As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases from amazon.com

Razer Blade 14 Evaluate: Made for Players, Nice for Creators


The Razer Blade 14 launched only a few brief weeks in the past is aimed squarely at avid gamers. The headline on the Razer website is “the world’s strongest 14-inch gaming laptop computer.” However don’t be fooled by the glowing inexperienced brand and the RGB-backlit keyboard: with its AMD CPU, NVIDIA GPU, and color-accurate QHD show, the Blade 14 is a perfect alternative for picture and video editors who’re on the lookout for a PC that’s moveable and highly effective.

Many components got here collectively to make a laptop computer just like the Razer Blade 14 doable within the first place. Only a few years in the past, this a lot energy in a chassis this skinny and light-weight would have been inconceivable with out severe thermal throttling or some loopy cooling answer. Razer saved the loopy cooling answer, however because of AMD, there’s much less fear about thermals.

The Blade 14’s declare to fame is that it’s Razer’s first laptop computer to function an AMD Ryzen CPU: the unlocked 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 9 5900HX with a base clock of three.3GHz and a most increase clock of 4.6GHz. Due to AMD’s 7nm Zen 3 structure, the 5900HX can ship all of this efficiency whereas consuming much less energy and due to this fact producing much less warmth than the Intel Core chips that Razer has historically relied on.

The extra environment friendly CPU, mixed with a vapor chamber cooling answer, has enabled Razer to spec this machine with much more energy than you would beforehand run inside a 14-inch chassis that’s additionally extraordinarily skinny. The Blade 14 is available in three flavors relying in your most well-liked GPU, show, and funds, however all of them handle to cram within the 5900HX, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of quick SSD storage:

The variant we’re testing on this evaluate is the “midrange” $2,200 mannequin with the QHD show and RTX 3070 graphics card, and actually, that’s most likely the model I’d suggest to most creators. The downgrade to the RTX 3060 most likely wouldn’t damage picture enhancing efficiency very a lot, however the 3060 variant is proscribed to a Full HD show with “as much as” 100% sRGB, so it’s a no-go for a lot of creatives.

Design and Construct

Regardless of which variant you purchase, you received’t be upset by the construct high quality of this laptop computer.

The Bade 14 lives as much as Razer’s popularity for crafting a number of the sturdiest and sleekest laptops available on the market. Each element is top-shelf: from the inflexible aluminum chassis, to excessive refresh fee QHD show, to the port choice, to the responsive low-profile keyboard and the ultra-smooth glass trackpad that rivals, nay, exceeds the excessive bar set by Apple within the MacBook Professional.

Admittedly, Razer’s gaming DNA does (actually) shine by means of on just a few particulars. The backlit keyboard with per-key RGB lighting and the one coloration possibility — Razer’s trademark matte-black-with-glowing-green-logo — are top quality, however a little bit of a letdown if you wish to give off “clean-cut skilled” vibes. I’d have beloved to see a silver model just like the Razer Blade Studio, particularly for the reason that matte-black end is a horrendous fingerprint magnet. However I’ll forgive the concentrate on flare as a result of there’s loads of substance below the floor.

Most blatant from a each day use standpoint are the display screen high quality and the sturdy battery life.

Stepping into, I used to be apprehensive concerning the coloration accuracy of a high-refresh-rate display screen designed for gaming, however the 165Hz QHD show on the Blade 14 carried out admirably in our checks. We profiled the show utilizing an i1Display Pro Plus by means of DisplayCAL and located that it lived as much as the (considerably hedged) promise of “as much as” 100% DCI-P3, masking 96.7 % of the cinema coloration gamut. It was additionally capable of hit a decent 83.5 % AdobeRGB, a max brightness of 350 nits, and it did all of it with a most Delta E of lower than two in our prolonged coloration patch check.

It’s good, however admittedly not on par with the superb 4K OLED show accessible within the Blade 15 fashions. Moreover, I needed to preserve the show at 100% brightness throughout picture enhancing periods, as white steadiness shifted noticeably with dimming. However for a 165Hz show in a 14-inch gaming laptop computer, it’s greater than ok for color-critical work.

Blade 14 coloration gamut (coloured define) overlaid on the DCI-P3 gamut (dashed grey line)

The (comparatively small) 61.6WHr battery additionally shocked me. Thanks partly to the extra environment friendly AMD CPU, I might keep unplugged for six hours throughout a daily day’s work. If duties bought a bit heavier and I needed to take full benefit of the CPU/GPU combo I often plugged in, as battery life would plummet to about two hours below heavy load, however that’s to be anticipated if you’re operating such highly effective {hardware} and a excessive refresh fee show.

