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Razer Blade 14 Evaluation: The Gaming Laptop computer Usurper Has Arrived


razer blade 14 review 03

Razer Blade 14

MSRP $2,200.00

“The Razer Blade 14 steals the crown as one of the best gaming laptop computer you should buy proper now.”

Execs

  • Gaming efficiency is great
  • Colourful, 1440p show
  • Surprisingly small
  • Cheaper than Razer Blade 15
  • Nice battery life

Cons

  • Heat floor temperatures
  • Thick bezels

The Razer Blade 15 was already the world’s smallest gaming laptop computer. Making an excellent smaller model with the Razer Blade 14 is, on one hand, an thrilling proposition. Alternatively, I had some critical issues about how Razer might probably maintain these parts cool sufficient.

Throw in an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and as much as an Nvidia RTX 3080 — and also you’ve acquired the potential for a scorching mess. Happily, the Razer Blade 14 is something however.

Razer has pulled off the inconceivable, delivering a unbelievable gaming expertise in a tiny kind issue. With a decrease beginning worth of $1,800, there’s little cause to go for the Razer Blade 15, because the smaller sibling has stolen the crown from what was the best gaming laptop. A brand new king has arrived.

Design

Playing Fortnite on the Razer Blade 14.

Regardless of its smaller measurement and asking worth, it seems to be almost an identical to the Razer Blade 15. It has the identical all-black aluminum exterior, inexperienced snake emblem on the lid, and little in the way in which of massive vents or gaudy design parts. It’s the identical sort of minimalist gaming laptop computer with wonderful construct high quality that the Razer Blade line has all the time delivered. There’s a cause folks name these laptops the MacBooks of gaming laptops.

The first change with the Razer Blade 14, after all, is the scale of the display screen. The 14-inch gaming laptop computer is a brand new pattern led by well-liked choices just like the ROG Zephyrus G14 and the Predator Triton 300 SE. This really isn’t the primary 14-inch Razer Blade — there was a model way back in 2013. However outdoors of the display screen measurement, this new model has little to do with the 2013 mannequin. The processor, graphics, and cooling know-how have lastly caught as much as the demand for smaller gaming laptops — and the 2021 Razer Blade 14 is the response to that want.

The Razer Blade 14 is the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop computer and the general smallest in quantity.

With a smaller display screen, nonetheless, additionally comes an general smaller footprint, which is why I got here into this evaluation slightly uneasy about this laptop computer’s means to maintain the parts cool sufficient. The Razer Blade 14 is the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop computer and the general smallest in quantity — simply 0.66 inches thick and three.9 kilos. That makes it an insanely transportable gaming laptop computer, particularly when you think about how highly effective this factor is.

It additionally makes for a terrific regular laptop computer due to its measurement. It’s simply 0.08 inches thicker than the Dell XPS 13 and simply 0.03 inches thicker than the MacBook Air. It’s an unimaginable feat of engineering.

The Razer Blade 14 features great image quality.

In fact, Razer already makes the Razer Blade Stealth 13 and the Razer Book 13 — in the event you actually simply need the Razer stylings with out the facility. However the Razer Blade 14 feels just like the laptop computer that may do all of it with out main sacrifices by way of both portability or design — or efficiency.

That was the promise ever since this laptop computer was introduced. I used to be thrilled to search out out that the Razer Blade 14 delivers on that promise. For essentially the most half.

As you’ll see in most of the images, the Razer Blade 14 is an absolute fingerprint magnet. That’s all the time been true of those black Razer Blades, which makes me want the Mercury White choice was supplied for the 14-inch mannequin. The latest replace to the Razer Blade 15 tried to repair this drawback with a fingerprint-resistant coating, however that’s not one thing the Razer Blade 14 has.

Ports

The Razer Blade includes great port selection, including HDMI 2.1.

The Razer Blade 14 has as wholesome number of ports accessible. On the left facet, you’ll discover USB-C, USB-A, a headphone jack, and the proprietary Razer charging port. On the appropriate facet, you get yet another USB-A, yet another USB-C, and even HDMI 2.1. HDMI will doubtless be your main technique for docking the Razer Blade 14 to a monitor, although each USB-C ports additionally characteristic DisplayPort 1.4 and energy supply.

When gaming although, you’ll need to use Razer’s personal energy charger, which incorporates a properly braided cable linked to a 230-watt energy adapter. It’s massive for this measurement of laptop computer, however while you’re juicing up power-hungry parts like these, it’s unavoidable.

I might have appreciated to see Razer embrace a full-size SD card slot because the Blade 15 does, which is vastly handy for photographers and videographers.

The Razer Blade 14 additionally options Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 for the most recent wi-fi connectivity.

Show

The Razer Blade 14, showing off some impressive visuals with its 1440p screen.

