The Blade has officially arrived in Malaysia in full glory
Byline: By Andrew Yew
The Razer Blade proved that gaming notebooks need not be behemoths. In fact, this gaming brand is a renowned trailblazer that has worked to inspire other vendors to come up with their own spin for slim-type gaming notebooks. In fact, full disclaimer, PC.com has been relying on previous-generation Razer Blades for fieldwork and have been considered a massive boon for the editorial team. Of course, we pride ourselves to remain properly objective in our judgement even if there is the risk of making direct comparisons. Now that the Blade is now officially available in Malaysia, it’s time to take a look at the current Blade and see what improvements Razer has thrown in.
The Razer Blade has an infamous reputation of being a MacBook painted in black. Personally, that is definitely not a bad thing. Its black aluminium shell only has the Razer logo adorning the lid and a main backlighting system, making it look really, really cool. Flipping the lid open reveals a keyboard with green backlighting, a pair of speakers flanking it on both sides, and a minimal ‘Intel Inside’ logo at the bottom left. As we’ve seen a lot of notebooks with an assortment of stickers plastered on the palm-rest, this is definitely a welcome sight. My only concern about the black exterior is that it has a tendency to gather fingerprint stains easily. You might have to give it a wipe now and then.
It Just Clicks
Located just below the keyboard is thetrackpad, now offering a marked improvement over the previous generation (which I’m using).The multitouch trackpad on the older Blade was great but its mouse buttons are a tad shallow and the ‘click’isn’t that audible. The 2014 Blade now has tweaked buttons, it produces a really sharp ‘click’ sound when you press them, giving you that audible feedback that you have indeed pressed the mouse buttons. Aside from that, the layout is remarkably similar to its older sibling.
The 14in display on the 2014 Blade is no longer anti-glare nor does it have a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels. Instead, Razer equipped the notebook with a multitouch IGZO display, in line with the focus of using Windows 8.1. It also took the opportunity to turn the dial up to eleven, ramping the display resolution to an absolutely insane 3200 x 1800 pixels. Given the small screen size, it gets really hard to distinguish individual pixels. The display performance is great for multitasking as users can open multiple windows without worrying about content being squished. Not sure if you can game at that resolution though.
Need for Speed
Despite its smaller size compared to it bigger brother – the Blade Pro 2014, the Blade 2014 is still built with speed and performance in mind. The brains of its operation is an Intel Core i7-4702HQ, a proper quad-core, eight-thread processor. The processor is paired with 8GB of DDR3L RAM, and a 256GB SSD (Malaysian variant), whereas the online Razerzone store offers 128GB and 512GB models as well. For gaming, the Blade 2014 is equipped with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 870M, which should pretty much play the latest and greatest titles at 1080p without issue.
With all these powerful innards, this monster of a gaming notebook is poised to perform like no other. As expected, it indeed does deliver. When pushed on benchmarks,the new Razergaming notebook aced it all, registering scores that are in line with other matket entries in this space and have visited the PC.com Tested labs. Just be mindful that the 3DMark scenarios are done in Full HD and not in the massive 3200 x 1800 pixels the display has to offer. If the brave among you device to play games at maximum resolution, do turn down the details before you proceed to rip through virtual battlefields.
The combination of a slim body and powerful components would usually result in reduced battery life. In the benchmarks, the Blade 2014 could only muster about 2 hours and 32 minutes of use if you’re combining work with some media consumption. Solely focusing on paperwork will get you an extra hour of battery life. If gaming comes into the picture then you will burn through the charge within an hour. The high display resolution could be a contributor as we have seen similar reduced battery life with Full HD smartphones that are known to consume more power.
In terms of expansion options, the new Blade has three USB 3.0 ports – two on the left side, and a lone port on the right. The latter is no doubt meant for gaming mice (which, by the way, Razer also sells *wink, wink*). The single USB port on the right has a HDMI 1.4a port as a companion as well as a spot for a Kensington lock. Meanwhile, the left has a combo 3.5mm audio/mic jack and the DC-in connector.
Dimensions (W x H x D): 345 x 17.8 x 235mm
Proccessor: 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4702MQ 2.2GHz
Memory: 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
Storage: 256GB SSD SATA M.2
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M 3GB GDDR5 / Intel HD4600 Integrated Graphics
Display: 14in QHD+ 16:9 3200 x 1800 pixels IGZO Display Panel
OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit
I/O: 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x 3.5mm Microphone/Headphone Combo Jack
Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 7260HMW (802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BlueTooth 4.0)
PCMark 8 Home Conventional: 3302
PCMark 8 Work: 3556
PCMark 8 Home Conventional Battery Life: 2hrs 32mins
PCMark 8 Work Battery Life: 3hrs 26mins
3DMark Fire Strike: 4210
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 2101
3DMark Sky Diver: 13429
3DMark Cloud Gate: 15457
3DMark Ice Storm: 57320
Verdict: You’re paying for one of the most beautiful gaming machines ever made. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Total Score: 8.8/10