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Razer Blade 14" QHD+ Touchscreen Gaming Laptop 256GB with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics-Free Windows 10 Upgrade
Speed, graphics and gaming experience
In terms of specs, the Razor is as power-packed as ever, a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7- 4702HQ CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M graphics and 8GB of DDR3L RAM; but its large display resolution stretches this internals to their limit. The Razer Blade when freshly unpacked is outfitted with little more than Windows 8.1, a handful of drivers and Synapse software.
The machine fairs well in gaming. At a setting of 1,920 x 1080, it can handle almost anything. “Battlefield4” managed between 54 fps and 45 fps on maximum settings, while “Thief” and “The Witcher 2” did 40 fps and 50 fps respectively.
Some games like “BioShock Infinite”, “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim “and “Dark Souls II “ took the ultra-high resolution naturally averaging 32, 30 and 40 fps respectively on maximum settings.
However, when it is tuned to ultra or very high-quality settings, most games stutter at 3,200 x 1,800. “The Witcher 2”,” Thief”, “Battlefield” and “Crysis 3” all had difficulties breaking the 15 – 20 fps in tests.
They only reached playable levels when the settings were downgraded. “Crysis 3” could not break 30 fps at its highest visual settings, but it hit 40 fps at the second-best configuration.
During a gaming session, the blade generates a fair bit of heat. Part of the machines underside and the area just above the keyboard get quite hot. So you need to keep your pants down lest you burn your legs.
The Blade has a built-in 70Wh rechargeable Li-Po battery. On the standard rundown test, the battery pulled 4 hours and 27 minutes.
Even though this is respectable for a gaming laptop, it is 2 hours less than that of the last year’s model. The battery life has been sacrificed for its gorgeous display panel.
The Razer Blade features a 14” 400-nit, 3,200 x 1,800 display built on the state-of-the-art IGZO technology. The screen is bright and delivers twice the resolution of LCDs. The screen’s resolution befits a high-performance gaming rig. It has wide viewing angles but loses a little brightness when you view it from the sides.
However, the colours don’t fade unless you are to the extreme left or right. It is a 10-point capacity multi-touch, razor-sharp Quad HD+display that blends well with the Windows 8.1 interface, placing apps, work, updates and play at your fingertips. The panel is excellent but has problems in certain areas.
For example, programs like Origin will display icons, text and windows optimized for Windows 1080p display making them appear very small the Razor’s default resolution.
Also, games that are configured to run at 1080p will be displayed in a large, black border. But this can be resolved by dialling down Razor’s desktop resolution to match.
Design and Functionality
Overall design feel and build quality
In terms of design, this model borrows almost everything from the last year’s model down to the smallest details, from the packaging to the aluminium hull to the ports, to mention just but a few. It is incredibly thin but not slimmer than the MacBook Air at its thickest point. Its overall thickness is only 0.7 inches. It has put on a little weight though. It now tips the scales at 4.47 pounds. Its difference from the previous model are minor, it is still the best-looking gaming laptop on the market.
The Razorblade has the 80-button keyboard with firm keys that depress with a light click and just the right amount of downward travel. This chiclet keyboard boasts niche features like fully programmable, macro-ready keys and anti-ghosting. However, it lacks a hotkey to disable the Windows button. In all, the keyboard is great for gaming.
There isn’t any physical change on the touchpad from the previous model but it performs a little better. It is smooth, large and has a pair of quiet buttons that handle Window 8 gestures quite well. The only slight problem is with its right and left clickers whose quiet depressions feel out of sync with the clicks of the keyboard.
Connections and Storage
The Razor Blade offers three USB connections and HDMI 1.4 video and audio output, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. You can also connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac or Bluetooth 4.0. The Blade packs a 256GB SSD (SATA M.2) that can hold your music, videos, and documents comfortably. If you want more space, you can double the SSD at some extra cost. You can as well half it if you don’t want more space; this will save you some amount on the selling price.
Other things to consider
The device comes with a 2-year warranty. In addition, you get unlimited software support and training from the Answer Desk.
The blade is a bit pricey, but you get a revolutionary game-changer with fantastic graphics and state-of-the-art display. You also get the world’s thinnest gaming laptop and the latest Intel Core i7 processor.
Razor Blade is meant for those who need a powerful performance in the thinnest form factor. Many gaming laptops have quite a number of unnecessary component that adds their thickness and weight, but not for the Razor Blaze. The designers chose simpler bespoke components to make it thinner and lighter but still perform better than many of its competitors.