Writing this Razer Blade 16 (2023) review produced one of the biggest grins I’ve had when testing a product, as Razer’s Blade laptops have always enamored me. It’s one of the priciest pieces of kit I’ve had the pleasure of using, with this particular configuration packing an Intel Core i9 13950HX and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, clocking in at $4,300 / £4,400.
On paper, the Razer Blade 16 has everything you could ever want from a laptop: the most powerful CPUs and GPUs available, up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, a 16-inch Mini LED dual-mode display, and up to 2TB of NVMe storage. Most people don’t need specifications this ridiculously powerful, but there’s no denying that you get what you pay for if money’s no object when considering your next portable PC. Is the Razer Blade 16 one of the best Razer laptops? Read on to find out.
The design of the Razer Blade 16 opts for a more classy aesthetic, rather than the typical gaming laptop look you may be used to. Our review unit looks as if someone’s spray-painted a 16-inch MacBook black and added an illuminated Razer logo, but the device is also available in a ‘Mercury White’ color scheme. There are no two ways about it, this is a gorgeous looking machine that won’t look out of place whether you’re working hard or playing hard. It’s on the slightly heavier side at 2.45kg, but it’s perfectly manageable to carry around in your arms or bag.
Those modern and smart looks also extend into the inside of the Blade 16. There isn’t much in the way of a bezel around the large 16-inch Mini LED screen, although the top one is just large enough to pack in a 1080p webcam that in itself provides a decent quality image. It’s a lot better than the more commonplace 720p webcams I’ve used on laptops in the past. The smooth finish of the Blade 16’s aluminum chassis also contributes to its modern feel, even if it can be a magnet for fingerprints. The top lid is especially guilty of this, so it’s best to carry it in a bag or sleeve rather than with your bare hands.
Typing on the Blade 16 feels snappy, with keys that don’t feel mushy and a good amount of tactility with every press. In fact, it reminds me of the 2020 MacBook Pro keyboard, and Apple keyboards more generally, albeit with more travel. I do wish it had a mechanical keyboard, but laptops with these switches are few and far between. RGB fans will be pleased to hear that the per-key lighting is sharp, vibrant, and offers great coverage across the board.
While they keyboard isn’t full-size, the Blade 16 makes up for this with one of the biggest (if not the biggest) trackpads I’ve ever used. It’s made from glass and never misses a step in reading my inputs correctly, with its feel almost matching the quality of its accuracy.
Aside from the specs under the hood of the Razer Blade 16, the main attraction of this laptop is undoubtedly its excellent 16:10 display. The Mini LED panel supports outputs of 3840 x 2400 (UHD+) resolution at 120Hz and 1920 x 1200 (FHD+) at 240Hz. The latter is geared more towards competitive players, but this silky smooth output option is not to be snuffed at.
Here are the Razer Blade 16 (2023) specs:
|CPU||Intel Core i9 13950HX|
|RAM||Up to 32GB DDR5-5600MHz|
|GPU||Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 (175W)|
|Storage||Up to 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||16-inch UHD+ (3840 x 2400) 120Hz / FHD+ (1920 x 1200) 240Hz
16-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600) 240Hz
|Price||Starting at $2,700 / £2,700|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
It’s one of the best screens on a laptop I’ve ever seen, with marvelous vibrancy and high peak brightness of 1,000 nits with HDR enabled. The display shines, regardless of whether you’re watching content or playing games, with David Attenborough’s Wild Isles series making for a great watch on the laptop. The panel itself is especially color-accurate too, boasting 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut, making the Blade 16 equal parts content creation powerhouse and gaming behemoth.
The internals of our review unit feature an Intel Core i9 13950HX processor, the fastest laptop chip team blue has to offer. It offers 24 cores and 32 processors, complete overkill for gaming, complete with a staggeringly fast boost clock of 5.50GHz. Operating alongside this CPU is 32GB of DDR5-5,600MHz RAM, which provides loads of headroom for gaming and creative workloads, especially the latter. Two 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs bring lightning fast speed and generous storage capacity to the Blade 16. Then there’s the GPU, the monstrously powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, but it’s not quite a 1:1 likeness of its desktop namesake, with just 16GB of VRAM. Everything feels especially snappy and premium here, but that’s to be expected given the laptop’s price.
