Razer Blade 14 (2022) review: Good things come in small packages

Razer Blade 14 (2022) review: Good things come in small packages

The gorgeous display, decent battery life, and powerhouse internals mean that the latest Blade 14 can easily pull double duty as a content creation platform in addition to its great gaming performance.

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Epblogs verdict

A costly yet powerful technology fitted inside a thin, light laptop that doesn’t compromise durability despite its small form factor. The Razer Blade 14 features a vivid 165Hz display, excellent physical port options, and very impressive gaming performance at 1080p and 1440p HD. The keyboard is a touch cramped due to the compact size, but this is unquestionably a sweet little laptop that I regret having to return to Razer.

Quick Summary

The Razer Blade 14 is an expensive but powerful system packed into a thin, light laptop. I wish I could suggest it to everyone. For those who prioritize portability above power, it has long been one of the greatest gaming laptops available, though the new 2022 edition is undoubtedly not lacking in the latter category. It’s a stunning small piece of gear with excellent build quality, and using it is a true pleasure.

Why then am I unable to always suggest it to anyone looking for a little gaming laptop? There are a few minor drawbacks, such as the RAM being soldered in so you can’t increase it later and some of the keys being a little too close together due to the small form factor, but the price is really the only thing keeping me from extolling its virtues to anyone who would listen.

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Yes, I shouldn’t be surprised because this is hardware made by the serpentine Razer company, which isn’t exactly known for its affordable laptops. Nevertheless, even though the Razer Blade 14 is a nearly perfect product, the asking price of $2,600 nevertheless made me blink in astonishment.

Even still, if you have the budget, this is perhaps the greatest little gaming laptop you can buy right now. The only real rival is the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which is admittedly excellent but is a bit more affordable and less powerful than this Blade 14 with an RTX 3070 Ti graphics card.

Gaming performance here is unsurprisingly excellent given the internal components, but what really blew me away was how quiet and cool this little unit ran, even while powering through demanding benchmarks and the latest games. I don’t think it’s quite the coolest gaming laptop I’ve ever reviewed, but I was seriously impressed.

Of course, excellent gaming performance is useless without a great screen to play those games on, and the Razer Blade 14 also offers one. The 1440p 165Hz display used in this review unit has been individually factory-calibrated, according to Razer. This laptop can compete with many gaming laptops thanks to the excellent color density and contrast, which also makes it a capable instrument for content creation work.

The Razer Blade 14 is a fantastic option if you want a powerful gaming system that you can easily stuff in a bag and take with you everywhere you go. One of the greatest laptops currently available on the market, the above-average battery life further improves portability.

Razer Blade 14 (2022) Razer Blade 14 (2022) Specs

CPUAMD Ryzen 6900HX
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
RAM16GB DDR5-4800
Screen14-inch 2560×1440, 165Hz
Storage1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Ports2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 2.1, combi audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Camera1080p IR webcam
Weight1.78 kg
Size1.7 x 32.0 x 22.0 cm

Razer Blade 14 (2022) Price and Availability

  • Price range of $2,000 to $3,500
  • Version tested costs $2,600
  • Range of bundles available from Razer – also comes in pink!

This Razer Blade 14 model, which costs $2,600 (£2,700, AU$4,699), falls somewhere in the middle of the range of available models, which range from an entry-level RTX 3060 model all the way up to a powerful RTX 3080 Ti model. Only the RTX 3060 model has a different display from the other models; the Ryzen 9 6900HX processor and 16GB of DDR5 RAM are both standard (a 144Hz FHD panel as opposed to the 165Hz QHD one found in our review unit).

It costs more than $1,500 to create a desktop computer with components similar to those in the Blade 14; this is with the still-inflated price of the RTX 3070 Ti. A laptop will always be more expensive than a desktop, but MSI, Asus, and Gigabyte all offer affordable laptops with the same GPU.

The Razer Blade 14 is essentially the only 14-inch laptop you can get right now with this GPU, making it the officially most potent small gaming PC on the market. This is a crucial factor, though. This is the finest option available if you want powerful gaming performance in a small frame, at least until other manufactures catch up.

