Razer Blade 15 OLED Review: 240Hz OLED FTW!
This is arguably the best experience I’ve had with a gaming laptop by far. And incidentally, this might just be the best ever Razer Blade ever. As its name suggests, the Razer Blade 15 OLED has a beautiful OLED display capable of 240Hz, a powerful Intel Core i9 and RTX 3070 Ti combo and a great thermal solution all packed in a thin and light chassis. Now it is expensive, no doubt. But it might be worth considering this time around.
So here’s the Razer Blade 15 and if you are in anyway familiar with the Blade series of laptops from Razer in the last 5 years or so, this should be a really iconic design by now.
It’s a clean slate that’s 16.9mm thin and weighs just about 2kg/4.4lbs. Honestly, it’s really sleek, really minimalistic and it’s just basically a blacked out MacBook Pro in a sense but with performance far surpassing most in its class.
If you’re a fan of the design, you’re going to always love it and even if you aren’t, you have to admit that it’s a really beautiful looking laptop unlike any other.
The one huge change however for this particular model is all so apparent once you lift up the lid. First thing you’ll notice is that instead of the usual anti-glare matte coating, you get a glossy glass-like finish instead. And the reason for that is simply because this is the OLED model and thus you get a properly good OLED display.
To keep it short, this is downright fantastic and arguably one of the best OLED displays we’ve ever seen on a laptop thus far, period. First up, unlike most other OLED equipped laptops that feature either a 1080P or 4K resolution at 60Hz or 90Hz, this has an 1440P resolution and can run at 240Hz. That’s right, not 120Hz, 144Hz or 165Hz but rather 240Hz.
So needless to say, this is a fantastic display for gaming.
Colours are great and vibrant, the blacks are truly dark and deep, everything just looks so much more beautiful especially when compared to even a really good IPS display. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 and even Modern Warfare just pop that much more, making for a really stunning image. But yet at the same time, you don’t lose anything in terms of refresh rate. 240Hz with a 1ms response time is just snappy and fast, perfect for gaming. Additionally, if you’re a fan of HDR, this can do it too. Though admittedly, Razer did not go through any official certification for the HDR capabilities on this particular panel but Windows 11 does report a maximum peak brightness of 616 nits and in practice, it is still somewhat decent.
On the other hand, if you’re looking at this from a professional perspective, it’s equally great as well. This covers 100% sRGB and DCI-P3 which will help people such as editors and graphic designers alike.
All in all, it’s just downright a great OLED display and honestly, once you go OLED, it’s really tough to go back especially since, unlike in the past, this is already capable of 240Hz much like most IPS displays available right now.
The only caveat might be the fact that it is a glossy finish instead of an anti-glare matte coating but you really have to pick your poison here. Do you want the vibrant colours and stunning image of an OLED but deal with mirror-like reflections especially in bright environments or direct sunlight? Or would you rather have an anti-glare matte coating for better versatility at a much more reasonable price in exchange for a slight downgrade in visual experience. It’s your choice. You choose.
Oh and one other thing. Razer has not implemented any form of OLED care with the Blade as far as we know so you might want to have the display turn off when left idle and what not to possibly prolong the life of the OLED display. Conversely on the other hand however, we noticed that there practically isn’t any form of ABL either. The brightness stays consistent throughout no matter what’s on display. This is definitely much preferred in our books but whether or not this would affect the OLED in the long run, that’s up in the air. But Razer being Razer, we would say that they definitely have gamers in mind here.
Just do note that this variant of the Blade will burn a hole in your wallet for sure. For this specific model, it’ll set you back a whopping S$5,699 or US$3,299.99. That is a lot of money, no two ways about it. And you can’t even opt for something a little more affordable at the moment as this is the only SKU available right now, at least at the time of filming.
But okay, what else do you get for that much money?
The keyboard and trackpad are fantastic and if you’ve been following this channel, you probably know I’m a huge fan of the Blade’s keyboard and trackpad. The Blade is pretty much on top of the list when it comes to this for Windows-based laptops, only really beaten by the MacBooks and on par with that of the Surface Laptop. It does have some quirks, sure, but it’s by far one of the best out there with no lack of RGB for sure.
Speakers also really good and as far as I could remember, slightly improved from before. It can get really loud without distorting even at max volume, and there’s great stereo separation thanks to the position of the speakers. Bass is of course lacking, but the high and mids and clean and crisp. No complaints here.
