A gaming laptop could be considered an oxymoron. After all, can something so small deliver performance on par with a fully customised gaming rig?
Realistically, no, but the Razer Blade 14 comes close in offering full-HD gaming performance that is hard to differentiate from a souped-up desktop machine.
Continuing in the tradition of its predecessors, the Blade 14 features a very basic yet unmistakable look from the brand. Arriving in slick black with a fancy light-up Razer logo on the lid, the laptop houses a 14-inch (36cm) 240 Hz QHD+ display with 240Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync Premium support.
Tipping the scales at a relatively lightweight 1.84 kg, the Blade 14 is remarkably compact, considering it houses a GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with 140-watt maximum graphics power. One has to wonder just how well the cooling performance is, with such high-powered chipsets under the hood.
The front features round edges, while below the display lies a black-on-back logo emblazoned into the lower bezel. There is no hint of half-hearted workmanship here: everything exudes quality thanks to the CNC-milled aluminum chassis. You certainly will not feel as though the laptop will break, nor does it look fragile in any way.
On the right lie the proprietary power socket, a USB-C port, a USB-A port, and 3.5mm audio jack. The opposite end features a HDMI port, a USB-A, and a USB-C port. Both USB-C ports support DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery standards.
The QHD+ panel looks gorgeous, with its 240Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. With AMD FreeSync Premium, everything works well and stutter-free.
Those working or gaming will also appreciate the panel’s anti-glare coating that actually works, reducing surrounding light reflections.
On the top bezel lies a 1080p webcam that delivers natural–looking images and is more than suitable for video calls. It is nice to see Razer incorporate a privacy shutter while throwing in Windows Hello compatibility for the webcam.
Keyboard and trackpad
Migrating from one keyboard to another does take some getting used to, but Razer pulls it off well with the Blade 14. There is a sense of generous room with the keyboard, but unlike larger gaming laptops, it doesn’t house a numeric keypad.
To keep up with the times, the Blade 14 boasts individually backlit Razer Chroma keys, where you can choose from 16.8 million RGB colours.
While the upward-facing speakers offer decent audio for a device of this size, you would be better off with headphones for your games, unless you are in a small, quiet room as you play. THX Spatial Audio lets you adjust the direction of your sound via Razer’s Synapse app, though this is not much to shout about.
You’d also want a decent gaming mouse to pair with this laptop, though the precision glass used for the 6-inch (15cm) trackpad also does the job well when it comes to productivity tasks.
So, how do the AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU and GeForce RTX 4070 GPU fare? The Blade 14 is certainly no laggard with modern-day titles and has more than enough firepower to handle older games.
The 140-watt Total Graphics Power makes short work of any game at full-HD resolution, capable as it is of delivering 60 fps without breaking a sweat. 4K gaming will come up short where constant 60 fps is concerned, but you would find this impractical anyway unless you hooked the laptop up to a larger external display.
You can also use the Blade 14 to edit videos and related tasks, thanks to the blazing-fast CPU performance mated to 32GB DDR5 RAM and a 1TB SSD. If you wish to upgrade, the memory can be doubled and storage quadrupled – budget permitting, of course.
The bottom line
The perfect gaming laptop is a unicorn simply due to the laws of physics, but if you must get one powerful enough to scratch your gaming itch for the next few years, then the Razer Blade 14 is unquestionably one of the prime candidates.
That said, make sure your lifestyle allows you to game outside of home more often than not – otherwise, you would be far better off investing RM13,999(!) in a superior desktop rig that offers a more satisfying gaming experience instead.
Learn more about the Razer Blade 14 here.
Edwin Kee dreamt of being a pro-gamer only to have circumstances mould him into a programmer in a past life. He has since moved on to write about travel, consumer electronics, and other topics. Read more articles by Edwin here.