Razer Blade 15 Is First Laptop with Optical Keyboard Switches — And They Feel Great

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Even the best gaming laptops typically suffer from a big drawback: their membrane keyboards simply won't feel as good as a dedicated mechanical gaming keyboard. That's something Razer is looking to change with the new Razer Blade 15, which features Razer's optical keyboard switches for fast, satisfying key presses that mimic the feel of a mechanical model. 

Razer's optical switches, which we've seen on previous keyboard such as the Huntsman Elite, use infrared light to capture key presses faster than a traditional membrane keyboard. The Blade 15's keys actuate at 1mm with 55g of force, meaning you can quickly and comfortably register a flurry of inputs when playing your favorite shooters and strategy games.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In practice, this feels great. I used the new Blade 15 to slay a few zombies in Typing of the Dead, and was impressed at how comfortable and responsive the optical keys felt. Every press was fast, snappy and comfortable, making me feel like I was using a miniature mechanical keyboard without all of the noise and bulk. 

The Blade 15's keyboard uses N-Key Rollover technology to avoid accidental double strokes, and, as with any Razer keyboard, supports full Chroma RGB lighting for setting up all kinds of fun color profiles.

Razer Blade 15 price, specs and availability

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This new variant of the Blade 15 has some pretty impressive specs as well, including a 15.6-inch 1080p display with a 240Hz refresh rate, an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. It's available now for $2,649, with more options to be released in 2020.

By adding ultra-responsive optical keys to what's already one of the best laptops on the market, Razer could have a big winner on its hands with the new Blade 15. We look forward to putting it through its paces, so stay tuned for our full Blade 15 review.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.