Razer Blade 14

MSRP $2,200.00

“The Razer Blade 14 steals the crown as the most effective gaming laptop computer you should purchase proper now.”

Execs

Gaming efficiency is superb

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 severe considerations about how Razer may probably preserve these elements cool sufficient.

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

Razer has pulled off the not possible, delivering a unbelievable gaming expertise in a tiny type issue. With a decrease beginning value 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 most effective gaming laptop computer. A brand new king has arrived.

Design

Regardless of its smaller dimension and asking value, it appears practically similar to the Razer Blade 15. It has the identical all-black aluminum exterior, inexperienced snake emblem on the lid, and little in the best way of massive vents or gaudy design components. 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 common choices just like the ROG Zephyrus G14 and the Predator Triton 300 SE. This truly isn’t the primary 14-inch Razer Blade — there was a mannequin method again in 2013. However outdoors of the display screen dimension, 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 need.

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

With a smaller display screen, nevertheless, additionally comes an total smaller footprint, which is why I got here into this evaluate a little bit uneasy about this laptop computer’s capability to maintain the elements cool sufficient. The Razer Blade 14 is the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop computer and the general smallest in quantity — simply zero.66 inches thick and three.9 kilos. That makes it an insanely moveable gaming laptop computer, particularly when you think about how highly effective this factor is.

It additionally makes for an ideal regular laptop computer due to its dimension. It’s simply zero.08 inches thicker than the Dell XPS 13 and simply zero.03 inches thicker than the MacBook Air. It’s an unbelievable feat of engineering.

After all, Razer already makes the Razer Blade Stealth 13 and the Razer Ebook 13 — for those who actually simply need the Razer stylings with out the ability. 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 seek out out that the Razer Blade 14 delivers on that promise. For essentially the most half.

As you’ll see in lots of the pictures, 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 provided for the 14-inch mannequin. The newest replace to the Razer Blade 15 tried to repair this downside with a fingerprint-resistant coating, however that’s not one thing the Razer Blade 14 has.

Ports

The Razer Blade 14 has as wholesome choice of ports out there. On the left aspect, you’ll discover USB-C, USB-A, a headphone jack, and the proprietary Razer charging port. On the correct aspect, you get another USB-A, another USB-C, and even HDMI 2.1. HDMI will possible be your main technique for docking the Razer Blade 14 to a monitor, although each USB-C ports additionally characteristic DisplayPort 1.four and energy supply.

When gaming although, you’ll wish to use Razer’s personal energy charger, which includes a properly braided cable linked to a 230-watt energy adapter. It’s giant for this dimension of laptop computer, however once you’re juicing up power-hungry elements like these, it’s unavoidable.

I might have preferred 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 newest wi-fi connectivity.

Show

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 the most effective 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 true shock. The Razer Blade 14 options unbelievable coloration saturation, hitting 90% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB coloration areas, which is principally unparalleled for gaming laptops. Colour accuracy is equally spot-on, and the max brightness is 315 nits. That’s nowhere close to as vivid 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 Ebook 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 with no need to shrink the general footprint. For now, Razer appears completely happy 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 can be a phenomenal, well-constructed laptop computer. Efficiency and thermals are what had me apprehensive. However as quickly as I began utilizing the Razer Blade 14, a lot of these worries had been put to relaxation.

In some methods, the Razer Blade 14 is definitely extra highly effective than its bigger sibling. That’s due to the processor inside, which is the Eight-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 necessary second for AMD.

I do know Cinebench isn’t the be-all and end-all of processor efficiency, nevertheless it’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 the same end in a video encoding take a look at 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 pleased with the content material creation efficiency.

Talking of graphics, my configuration got here with the RTX 3070. It’s nonetheless exhausting to fathom you could drop an RTX 3080in  right here too if you need. The 3060 is the bottom mannequin choice, which is able to nonetheless be fairly spectacular, however in different laptops I’ve examined, there’s a giant soar in energy between the 3060 and 3070. Both method, 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.

With regards to cooling, Razer managed to drag off the not possible.

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 dimension and with this a lot energy, I’m impressed. There’s an enormous 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 zero.1mm fan blades. After all, the large vapor chamber means you may’t swap out the RAM, nevertheless it does shield the efficiency and thermals that really make the Razer Blade 14 such a superb gaming laptop computer. Fortuitously, all configurations of the Razer Blade 14 include 16GB of dual-channel RAM and a full terabyte SSD.

Gaming efficiency

How good is the gaming? Properly, most video games I examined hit at the very least 60 frames per second (fps) at 1440p max settings, together with Fortnite, Battlefield V, and Civilization VI. Battlefield V efficiency was notably 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 finally higher efficiency — however the Razer Blade 14 isn’t as far behind as you would possibly suppose. It makes you actually surprise why we don’t see higher-end graphics choices in laptops just like the Zephyrus G14.

The chart under 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 typically 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 Hearth 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 effectively sufficient for those who crank up the DLSS settings.

Now, floor temperatures are one other story. The Razer gaming laptops are form of notorious for being sizzling, primarily as a result of there’s simply not a number of air flow taking place right here. You will have some vents alongside the hinge for the vapor chamber, in addition to two over the followers on the again, however Razer sacrifices a number of air circulation by not poking holes everywhere in 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 prefer to get good and toasty, which may be uncomfortable.

It will possibly get actually sizzling in sure key spots, corresponding to within the house 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 prefer to get good and toasty, which may be uncomfortable. If you happen to’re at house and also you’re in for a protracted gaming session, you’ll end up eager 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 online browser, and the chassis is rarely chilly to the contact. It’s unfair to match the Razer Blade 14 to an ultra-efficient laptop computer like M1 MacBook Professional, however the floor temperatures are a trade-off for the power to play trendy 3D video games everytime you need.

Keyboard and touchpad

The whole lot else is simply as you’d count on 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 Hiya IR digicam above the display screen and a few respectable audio system. They’re upward-firing and are THX-certified, which principally simply means THX helped take a look at them to ensure they don’t do issues like distort at excessive quantity. The result’s an honest set of audio system for watching movies or listening to music. Sadly, the fan noise will get in the best way of you appreciating the audio system whereas gaming.

Battery life

Razer guarantees 12 hours of battery life with the Blade 14. That’s unparalleled 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 take a look at, which is sort of three hours longer than the Razer Blade 15. It’s the same comparability in our gentle web-browsing take a look at, 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 had 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 potential.

Our take

There are many cheaper gaming laptops which might 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 dimension. Add in good battery life, a colourful show, and surprisingly nice gaming efficiency, and also you’ve received the makings of a brand new normal for gaming laptops. The truth that it comes $500 cheaper than the same configuration of the Razer Blade 15 is icing on the cake.

Are there any alternate 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 value you $500 extra for a similar configuration.

How lengthy will it final?

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

Potential reliability issues apart, the Razer Blade 14 ought to final you 4 or 5 years earlier than needing a substitute. The vapor chamber makes it exhausting to do replacements or fixes your self, however RazerCare gives 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 the most effective gaming laptop computer you should purchase proper now, particularly if you need your gaming laptop computer to be simply as usable for nongaming actions.

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