The Razer Blade 14 matches what is obtainable by the 15-inch mannequin by way of the standard of the display screen. It’s a 16:9 1440p IPS show with a 165Hz refresh charge. That’s each a excessive decision and excessive refresh charge, which is one of the best of each worlds. That’s not a shock because it’s more and more changing into the norm in gaming laptops.

Picture high quality is the actual shock. The Razer Blade 14 options unbelievable coloration saturation, hitting 90% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB coloration areas, which is mainly exceptional for gaming laptops. Coloration accuracy is equally spot-on, and the max brightness is 315 nits. That’s nowhere close to as brilliant because the Lenovo Legion 5 Professional, which is the brightest gaming laptop computer I’d ever examined.

Do I want this appeared extra just like the Razer E-book 13 with its 16:10 display screen and tiny backside bezel? Completely. A taller display screen would have allowed for a smaller backside bezel and extra display screen actual property, all while not having to shrink the general footprint. For now, Razer appears pleased to stay with 16:9 on its gaming laptops. Regardless of my affinity for skinny bezels, it’s exhausting to complain a few display screen that appears this good.

Efficiency

I by no means doubted that the Razer Blade 14 could be a good looking, well-constructed laptop computer. Efficiency and thermals are what had me apprehensive. However as quickly as I began utilizing the Razer Blade 14, lots of these worries have been put to relaxation.

In some methods, the Razer Blade 14 is definitely extra highly effective than its bigger sibling. That’s because of the processor inside, which is the 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX. On uncooked efficiency alone, that is the king of gaming laptop computer processors proper now. The truth that it lastly has a house within the Razer lineup appears like an vital second for AMD.

The backside of the Razer Blade 14, showing the redesigned fans.

I do know Cinebench isn’t the be-all and end-all of processor efficiency, but it surely’s mind-blowing that placing this Ryzen chip within the Razer Blade 14 blows the Razer Blade 15 out of the water on this benchmark. It’s an identical lead to a video encoding check in Handbrake, the place the Razer Blade 15 was 25% slower with its Intel processor.

Add an RTX 30-series graphics card to the combo, and also you’ll be very proud of the content material creation efficiency.

Talking of graphics, my configuration got here with the RTX 3070. It’s nonetheless exhausting to fathom which you could drop an RTX 3080in  right here too in order for you. The 3060 is the bottom mannequin choice, which can nonetheless be fairly spectacular, however in different laptops I’ve examined, there’s an enormous bounce in energy between the 3060 and 3070. Both approach, you’re getting a full 100 watts of energy to the GPU, which is, once more, why I used to be so apprehensive about temperatures.

In the case of cooling, Razer managed to drag off the inconceivable.

However I’ll simply say this — Razer managed to drag it off. You get actually good gaming efficiency, even in 1440p, and I by no means noticed GPU temperatures rise over 87 levels Celsius. Now that’s not precisely what I’d name “cool,” however for a laptop computer of this measurement and with this a lot energy, I’m impressed. There’s a large vapor chamber in right here that covers up nearly the entire internals, and it’s supposedly even bigger than within the 15-inch mannequin.

There are some new followers inside, too, every with 88 0.1mm fan blades. In fact, the large vapor chamber means you may’t swap out the RAM, but it surely does shield the efficiency and thermals that really make the Razer Blade 14 such a wonderful gaming laptop computer. Happily, all configurations of the Razer Blade 14 include 16GB of dual-channel RAM and a full terabyte SSD.

Gaming efficiency

Benchmark Assassin's Creed Valhalla on the Razer Blade 14.

How good is the gaming? Nicely, most video games I examined hit a minimum of 60 frames per second (fps) at 1440p max settings, together with Fortnite, Battlefield V, and Civilization VI. Battlefield V efficiency was significantly noteworthy at 78 fps, which even beats out the a lot chunkier Lenovo Legion 5 Professional, which is a thick 16-inch laptop computer we additionally examined with the RTX 3070.

On the entire, that Lenovo laptop computer averages higher body charges, particularly in Fortnite, the place it was as a lot as 18% quicker. Higher airflow in a thicker chassis is all the time going to imply higher temperatures and in the end higher efficiency — however the Razer Blade 14 isn’t as far behind as you would possibly suppose. It makes you actually marvel why we don’t see higher-end graphics choices in laptops just like the Zephyrus G14.

The chart beneath reveals 1080p efficiency to make an equal comparability to cheaper 1080p laptops just like the ROG Strix G15. Right here, you’ll see how shut the Blade 14 usually is in maintaining with a lot bigger and bulkier laptops such because the 16-inch Lenovo Legion 5 Professional or 15-inch MSI GS66 Stealth.

