There isn’t any getting away from it, the Razer Blade 14 is without doubt one of the best gaming laptops round. However that is to not say it is excellent, as a result of there are some particular caveats that must be dropped in when speaking about the place it comes from, why it exists, and what which means for gaming efficiency.
That is the primary AMD Ryzen-based gaming laptop computer from Razer, and its first 14-inch machine since again when Home windows 8.1 was ‘a factor’. Razer has been trying enviously at Asus’ rightly lauded ROG Zephyrus G14 and, with the introduction of a Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU, it clearly felt the time was proper to make its personal mark at this smaller scale.
That is to not say the 15-inch Razer Blade laptops are portly—they’re as shut as you are going to get to a matte black MacBook gaming PC—however the svelte Blade 14 is simply a tiny step up from the dimensions of the beautiful Razer Blade Stealth 13 vary of Razer ultrabooks, and an honest chunk smaller than the big Blade 15 machines.
It’s only a tiny bit thinner than the bigger Razer laptops, however is a full 15mm shorter and greater than 35mm narrower throughout its stable anodised aluminium body. That makes it really feel genuinely smaller than the Blade 15.
And I like the shape issue.
Blade 14 specs
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
Reminiscence: 16GB DDR4-3200
Storage: 1TB Samsung 981a NVMe SSD
Display screen measurement: 14-inch
Native decision: 1920 x 1080
Refresh fee: 144Hz
Networking: Wi-Fi 6E
Dimensions: 16.8 mm x 220 mm x 319.7 mm
Worth: $1,799 | £1,799
Truthfully, that is the gaming laptop computer spec for me, although I will say one thing you may not wish to hear: When you completely can match this slimline pocket book with an RTX 3080 GPU, you actually should not. I’ve picked up the Razer Blade 14 with Nvidia’s RTX 3060 graphics silicon at its coronary heart and, with a 100W TDP, and a 1080p 144Hz display screen connected to it, I am satisfied that is the perfect model of what’s successfully a gaming ultrabook.
No matter you wish to say concerning the chassis and the cooling it affords the interior elements, efficiency in 2021 is inextricably linked to thermals. Which means the restrictive confines of the Blade 14’s design will inevitably ship decrease gaming efficiency from a GPU as hungry as an RTX 3080 than if it was used within the beefier 15-inch chassis.
Drop the RTX 3080 right into a hulking brute of a Gigabyte Aorus pocket book and you will actually see that GPU fly. Although chances are you’ll not just like the aesthetic, and even the noise it would generate, you may have to understand the body charges.
However with an RTX 3060 inside it, the cooling does not restrict its body charges, definitely not in relation to another gaming laptop computer we have seen sporting the identical GPU. After all you may purchase the Razer Blade 14 due to its form, model, and measurement however, for those who’ve spent out on an RTX 3080 model, it will be laborious to not really feel a sting from figuring out you may be getting noticeably slower gaming efficiency than your 15-inch laptop computer friends.
The graphics chip is all the time going to be one thing we spend loads of time speaking about with a gaming laptop computer, however it’s the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX that is introduced us right here within the first place. Regardless of the title, that is extra just like the Ryzen 7 5800X of the desktop AMD 5000-series CPUs. It comes with eight cores and 16 threads of processing energy and a nominal max clock pace of as much as 4.6GHz.
Whereas it isn’t fairly in the identical league as its 12-core, 24-thread desktop namesake, the 5900HX remains to be some of the highly effective cellular processors round.
Within the 14-inch body of the brand new Razer Blade we have been getting a powerful 3.5GHz clock pace underneath all-core load, and with single-core hundreds we had our Zen 3 silicon hitting a completely respectable 4.4GHz.
Which means the Ryzen 9 5900HX can stand toe-to-toe with the newest octa-core processors from Intel’s Tiger Lake H-series. Although we have now seen some increased Cinebench scores from 11800H (proven right here by the brand new Acer Triton 500 SE) and 11900H chips, these are all the time in far bigger machines.
The kind of processing energy the AMD CPU can supply, with all its Zen 3 cores geared toward a productiveness downside, transforms this 14-inch machine into one thing of a cellular workstation. Which is nice to see in a svelte Razer laptop computer you’ll be able to throw right into a messenger bag.
It’s only a modest evolution by way of CPU efficiency towards the Ryzen 7 5800H chip used contained in the Alienware m15 R5 Ryzen Edition machine, and tangibly higher than the tenth Gen Comet Lake lake Core i7 10870H contained in the Gigabyte laptop computer too.
