This may be the best upgrade that I’ve done yet! Okay, fine… maybe it’s the silliest upgrade yet. I’m running out of ideas for little tweaks. I’ve got some ideas for big ones, but I’m just not sure I want to commit the funds or emotional pain to them.
It turns out the trim surrounding the gauges on the 991 is actually plastic. I watched a YouTube video a guy putting in a gauge trim piece covered in leather. I actually went out and checked my car. Plastic! I was shocked and immediately ordered the part to remedy this horrific oversight.
The summary version is that is looks the same. I will never get my money, time or dignity back. Viva la leather!
Razer knows how to make a sexy laptop- this is an indisputable fact. Over the years I’ve owned many of these laptops and, for the most part, I have enjoyed them all. Razor build quality is second to none and they cram an amazing amount of power into a very tiny frame. There’s no question that my Razer Pro was still getting the job done (well- minus a battery issue), but the Razor 15 was too intriguing to pass on.
Aesthetically the new design is much boxier than the past models. Personally I like the squarish design and the simple elegance of the laptop’s layout. The reduced bezel is a welcome relief (it feels “right” for lack of a better description) and the 15″ 4K screen is exceptional (bright, no dead pixels and great consistency). Build quality is as high as ever and the laptop feels exceptionally solid.
The very handsome Razer Blade 15!
Performance is on par with my old Pro. The graphic GTX 1070 Max-Q Design in the 15 can’t keep up with the Pro’s GTX 1080 but the 15’s newer CPU easily outperforms the Pro enabling a comparable 3D Mark score (both had scores right around 14,000 with the 15 edging out the Pro by a few points).
I opted to upgrade my 15 by expanding the RAM to 32 GB and upgrading the 512GB SSD to a 1 TB version (the same specs as my Pro has). The upgrade process was straightforward and relatively inexpensive. Interestingly, after my upgrade my 3D Mark score dropped into the mid 13500’s. This is probably a driver or configuration issue – I had to reinstall Windows 10) – and realistically we’re talking about a single fps loss at the moment.
The Razer 15 doesn’t necessarily represent a good value- I don’t think that’s the market they’re after. But as a high quality ultra-portable boutique gaming laptop they remain king of the hill for another year.
Things I like;
Smaller bezel and larger 4K screen
New square design and ultra-compact form factor
Expandable RAM and hard drive
Redesigned heat management (runs cooler than the Pro)
There aren’t a lot of things to complain about on the Razer 15 but there are still a few things that could be a bit better:
Shift function symbols are not backlit
Touch pad is finicky (misidentifies my palm as a finger and result in gesture misrecognition)
No backlighting around the touch pad (I liked the feature on the Razer Pro)
Legend has it that in order to replace the 991 headlight washer nozzles the entire front bumper of the car needs to be removed. Not so! With just a few simple tools anyone can swap their washer nozzles in about 10 minutes. You can pull them out and repaint them yourself or pop in a ready to go set. Below is a quick video showing you how:
I ordered a carbon fiber set from eBay but the weave wasn’t quite right and the quality didn’t impress me. I bought a second pair from BumperPlugs.com and had them painted metallic white (that must be an impossible color to match). This is the set that I ultimately put in but I’m not sure if it’s the look I’m going for. You know you’re pretty desperate to do projects when you’re replacing your headlight washers. #modlife