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Razer Blade 16 and Blade 18 hands-on: Too big, or just right?

A monster desktop replacement, but is it too big?
By
January 6, 2023
Razer Blade 18 from CES 2023 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Razer is here at CES 2023 with several new announcements, including the new Razer Blade 16 and Blade 18. We’re seeing a lot of 18-inch laptops in Vegas this week, especially in the gaming and creator space. This leaves us wondering: are these machines too big, or are they just right? I was able to get some time with the latest Razer Blade series, and the answer, it turns out, is that the size is just right — for me. To find out if it’s right for you, keep reading.

To be upfront, we weren’t actually able to do too much with the Razer 16 and 18 during our brief hands-on time with it. It was locked to a screen showing off demos from Nvidia. Still, I was able to get a feel for the keyboard, the screen, the weight, and more. The demos also gave me a good feel for the kind of graphics performance we can expect.

Star of the show: Razer Blade 18

Razer Blade 18 from CES 2023 7
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Razer Blade 18 features an 8-inch QHD+ panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 3ms response time, a 240Hz refresh rate, and brightness rated up to 500 nits. It’s a big display but I like big screens. I cannot lie. I even (somewhat) joked around with a Razer rep that the Razer Edge tablet was small enough to make a great phone. So of course, I was immediately excited to see more large display laptops like the Blade 18. While I was initially afraid it would weigh a thousand pounds and be a clunky nightmare, I was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise.

Okay, the Razer Blade 18 is huge but I wouldn’t describe it as bulky or cumbersome. In fact, it’s only slightly bigger than the most recent Blade 17. Coming in at roughly 7 lbs, it is certainly not light, but it wasn’t that long ago high-performance laptops like this could weigh well over 10 pounds.

The Razer Blade 18 is a huge laptop, but it's shockingly thin and light for a desktop replacement of this caliber.

Honestly, it didn’t feel nearly as heavy as I assumed it would be from looking at it. The Razer Blade series is also known for being thin, something that typically doesn’t translate well to massive desktop replacements. High-end desktop replacements can often get as thick as 2 inches. At .86 inches, the Razer Blade is relatively thin.

Aside from its massive footprint, the Blade 18 feels and looks like any other Razer Blade with the same anodized aluminum chassis. It also has all the same cutting-edge specs and power you’d expect from the Blade series.

The mini-LED dual-mode champion: Razer Blade 16

Razer Blade 16 from CES 2023 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

We can’t forget about the Razer Blade 16. The 16-inch trend started even before the recent introduction of 18-inch giants, and so the Blade 16 is a little late to the party. Still, it’s a beautiful machine. With dimensions of 13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 and a weight of 5.4 lbs, it’s also very similar in size to the Razer Blade 15, despite the larger display.

While the Razer 18 only has one display configuration, the Blade 16 has two different 16-inch panel choices. The first is an IPS LED with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a 240Hz refresh rate. The second panel — and more exciting option — is a mini-LED dual-mode display that can actually swap between 3840 x 2400 120Hz or 1920 x 1200 240Hz. This means you can pick and choose the resolution that works best for the game at hand.

Aside from size and displays used, the Razer Blade 16 and 18 are otherwise pretty similar on the inside.

Razer Blade 16 and 18 specs

Razer Blade 16Razer Blade 18
Display
Razer Blade 16
16-inch, IPS LED 2560 x 1600
240Hz
16-inch, mini-LED dual mode display
3840 x 2400 120Hz or 1920 x 1200 240Hz

3ms

G-Sync

Individually calibrated

100% DCI-P3
Razer Blade 18
16-inch, IPS LED 2560 x 1600. 240Hz

3ms

G-Sync

Individually calibrated

100% DCI-P3
CPU
Razer Blade 16
Intel Core i9-13950HX
Razer Blade 18
Intel Core i9-13950HX
GPU
Razer Blade 16
Nvidia RTX 4060 8GB
Nvidia RTX 4070 8GB
Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB
Nvidia RTX 4090 16GB
Razer Blade 18
Nvidia RTX 4060 8GB
Nvidia RTX 4070 8GB
Nvidia RTX 4080 12GB
Nvidia RTX 4090 16GB
RAM
Razer Blade 16
16GB or 32GB DDR5-5600MHz
Upgradable to 64GB
Razer Blade 18
16GB or 32GB DDR5-5600MHz
Upgradable to 64GB
Storage
Razer Blade 16
Up to 4TB
Razer Blade 18
1TB or 2TB
Upgradable to 4TB
Webcam
Razer Blade 16
1080p webcam, Windows Hello IR camera
Razer Blade 18
5-megapixel webcam, Windows Hello IR camera
Battery
Razer Blade 16
95.2 watt-hour battery
Razer Blade 18
91.7 watt-hour battery
Ports
Razer Blade 16
1x headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt ports
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2,
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1x HDMI 2.1
1x SD card slot
Razer Blade 18
1x headphone jack
1x Thunderbolt ports
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
Wireless
Razer Blade 16
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
Razer Blade 18
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
Operating system
Razer Blade 16
Windows 11
Razer Blade 18
Windows 11
Dimensions
Razer Blade 16
13.98 x 9.61 x 0.87 inches
Razer Blade 18
15.74 x 10.84 x 0.86 inches
Weight
Razer Blade 16
5.4 pounds
Razer Blade 18
7.05 pounds

Tons of power under the hood

Razer Blade 18 from CES 2023 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The Blade 16 and Blade 18 are both powered by the latest and greatest from Nvidia and Intel. The base model hardware comes with an Nvidia RTX 4060 and a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13950HX processor. Thankfully you can scale up the GPU all the way to the RTX 4090.

It is worth noting that the Blade 16’s GPU can only run at 140W, as its smaller footprint limits its thermals. In contrast, the Blade 18 can run at 175W due to its larger size.

Moving on from the CPU and GPU, the Blade 16 and 18 start with 16GB of DDR5 memory but are offered in configurations up to 32 GB. There’s just a 1TB SSD with an extra empty slot in the base unit, but you can pick an upgraded 2TB or 4TB option. If that’s not enough RAM or SSD space for you, both models are user upgradeable up to 64GB and 4-8TB, respectively.

Razer Blade 16 and Blade 18: When and where to get it

The Blade 16 and Blade 18 each pack a serious punch, but when will you be able to get your hands on them, and for how much? The Blade 16 will arrive in Q1 this year at a price of $2,699.99.

The Blade 18’s launch is coming “soon” and the laptop starts at $2,899.99. You can register your interest in the Blade 18 here.

Is the Razer Blade 18 too big, or just right?

126 votes