Welcome to the world’s thinnest gaming laptop. At just 17mm
deep, and weighing a mere 1.88 kilograms, this is designed for the gamer on the
go, where portability is the deciding factor come purchase time. Has Razer had to pare back the hardware within to reach such
small dimensions, or is it indeed the gaming powerhouse the company claims it
The world’s thinnest gaming laptop.
Taking a leaf out of Apple’s book, the Blade’s chassis is
carved from a single block of aluminium, but adopts a slick matt black finish.
As a result, we have no doubt that it’ll better handle the rigours
of the road than the all-plastic cases used on other, more affordable gaming
laptops. The overall size is largely dictated by the 14 inch display, which
uses a native resolution of 1600 x 900. This might sound a little disappointing
compared to the true HD displays found on other gaming laptops, but the smaller
screen size keeps the pixels per inch high enough that it’s impossible to spot
the pixel structure. Unfortunately the rest of the screen’s performance is
nowhere near the level expected for a laptop of this price. It’s overly
saturated during white saturation testing, and the TN technology used within
delivers woeful colour reproduction compared to the
IPS panels used in other expensive gaming laptops. Mediocre viewing angle
performance is the final nail in the display’s coffin.
The overall size is largely dictated by the 14 inch display, which uses
a native resolution of 1600 x 900.
If you can get over the woeful display quality, the hardware
within is relatively respectable. The Intel i7 4702HQ Quad
Core CPU ramps up to 3.2GHz while gaming, a remarkable achievement for a laptop
so thin. Even more remarkable is the fact that it remains relatively
quiet while gaming, without turning into a hotplate that could fry bacon. The
palm wrist gets a little bit warm over time, but not overly so. Eight Gigabytes
of DDR3 memory is standard for a gaming laptop of this price, while the single
256GB SSD seems a little underwhelming compared to the SSD/HDD combinations
found in other gaming laptops.
Unfortunately the choice of NVIDIA’s GTX 765M GPU really
lets down the entire package when it comes to gaming. We ran the Tomb Raider, Hitman and 3DMark 2013 benchmarks on this laptop and found
it to be the slowest gaming laptop to ever hit our labs. It delivered the
lowest frame rates in all three, despite the fact it was running at 1600 x 900
while its competitors were running at 1920 x 1080. Razer
likely didn’t have much choice in the matter, as a more powerful GPU would blow
out the depth of the chassis, but it leaves the Blade unable to play today’s
demanding games with more than middling detail settings.
The Intel i7 4702HQ Quad Core CPU ramps up
to 3.2GHz while gaming, a remarkable achievement for a laptop so thin.
While the chassis is extremely impressive, the lackluster
display and ordinary gaming performance make the price tag seem unreasonably
high. It’s definitely a desirable piece of tech for those who value aesthetics
over all else, but for gamers who want a true gaming laptop, the Razer Blade fails to cut the mustard.