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First Impressions: Razer Blade 18 Review

First Impressions

The Razer Blade 18 is an exciting desktop replacement, with a colossal 18-inch screen and the most powerful specs you could wish for. It’s just a shame there’s no 4K or OLED/Mini LED option to make this feel like the ultimate gaming laptop experience.

Key Features

  • Massive 18-inch screen:This is the largest screen found on a Razer laptop yet.
  • Most powerful Intel and Nvidia specs available:Configurations range up to Intel Core i9-13950HX and Nvidia RTX 4090.

Introduction

The Razer Blade 18 is the brand’s first ever venture into the 18-inch laptop space, leapfrogging the Razer Blade 17 as the biggest portable in Razer’s range. 

That also means it’s the most powerful laptop Razer has ever launched, available with up to an Intel Core i9-13950HX processor and Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU. 

I was able to spend some hands-on time with the Razer Blade 18 at CES 2023, so here are my first impressions. 

Price and availability 

The Razer Blade 18 has a $2099.99 starting price, so be prepared to spend a lot of money if you want the max configuration. 

Razer has confirmed the laptop will be available to buy in Q1 2023, so the wait shouldn’t be too long. 

Design

  • Huge 18-inch screen
  • No 4K or OLED/Mini LED option
  • Similar chassis size to the Razer Blade 17

The Razer Blade 18 looks absolutely massive; it makes the new Razer Blade 16 look tiny in comparison when sat side by side. 

Despite its new larger panel, the Razer Blade 18 isn’t actually that much bigger than a Razer Blade 17. Razer stacked the two laptops on top of each other for me to see, and while the Blade 18 is slightly thicker and wider, it’s only by a couple of millimetres.

Razer Blade 18 size compared to the Razer Blade 16
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Razer has achieved this by shaving down the screen bezel in order to fit in the larger panel, making it noticeably taller with a 16:10 aspect ratio. As Razer says, you’re getting a bigger screen with a very similar chassis as the Razer Blade 17.

This is undeniably a heavy laptop though, hitting the scales at a whopping 3.2kg. This is not the kind of laptop you want to be chucking in a bag on a regular basis, with Razer calling it a desktop replacement instead. 

The Razer Blade 18 has a Quad HD screen, with a 240Hz refresh rate. I’m surprised there’s no 4K option, while the refresh rate seems rather slow for the eSports market, with competitors offering 360Hz and 480Hz speeds. 

Razer Blade 18 displaying Spider-Man
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s also no option for OLED, or even a Mini LED display like what you get with the new Razer Blade 16. When sat side by side, it’s clear to see that the Blade 16 has the superior screen, capable of a higher peak brightness to make explosions stand out more vibrantly. It’s a shame that you’ll have to compromise on picture quality in order to get Razer’s biggest laptop screen yet. 

The Razer Blade 18 has the same top-grade build quality that I’ve come to expect, made up of CNC aluminium with an anodized finish. It also has a 5MP webcam, 6-speaker setup and a vapor chamber cooling system. 

Specs

  • Can be configured with up to Intel Core i9-13950HX
  • Nvidia RTX 4090 is top GPU option
  • Up to 5600Mhz DDR5 memory and 8TB storage

Intel and Nvidia have just launched their latest generation of laptop components at CES 2023, and Razer has taken full advantage of this by cherry picking the most powerful chips for the Blade 18.

It’s configurable with up to an Intel Core i9-13950HX processor, which Razer claims to provide desktop-grade performance thanks to the 65W power. The Intel chip is packing a massive 24 cores, making it a great option for content creation as well as gaming. 

Rear of the Razer Blade 18
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Razer Blade 18 is also operating at the highest possilbe TGP (Total Graphics Power), with a range of Nvidia chips on offer. The Nvidia RTX 4090 offers the most grunt, and is likely to remain the most powerful laptop GPU for the foreseeable future. 

I was unable to put these components to the test during my hands-on time, but expect the top configuration to be able to play modern games at extremely high refresh rates with the Quad HD resolution. 

The Razer Blade 18 packs super-speedy 5600Mhz DDR5 memory, which can be upgraded whenever you fancy. And the SSD storage maxes out at 8TB, which should be able to store your entire game library without issue. 

First Impressions

The Razer Blade 18 is an impressive gaming laptop, with a massive 18-inch screen that makes 15-inch alternatives look tiny by comparison. It’s also packing the best specs possible, with cutting-edge chips from both Intel and Nvidia. 

I’m a little disappointed by the screen though. The Quad HD resolution is still very sharp, but the RTX 4090 feels wasted without a 4K display to go with it. And even the eSports crowd will likely be miffed that the refresh rate can’t exceed 240Hz, even if this is plenty high enough for the average gamer.

A 'hands on review' is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it's like to use. We call these 'hands on reviews' to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don't give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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