Razer has spared no expense with connectivity options with its new Blade 16, either. Ports include a single Thunderbolt 4 capable USB-C port that’s also able to supply up to 100W power delivery, three USB-A inputs, an HDMI 2.1 output, a 3.5mm input, and an SD card reader. There’s no Ethernet, but Wi-Fi 6E should help keep your connection reliable and fast, providing your network is, while Bluetooth 5.3 rounds out the Blade 16’s bleeding-edge wireless connectivity.
For my Razer Blade 16 benchmarks, I’ve collected frame rate data for native 1200p and 2400p resolutions. I also ran DLSS Frame Generation tests separately. Each benchmark was run three times to produce an average result, using the game’s highest settings with ray tracing enabled. I’ve also included PCMark tests too in order to measure battery life.
For more information on our benchmarking process, see our how we test page.
The top-spec Razer Blade 16 is, as you’d expect, extremely performant. It’s capable of running virtually any game at a high resolution or frame rate, sometimes both. Suffice to say, it doesn’t disappoint, with some excellent benchmarks that made the games I tested look and play the best I’ve ever seen them on a laptop.
The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 in the Blade 16 proves to be an especially exquisite pixel pusher. Even at 2400p, the GPU was more than capable of hitting 120fps in games like Hitman 3 with settings cranked to max, through the power of DLSS 3. As mentioned earlier, this iteration of the 4090, though, is more akin to a desktop RTX 4080, with 16GB of VRAM. Naming grumbles aside, it still comes through in making the Blade 16 one of the best laptops I’ve ever used.
While the Blade 16 can get toasty and a touch loud under full load, even with Razer’s vapor chamber cooling doing its best to tame its heat output. However, it’s quiet as a mouse during less intense and more everyday tasks. Think of it as the equivalent of driving a Bugatti Chiron with your little toe touching the pedal. There’s a punch there to be had, but you don’t need it all just yet.
Faced with synthetic benchmarks in 3DMark and PCMark 10, the Blade 16 continues to excel. Here, Razer’s behemoth of a laptop recorded some of the highest scores I’ve ever seen, proving its worth as a device more than capable of both gaming and tasks like rendering and editing too.
Even the battery life of the Blade 16 is pretty good, lasting just shy of six hours in PCMark 10’s Modern Office benchmark with screen brightness set to 50%. For a laptop of this spec, lasting five hours or above is a good result. Of course, to get the full power of the Blade 16, you’ll want to keep it plugged into the mains, but be warned – the power brick that it comes with is quite the beast.
The Razer Blade 16 starts from $2,700 / £2,700, but kitting one of the these laptops out with the highest specs brings things up to an eye-watering $4,300 / £4,400.
Razer products tend to carry a premium versus competing options, and the same is true here. However, the build quality on show here does make it easier to live with the extra cost the Blade 16 incurs.
While it is possible to configure a Razer Blade 16 that costs less and better suits your needs, I do wish the company didn’t lock so many of its features behind particular specifications. For example, the Mini LED dual-mode display isn’t available with an RTX 4080 GPU, and requires that you opt for an RTX 4090 or 4070, with 2400p feeling mismatched on the latter.
In short, the Blade 16 doesn’t offer the best value or the most convenient combination of specifications, but I’d be hard-pressed to see how you’d be unhappy with whatever configuration you decide on.
So, should you buy the brand new Razer Blade 16? Well, if money is literally no object, then it’s going to be hard to find a better all-round gaming laptop in terms of power, style, and what’s genuinely the best laptop display I’ve ever used.
All in all, it’s definitely one of the best gaming laptops you can buy today and has internal power to back that up in spades. The fact is, though, the price of its higher spec models can run up in excess of four grand. Whichever way you look at it, that’s quite the dealbreaker.
- Stunning dual-mode Mini LED display
- Top-of-the-line specs and performance
- Good battery life
- Some specifications don’t meld well
- Gets toasty under load
- Can be astronomically pricey
The Razer Blade 16 (2023) is available from Amazon and Best Buy, and directly from Razer. Here are the best deals on the laptop right now:
Razer Blade 16 (2023) review
The Razer Blade 16 (2023) is an exceptionally stylish and powerful laptop, capable of running the latest games and serving as a production powerhouse without breaking a sweat. However, it can be difficult nailing down the perfect specifications, all of which come with a high cost.