Razer has been releasing premium laptops for years, but the company is exploring some new ideas in 2023. This year, Razer is releasing its first Razer Blade 16, named partly to tout the screen's 16:10 aspect ratio. While it looks a little bit different than the old Razer Blade 15s, it's what's inside that may prove more exciting to the average PC user, as it boasts the new NVIDIA 40 Series GPUs. Shacknews tried it out and while it has a few shortcomings that have become typical of the Razer experience, the Razer Blade 16 is a strong piece of work for anyone willing to shell out a few extra bucks.
Razer has upgraded many elements of the Razer Blade 16 from its precedessors. It sports a sleek black finish over an anodized aluminum chassis. It's a little bulky, weighing in at roughly six pounds, and it's largely to account for some of the newer hardware. Fortunately, the included 330W charger isn't nearly as heavy, coming in at less than two pounds, which is lighter than Razer's previous charging bricks.
The display is a big part of what will attract PC users. The Razer Blade 16 boasts a Mini-LED display, allowing for the laptop line's first 16:10 aspect ratio. On top of that, it's a dual-mode display with quality and performance settings. Users can either opt for a UHD+ (3840x2400) with 120Hz refresh rate or FHD+ (1920x1200) with a whopping 240 Hz refresh rate with settings available through the included Razer Synapse software. Images come in crisp with the mini-LED display supporting up to 1,000 nits of brightness, which complement the high refresh rates beautifully.
While the Razer Blade 16's form factor is something to behold, it's worth noting that even with the refined design and the advantages offered by the new NVIDIA GPUs, this laptop can't avoid the chronic issue of overheating. The fans are located along the bottom of the device. On top of them being excessively loud, they often aren't enough to offset any temperature increases when running some of PC gaming's more demanding titles. After setting my laptop on my desk, one of the first games I fired up was Deliver Us Mars. It wasn't long before the bottom of the laptop and the keyboard were both burning hot to the touch. For the remainder of the review, I plugged a cooling mat into one of the Blade's USB ports, which alleviated the temperature issue.
Speaking of ports, the Blade 16 has plenty of those. Beyond the three USB Type A ports, this laptop offers a Thunderbolt 4 and a USB Type-C port, each of which offers 100W of charge. Those who want to connect to a PC or television can utilize the HDMI 2.1 port located along the lower-left end of the machine.
Gaming with power
As a gaming machine, the Razer Blade 16 brings a lot of power. Our review model came equipped with a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13950HX 5.5 GHz CPU with 24 cores, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card, and 32GB of DDR5-5600MHz RAM.
While I spent a bulk of my time playing through the aforementioned Deliver Us Mars, I couldn't help but be impressed by how the Razer Blade 16 handled several other games. I ran a few specific benchmark tests with a range of settings and was pleasantly surprised by the results.
The jump from a 16:9 to 16:10 can't be understated, as Razer was able to shrink the bezels along the display's edge enough to fit in more picture. Combine this with the sharper UHD+ display and the sharper colors provided by the Mini-LED panel and it all leads to a more immersive experience. As noted, though, high-end gaming comes at a potentially heavy cost, because this thing gets hot. A cooling mat is fully recommended, otherwise it's unknown how sustainable the laptop's components running at such a high temperature will be in the long run.
The Razer Blade 16 has a lot going for it with its dual-mode Mini-LED display, its powerful components, its refined architecture, and a few other bells and whistles, like the THX Spatial Audio speakers and bigger-than-average trackpad. Every game I ran on this thing looked beautiful, far better than my current Razer Blade 15 (2020 model) and my mid-range NZXT PC running on an old BenQ monitor.
However, it comes with a hefty $3,599.99 price tag and with such a pricey entry point come some concerns. Let's not get repetitive with the temperature issue, though that is a serious one. A few other downsides is that the Blade 16's battery life will only last a few hours and will die much faster while gaming. It reached a point where, like with my old Razer Blade 15, I had to keep the laptop constantly plugged in.
Outside of that, it's hard to argue with the Razer Blade 16's strong performance. It's one of the higher-end gaming options out there. The issue for many, unfortunately, will be whether they can afford it.
This review is based on a review unit provided by Razer and was returned to the company upon the conclusion of our evaluation. The Razer Blade 16 is available for $3,599.99 USD on the Razer website or from RazerStore retailers.
Razer Blade 16
- Top-of-the-line gaming performance
- Extra screen space is lovely
- Mini-LED panel offers sharp display
- Numerous ports
- Speakers are obscenely strong
- Overheats like mad
- Noisy fans
- Slightly heavy
- Poor battery life