Razer Blade 16 and 18 hands-on review: Not afraid to go big

Razer has had a change of heart. It’s still following its iconic thin-and-light design philosophy, but with the new laptops the company brought to CES 2023, there’s a new focus on performance.

This is most evident with the new Razer Blade 18, which is the largest and most powerful laptop the company has ever made. Combine that with some really interesting new features for the Razer Blade 16, and you have a very attractive update to the lineup for Razer.

Razer Blades 16 and 18 in front of a window.


razor blade 16 razor blade 18
Dimensions (DxWxH) 13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 15.74 x 10.84 x 0.86 Inch
weight 5.4 pounds 7.05 pounds
cpu Intel Core i9-13950HX Intel Core i9-13950HX
  • rtx 4060 8gb
  • rtx 4070 8gb
  • rtx 4080 12gb
  • rtx 4090 16gb
  • rtx 4060 8gb
  • rtx 4070 8gb
  • rtx 4080 12gb
  • rtx 4090 16gb
to hit 16GB or 32GB DDR5-5600MHz 16GB or 32GB DDR5-5600MHz
Storage up to 4TB 1TB or 2TB

-16-inch, IPS LED 2560 x 1600, 240Hz

-16-inch, Mini-LED dual mode display: 3840 x 2400 120Hz or 1920 x 1200 240Hz

16-inch, IPS LED 2560 x 1600, 240Hz
additional screen details 3ms, G-Sync, Individually Calibrated, 100% DCI-P3 3ms, G-Sync, Individually Calibrated, 100% DCI-P3
battery 95.2 watt-hour battery 91.7 watt-hour battery
webcam 1080p webcam, windows hello ir camera 5-megapixel webcam, Windows Hello IR camera
wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
ports 1x Headphone Jack, 1x Thunderbolt Port, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x SD Card Slot 1x Headphone Jack, 1x Thunderbolt Port, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x SD Card Slot, 1x Ethernet Jack
Operating System windows 11 windows 11

design and performance

Both the Razer Blade 16 and 18 are new to the lineup, and Razer hasn’t yet confirmed whether they’ll replace the 15 or 17 entirely. They definitely look like perfect replacements. They now (finally!) come with 16:10 aspect ratio screens, which dramatically reduces the size of the bottom bezel.

They also feature the latest chips from Intel and Nvidia. Razer likes to keep performance configurations fairly straightforward, so all configurations have at least 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.

Notably, you are getting the option of up to RTX 4090 on both the laptops. Razer didn’t provide performance numbers, but it’s expected to get better performance on the 18-inch model with its redesigned thermal system. It now includes a larger vapor chamber and liquid metal cooling.

Keyboard on the Razer Blade 16.

The Razer Blade 16 also promises to be a powerhouse. Razer says it has the highest performance per cubic inch—in other words, it’s the most powerful for a laptop of its size. The cooling system hasn’t been updated this time around, though – it’s the same cooling system as the Razer Blade 15. The Razer Blade 16 also has a slightly larger footprint than the current 15-inch model. Other features that have remained the same include the keyboard, webcam, trackpad, chassis, and ports.


Razer Blade 18 on a table in front of a window.

But one area where it’s not quite the same is the screen. The Razer Blade 16 has two unique things about it. First, it uses a Mini-LED screen, like many of the new crop of flagship gaming laptops in 2023, Razer has switched to a truly stunning Mini-LED panel capable of 1,000 nits peak HDR brightness. While it won’t be alone in this regard, the Blade 16 should have some great HDR performance, perhaps even better than the excellent OLED display featured on last year’s Blade 15.

Another neat feature is the Razer Blade 16’s screen. The top-end Mini-LED model will feature a dual-screen mode display, which means it can switch native resolutions and refresh rates. When using the laptop as a work laptop, you can enjoy a sharp 4K resolution and 120Hz refresh rate – and then, when you want to switch to gaming, you can drop it down to 1200p 240Hz for even smoother animation. Can

This is not the first time we have introduced such displays, but it offers a no-compromise solution. The only caveat? The setting to switch between modes is in Razer’s Synapse software, but it requires a hard reboot to change.

The Razer Blade 18 doesn’t have these unique display features, but it does sell itself on its big screen.


Razer Blade 16 on top of Blade 18.

Other than that, it has a few advantages over its 16-inch sibling. It includes an Ethernet jack, which the Blade 16 lacks.

It also has a higher-resolution 5-megapixel webcam and a more advanced speaker system. It now has a total of eight speakers, including four tweeters and four subwoofers. The speakers are definitely an improvement over previous models, but they didn’t blow me away even on first listen.

Razer says all these improvements in quality of life lead it to designate the Razer Blade 18 as a “desktop replacement.” In other words, it doesn’t expect you to lug the 7-pound chassis around or try to stuff it into your work bag every day. It’s no Alienware m18, but it’s certainly a big laptop, and its success will hinge on its ability to perform.

With the mini-LED Razer Blade 16 on the table, though, I know which one I’m more excited to game on.

Price and Availability

The Razer Blade 16 will start at $2,700 and will be available in the first quarter of 2023. The Razer Blade 18 will also be available at that time, but will start at $2,900.

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