 SSD. It’s plenty quick enough for games, however, and you’ll only notice that comparatively lower speed if you shift a lot of files between drives on a regular basis.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Battery life results graph

Battery

The Razer Blade 16 (2024) comes with a hefty 95.2WHrs battery to keep all those powerful components going while you’re on the move, which gives it a longer life than the 90WHrs battery supplied with the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16. It holds up surprisingly well when gaming too.

We’re used to seeing gaming laptops run dry after just over an hour of gaming time, but the Razer lasted for nearly an hour and a half in our gaming test, topping out at 85 minutes. That’s a good half hour longer than the Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 machine we tested, though the Asus did have a much more power-hungry RTX 4090 GPU inside it.

If you’re just planning to use the battery to get some work done on the train, or in a cafe away from the mains, then you can expect to get at least three and a half hours out of it. The Razer shut down after running the PCMark10 modern office battery life test for 211 minutes with the screen at medium brightness, and you’ll get more if you drop the brightness further.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Underside showing cooling fans and vents

Price

The biggest problem for the Razer Blade 16 (2024) is its immense price of $2,999, and that only gets you the base spec with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 4070. If you want a machine with a GeForce RTX 4080 and 32GB of RAM, then you’ll need to pay $3,599, and you still only get a 1TB SSD. You’ll need to cough up a massive $4,199 if you want a Blade 16 with an RTX 4090, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD.

There’s also an option to upgrade to a dual-mode screen, which has a mini-LED backlight and enables you to switch between a 3,840 x 1,200 resolution running at 120Hz, or a 1,920 x 1,080 screen running at 240Hz.

It enables you to get the best of both worlds – a high-speed screen for gaming at a resolution the GPU can handle, and a high-resolution screen for work where sharpness is important. This adds another astronomical layer of cost to the Blade 16, though. If you want this screen, you also need the RTX 4090, 96GB of RAM, and an 8TB SSD, all for a massive price of $5,499.

It’s a shame there isn’t more granularity available in the specs here, and there’s no getting around the fact that this is a premium, luxury laptop. As a point of comparison, you can buy an Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 with a 240Hz OLED screen, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a GeForce RTX 4070 for just $1,999 from Best Buy at the time of writing. It might have soldered RAM, and a slightly slower CPU, but it costs a whole $1,000 less, and it’s hardly an ugly, badly made machine either.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: Laptop with Mamba Tournament Edition mouse

Verdict

The Razer Blade 16 (2024) is a well-built, powerful gaming laptop, and it has an absolutely gorgeous screen as well. It felt like a real pleasure to open the sturdy lid and gaze at the OLED screen and RGB keyboard whenever I opened the lid. The whole unit looks and feels like a truly luxurious product, from the cool aluminum material to the glowing snake logo on the lid.

Even the base GeForce RTX 4070 model has enough power to play games at decent settings, including at the screen’s 2,560 x 1,600 resolution if you enable DLSS. Also, while the CPU is very overpowered for games, and needs some serious cooling, it can deliver the goods in heavily multi-threaded software. This really is a laptop that does it all.

However, it comes at a price, and we’re not just talking about a couple of hundred dollars here. The base spec costs three grand, and still only comes with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. That’s unfathomable when you can buy a similarly-specified Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 for $1,000 less.

It’s also unjustifiable when you consider how much noise is made by the Blade 16 at its default fan settings, as well as the annoying reflectiveness of the screen (see the picture below for a stunning picture of yours truly reflecting back at you). It also doesn’t help that there isn’t enough granularity in the pricing structure for you to build the machine at the exact spec you want.

I’d look past these issues if the Blade 16 were cheaper, but at this price it needs to be perfect, and that’s not the case. If you have all the money in the world, and you’re looking for an amazing, luxury gaming laptop with all the frills, then the Razer Blade 16 (2024) is indeed a truly stunning piece of design. For everyone else, I’d recommend saving some money and buying a cheaper, similarly-specified laptop elsewhere.

Razer Blade 16 (2024) review: A lovely image of Ben taking a photo in the reflective screen there

Alternatives

If the Razer Blade 16 (2024) isn’t the right laptop for you, check out this alternative:

Asus ROG Strix Zephyrus G16 (2024)

If you’re looking for a great gaming laptop with an OLED screen, but can’t run to the cost of the Razer Blade 16 (2024), then Asus’ latest ROG Strix Zephyrus G16 is ideal. There’s a wide choice of GPUs available in this laptop, from the RTX 4060 to the 4090, and it only costs $1,999 to spec up a G16 with an RTX 4070, 16GB of RAM, and a Core i9 Ultra 185H CPU. The one main downer is that it uses soldered RAM, so you can’t upgrade it at a later date, but it’s otherwise a fantastic machine for the money.

Read our full Asus ROG Zephyrus G16 (2024) review for more information.