Razer Blade 14 assessment: For avid gamers who need to loosen up

After we obtained the Razer Blade 14 for assessment, we have been curious to see what Ryzen 5000 and Nvidia RTX 30 collection {hardware} may do in such a skinny and lightweight laptop computer. To Razer’s credit score, the Blade 14 is surprisingly succesful—with a number of compromises. However you’ll want to achieve deep for this top-tier system, which prices $2,800 at Amazon.

This assessment is a part of our ongoing roundup of one of the best laptops. Go there for info on competing merchandise and the way we examined them.

Razer Blade 14 Specs

Razer put some spectacular {hardware} into the Blade 14, particularly contemplating its measurement. Listed below are the primary parts:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200MHz
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (8GB GDDR6 VRAM)
  • Show: 14-inch IPS-grade  QHD (2560×1440), 165Hz, 16:9 facet ratio
  • Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
  • Proper aspect ports: 1 x USB-C (3.2 Gen 2), 1x USB-A (3.2 Gen 2), Lock, HDMI 2.1 (as much as 120Hz)
  • Left aspect ports: Energy, 1 x USB-C (3.2 Gen 2), 1 x USB-A (3.2 Gen 2), 3.5mm Combo audio
  • Networking: Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 8.66 x 0.66 inches (319.7 x 220 x 16.8 mm)
  • Weight: 3.9 kilos (1.78kg); 5.6 kilos (2.5kg) together with AC adapter 
  • Working system: Home windows 10 Dwelling

Razer has confirmed that every one models will ship with the identical AMD CPU, RAM, and storage. Consumers could have two different GPU selections: GeForce RTX 3070 ($2,200 on AmazonTake away non-product hyperlink) and GeForce RTX 3060 ($1,800 from RazerTake away non-product hyperlink). The RTX 3060 variant additionally downgrades to an FHD (1920×1080) show with a 144Hz refresh charge.

Razer Blade 14 Design and Construct   

The Razer Blade 14’s design could be very exact. Gone are the rounded edges of earlier iterations, changed by tighter angles and a neater profile, clad in an industrial-looking, matte-black end. The Razer Blade 14 is the thinnest 14-inch gaming laptop computer at the moment in the marketplace—at simply 0.66 inches, slimmer than the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2021) (0.7 inches), and the Predator Triton 300 SE (2020) (additionally 0.7 inches).

razer blade 14 lid Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer Blade 14 (2021) makes use of magnets to carry the lid in place when closed.

However whereas it’s super-slim, the Razer Blade 14’s anodized-aluminum physique feels stable nearly all over the place. Decide up the Razer Blade 14 with one hand and also you received’t see any flex or motion in any a part of it, which is the form of sturdiness I want in a system of this measurement, which is able to undoubtedly make its technique to the underside of my sports activities bag.

The highest and base shut right down to an virtually impenetrable shell. As soon as shut, the lid stays tightly in place, due to magnets that maintain it quick. While you do need to open it, a groove within the entrance provides you leverage.

The branding  is powerful with out being showy. Closing the highest cowl , the long-lasting glowing-green Razer brand appears to be like nice—and it confirms that I had efficiently powered down. An understated black Razer brand is emblazoned into the bezel under the show, like an engraving on a trophy.

razer blade 14 ac adapter Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer blade 14’s AC adapter weighs a heft 1.7 kilos.

At 3.92 kilos (1.78kg), the Razer Blade 14 is gentle for a gaming laptop computer. Nevertheless, its hefty energy requirement means it does want a severe AC adapter–this one weighs 1.7 kilos. Whereas it’s pretty compact at 6.7 x 2.7 x 0.9 inches, the brick together with its cords  do add an uncomfortable further lump to your pack. The facility wire’s plug exits to the laptop computer’s rear, which many avid gamers discover extra handy.    

Keyboard  and Trackpad 

The Razer Blade 14’s keyboard and trackpad work effectively. The trackpad is centered within the wrist space , offering loads of area to your palms to sit down on both aspect. I discovered it responded rapidly and precisely, and it registered stable clicks.

razer blade 14 keyboard deck Dominic Bayley/IDG

The keyboard format on the Razer Blade 14 is pretty commonplace, with some shrinkage of cursor and performance keys.