That is the primary PC laptop computer I’ve used that correctly competes with Apple’s Intel-based MacBook Execs on the subject of battery life with out sacrificing efficiency, particularly if I took the refresh fee right down to 60Hz within the show settings. It will possibly’t match the ultra-efficient M1 MacBook Pro with its insane battery efficiency, however if you need an Apple laptop computer with a discrete GPU there isn’t an M1 possibility anyway — you’re caught with the a lot bigger 16-inch till Apple releases the rumored M1X.

Lastly, by way of enter choices, the tiny laptop computer has a stunning variety of ports. There isn’t any SD card slot (*shakes fist on the heavens*) however you get two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports (not Thunderbolt) with energy supply and DisplayPort 1.4 protocol, an HDMI 2.1 port, and a 3.1mm headphone and mic combo port. It’s a very strong complement of ports for a tool this small.

All in all, I’m assured in saying that the Blade 14 is the best-built 14-inch laptop computer available on the market. Razer will get quite a lot of flack for making such costly laptops — you’ll be able to often get comparable specs for a bit much less in the event you go along with a model like ASUS or MSI — however the satan is within the particulars. Particulars like a fantastic keyboard, a fantastic trackpad, a premium show, and a rock-solid chassis.

It’s these particulars that make a laptop computer a pleasure (or a ache) to make use of, and Razer continues to set the bar for premium PC laptops.

Picture Modifying Efficiency

With regards to efficiency on our Lightroom, Photoshop, and (new) Seize One benchmarks, the Blade 14 excels in some duties and falls in need of our hopes in others. We’ll get into “why” in a second, however first, let’s simply take a look at the uncooked numbers.

As at all times, each benchmark was run with the laptop computer plugged in and totally charged, with the facility settings configured to essentially the most aggressive efficiency mode. Apps had been configured to take full benefit of GPU acceleration the place accessible, and all the instances within the charts beneath are the typical of at the least three consecutive runs (“at the least three” as a result of, if there’s a bizarre outlier, we throw it out and run the check once more straight away).

For at this time’s comparability, we examined the Razer Blade 14 towards an M1 iMac (instances needs to be almost an identical to an M1 MacBook Professional), an Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro, and a 2021 ASUS G14 that boasts comparable specs to the Blade 14 with a barely downgraded CPU and GPU, a decrease decision display screen, and cheaper price of $1,500.

You possibly can see the specs of our check machines beneath:

In Lightroom Traditional, we ran our typical import/export checks. 110 Sony Alpha 7R IV and 150 PhaseOne XF uncooked information had been imported with 1:1 previews, closely edited utilizing some custom-built presets, after which exported twice: as soon as as 100% JPEGs (sRGB) and as soon as as 16-bit uncompressed TIFFs (AdobeRGB).

As you’ll be able to see, in Lightroom, the M1 nonetheless reigns supreme:

We then ran these similar import/export checks in Seize One 21. The one distinction is that C1 has no 1:1 preview setting, so previews had been rendered on the default decision of 2560 pixels on every machine.

In idea, this could velocity up preview era and decelerate export instances in comparison with Lightroom Traditional, however as you’ll be able to see, Seize One is definitely sooner at each duties. Not like Lightroom, C1 can really reap the benefits of the NVIDIA GPU contained in the Blade 14 and ASUS G14. That interprets into a lot sooner export instances, regardless of making use of an identical edits in each applications.

Notice: The import instances for the Intel MacBook Professional will not be a typo — for no matter purpose, the 13-inch MBP was a lot sooner at importing the 150 PhaseOne XF information than the 110 Sony Alpha 7R IV information.

Lastly, for Photoshop, we ran the beta model 0.8 of Puget Systems‘ glorious PugetBench benchmark. We use this model as a result of it was the final variant to incorporate the Picture Merge check, and we’ve been utilizing it for the reason that starting of our laptop computer testing. This enables us to check scores throughout a variety of machines if we so need.

Remember that the “GPU” rating is predicated on the typical velocity of 5 completely different duties: Rotate, Sensible Sharpen, Area Blur, Tilt-Shift Blur, and Iris Blur. These are instruments and filters that profit most from GPU acceleration, however they nonetheless rely closely on CPU efficiency, which is why the M1 is ready to sustain regardless of having no discrete GPU.

The Blade 14 does very properly in each Photoshop and Seize One 21, persistently clocking one of the best instances in C1. And but, this similar laptop loses (badly) to each the M1 iMac and the Intel MacBook Professional throughout all import and export duties in Lightroom Traditional. The query is “why?” and the reply is fairly easy: RAM.

So far as we will inform, import and export instances in Lightroom Traditional are primarily based on three components: CPU efficiency, the quantity of RAM, and the velocity of that RAM, with the velocity of the RAM enjoying a way more necessary position than most individuals understand.