As for battery, you still get the same 80Wh battery found in the previous Blades. However, if you’re running the OLED at 240Hz, do expect battery life to be closer to 5 hours rather than 6. While it’s not the best battery life out there, it’s still plenty respectable.
And of course, ports are aplenty with the Blade 15 OLED.
There’s a total of three standard Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 as well as one Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, full-sized HDMI 2.1, SD Card Reader and the 3.5mm combo jack.
But let’s talk performance and we’re also going to give some advice on the best settings to use for the Razer Blade 15 OLED or any recent Razer Blades in general.
As there’s only one SKU available for the OLED display, you’ll get an Intel Core i9-12900H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 16GB of DDR5 RAM at 4,800MT/s and 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD.
Now with Razer Synapse, you’ll get access to quite a few options such as a quick switch for the refresh rate, the MUX switch itself and the various power profiles available. For all our testing, we made sure to run the Blade 15 OLED using the discrete graphics with the High GPU setting and we tested on some of the power profiles for the CPU which we’ll mention as we go along.
Without further ado, we start with Cinebench R23.
In the Balanced setting, the Core i9-12900H was able to score roughly 10407 in Multi-Core and 1,749 in Single-Core. Changing it to the High CPU setting in Synapse, the score increases to 12,217 and 1,834 respectively, while changing it to the Boost CPU setting increases the score yet further to 14,090 and 1,839 respectively. Between each power profile, there’s just about a 2,000 score difference for Multi-Core and this is largely due to the power limits set for the CPU for each profile.
With Balanced, the Core i9-12900H is limited to just 35W while for the High CPU setting, that increases to the proper 45W. With the Boost setting chosen, that allows for yet even higher wattage above 45W reaching up to 65W or even 70W and more.
As for DaVinci Resolve, we tested on both the High and Boost CPU profiles and as you can tell, there is quite a sizable difference in render speeds at both 1080P and 4K between the two profiles. Of course, with Boost enabled, the fans do spin up and generate quite a bit more noise. But if noise isn’t a concern wherever you are, you will be able to enjoy a substantial improvement in performance especially for rendering.
We then move on to gaming, Razer’s bread and butter. For all gaming benchmarks, we used the High CPU and High GPU profile.
At 1080P, it’s basically an awesome gaming experience with no issues at all. Games like Valorant and CS:GO are going to run admirably and make full use of that 240Hz refresh rate while games like Cyberpunk 2077 and Modern Warfare 2 really look stunning thanks to OLED.
At 1440P, the visual experience is just even better and the Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti combo is simply no slouch, easily tackling eSports and AAA titles alike. 1440P is really the sweet spot for most gaming laptops nowadays, offering much improved fidelity over 1080P but not being as demanding as 4K.
But best of all, Razer has done a pretty good job with the cooling solution here. Just like with the other Blade 15 Advanced Models, there are a pair of high performance fans sucking in cold air from the bottom and pushing it out the back and paired with the huge vapour chamber, the RTX 3070 Ti stays comfortably at 80C throughout hours of gameplay. However, we can’t really say the same for that Core i9 which constantly hovered around 90C or more with the occasional spikes to 100C.
Not great for sure. However, there is actually an easy fix.
Best Synapse Setting
See, as we’ve mentioned earlier, the different CPU profile settings basically sets different target power limits that the Core i9 is able to draw. With the High profile selected, that means the full fat 45W that the Core i9-12900H is designed for. However, if you set it to Medium instead, that brings the limit down to 35W.
With the CPU set to Medium and the GPU set to high, now both the CPU and GPU will hover right about 80C throughout an entire gaming session without really losing any frames if at all. If you’re primarily going to be using a Blade for gaming, we highly suggest going with this profile setting for the best performance to thermal ratio per se.
And so, there you have it.
The Razer Blade 15 OLED is basically just like the previous Razer Blade 15 with the exact same specs, except it now sports a beautiful high refresh rate OLED.
Personally, I really like the Blade and this is by far the best Razer Blade, hands down. If you like the aesthetic and you don’t mind burning a hole in your wallet, this will be one fine purchase that’ll serve you well. Personally though, I might actually be leaning towards the new Blade 14 Mercury Edition. That’s a little something more up my alley, but I digress.
On a side note, had this come out earlier in the year, it might have actually won our Best of 2022 Laptops. It really is pretty good.