The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) is one of the most powerful laptops money can buy right now, and it’s aimed squarely at creative professionals that need a high level of performance, such as video editors, 3D animators and architects.
Razer is a company that’s best known for creating gaming PCs and peripherals, and it's used its experience in making thin, light and powerful gaming laptops – like the Razer Blade 15 – to create this Studio Edition, which is packed with professional-grade components and one of the best screens you’ll find in a laptop.
While gaming laptops can often double up as excellent creative workstations, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) takes things to the next level. This is a workstation that won’t be for everyone, but it did make it onto our list of the best laptops for video editing. If you’re after an incredibly powerful machine for handling complex tasks, which is also portable enough that you can take it out and about with you, then this could be the laptop you’ve been looking for.
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review: Price
Let’s not beat around the bush here, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) is an extremely expensive laptop, costing a whopping £4,199.99. That’s almost twice the price of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is its nearest competitor (and starts at £2,399).
Now, that kind of hefty price tag is going to put a lot of people off straight away. However, in Razer’s defence, it has packed this year’s model of the Blade 15 Studio Edition with some incredibly powerful components, including an 8-core 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM and Nvidia’s professional Quadro RTX 5000 graphics card.
These specs pretty much blow the 16-inch MacBook Pro (which is a powerful laptop in its own right) out of the water. The impact these kind of specifications can have on your creative workflow – such as allowing you to render high definition videos in a fraction of the time you usually would, or add realistic ray traced lighting effects to 3D scenes in real time, could end up making the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) a wise investment, even considering the high price.
After all, the faster your workflow becomes, the quicker you can complete projects, which in turn means you can take on more projects and clients.
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review: Power and performance
So, what kind of performance can you expect for your money with the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)? Put simply, this is one of the most powerful laptops you can buy right now, offering a level of performance that you’d usually expect from a desktop PC – but in a thin and light laptop form factor.
The processor is an 8-core 10th generation Intel Core i7, an excellent mobile CPU that can reach up to 5.1GHz with Turbo boost. Coupled with the 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and you get a laptop that’s extremely proficient at multitasking. Basically, this means you can run multiple apps at once, and while the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition works on a task in the background, you could be working on something else.
So, you could be transcoding a high definition video for a client, while putting together a presentation for a prospective client at the same time. Again, this can have a big impact on your workflow and how many jobs you take on, and could pay dividends.
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition also features Nvidia’s high-end professional Quadro RTX 5000 graphics card, which comes with 16GB of GDDR6 VRAM – which offers a big leap in performance compared to the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M found in high-end MacBook Pros.
The fact that Razer has gone for a professional graphics card in this year’s model means it’s an even more formidable performer for people who work with graphic-intensive tools and applications. Last year’s model, for example, used the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q graphics card with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. That’s also an incredibly powerful GPU, but it’s one designed primarily for playing games. The Quadro RTX 5000, on the other hand, is fine-tuned for professional use. Along with double the memory, it means apps such as Photoshop load pretty much instantly.
We also ran a few tests where the laptop transcoded a 1080p video file, taking just under seven minutes to complete. We’ve seen far more expensive desktop PCs take a lot longer to complete the same task.
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) also packs a speedy 1TB solid state drive (SSD). This should offer plenty of room for most people who work with large files, and it also means Windows 10 boots up in a matter of seconds.
The only area the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) doesn’t excel in, performance wise, is battery life. In the PCMark 10 battery life benchmark test, which replicates day-to-day tasks such as web browsing, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) lasted just 4 hours and 37 minutes, and during our time with the laptop we found that you’re very unlikely to go a full work day without needing to charge. If you’re performing seriously strenuous tasks on the laptop, then expect that battery to deplete even faster.
On the one hand, this is expected, as the level of performance on offer here means that power consumption is going to be high – which affects battery life. However, the MacBook Pro 16-inch offers over double the battery life in some scenarios, proving that you don’t necessarily have to put up with poor battery life if you want a powerful laptop.
While there’s enough battery life to work without being plugged in for a while (useful if you need to use the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition in a hurry on in places where power sockets aren’t plentiful), you’re going to have to accept that you’ll need to carry around the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition‘s power adapter wherever you go.
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review: Display
The screen on the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020), is an unqualified success. In fact, we’d go so far as to say this is the best screen we’ve seen on a laptop, and for creatives who require accurate colours and pristine image quality, you won’t get better than the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) – and it means you won’t need to use or invest in an external monitor.
The 15.6-inch screen offers a 4K resolution of 3,840 x 2,400, which is a much higher resolution than the Retina display of the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, which is 3,072 x 1,920. By having so many pixels in a 15.6-inch screen, you’re getting an incredibly detailed and sharp image.
Not only that, but the screen technology used is OLED, which offers absolutely stunning contrast levels, so blacks are incredibly black, while lighter colours are bright and vibrant. You really need to see this screen in action to really appreciate just how good it looks, but take it from us – this is a beautiful laptop display that will make your work look its very best. Perhaps most importantly of all, it supports 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which will be a big draw for video editors in particular. It means that the screen of this laptop can handle a huge amount of colours, and it’s easily one of the best features of an already impressive laptop.
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review: Features
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) packs loads of additional features that help to justify the high price tag. There’s a fingerprint scanner just on the right of the keyboard that allows you to securely and quickly log into Windows 10 with just a touch. The keyboard itself is excellent, offering large keys that are easy to hit and feel nice and responsive. They’re backlit as well, which makes the laptop easy to use in low light conditions.
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) also offers an excellent array of ports, with a memory card reader, USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), USB 3.2 (USB-A) and HDMI port running along the right-hand side of the body, and two USB-A ports, a USB-C port and headphone jack on the left-hand side, along with a proprietary power port.
This pretty much offers you everything you need to plug in your peripherals without needing an adapter – and the memory card reader will be especially welcomed by photographers. The wide range of ports is in stark contrast with the limited number of ports offered by MacBooks, which only offer two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports. This makes the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) a much more versatile laptop straight out of the box.
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review: Should you buy it?
There’s no denying that the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) is an excellent laptop. It’s easily the most powerful notebook we’ve tested, and it’s wrapped up in a gorgeously-designed body. It also features one of the best screens we’ve seen on a laptop as well.
So, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) should be easy to recommend, right? Well, actually, as good as the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) undoubtedly is, this is not a laptop that is suitable for everyone.
For a start, there’s the incredibly high price tag. This will put it out of many people’s reach. ALso, thanks to the professional-class Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics card, and 32GB of RAM, this is a laptop that offers a huge amount of power – which many people simply won’t need.
There are much more affordable laptops out there for digital creatives that just need something for editing photos on, or putting together 1080p videos.
However, if you’re looking for an incredibly powerful workstation that you can take around with you, and which will easily chew through demanding tasks like 3D modelling and ultra high resolution rendering, then you really should consider the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020). No other laptop comes close.
Sure, it’s very expensive, but the impact it could have on speeding up your workflow means that this could be a very canny investment in the long run. And, speaking of the long run, this powerful laptop is future-proof enough that you won’t have to worry about upgrading for a very long time.