Review: Razer Blade 14-Inch

Why, why, why must gaming laptops be behemoths that can’t even fit in a typical messenger bag, let alone under an airplane seat? All those fans, you say? Dual video cards? Triple hard drives? Ground effects? OK, fine, I get it. Gaming notebooks are typically enormous because they’re really desktops writ small.

Balderdash! Razer’s had enough of the excuses. Following on the qualified success of the 17.3-inch Razer Blade R2 comes this pint-sized powerhouse — a near-ultrabook version of the same concept, a true gaming PC in a case that measures just 20mm thick.

Naturally, some accommodations have had to be made to squeeze 6.7 pounds of computer into the 4.2-pound Razer Blade 14-inch package. The screen is not just smaller but lower in resolution (1600 x 900 pixels), and the old hybrid hard drive has been jettisoned for a straight (and faster) 256GB SSD. The most visible change is driven by necessity: The programmable keypad and secondary Switchblade LCD/touchpad/thingy are of course gone, too.

On the other hand, other components have been upgraded. The third-generation Core i7 is now a fourth-generation “Haswell” version, running at 2.2GHz. And the graphics card has been upgraded one generation, too, to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M model. 8GB of RAM is still standard, and ports are kept to the basics: three USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI connector.

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