The Razer Blade 14 has everything I want from a modern gaming laptop. It has a mighty CPU, powerful graphics chip, beautiful high resolution, high refresh rate screen and a lot of fast storage. But above all, the Blade 14 offers true portability, something so many gaming laptops eschew in favor of a larger screen real estate and chonkier keyboards.
But there’s no need, folks, because the 14-inch form factor nailed it all, because no one needs a bigger screen when they’re on the go. I don’t know anyone who wished they’d picked a bigger, heavier notebook when lugging it from one place to another, with the spine straining the bulk of a beefy gaming laptop.
And if you still want a laptop to match your minimalist desktop aesthetic at home, but need a bigger screen while you’re in your black polo collar and sipping espressos from a huge tiny cup, there’s plenty of practically bezel-free gaming out there. monitors to choose from that are a perfect fit for a smaller laptop and a pretentious workspace.
Although I can understand why the 14-inch form factor hasn’t taken off in the past, and it’s all about power. The smaller the laptop, the less room for cooling you have, and the less likely you are to enjoy the fruits of powerful graphics silicon because the device just can’t cool them. That and the battery life take a huge nosedive too.
Blade 14 Specifications
PROCESSOR: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX
Memory: 16GB DDR5-4800 (soldered in)
Graphic: Nvidia RTX 3070 | Radeon 680M integrated
Screen size: 14-inch
Native resolution: 2560×1440
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Storage: 1TB Samsung PCIe 4.0 SSD
operating system: Windows 11 Home
Price: $2,600 (opens in new tab) † £2,700 (opens in new tab)
But unlike their desktop counterparts, modern gaming laptop components are much better able to handle the limitations of a smaller form factor than previous generations. And that’s what made the 14-inch gaming laptop an extremely desirable device, and super capable too.
However, Razer was not the instigator of this. Asus has to take credit for taking a point on the smaller scale with its gorgeous ROG Zephyrus G14 (opens in new tab)† The G14 combines a slim chassis with smart cooling and powerful gaming components. And for reasons yet to become clear, it has an LED light display baked into the back of the lid.
It was also an impressively affordable device when it first launched. That has changed a bit in 2022, given the shifts in the market, making the G14 a more expensive device, although the actual design has barely changed.
Razer wanted a piece of this G14 pie, so last year he released the Blade 14 as not only its first 14-inch notebook in an era, but also its first-ever AMD gaming laptop. But mostly it was the machine designed to bring down Asus’ Zephyrus G14.
This 2022 edition has the latest Ryzen 6000 series CPU and adds the more recent RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti to the family. But other than that, we’re looking at a machine that’s functionally identical, and the only place that’s an issue for me is that it still has that big green backlit logo on the lid. I would much rather have the subtle styling of Blade 13 Stealth (opens in new tab)†
However, this head-to-head showdown between Asus and Razer has led to a split in PC Gamer’s hardware team. Jacob is firmly in the over the top plastic G14 camp, while I’m much more captivated by the understated black aluminum aesthetic of the Blade 14. Both are excellent machines, and you wouldn’t be upset if you returned either one. take to meet the family, but it is clear that , Jacob is wrong. The Razer is just the machine that appeals to me a lot more, although that probably has more to do with my personal aesthetic preferences than anything else.
Certainly not in terms of benchmarks. Because while they’re close, the Asus machine is more capable in terms of raw frame rate and memory bandwidth.
However, the Blade 14 is the more expensive machine – more in the UK than in the US – meaning you’re really paying a premium for the Razer system. And when you look at the benchmark performance side by side, that’s hard to swallow.
This frustration is compounded by the fact that the 16GB of soldered memory and 1TB are not customizable with Razer where they are with the Asus machine. Although sometimes to a mind-boggling degree. I mean, a G14 with 40GB of RAM is just foreign.
The G14’s AMD RX 6800S we tested perfectly matches the RTX 3070 Ti that Razer has in its machine, offering performance within a few frames of each other; though the Radeon chip is sneaking forward in numerous titles. Both offer excellent 1080p gaming performance and can deliver high enough frame rates to make gaming at their respective native resolutions absolutely doable.
1080p gaming performance
The G14’s 2560 x 1600 resolution is slightly larger than the Blade 14’s native 2560 x 1440 resolution, but both GPUs allow you to game at speeds that belie the fact that you’re running on a slim mobile machine.
But honestly, I don’t think we’d recommend buying both systems with the graphics cards we tested. I’m impressed with how well the Razer chassis does at cooling the Nvidia GPU, making it run much cooler than the RX 6800S in the G14, but it’s still better than the RTX 3070 Ti in the MSI GS66 stealth (opens in new tab)which actually runs at a higher TDP of 105W. The Razer’s RTX 3070 Ti is set to 100W for reference.
And because performance is so inextricably linked to thermals, that means the Blade 14 runs a little slower than the MSI machine, which itself is a pretty slim system.
Personally I preferred the RTX 3060 version of the Blade 14″ (opens in new tab) I checked out last year. It was a little cooler, didn’t have to spin the fans as much, and the lower spec GPU didn’t leave that much performance on the shelf for its size. It’s also cheaper, and when this version costs a whopping $2,600 (opens in new tab) (£2,700 (opens in new tab)) the $600 you save then makes it worth considering.
However, the battery performance of the 2022 Blade 14 is impressive, offering nearly twice the gaming uptime of the Asus G14, and even slightly longer than the MSI GS66. It’s a bit shy of 90 minutes so still nothing to really write home about. Above all, we might be raving about the battery life of the Steam Deck (opens in new tab) when it can only deliver three hours of gaming, that’s still way more than most gaming laptops can do.
You also get the 165Hz QHD display with this version of the Blade 14, where the RTX 3060 machine only comes with a 144Hz 1080p panel.
And it’s worth talking about that 1440p Razer display. Aside from some typical IPS weakness when it comes to black levels, it’s lovely. I can hardly believe it took so long for the 14-inch form factor to become a thing, but it amazes me that even if we’ve had 4K laptops for years, it’s only recently that 1440p panels have made it into PC laptops. . They’re perfectly suited to smaller designs – because of the larger pixel pitch – and don’t have the extra GPU load that a 4K panel has.
As an all-round package, the Razer Blade 14 is a beautiful machine, although I’m going to say that paying this kind of money I don’t know why I’m still only getting 16GB of memory and a 1TB SSD for my nearly three grand. The RAM is soldered in too, so there’s no hope of an upgrade down the line. While I may not need 32GB of RAM, I definitely want a 2TB SSD at that price.
The price of the Blade 14 is painful, as always for Razer gaming laptops. But I can’t help but love this little device as a mobile device, and personally I think it’s the most desirable gaming laptop on the market.
The GPU may be a little rich for my blood, but there’s no denying that it delivers great gaming performance with the native resolution of this razor-sharp display. And the fact that it is able to cool such a powerful GPU in this slim form factor is sure to appeal to many. For me, the overall balance isn’t right in this particular spec, but if I’m looking for a gaming laptop, I’d definitely pick from the Blade 14 family.