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Razer laptops, one could argue, are the only ones on the market that combine jaw-dropping looks with astounding performance. They’re bona fide works of art, and are pretty much the only Windows laptops that can match Apple’s line-up in regards to craftsmanship and attention to detail.
They’re striking, is what they are.
And, well, they’re also devilishly expensive — way too expensive, one might add. The thing is, you can’t have it both ways; you can’t have such mind-blowing build quality and top-notch internals without tremendous spending. Moreover, Razer, as a company, isn’t nearly as large as, say, ASUS or HP or any other top-tier OEM.
This means that they cannot produce their products in similar quantities nor can they source as many components and get them at comparable discounts. Producing a Razer Blade costs a lot more than it does an ROG Zephyrus or HP Omen — hence the obscene price tags.
Still, for those with bigger budgets — and a proclivity for stellar aesthetics and build quality — Razer is the go-to choice.
Is it a sensible choice, though? Are you really getting a better product? Is Razer a good laptop brand and are they really worth the asking price? Let’s dive a bit deeper.
Are Razer Laptops Worth It?
That really depends. They offer a kind of build quality that is basically unmatched in the Windows world. Razer Blades are CNC machined from a single block of aluminum, much like Apple’s MacBooks. That gives them a level of build quality that is basically unmatched.
Razer laptops feel extremely luxurious; clean, minimalist, pristinely built, carefully machined, with a sprinkle of pizzazz thrown in like per-key RGB lighting, a glowing logo, and a sizable trackpad that spans about a third of the lower deck. Nothing feels flimsy or second-rate, there’s no creaking, no warping in the enclosure — it’s about as top-tier as it gets.
Still, Razer laptops aren’t always particularly well-tuned. Some of them sound like a jet engine. Others are surprisingly silent given their spec sheet but tend to run extremely hot, both around the palm rests and around the WASD area. Others still combine the worst of both.
They’re Not Always Topping the Performance Charts
Razer might opt to push the internals of their laptops to their absolute limits so as to get the best possible performance. Or, conversely, they might opt for a lower power draw so as to attain more sensible temperatures and fan noise.
You can never be too certain of which route they took unless you read/watch as many reviews as possible on the particular model you’re interested in. These things also vary and change from one product generation to the next.
With that in mind, it is very much possible for you to spend two, three, or even four thousand dollars on a Razer Blade only to find out that a two thousand dollar gaming laptop from ASUS performs exactly the same — if not even better.
More often than not, you’re pretty much paying a premium for the build quality and, frankly, it is worth a slight uptick in MSRP. You might not care all that much about these things if you have the tendency to connect your laptop to a monitor and put it to the side (on a stand, for example, or on a cooling pad), but if you’re using it on a daily basis, it sure can make a world of difference.
Is Razer a Good Laptop Brand? — A Cut Above (Mostly)
Regular gaming laptops from other OEMs feel rather flimsy and sub-par. There’s a lot of creaking, the seams are always visible, their hinges wobble, their keyboards exhibit a lot of flex when typing, and so on and so forth. They might be incredibly powerful overall, but the experience of using them often leaves one wanting and disappointed.
This, in short, is what makes Razer laptops so darn unique. They’re built like a proverbial tank and can sustain a fair bit of punishment. With them being so sharp, though, the black paint is relatively easy to chip and damage, which certainly is a downside; nonetheless, the Blades are sturdy enough to sustain a fair bit of lugging around without it being seen too much on their exterior.
As always, your mileage will vary.
Razer Warranties and Customer Service — Subpar
Razer isn’t exactly known for having great customer support. Then again, it all varies from one case to another. No company has a spotless track record when it comes to RMAs, warranties, and customer service. That’s just a fact, and it also depends on your region and, frankly, the severity of the issue you happen to be facing.
Much of the same holds true for Razer’s peripherals. Some of them are good enough to last you for many a year without exhibiting even the slightest issue. Others, however, start breaking down a lot sooner than one would expect.
The biggest problem with this isn’t necessarily that you might encounter an issue of some sort down the line but the fact that — for the amount of money you have to spend in order to acquire a Razer laptop — you’re entitled to a much better experience.
Razer Blades are often a lot more expensive than their biggest competitors, and yet, despite having to spend more money, you’re not really going to get better support should something happen to go awry.
That’s simply unacceptable when you’re investing two, three, or even four thousand dollars.
A Big Investment ≠ Stellar Experience
And that, in short, is where the biggest issue arises. You’re paying a ton of money and, frankly, there are very few — if any — safeguards in place to help you out if an issue happens to occur; and, unfortunately, Razer Blades come with their own laundry list of flaws and QC issues that often end up hindering the entire user experience.
Older models had hardware-related quirks and malfunctions (like webcams and microphones dying for no reason), newer ones tend to get way too hot in CPU-heavy workloads (the Blade 14 especially), whereas the biggest and most powerful Blades are often so darn expensive that you can’t even fully gauge their qualities (or lack thereof) as they haven’t been bought in large enough volumes for people to go online and share experiences.
So it’s really this weird mix of a company that does some truly incredible things, tries to innovate whenever and wherever possible, and yet still offers a product that, in some cases, is way too rough around the edges and, at worst, happens to exhibit quality control issues that are simply unacceptable given their MSRPs.
Is Razer a Good Laptop Brand? — Conclusion
Razer laptops are some of the finest on the market, but they’re really not worth the asking price once they are compared to the competition. There’s also the oft-talked about “Razer tax” and, frankly, it does exist. Some of it is warranted, but it still feels like most of their products are overpriced, despite their jaw-dropping looks and — more often than not — spectacular performance.
Now, not every laptop needs to be a value champion. Sometimes you want to pay a premium so as to attain a specific feature that simply isn’t present elsewhere. With Razer, that line is a lot blurrier than we’d like, though.
You’re getting what can only be described as the best-built laptops in the Windows world, but also a few peculiarities and potential drawbacks in tow. Razer laptops are wholly unique and, well, mighty alluring, but they also, at times, entail quality control issues and inconsistent customer support.
And that, given their MSRPs, is simply unacceptable. If you have a large enough budget, you’re not going to be disappointed with a Razer Blade. Still, going with an equivalent laptop from, say, ASUS, is a much more sensible option, especially given the price difference.
And, as always, no matter which OEM you end up choosing, make sure to buy your laptop of choice from a reputable source like Amazon or Best Buy — a retailer that has a very lenient return policy. That way, should something happen to go awry (or if you happen to spot a QC issue), you’ll be able to return the laptop and get your money back in no time.