The keys are compact (about fingerprint-width), as you’d anticipate in a 14-inch laptop computer, however they’re comfy to sort on and have first rate journey .

As with all smaller keyboard, there are some compromises. The up and down cursor  keys are half-sized, and the Perform keys shrank a bit as effectively, making them barely tougher to focus on. However these are trifles in an in any other case good format.

razer blade 14 left side ports Razer

The Razer Blade 14 places USB-A and USB=C on each side of the laptop computer (left aspect proven right here).

The keys are comfortably backlit with none discernible gentle bleed. Razer’s pre-installed Synapse software program permits you to tinker with every key’s illumination, which could be very helpful for hot-keying sport instructions. You too can change off the backlighting altogether, which could be very useful for conserving battery energy. I received one hour’s price of further playtime from my unit, which made all of the distinction on a Sunday afternoon once I had left that weighty  AC adapter on the workplace.

Show and audio

The Razer Blade 14’s show panel appears to be like remarkably greater than 14 inches diagonal, thanks partly to its super-thin left and proper bezels. Whereas its 16:9 facet ratio goes out of favor on productiveness laptops, gaming on the show was an actual deal with. The 165Hz QHD panel delivered buttery-smooth visuals on video games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Metro Exodus. Whereas Razer doesn’t present an official brightness spec, our lux meter registered 380 lux, or roughly 320 nits—adequate for enjoying indoors, however in all probability not outdoors besides in shade.

razer blade 14 Dominic Bayley/IDG

The high-res show on the Razer blade 14 appears to be like pretty when enjoying video games.

Razer guarantees good coloration high quality from the show, saying it has 100-percent DCI P3 protection all through. I discovered the colours and distinction seemed excellent: In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the forest scenes displayed a wealthy vary of tones, from the brights of the sunshine filtering down from the higher tree cover to the darks of tree shadows.

The Razer Blade 14’s audio setup options THX Spatial Audio and seven.1 encompass sound. As with most laptops, the speaker sound is simply satisfactory. Above 70 p.c quantity, a few times the Razer’s audio system buzzed barely. Additionally as ordinary, donning headphones improves the standard immensely.

Connectivity 

razer blade 14 right side ports Dominic Bayley/IDG

The correct aspect of the Razer Blade 14 homes one every of USB-A and USB-C port,s plus HDMI.

Lately I’ve so many units on the go that I just like the comfort of plugging all of them into my laptop computer. Slender laptops generally have to stint on ports, however the Razer Blade 14 covers the bases effectively, with twin USB-C and USB-A in addition to HDMI. The one factor that’s lacking is Thunderbolt 4 assist, that means you’ll be able to’t hook up twin 4K (or one 8K) shows, or benefit from the speediest information switch. To be honest, nonetheless, Thunderbolt assist is sort of non-existent in AMD-based machines. 

Efficiency

We’re impressed that Razer jammed AMD’s high-end Ryzen 9 5900HX cellular CPU and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 into this little Blade 14 laptop computer. Whereas a number of the extra intensive benchmarks clearly pushed the Blade 14 previous its consolation zone, its check outcomes are good total, although hardly ever one of the best—completely comprehensible given its area constraints. To its credit score, the Razer Blade 14 ran exceptionally quiet throughout benchmarking and gaming, as we’ve additionally noticed with different Ryzen 5000 laptops. Our comparability methods embrace a generational choice of AMD Ryzen and Intel Core-based fashions.  

Maxon’s Cinebench R15 gauges CPU efficiency. Whereas single-threaded efficiency (consultant of mainstream purposes) is about the identical for all fashions, the Razer Blade 14 posted one of many higher multi-threaded scores. This bodes effectively for avid gamers eager to play extra intensive titles (and maybe edit video as effectively).

razer blade 14 cinebench r15.038 single and all threaded performance Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer Blade 14 did effectively in Cinebench’s CPU check dash.

