Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop review: Compact and powerful

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Traditionally, gaming laptops have been heavy and large. However, Razer’s new Blade 14 breaks away from this trend. In fact, it bears a striking resemblance to a MacBook but comes equipped with powerful internals optimised for AAA gaming. I was incredibly excited when I received the Blade 14 for review, and I am confident that you will be equally impressed by the notebook’s design and performance. Here is my review.

The Razer Blade 14 closely resembles the newly announced 14-inch MacBook Pro, particularly the black variant, which mimics the Space Black colour variant. This all-metal unibody gaming laptop features a large trackpad reminiscent of the MacBook Pro, and the Razer Blade 14 boasts one of the most substantial trackpads on a Windows laptop, second only to the Dell XPS 13 Plus.

The I/O options on the Blade 14 are excellent, including a couple of USB-A ports, USB-C ports, and a full-sized HDMI 2.1 port located on the right side, which could potentially interfere with the mouse, especially for right-handed users. Like every gaming laptop, it comes with a custom charging port. While you can charge it using a USB-PD-certified charger, it is advisable to use the charger included in the box for optimal performance from both the CPU and GPU.

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The keyboard deserves special mention, featuring a per-key RGB keyboard. The backlight can match the brightness of the display and even functions as a music visualiser, although this feature can be disabled if not needed. The keys offer just the right amount of travel with very firm feedback, instilling confidence while playing specific games that require constant and repeated key presses.

Razer Blade 14 A fast and high-resolution screen (Image credit: Vivek Umashankar/The Indian Express)

Display and audio: Sharp and crisp

For someone who values a great display, the Razer Blade 14 is a great proposition, as it packs a 14-inch QHD+ resolution panel with up to 500nits of peak brightness and 240Hz of refresh rate. The display is bright and vivid for both HDR and non-HDR-related tasks. I also liked the fact, that the display automatically switches to the 60Hz mode when there is a power cut to save battery. Simple features like these could greatly impact the overall user experience of a laptop.

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For gamers, the display has a lower 3ms response time, which comes in handy while playing competitive titles like Fortnite, Valorant, Apex Legends and more. The screen also comes with an anti-glare coating, which helps to cut down the light reflections and also offers impressive viewing angles. Even for content creators, with a 100 per cent DCI-P3 certified display, the laptop can render accurate colours along with a great contrast ratio.

While the speakers aren’t that loud, they are better than what one can find on most Windows gaming laptops. They can reproduce 7.1 channel audio and there is also THX spatial audio technology, which is similar to Dolby Atmos, but designed mainly for gaming-related tasks and it works best when you plug in headphones.

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Razer Blade 14 RTX 4070 makes it one of the most powerful 14-inch gaming laptops (Image credit: Vivek Umashankar/The Indian Express)

Performance: Fast and furious

The combination of the AMD Ryzen 7940HS and the RTX 4070 mobile GPU with 8 GB of video memory is what makes this a snappy gaming machine when required. While the Ryzen 7940HS isn’t the most powerful laptop GPU from AMD, it still offers eight CPU cores with up to 5.2 GHz clock speed, ensuring class-leading single-thread and multi-thread performance.

On synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench 6, the laptop posted 2578 points on single core and 11343 points on multi-core CPU test. Similarly, on CPU-Z, the laptop posted 114301 points on the graphics test. These scores are slightly lower than that of the Ryzen 7 7840HS powered HP Victus 16 (AMD) in both single-core and multi-core tests, which is also a much cheaper laptop, but a bigger one and is not as easy to carry around as the Razer Blade 14.

Similarly, on the Unigine Super Position GPU benchmark, the laptop posted an average FPS of 59 at 4K resolution and optimised graphics settings. I also tested two games on this machine GTA: VC Definitive Edition and almost completed the game, in which, the laptop offered an average fps of 120 at QHD resolution at high graphics and ultra visual effects settings. Similarly, on GTA: V, the laptop delivered an average FPS of around 90, again, at QHD resolution and high graphics settings.

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With continued gaming, the laptop does get hot, especially the bottom part, as the entire body is made using metal, it is easy to feel the heat across the chassis. However, it doesn’t seem to affect the overall performance of the device. Interestingly, the keyboard area did stay cool, and I could even feel the cool breeze coming in from the fans located just below the WASD keys.

Battery life

When used for non-gaming tasks, the laptop can easily offer up to 5 hours of battery life with brightness set to medium, which is impressive and one of the best that we have noticed on a gaming machine, despite having a 68.1 WHr battery. There is fast charging support, and the device comes with a 230W fast charging adapter.

Razer Blade 14 Excellent compact gaming laptop (Image credit: Vivek Umashankar/The Indian Express)

Should you buy the Razer Blade 14?

While gaming laptops are mostly about performance, the same does not apply to the Razer Blade 14. It is adequately powerful to handle heavy gaming, but this is not a value-for-money offering, instead, it is a premium laptop, especially for those, who want both style and substance.

This laptop is for those, who want a MacBook-like gaming machine, which can handle AAA titles and is also easy to carry around. With a starting price of $2,649.99 or approximately Rs 2,20,478, this is definitely on the experience side. However, for what it offers, it deserves that price tag.

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Razer Blade 14 gaming laptop review: Compact and powerful

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