Razer Blade 14: Two Minute Review
I wish I could recommend the Razer Blade 14 to everyone. It has long been one of the best gaming laptops around for those who prefer portability over power – although the new 2022 model is certainly not lacking in the latter department. It’s a beautiful little piece of hardware with exceptional build quality, and it truly feels like a joy to use.
So why can’t I always recommend it to anyone looking for a compact gaming laptop? Well, there are a few minor criticisms here; the RAM is soldered in place so you can’t upgrade it further, and the small form factor means some keys are a bit compressed, but the only thing that’s really stopping me from singing its praises to anyone who’s listening is the price.
Yeah, I shouldn’t be shocked: This is a piece of Razer hardware, and the serpentine hardware brand isn’t exactly known for its budget laptops. But the $2,600 asking price for this Razer Blade 14 still made me blink in surprise; it’s a significant asking price, even if the product itself is nearly perfect.
Still, if you can get the money, this might be the best compact gaming laptop you can buy right now – the only real competition is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which admittedly is pretty good, but that’s a little more affordable and lower-powered unit when you compare it to this RTX 3070 Ti-equipped Blade 14.
The gaming performance here isn’t surprisingly excellent given the internal components, but what really amazed me was how quiet and cool this little device ran, even during demanding benchmarks and the latest games. I don’t think it’s the coolest gaming laptop I’ve ever tested, but I was seriously impressed.
Great performance in games is of course nothing without a good screen to play those games on, and the Razer Blade 14 has that too. The screen on this review unit is a 1440p 165Hz panel, which Razer guarantees is individually factory calibrated. The density of color and sharpness of contrast are incredible, putting many gaming laptops to shame and making this laptop a competent tool for content creation as well.
If you want a strong gaming system that you can easily throw in a backpack and take with you on the go, the Razer Blade 14 is a great choice. The above-average battery life further enhances the portability of this laptop, making it one of the best laptops now on the market.
Razer Blade 14: Price and Availability
- Price range from $2,000 to $3,500
- Tested version costs $2,600
- Range of bundles available from Razer – also in pink!
Here is the Razer Blade 14 configuration sent to Ditching for review:
PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 6900HX
Graphic: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM: 16GB DDR5-4800
Screen: 14″ 2560×1440, 165Hz
Storage: 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Ports: 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.1, combo audio jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Camera: 1080p IR webcam
Weight: 1.78 kg
Mate: 1.7 x 32.0 x 22.0 cm
At $2,600 (£2,700, AU$4,699), this model of the Razer Blade 14 sits roughly in the middle of available versions, ranging from an RTX 3060 to a high-performance RTX 3080 Ti model. Most other components remain the same; the Ryzen 9 6900HX processor and 16GB of DDR5 RAM are ubiquitous, and only the RTX 3060 model has a different display (a 144Hz FHD panel as opposed to the 165Hz QHD panel in our review unit).
It is not cheap; I’ve run through the numbers and you can now build a desktop PC with similar components to this Blade 14 for under $1,500 — and that’s with the RTX 3070 Ti’s still high prices. Obviously a laptop will always be more expensive than a desktop, but there are plenty of cheaper laptops with the same GPU from MSI, Asus and Gigabyte.
There’s one important factor, though: the Razer Blade 14 is, in fact, the only 14-inch laptop you can buy right now with this GPU, making it officially the most powerful compact gaming machine on the market. If you want powerful gaming performance in a small frame, this is the best option out there – at least until other manufacturers catch up.
- Price and availability: 3/5
Razer Blade 14: Design
- Stylish yet robust aluminum chassis
- Good selection of ports
- Display is fantastic
I’ll be honest: the 2022 Razer Blade 14 doesn’t really look any different from previous iterations. That’s okay though! The Blade chassis has become iconic, a signature look that defines the Razer laptop brand, and for good reason: the design is sleek but eye-catching, with little decoration beyond a Razer logo on the lid and a brightly glowing RGB keyboard.
The entire body is cut from machined aluminum and painted black, meaning it’s very durable (like a bit of a fingerprint magnet). When I hold it in my hands, everything about the Blade 14 screams ‘good build quality’. The screen hinge wobbles very little and there is virtually no flex in the keyboard frame.