Laptop computer 3DMark Time Spy 3DMark Fireplace Strike Murderer’s Creed Valhalla (1080p Extremely Excessive) Battlefield V (1080p Extremely) Fortnite (1080p Epic) Civilization VI (1080p Extremely)
Razer Blade 14 (RTX 3070) 8605 19673 60 fps 96 fps 96 fps 84 fps
Asus ROG Strix G15 (Radeon RX 6800M) 10504 26800 77 fps 109 fps 108 fps 91 fps
Lenovo Legion 5 Professional (RTX 3070) 9175 21033 61 fps 73 fps 101 fps 101 fps
MSI GS66 Stealth (RTX 3080) 9097 19175 70 fps 97 fps 140 fps 140 fps

There have been a few heavier titles I examined that give the Razer Blade 14 a run for its cash. Murderer’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 each couldn’t fairly hit 60 fps in 1440p. They get there in 1080p, although, and Cyberpunk performs nicely sufficient in the event you crank up the DLSS settings.

Now, floor temperatures are one other story. The Razer gaming laptops are sort of notorious for being scorching, primarily as a result of there’s simply not a whole lot of air flow occurring right here. You may have some vents alongside the hinge for the vapor chamber, in addition to two over the followers on the again, however Razer sacrifices a whole lot of air circulation by not poking holes all around the chassis. And the Razer Blade 14 is not any completely different than earlier Blades on this regard.

The Razer Blade 14’s palm rests wish to get good and toasty, which will be uncomfortable.

It may well get actually scorching in sure key spots, corresponding to within the area between the keyboard and the show. However that’s regular. Palm rests, although, are what bothered me most and made it stand out extra from different gaming laptops I’ve examined. The Razer Blade 14’s palm rests wish to get good and toasty, which will be uncomfortable. If you happen to’re at dwelling and also you’re in for an extended gaming session, you’ll end up desirous to dock it and use an exterior keyboard.

Even whereas not gaming, the Razer Blade 14’s palm rests keep at a hotter temperature than different laptops. The followers spin even whereas simply working in an internet browser, and the chassis isn’t chilly to the contact. It’s unfair to check the Razer Blade 14 to an ultra-efficient laptop computer like M1 MacBook Professional, however the floor temperatures are a trade-off for the flexibility to play trendy 3D video games everytime you need.

Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard and touchpad on the Razer Blade 14.

Every part else is simply as you’d anticipate it on a Razer laptop computer. The keyboard and touchpad are each nice, and the per-key RGB backlighting is as customizable because it will get with an insane 15 ranges of brightness management. It sounds extreme, however in comparison with the three or 4 ranges that many gaming laptops provide, I can’t complain.

Razer even throws in some good touches just like the Home windows Howdy IR digicam above the display screen and a few respectable audio system. They’re upward-firing and are THX-certified, which mainly simply means THX helped check them to verify they don’t do issues like distort at excessive quantity. The result’s a good set of audio system for watching movies or listening to music. Sadly, the fan noise will get in the way in which of you appreciating the audio system whereas gaming.

Battery life

Razer guarantees 12 hours of battery life with the Blade 14. That’s exceptional in a laptop computer with a beefy RTX 3070 or 3080 inside, however the Razer Blade will get surprisingly shut. It landed 11 hours and 20 minutes in our native video playback check, which is nearly three hours longer than the Razer Blade 15. It’s an identical comparability in our gentle web-browsing check, the place it lasted eight hours and 17 minutes.

The Razer Blade 14 additionally outlasts the ROG Zephyrus G14 and Predator Triton 300 SE, which have been beforehand the champions in gaming laptop computer battery life efficiency.

You’ll solely get a lot battery life from a laptop computer with an RTX 3070 inside, however Razer has squeezed extra out of the 61.6 watt-hour battery that I assumed was attainable.

Our take

There are many cheaper gaming laptops which can be simply as highly effective because the Razer Blade 14, such because the all-AMD ROG Strix G15. However none of its opponents have the premium match and end of the Razer Blade 14, nor the extraordinarily small measurement. Add in good battery life, a colourful show, and surprisingly nice gaming efficiency, and also you’ve acquired the makings of a brand new customary for gaming laptops. The truth that it comes $500 cheaper than an identical configuration of the Razer Blade 15 is icing on the cake.

Are there any options?

Different 14-inch gaming laptops embrace the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE and the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Each are restricted to an RTX 3060 and some hundred {dollars} cheaper than the Razer Blade 14.

The Razer Blade 15 clearly has a bigger display screen, however will price you $500 extra for a similar configuration.

How lengthy will it final?

A couple of Razer Blade reliability issues have been well-documented on-line, together with the bulging battery drawback, which seems to be essentially the most infamous offender. It’s nonetheless not an issue that has been formally addressed by Razer, nonetheless.

Potential reliability issues apart, the Razer Blade 14 ought to final you 4 or 5 years earlier than needing a alternative. The vapor chamber makes it exhausting to do replacements or fixes your self, however RazerCare affords as much as three years of guarantee by way of a radical (and costly) improve to the usual one-year guarantee.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. It’s one of the best gaming laptop computer you should buy proper now, particularly in order for you your gaming laptop computer to be simply as usable for nongaming actions.

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