The Intel-based MacBook Professional we use for testing is my private machine, which has 32GB of very quick 3733MHz LPDDR4X, giving it a leg up over the Blade by way of each RAM velocity and RAM quantity. In the meantime, the M1 Mac computer systems solely function 16GB of RAM, but it surely’s blazing quick “unified” reminiscence that “dramatically improves efficiency and energy effectivity” in response to Apple’s personal documentation. You possibly can be taught extra concerning the technical particulars of Unified Reminiscence Structure (UMA) on this nice article on How to Geek, however mainly, it permits the CPU to entry system reminiscence a lot sooner than the RAM you’ll discover in most computer systems.

The takeaway for Lightroom Traditional customers is that this: a quick CPU isn’t sufficient. You want quick RAM and, ideally, numerous it.

That is the Blade 14’s Achilles heel, as a result of the RAM can’t be upgraded. You’re restricted to the 16GB of DDR4-3200MHz that Razer soldered to the motherboard, and that’s going to be a deal-breaker for efficiency fiends who’re primarily working in applications that both can’t or received’t take higher benefit of the GPU.

Moveable, Highly effective, Premium

When you’re on the lookout for an ultra-portable PC for picture and video enhancing, it doesn’t get any higher than the Razer Blade 14. Not solely does the laptop computer keep Razer’s gold customary for construct high quality and refined design, but it surely does it whereas packing in a extra highly effective CPU and GPU than some other laptop computer in its class, alongside a color-accurate, high-refresh-rate show that may transition seamlessly from gaming to artistic work.

It is a correct MacBook killer in the event you’re utilizing applications like Seize One that may reap the benefits of that GPU to hurry up your workflow.

The one place the place the laptop computer falls flat is the RAM limitation. Delivery it with 16GB is one factor, however stopping customers from upgrading to 32GB –whether or not it’s due to a limitation on the thermal design or a trade-off Razer made with a purpose to obtain such a skinny chassis –goes to be a deal-breaker for individuals working with numerous massive RAW information.

Execs

  • Strongest CPU and GPU in any laptop computer this measurement
  • 165Hz QHD show with strong coloration accuracy
  • Premium construct high quality
  • Wonderful keyboard and trackpad
  • Nice battery life
  • Upgradable M.2 storage

Cons

  • Caught with 16GB of RAM
  • No 4K possibility for decision fiends
  • Matte-black end is a fingerprint nightmare
  • Premium construct = premium worth

Each time Razer releases a top-tier laptop computer, PC patrons should ask themselves a query: is a premium laptop computer well worth the premium worth? With Apple, there’s no alternative. If you’d like MacOS, you just about should pay no matter Apple is asking. However PC customers have a plethora of decisions, typically with comparable or an identical specs, at a wide range of worth choices that fluctuate primarily based on the construct high quality and different design parts which might be included or unnoticed.

For me, the reply is sort of at all times sure. If I’m going to be engaged on a laptop computer day-in and day-out, I’d moderately spend extra on a machine that’s been designed to please and constructed to final. Razer at all times nails it on these two factors, and the Blade 14 isn’t any exception.

The truth that the Blade 14 comes with a barely sooner CPU and barely sooner GPU than opponents just like the ASUS G14 is of no consequence to me. We’re speaking about saving seconds, not minutes, in widespread picture and video enhancing functions. What wins me over is the trifecta of portability, energy, and premium design — a class that the Razer Blade 14 has all to itself so far as I’m involved.

Are There Alternate options?

When you’re dedicated to utilizing Home windows the primary competitors is the 2021 ASUS Zephyrus G14, which has a toned-down Ryzen 9 5900HS (not the HX) and a lower-wattage NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU with solely 6GB of VRAM. Nonetheless, it could actually nonetheless be configured with a QHD show that claims 100% DCI-P3 protection, and ASUS helps you to improve to 32GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, which is a large plus for artistic work.

All of this, together with the additional RAM, is available in at $2,000 — that’s $200 lower than the Blade 14 variant we had been testing with the RTX 3070.

When you’re keen to modify to macOS, there’s simply no getting round it: Apple’s M1 chip is shockingly good at each picture and video enhancing. Even with no discrete GPU, you’ll be able to anticipate higher efficiency from a 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro in lots of enhancing duties, and it’ll value you much less: the 8-core CPU/8-core GPU variant with 16GB of unified reminiscence and 1TB of storage is “solely” $1,900.

Ought to You Purchase It?

I’d enterprise to guess that most individuals studying this evaluate are not contemplating a Mac, through which case, the reply is sure. At this measurement and weight, there’s merely no different laptop computer that may compete with the Razer Blade 14 on each efficiency and construct high quality.

With extra RAM, the ASUS G14 will undoubtedly outperform the Blade in most Lightroom import and export duties, in addition to in Photoshop, however it’s important to be keen to surrender the premium design and construct high quality that makes the Razer Blade lineup stand out. I, for one, am not keen to make that commerce simply to save lots of a few hundred bucks.

The truth that it earns me a barely sooner CPU and barely beefier GPU within the cut price… that’s only a bonus.



We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Scatteredbuys
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0
Shopping cart