Razer Blade 14 review – AMD Zen 4 processor and RTX4070

Razer Blade 14 review - AMD Zen 4 processor and RTX4070

In summary

The Blade 14 is Razer’s smallest laptop, weighing 1.86kg, but still packs an RTX 4070 video card and a Ryzen 9 7940HS processor. It’s, as we’re used to from Razers, a solid, meticulously finished laptop. The device is fast and easy to play games on the screen of 2560 x 1600 pixels. This screen has high brightness and is precisely calibrated, but it could have responded a bit faster to match the 240Hz refresh rate. Battery life isn’t exceptional for such a compact laptop, but it’s offset by a very smooth build, which is unique for a 14-inch chassis.

Small size and gaming are two things that just don’t go together when you look at laptops. The faster the hardware, the more heat is generated, which in turn means you need bigger heatsinks and fans. Therefore, most gaming laptops are those beasts that you really don’t want to take with you.

That doesn’t apply to the Blade 14, because Razer has packed an RTX 4070 video card into this 14-inch gaming laptop. It’s accompanied by AMD’s new Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, which is ideally suited for compact laptops that are still fast. This is the magical combination that brings gaming and navigation together, and yes, is that also worth 3,300 euros right away? You can read it in this review.

Razer Blade 14

That price just isn’t there, because despite the fast hardware, the Blade 14 is an expensive laptop. The cheapest laptop with RTX 4070 costs 1,500 euros, less than half of the Blade. There are also 14-inch laptops with an RTX 4060 from ASUS and MSI that cost around €2,000, but the combination of a 14-inch and an RTX 4070 is still very rare at the moment and that’s what makes the Blade unique at the moment.

Fast hardware isn’t the only reason for the high price. It’s also just a Razer product. And blades are expensive. They are sometimes compared to Apple laptops of equal cost because the design has some similarities. The Blade 14, like the MacBook Pro for example, has an all-metal enclosure that’s not too thin either. No, the Blade 14 feels like an integrated unit. At no time can you press down on the housing or let it bend slightly.

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Like Apple, Razer is also hanging on Less is moreDesign philosophy. The casing is sleek, black, and aside from the Razer logo on the back of the screen, you wouldn’t say it’s a gaming laptop. Especially if you don’t let the keyboard lighting flash with all the colors of the rainbow, which is of course possible if you want to.

Speaking of the keyboard, the keyboard’s flat keys have a fairly crisp tactile feel, but it’s sparse Travel. In other words, you can’t push them that far. Some users will find that to be less of a problem than others. What everyone will undoubtedly appreciate is the placement of speakers that send sound waves up on either side of the keyboard. Many laptops have speakers on the bottom, which often don’t provide good clarity in (video) conversations. So while the placement of the speakers is good, they still sound a little minuscule, even for a laptop. The aforementioned MacBooks do much better.

Another thing that Apple and Razer have in common is the large touchpad. The previous Blade 14 also had that and that large size is nice, because you can never go wrong if you want to touch the mouse arrow. Nor is the webcam adorning the top of the screen new. It’s a model with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and has Windows Hello support, so you can log in using facial recognition. New for the 2023 model is the cover that you can slide in front of the camera. Another new feature in the camera is the ability to automatically blur the background and track your face. This is not a new feature for Windows; We’ve already encountered it in the SQ3 version of the Microsoft Surface Pro, but it’s new for laptops with an x86 processor. To blur this background, the Blade 14 uses Ryzen AI. This is the Neural Engine, which was built into Zen4 mobile processors. Previously, these neural engines were built into Arm processors, such as the SQ3 or Apple’s M1 and M2 chips. AMD is the first to equip an x86 processor with this Neural Engine. Intel will also have a Neural processing unit in laptop chips.

Finally, communications are very logically distributed over the housing. Both left and right you have access to a USB-A port, which works at max 10Gb/s, and a USB4 connection. Also on the left is an HDMI 2.1 connection and a connection for charging the battery. You can also charge the system via USB-C, but this is possible at a maximum of 100W, so it’s not a replacement for the supplied 230W adapter.

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