The 14-inch screen means the keyboard doesn’t have much room to breathe, a problem not solved by the dual speaker grilles on either side of it. The Razer Blade 14’s stereo speakers are actually pretty good, but their presence makes the keys on the far right and far left of the keyboard cut off slightly, which takes some getting used to – especially if you’ve got big old hands like me.
The trackpad is a different story; a wide, responsive rectangle made of glass for silky smooth finger movements and a satisfying, heavy click. Every Blade laptop now has one of these bad guys, and they’re always a joy to use.
Physical connectivity is good here, with two USB-A and two USB-C ports connected by an HDMI output for connecting a second display. There’s no Ethernet port, so you’re dependent on Wi-Fi here, but that shouldn’t cause any problems for most users. Opening the chassis allows the 1TB SSD to be swapped out, but the RAM is soldered in place, so no memory upgrades here.
Finally, there is the screen. Oh, the screen; almost every Blade Razer produces has a damn nice screen, and this one is no exception. A 165Hz refresh rate makes it great for esports games where frame rate is the number one priority, and up to 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction makes it great for digital art and photo editing too. It’s a nice screen for a nice laptop.
Razer Blade 14: Achievements
- Can get 60+ fps at 1440p in most games
- CPU performance is good and SSD is fast
- Runs impressively cool and quiet
Here’s how the Razer Blade 14 performed in our series of benchmark tests:
3DMark night raid: 44,947; Fire Attack: 10,704; Time spy: 9,238
Cinebench R20 multicore: 4.732
Geek Bench 5: 1,499 (single core); 6.985 (multicore)
PCMark 10 (modern office): 6.911
PCMark 10 (battery life test): 7 hours and 52 minutes
Slice Mag Battery Life Test: 8 hours and 21 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1440p, Ultra): 48 fps; (1440p, Low): 104 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1440p, Ultra): 43 fps; (1440p, Low): 89 fps
Dirty 5 (1440p, Ultra): 62 fps; (1440p, Low): 115 fps
The RTX 3070 Ti GPU at the heart of this laptop doesn’t perform as well as its full-fat desktop counterpart, but it’s still an extremely solid choice for graphics cards – to the point where we’d argue that the 3080 Ti model of the Razer Blade 14 is a bit redundant as it doesn’t have a 4K display.
Gaming at 1440p is great, with many games capable of clearing 60 frames per second at maximum graphics settings. The ones that don’t just need some minor tweaks (like dropping your graphics preset from Ultra to High) to break the 60fps barrier. This is without using Nvidia DLSS to also scale from 1080p resolution, so better performance is possible.
Ray tracing is very popular, especially with help from DLSS. The Cyberpunk 2077 RTX benchmark managed to hit 60fps by enabling DLSS at 1440p and lowering the texture detail to Medium, but was still fully playable on Ultra settings.
The CPU performance of the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX – currently a popular choice for gaming laptop processors – is good across the board, although it doesn’t quite reach the highs of Intel’s rival i9-12900H thanks to the latter’s innovative efficiency cores that handle background processes, while you play. SSD speed is super fast; games load quickly and internal file transfers take seconds.
What impressed me the most was how quiet the Blade 14 was while it passed our performance tests. Compared to my own Acer Nitro gaming laptop, which can sound like a wind turbine, the dual fans on this Blade barely made more than a soft hum.
The keyboard got a little warm after extended use, but the internal components were still cooler than much larger laptops with louder fans, so I’m not sure what kind of cooling wizardry Razer uses here – especially since larger Blade models have in the past. had some issues with thermal performance. Out of curiosity, I ran the Cinebench R20 benchmark a few extra times from an external hard drive, and the spinning drive somehow made more noise than the laptop itself.
Razer Blade 14: Battery Life
- Decent life despite the small battery and powerful components
- About 8 hours of general use
- About 3-4 hours of gaming
Since the 61.6 Whr battery in the Razer Blade 14 is smaller than that found in many gaming laptops, it did a good job in our battery life tests. Playing a looped video at 50% brightness gave us over eight hours of battery life, which isn’t bad at all when you consider how powerful the internal hardware is.
If you want to game on the go, you’ll need to turn off the RGB lighting and lower the brightness from max, but you should be able to squeeze out up to 4 hours of playtime on a full charge. The included AC adapter isn’t too bulky and charges the laptop pretty quickly, but Razer still insists on using its own charging port, so the Blade 14 loses a point for that.
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
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First reviewed in July 2022
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