Razer Blade 14 Security
Just because you’re a gamer doesn’t mean you don’t have important data that needs protection. When I need that extra layer of security, the Blade 14 has a built-in IR webcam with Windows Hello support for facial recognition logins. The system also has a Kensington lock so you can securely lock your laptop in place. Finally, the Blade 14 has an Intel TPM 2.0 chip, which stores protected information, including system boot files.
Razer Blade 14 Display
Reunited, and it feels so good. Although this is an early model of the laptop, the 14-inch, 2560 x 1440-pixel matte screen is a treat to look at. I watched the trailer for Respect on the computer and was captivated by the colors, particularly the reds. As actress Jennifer Hudson sat at the piano, her ruby red eyes caught my eye, and the glow of the red button held me there. The silk scarves worn by the women in the scene had a distinctive sheen. As for details, they were clear enough on the QHD panel that I could make out most of the party in the lace on Hudson’s shirt.
Combined with the 165Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync Premium utility, you can be sure your games will have buttery smooth rendering, dodging, firing shots, and throwing all sorts of trinkets at the Hiss in Control; I never saw a cracked or ragged screen.
Razer Blade 14 Audio
The Blade 14’s full-power speakers are surprisingly loud for such a small system. Sebastian Mikael’s “Last Night” filled my small living/dining room. The finer details, like the staccato claps, were clean against the heavy synth keyboard that carried the track. Mikael’s rich tenor floated against the way while rapper Wale’s sass added some punch. The bass line was pretty weak, but I didn’t expect much from such a small laptop, powerful specs or not.
Razer pre-installed THX Spatial Audio for PC software on the Blade 14, which, as the name suggests, creates the illusion of 360 audio. It tracks too much for my liking. For specific game genres like FPS, Spatial is handy as you can hear invading footsteps better.
When I played Control, I switched to Spatial in the Game preset, making Hiss’s pointless babble even creepier. And the buzzing sound that occurs when I lift a heavy object via telekinesis was just as satisfying as the Shatter version of the Duty Weapon was.
In general, should I buy it?
This is a tremendous little gaming machine, no doubt. It’s got the right mix of components from the major players, the right combination of the right level of details, and it’s impressive to pack it into a 14-inch laptop with such success.
While the Blade 14 sits on the cusp of acceptability in compact gaming laptops (this is a screen size that’s just big enough for gaming), it has married such a screen with excellent components that will make it shine. Those looking for a premium gaming laptop that will process anything while offering an ideal machine for home and office use need to look no further.
The main objection we have, as expected, is the price. It’s the best-looking 14-inch gaming laptop package, but it’s costly. Our model tops the $3,000 mark ($2,800, to be precise), which feels a bit much, even for Razer. While you get the bang for your buck, you may not get the actual punch regarding screen size and real estate.
This machine feels like it has the right mix of everything, and that’s where the Blade 14 proves its worth. Regardless of the actual size, those looking for a well put together RTX 3080 laptop are likely to find this to be just the ticket.
Razer Blade 14 Keyboard and Trackpad
Just like any other Razer laptop, the Blade 14 uses Razer’s Synapse 3.0 software to light up its keys. You can use one of the presets and effects or create your custom colorful masterpiece with the company’s Chroma essential lighting. The bright lighting allows me to hunt and peck my way around my darkened room.
The touchpad is significant, and my fingers glided effortlessly on the smooth surface, efficiently performing Windows 10 gestures like pinch-zoom, two-finger scrolling, and three-finger swipe.
Games, graphics, and virtual reality Razer Blade 14
This could be a gaming laptop, but Razer isn’t gaming. The Razer Blade 14 is armed and loaded with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU with 6GB of video memory. Unfortunately, since I’m using a pre-production model, I can’t say much about actual benchmarks just yet. But I can give you some impressions of the real world.
When we compare the system, I expect the Blade 14 to match or beat the Alienware 15 we reviewed earlier in the year, which also has a 3070 GPU. And when I’m not gaming, the laptop will automatically switch to its AMD Radeon integrated graphics.
I took Control for a spin while I went to clean the Benioff TV. The average frame rate reached 82 frames per second on High at 2560 x 1440 in DirectX 11. The number jumped to 93 on Medium.
Razer Blade 14 performance
AMD has made huge strides in the last two years, and the component maker shows no signs of slowing down. The Blade 14 has a 3.3GHz AMD Ryzen 9 5900H processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. It’s a robust collection of specs that I can’t wait for our test team to get their hands on. But if it’s anything remotely like the ROG Strix G15 or the Asus ROG Flow X13, both of which feature AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPUs, gamers can expect the laptop to pack a punch on the multitasking front.
What I can tell you is that based on anecdotal evidence, I launched 50 Google Chrome tabs that had a myriad of things running, including Twitch, Tweetdeck, YouTube, Google Docs, and Google Sheets, while watching the premiere episode of Loki on Disney. The Blade didn’t miss a beat.