The Razer Raptor comes close to being the perfect gaming monitor. Its 27-inch Quad HD display is gorgeous, plus it brags all the important gaming features to ensure a top-class performance. You have to pay a fair sum for the privilege, especially given that it lacks integrated speakers, but this is the best option for those who don't have pockets deep enough to make the jump to 4K
- Gorgeous Quad HD display
- 100% sRGB colour coverage
- Fantastic gaming performance
- Slick design and dazzling RGB lighting
- Pretty expensive
- Lacks integrated speakers
- Review Price: £699.99
- 2560 x 1440 resolution
- 27in diagonal
- IPS panel
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Nvidia G-Sync + AMD FreeSync
- 7ms response time (1ms with ULMB)
- Ports: HDMI, DP, USB-C, 2x USB-A
- No speakers
- Weight: 11.5kg
Razer has been gradually taking over gamers’ desktops for years offering top-grade mice, keyboards and headsets. The Razer Raptor monitor marks the next step in its gaming domination, completing the set of accessories to accommodate your rig.
In typical Razer fashion, the Raptor is brimming with fancy features while showcasing oodles of class in terms of both design and display. Razer rarely makes a misstep with its gaming gadgets, but it does charge a premium – the Raptor costs a whopping £699.99.
However, for that money you’re getting a Quad HD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, compatibility with both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync, and a gorgeous IPS panel. But is that enough for the Raptor to be considered good value?
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Razer Raptor design – A soft touch
Razer really knows how to make a gorgeous gadget. The Raptor is one of the best-looking gaming monitors I’ve seen. Its jet black design is subtle yet stylish. Pinch the bezel or the stand and you can immediately tell this is made of sturdy stuff.
The rear is clad with fabric, which may sound bizarre for a gaming monitor, but certainly doesn’t look out of place. Personally, I find this textured finish more appealing than the sheets of metal or plastic usually seen. It also helps the iconic Razer logo – which is metal – to stand out.
The fluorescent green cables that come bundled with the Raptor are initially overbearing – it’s a big deviation from the usual background-blending black wires. I did eventually warm to Razer’s colour choice, though, especially since the cables can be tucked into the stand for a cool green-on-black striped effect. But equally, I’m sure the attention-grabbing green won’t be for everyone.
The stand itself has a larger than average footprint, demanding a lot of space on your desk. It’s well built, though, and can easily be adjusted into various positions with 90-degree tilting and 100m vertical travel.
The Raptor features all the ports you’d want from a modern day monitor: HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C and two USB. Sandwiched between the monitor and the stand, the ports can be difficult to access. However, plug all the bundled cables in during the initial setup, and it shouldn’t be an issue again.
The one design feature that really helps the Raptor distinguish itself from other gaming monitors is the RGB lightstrip that wraps around the base of the stand. At default, the lights will continuously cycle through various colours. But the Raptor can also buddy up with Razer Synapse, allowing you to change effects, set it to a static colour or turn it off completely. You can even sync it up to other Razer peripherals for a harmonious light show.
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Razer Raptor display – Glowing colours
The Raptor’s fantastic picture quality is obvious from a glance. Colours are bright and vivid, with Razer boasting 100% sRGB colour coverage. It also sees a surprisingly high 94% DCI-P3 colour coverage, which should give movies a glossy boost.
The great range of colours on offer here improves game visuals by quite a margin. In Dirt Rally, the red and yellow cars stood out far more than they did with other monitors I’ve used.
The Raptor is also suitably bright at 361 nits, while dark colours looked rich, excelling in dim environments such as the shadowy caves of Tomb Raider. Contrast is decent, too, at 1170:1, besting the likes of the similarly priced ViewSonic Elite XG270QG.
Support for HDR (HDR400) is also included. The benefits of this are limited, though, since few games and videos currently support the technology. It’s still a great bonus feature, and ensures your monitor is future-proof for years.
Razer provides several Game modes, which are basically just calibrated presets for various genres including FPS, MMO and racing. You’ll likely get better results by calibrating the monitor yourself, but it’s nevertheless useful for screen-tweaking novices.
The 144Hz refresh rate helps to ensure fast-paced motion in games looks super-smooth. This isn’t quite as nippy as the 165Hz or 240Hz monitors beginning to flood the market, but should still prove fast enough for all but the most serious of competitive gamers.
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Razer Raptor features – Jaunty joystick
One of the main appeals of the Raptor is the number of features crammed inside. It’s hard to find a checkbox it doesn’t tick, especially since it supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync to eradicate screen tearing.
Having an IPS panel, the Raptor is limited to a 7ms response time. However, Razer has some smart workarounds to reduce ghosting. The Overdrive feature will push the response time down to 4ms. Still not good enough? The motion blur reducing mode will slam the response time down to an eSports-ready 1ms performance. Note, though, that activating this will lower the brightness significantly.
It’s often a pain to navigate a monitor’s OSD, but the Razer offers the best solution available with an easy-to-reach joystick. Flicking it to the right garners access to a menu of options, such as activating an on-screen refresh rate counter, adaptive sync, and even a Picture-in-Picture mode that allows you to display two inputs simultaneously for multi-tasking.
Most of these features can also be reached through the Razer Synapse app, which is even easier to use. It’s here that you can configure the RGB lights and sync to other devices such as Philips Hue bulbs.
The Raptor lacks integrated speakers, which is a pretty big deal considering the monitor’s price. I’m sure Razer would argue that to integrate high-class speakers, would have resulted in a significant bump up in the Raptor’s price – the Razer Nommo speakers cost £110, after all. Personally, though, I’d take low-grade speakers over nothing at all.
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Should you buy the Razer Raptor?
The Razer Raptor is one of the best all-round gaming monitors you can buy. Its Quad HD resolution screen is gorgeous, offering 100% sRGB colour coverage and HDR support while also boasting a 144Hz refresh rate, RGB lighting and support for both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.
This isn’t the highest-spec gaming monitor on the market – there are plenty of models with 4K resolutions and 240Hz refresh rates doing the rounds – but anything more lavish than the Raptor is arguably excessive for most gamers right now.
The biggest sticking point is the price, especially considering the lack of integrated speakers. At £700, the Razer Raptor certainly isn’t cheap, with similar gaming monitors costing around £100 less. But if you’re already locked into Razer’s ecosystem and want a fully featured gaming monitor with one the best Quad HD displays available, then the Raptor is worth the investment.