Alongside the Razer Blade 14’s fashionable AMD chip and Nvidia GPUs (both RTX 3060, RTX 3070, or RTX 3080) you additionally get 16GB DDR4-3200 and a 1TB Samsung NVMe SSD. There are two totally different screens accessible to the Blade 14; this 144Hz 1080p panel, and a 165Hz 1440p show. Now, I like me a QHD laptop computer show, however at 14 inches I am more than pleased with the pixel pitch of this 1080p panel in terms of gaming.
I might say it isn’t the brightest, so for those who’re harbouring hopes for gaming outdoors on a heat summer time’s day, then the 1080p display screen will not be going to be for you.
But it surely does pair fortunately with the 100W RTX 3060 GPU. The entire bundle delivers gaming efficiency at eminently playable body charges. All on the prime settings, and within the newest video games round. With Nvidia’s DLSS magic more and more an possibility too, the Blade 14 has lots in its locker in terms of gaming efficiency.
Towards a pair of different RTX 3060-powered notebooks—the Acer and Alienware machines—the Blade 14 is ready to maintain its personal within the GPU benchmarks. These two are additionally sporting barely increased spec variations too, with the Acer sporting a 105W TDP chip and the Alienware utilizing a 125W RTX 3060.
We have additionally proven the Gigabyte Aorus 15G with a 105W RTX 3070 GPU at its coronary heart for reference. At 1080p you’ll be able to see how extremely aggressive the lower-spec Nvidia graphics silicon is in terms of gaming.
By way of normal battery life, Razer likes to speak about 12 hours of uptime, although that’s most undoubtedly not the case when gaming. Our PCMark 10 check highlights an precise gaming time of slightly below 80 minutes. And also you thought the Steam Deck’s two hour minimal seemed unhealthy… all of the gaming laptops we have examined within the final 12 months slide beneath the 2 hour mark.
However for those who’re on the lookout for the Blade 14 to cross between your gaming and workplace lives then it may possibly completely try this. With the AMD iGPU in play then you’ll get lots nearer to that 12-hour mark basically use. Hell, even the Blade 15 can final a whole day within the workplace away from the plug.
The Blade 14 does, nonetheless, retain the inexperienced Razer brand on the again of the display screen, so there’s not one of the under-the-radar branding of the virtually invisible brand on Razer’s Stealth 13 notebooks.
In the long run, with the incredible Razer chassis shrunk all the way down to a 14-inch aesthetic, and as a pocket book full of the newest AMD and Nvidia elements, the Blade 14 makes for an extremely compelling machine. And, at underneath $1,800 for the RTX 3060 model, it isn’t a foul worth both.
But it surely’s additionally a bit of irritating. Not the precise system itself, however the truth that that is the one manner you will get maintain of an AMD-based Razer laptop computer. The Ryzen 9 5900HX is a incredible cellular CPU, and one that will make an incredible half for both the Blade 15, or the extra productiveness centered Blade 17 Professional ranges. But it surely’s solely accessible on this one, admittedly glorious design, and I believe that is a disgrace.
The PC is all about alternative, and Razer lastly giving us the selection to make use of an AMD CPU is nice, however it looks like solely a half measure, with the corporate both not ready, or not prepared, to go together with the Zen silicon full bore throughout its total portfolio of gaming laptop computer.
Ring-fencing the AMD processor throughout the bounds of the solitary Blade 14 lineup looks like a great way to make sure that there is no such thing as a level the place Intel and AMD CPUs are competing for purchasers inside a single machine. And that is a great way to maintain your long-time business companions comfortable whereas nonetheless providing a touch of an alternate.
Nonetheless, it is notable we have heard nothing from Razer a few potential Blade 14 that makes use of an AMD discrete Radeon GPU alongside that Ryzen CPU. That is likely to be a step too far.
However, forgetting all of the politics, the Razer Blade 14 itself is great, and is without doubt one of the most fascinating gaming laptops I’ve had in my arms this 12 months. Possibly ever. The criminally underused 14-inch type issue additionally deserves to change into one of many greatest sellers in Razer’s in depth lineup of laptops. And if this pocket book turns into the success it should be, then the corporate might find yourself having to make some tough selections about what CPUs it presents, and the place.
The selection you must make, although, is which graphics card to go together with. Positive, the RTX 3080 is faster, however it leaves much more gaming efficiency on the workshop ground. That is why the cheaper RTX 3060, with its full-blooded body charges, get my vote day by day.