Reviewed in the United States on February 29, 2020
I've had this laptop for a couple of months now, and I'm ready to leave a review. As with all my reviews, they are 100% funded by me, so my review is unbiased and to the point. As with all my reviews, this one was purchased with my own money and 100% unbiased. I will be updating this review with the progress of how Amazon and razer deal with these issues.
- Built like a tank. This entire laptop is machined from a single piece of solid billet aluminum, so it's really rigid. ROCK SOLID hinge system too!
- Great looking display. Solid color ratio's, image quality/resolution, viewing angles.
- It's fast. I get the occasional hiccup, but I attribute that to Windows.
- Gaming performance is solid. No lag at max settings.
- It's really thin for a 17" laptop with an RTX 2070
- Awesome mouse pad. Big, responsive, accurate, made from glass.
- It's relatively quiet with graphics settings at max.
- Excellent cooling system.
- Speakers are fantastic! This thing gets pretty loud, without distorting, and has good sound quality.
- HINGE!! Did I mention the hinge yet? By far, the best hinge of any laptop I've owned. It's rock solid!
- The lid. I'm impressed with how rigid the lid id. Every aluminum laptop I've owned has had a flimsy, wobbly (lateral) lid. Stiffest lid I've seen on any laptop.
- Lid. The screen side of the lid has this little silicone gasket around the edge of the lid that creates a thin cushion, preventing the metal from slamming together when the lid is closed. It's also held firmly closed with magnets. I love this.
OK, now for the not-so-good stuff...
Cons: (the first one is pretty big, considering it's the most used component of a computer) The keyboard...
- Awful keyboard!! The worst keyboard I've ever used, to be honest. For starters, the keys are very shallow, at less than 1.5 mm of travel, it feels like I'm typing on wet bread, and I'm not kidding. This keyboard has NO FEEDBACK. I find myself having to backspace and repress letters I've already pressed because they don't always register the first time around, resulting in copious misspelled words. The RGB lighting and customizations on this keyboard are super cool, but that's about it.
- Screws/back cover. Ok, I have a mechanical background and am familiar with threads, metals, screws, taps and dies, etc...For the life of me, I can not understand WHY Razer decided to use precision sized screws to fasten the rear cover. Firstly, precision screw heads are notorious for stripping out, secondly, the metal of these screws is SOFT. Softer than the anchors they screw into. This adds up to a soup sandwich if you're not careful. Not only did Razer go with precision sized screws, they went with a torx head as well. Seriously? a T-5 torx on a precision sized screws? Was this a strategic move on your part? Anybody that is familiar working with precision stuff, knows exactly what I'm talking about. After upgrading the RAM and adding another SSD, putting those screws back into this laptop felt like sandpapering a lion's ass while wearing pork chop panties. I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. NOT fun.
- Display. DESPITE the positives I've listed previously, there is a design flaw that ruins how good this display is that needs to be addressed. In just 2 months of using this laptop, I've noticed 3 different spots where dust has gotten between the backlight and the lcd panel, causing obvious dark spots on the screen. I went to wipe them off, but no go. Upon closer inspection, I could see that the dust was actually behind the glass and the backlight panel. Having a degree of OCD makes this issue a real treat. This is caused by small gaps around the the backlit emblem on the lid. Dust gets in through that area, causing these awful spots on the display. This happened after only 2 months, so I can only imagine how it will look in a year. This is super annoying, considering this is a $2,600 laptop. For the record, I keep a clean home, and don't smoke.
- Fragile finish. Yes, I said previously this laptop has an excellent build quality, and it does...With that said, the finish is pretty fragile. Now, I couldn't find any info on the finish used on this laptop, but I know it's not hard anodized, which would have been an excellent finish for this laptop, as hard anodized is a very durable finish. While it's a nice looking laptop, but the sharp edges are prone to getting dented, scratched, and scraped very easily. I ordered a D-Brand skin 1 week after getting this because it already had scratches on one of the edges. Mind you, this laptop has left my house twice in two months. Even with the skin on this laptop, the edges of the keyboard deck continue to get scratched and scraped.
- Awkward to hold. As nice and thin as this laptop is, it's heavy too. Because it's thin and heavy, it's awkward to handle with one hand. Unless you're strong, with a solid grip, I don't recommend picking this up with one hand. I've been a drummer for nearly 40 years and have hands like steel jaws and I struggle picking this up with one hand. Grabbing and lifting something that's less than an inch thick, weighing almost 8 lbs isn't easy. It's like trying to pick an 8 lb block of 1" thick ice with wet hands on a hot Georgia afternoon.
- Plug. Ok, this is a 2 part problem. The minor of the 2... Firstly, the cable is very stiff, putting a lot of strain on the termination end that plugs into the laptop. It's perfectly fine if the laptop is sitting on a desk, but when it's in your lap, it's a different story. The plug wants to work it's way out if I'm moving or rocking in my recliner while using the laptop. The right angled termination is a nice feature, but due to the stiffness of the cable, it doesn't really matter much because no matter how the cable is oriented, (facing north or south), the stress on the termination causes the plug to loosen. I'm regularly pushing the plug back into the laptop. Now for the big problem...During normal use, the power brick is perfectly fine, but once I start gaming or rendering, the power brick gets REALLY fricken HOT. So hot that I can't hold it for more than a couple of seconds. This is a problem that could lead to a fire. I don't care how much it's been tested, look what happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Remember/ They caught fire. ALL set. The power brick is too small to handle the draw this laptop requires under heavy load, which is why it gets so hot. I suspect they did this to keep the power brick small and portable. If that's the case, fix this, because a gamer would rather have stability over cute and small, any day. Before this laptop, I had an HP Omen 17 laptop with a full 175 watt (desktop version) RTX 2080. I gamed for hours on MAX setting sand the brick didn't get nearly as hot as this thing does...Then again, the brick for the Omen was the size of a router, and weighed about 5 lbs.
The cons are serious enough to cause serious doubt as to whether I'm keeping this laptop or not. Considering Razer is a boutique level computer manufacturer that sells one of the most expensive gaming laptops on the market, you're products should be better than this. Listen, I can understand minor flaws or problems; that's acceptable, but when it's major stuff like the keyboard, display, and power brick, that is unacceptable. One of the reasons I went with Razer over HP was the reputation Razer has. I must have watched 20 or so youtube reviews about this laptop, and they all had an overall positive review of this machine.
Here's the thing...You can't give a comprehensive review of a laptop after having only used it for a few days. I'm speaking from experience. In the time it took to write this review, I've had to backspace and retype letters that didn't register the first time around. So frustrating. I'll be contacting Amazon and Razer about this. I don't know if I want another Razer because these aren't defects, but rather design flaws, so replacing this laptop won't fix the issues I've mentioned. This sucks, because I spent $50 on a d-brand skin for this laptop.
So, after an exhausting 48 minute phone call, and several attempts of Amazon trying to pass me off to Razer, they finally decided to send me a brand new replacement laptop. This was after 5 attempts by Amazon to send me over to Razer tech support. I said that if Amazon won't back me up on this, that I will initiate returns for every purchase I've made int he last 30 days, and requesting cancellation of my Prime membership. (I've been a prime member for the better part of 10 years and have more than 135 purchases in the last 6 months alone). I told them I'd be happy to take my business elsewhere. I was never rude or disrespectful and neither was he. He was just doing his job and I was doing mine as a customer. At any rate, they're sending me a replacement, and I'm sending this one back as soon as my replacement arrives. I'l update once I I've used it for a bit.