Equally, the Razer Blade 14 was a stable performer in a benchmark that makes use of the free HandBrake 0.9.9 utility to encode a 30GB, 1080p MKV file to MP4 utilizing the Android Pill preset. This extended check tends to point out which laptops should throttle efficiency earlier than they get too sizzling.

razer blade 14 handbrake encode 1080p mkv sec Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer Blade 14 did effectively on the CPU-intensive HandBrake test–the two sooner laptops are a lot greater and heavier.

The Asus ROG Strix G15 Benefit Version and Alienware Space 51m R1 methods that high this chart are each large, heavy methods with a number of thermal headroom. The Blade 14 follows intently behind, forward of the thin-and-light Asus ROG Circulation X13 and a slew of past-generation comparisons. The Razer Blade 14 ought to be capable of deal with duties like streaming, vlogs and video content material, and the encoding, compression and decompression of huge recordsdata which can be more and more widespread duties for avid gamers and content material creators.

Gaming Efficiency

Anecdotally, enjoying on the Razer Blade 14 felt like driving a brand new sports activities automobile with a really {smooth} clutch. Because the workload appeared to get heavier, the system appeared to shift up its processing energy effortlessly. The Razer Blade 14 appeared to deal with probably the most strong AAA video games and make it seem like a cinch.

What’s essential to know in regards to the Blade 14’s RTX 3080 GPU—and any cellular RTX 30-series chip—is that Nvidia lets distributors range the wattage. Because of this, the identical chip will carry out very in another way relying on the way it’s set. The Razer Blade 14’s RTX 3080 is about at 100 watts, however the identical half within the Asus Strix Scar G17 is about at 130 watts, and 105 watts within the Gigabyte Aorus 17G. You’ll see these variations play out within the efficiency charts under.  The Razer for its weight and measurement profile did surprisingly effectively, nevertheless it lacked the form of oomph that different bigger laptops may muster. 

razer blade 14 metro exodus benchmark Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer Blade 14 struggled a bit in Metro Exodus, managing an honest 41.56 fps.

In Metro Exodus (above), the Razer Blade 14 (2021) was about 17 p.c off the tempo of the bigger Asus Strix Scar G17’s RTX 3080, settling in at an honest 41.56 frames per second (fps).

Within the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark under, the Razer Blade 14 brings up the rear, outpaced by RTX 3080 GPUs with larger wattage settings in addition to an RTX 3070 with a decrease wattage. A system with AMD’s Radeon 6800M additionally jumped forward of the Blade 14. To be honest, nonetheless, the opposite methods are heavier and thicker, with extra inner area to handle their thermal output.

razer blade 14 shadow of the tomb raider benchmark 1 Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer Blade 14 introduced up the rear in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Seeing these outcomes, it begs the query of whether or not Nvidia’s RTX 3070 could be a greater match for a laptop computer of the Razer’s measurement and profile, maybe hitting a sweeter spot in bang for buck contemplating the $600 distinction. Sadly, we didn’t get to check out the 3070 variant of the Razer Blade 14 to check this speculation.

Battery Efficiency

Your mileage will all the time range in battery efficiency, particularly should you attempt to sport while you’re off AC. Our outcomes under most precisely mirror what you’d expertise in a lightweight, mainstream process. 

razer blade 14 4k video rundown Dominic Bayley/IDG

The Razer Blade 14’s battery life was impressively lengthy for a gaming laptop computer.

We cost the battery to full, then measure the time it takes to run down whereas enjoying a 4K video on repeat, with the sound turned to 50 p.c and a pair of headphones inserted. As you’ll be able to see from our chart, the Razer Blade 14 (2021) lasted for 7 hours and 23 minutes, the longest in comparison with the chosen competitors. In the event you attempt to run a sport, anticipate the battery to final a number of hours at most.

Backside Line

Razer has earned some props: The Blade 14’s high-end components carry out capably regardless of their area constraints, and video games look superb on its QHD panel. Clearly at this worth the Blade 14 shouldn’t be for everybody, nevertheless it’s additional proof that ‘skinny, gentle gaming laptop computer’ is now not an oxymoron. 

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