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Razer 15.6 review

DarthVader

Sith Lord
Premium Member
Original Poster
#1
If anyone recalls I started a thread asking for advice in getting a new laptop, and here's the end result. For some background, I was helped in this thread Laptops - Mac vs. Windows and @englanddg recommend a Razer laptop. Pricey to be sure, but I was looking at getting a MacBook Pro, which would potentially cost me 3k, when you factor in the items that need to be included, i.e., AppleCare.

Anyways I opted to buy the Razer 15.6 laptop over others and I'm very pleased with the machine. It came last Wednesday and so I'm still on my first week of ownership.

Specs:
Intel Core i7-8750H, 16GB ram, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, display FHD 144Hz (as opposed to 4k).
I opted for the 1060 over the 1070 for a number of reasons, including budgetary, heat and not needing the 1070

Performance:
Firestrike: I was averaging a score of around 10,450 and from my research that's very good for a 1060. I hadn't realized that the 1070 is much faster (scores in the 14 to 15k range). I'm not a gamer so that doesn't really bother me and I'm happy I spent only 2,100 vs. 2,500

Review:
The extertier of the laptop feels solid and well made, I'm very impressed in the fit and finish. The keyboard feels great and unlike the new MacBook Pros it shouldn't have an issue with keys breaking.

The display is gorgeous, its a matte finish, something that I sourly missed. Many computer makers have moved away from matte and opted for glossy, but I'm incredibly happy with matte. There's some slight light bleed on the bottom of the screen. Normal usage does not reveal it, only when you run a lightbleed test will you see the faintest results.

The bad boy houses a 6 core intel i7-8750H processor and given how thin it is, there is a risk of heat. This is one (of a number) reason why I was hesitant on buying it. The Razer unlike other computers uses a vaper champer which is superior to heat pipes and that helps a lot. In running the benchmarks, I was hitting 70c, maybe a little into the 80s. For normal operations I have the turbo disabled, and i've slowed the processor down (in the power options control panel) and keeps my temps in the 40s with a peak temp of 67c. I also have it undervalued by -.145V

Fans - here's one aspect that I could consider a bummer. They are a bit aggressive, and more noticable then on my MacBook Pro. They're not obnoxious, even at high speed but it is an adjustment to deal with them over an almost silent MBP.

The ports are your typical USB 3.1, a single Thunderbolt/USB-C, Mini DisplayPort (1.4), and a HDMI. I'm very impressed with the number of ports and the variety, the only thing that's missing is a SD card port, I really, really wanted one of those, but I can adapt.

Overall I'm very happy with the machine, I may update this in about a week with my final decision to keep or send it back. Since I've been buying Macs for a long, this windows machine will take some time to ensure I didn't make a mistake. I do use windows at work, and I actually boot into windows on my iMac, so its more about the hardware then software, i.e., buying a Mac vs. PC.

Some eye candy:
IMG_4229.jpg IMG_4235.jpg IMG_4234.jpg
 

DarthVader

Sith Lord
Premium Member
Original Poster
#2
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Final update:
I sent the laptop back, I tested it out for a week and felt that it wasn't fitting my needs. Its a wonderfully built, solid laptop but a mixture of items transpired to make this an ill fitting laptop for my needs.

Shortcomings that doomed the Razer for me (in no particular order)
1. keyboard
1.a While functionally solid, nice key travel, the layout is non-standard. I thought it wouldn't impact me too much, but I was wrong. The cursor keys are in a position where the ?/ key is not next to the right shift key. I'm constantly hitting the up cursor key. Perhaps if I was only using this laptop but I'm on other keyboards.

1.b secondary key values and keyboard lighting. What I mean is the @#$%^&*() keys on top of the numbers, and also the fn-fkeys they're not backlist, on F1 or 1, so if I need to type a & in a dimly lit room, I couldn't easily see which key that was.​

2. Trackpad - The palm rejection was worse then I was expecting and I was dealing with a cursor bouncing around more then I could handle. The quality of the trackpad was awesome, which is saying a lot given how so many other PCs offer horrible trackpads.

3. Windows vs. macOS. The is one of the major show stoppers, I just found my comfort levels is so much more in macOS. Don't get me wrong, I'm very experienced with windows, but for what I use my home computers, its just so much more satisfying on macOS. Plus I have features/services on the Mac that I don't have on windows, e.,g., imessage

4. Peace of mind, the final show stopper. I'm a big believer in peace of mind, and I was just uncomfortable with the purchase. With the return outbound to Razer inc, I have more peace that I made the right decision.

One size doesn't fit all, and while the Razer is a fantastic machine on many levels, it wasn't meant to be for my needs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

englanddg

One Little Spark...
Premium Member
#3
1 - I don't like the new key layout nearly as much as the older Razer 14", which is what I have. Looking at your picture, I can see why that could be annoying.

Here's what my keyboard looks like.



I've not had an issue with the non lit key graphics being a problem for me...but, I can see why you might feel that way. Light off the screen always has been enough for me, if I don't just know it by muscle memory.

2) I wasn't pleased with the newer trackpad upon review, but that still seems more a setting issue?

I do like the fact my 14" still has mechanical buttons.

3) Can't speak to the Mac vs PC thing there. Comfort within the OS is important, especially when you find yourself frustrated to do basic things (something I often experiences on MacOS, but could do with my eyes closed on a PC. But, I do get that. I care very little about existing within the mac environment (ie, iMessage, etc).

4) Not sure what peace of mind has to do with anything? I suppose, support, perhaps? I've had to deal with Razer support, and I can say, if you think Apple is bad...Razer is worse. But, it is still better than Dell. Frankly, the best support I've ever had on a device has been, oddly....Lenovo. (and as a side note, you know who fufills that? Sharp USA).

Anyway, really interesting review! I still am fond of the Razer units, but I am not as much a fan of their new machine. I like my 14", I love my kid's Stealth (and even considered getting one myself, frankly)....

But, this new machine, really doesn't fit any of the advantages that brought me to Razer in the first place. I think it's a misstep in several ways.

And, as a note, that keyboard layout right there....would annoy the crud out of me!
 
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