  • Price and availability: 3/5

Razer Blade 14 (2022) Design

  • Stylish but robust aluminum chassis
  • Good selection of ports
  • Display is fantastic

I’ll be honest: The Razer Blade 14 from 2022 doesn’t actually appear all that different from earlier models. But that’s not a terrible thing! With the exception of the Razer emblem on the lid and a vibrantly illuminating RGB keyboard, the Blade chassis is the only design element that distinguishes the Razer laptop brand. The Blade chassis has become iconic.

Because the entire body is made of machined aluminum and is coated black, it is incredibly durable (if a bit of a magnet for fingerprints). Everything about the Blade 14 that I can see when I hold it shouts “excellent build quality.” There is almost no flex in the keyboard frame and barely any movement in the screen hinge.

The 14-inch display means that the keyboard doesn’t have much room to breathe, a problem that isn’t helped by the twin speaker grilles on either side of it. The stereo speakers of the Razer Blade 14 are actually pretty good, but their presence means that the keys on the far right and far left of the keyboard are somewhat truncated, which takes a little bit of getting used to – especially if you’ve got big ol’ hands like me.

The trackpad is a different story; a wide, responsive rectangle made with glass for silky-smooth finger travel and a satisfying, weighty click. Every Blade laptop has one of these bad boys now, and they’re always a pleasure to use.

Physical connectivity is strong, with an HDMI output for connecting a second screen and two USB-A and two USB-C ports. You’ll need to utilize Wi-Fi because there isn’t an Ethernet port, but most users shouldn’t have any problems with that. The 1TB SSD can be changed out if the chassis is opened, however the RAM cannot be upgraded because it is soldered in place.

The screen comes last. Oh, the screen. Razer makes almost all of its Blades with incredibly good displays, and this one is no exception. With a 165Hz refresh rate, it is perfect for esports games where frame rate is the top priority, and with up to 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, it is also fantastic for digital art and photo editing. It’s a beautiful display for a beautiful laptop.

  • Design: 5/5

Razer Blade 14 (2022) Performance

  • Can hit 60+fps at 1440p in most games
  • CPU performance is good and SSD is fast
  • Runs impressively cool and quiet

Although the RTX 3070 Ti GPU in this laptop doesn’t perform nearly as well as its full-fat desktop equivalent, it is still a very strong choice of graphics card. In fact, we would argue that the 3080 Ti iteration of the Razer Blade 14 is somewhat unnecessary because it doesn’t feature a 4K screen.

The quality of 1440p gaming is excellent, with many games capable of 60 fps per second on their highest graphic settings. Those who can simply need to make a few basic changes (like switching your graphics preset from Ultra to High) in order to surpass the 60 frames per second threshold. Better performance is conceivable because this is without using Nvidia DLSS to upscale from 1080p resolution.

Ray-tracing is definitely an option, especially with DLSS support. The Cyberpunk 2077 RTX test was entirely playable at Ultra settings even when DLSS was enabled at 1440p and the texture resolution was reduced to Medium.

The AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX, a popular processor option for gaming laptops, offers outstanding overall CPU performance, but it falls short of Intel’s rival i9-12900H due to the latter’s novel efficiency cores doing background tasks while you game. Games load rapidly, and internal file transfers only take a few seconds thanks to SSD performance.

I was most amazed by how quiet the Blade 14 was while undergoing our battery of performance testing. The dual fans on this Blade scarcely produced any noise at all throughout, as opposed to the dual fans on my own Acer Nitro gaming laptop, which can make a wind turbine-like noise.

Although the internal components still ran cooler than much larger laptops with louder fans after extended use, the keyboard did get a little warm. I’m not sure what kind of cooling wizardry Razer is using here, especially considering that larger Blade models have historically had some issues with thermal performance. I ran the Cinebench R20 benchmark several more times using an external hard drive out of curiosity, and the drive disk spinning created a louder noise than the laptop itself.

  • Performance: 5/5

Razer Blade 14 (2022) Battery Life

  • Decent longevity despite the small battery and powerful components
  • Around 8 hours of general use
  • Around 3-4 hours of gaming

The Razer Blade 14 performed admirably in our battery life tests, given that its 61.6Whr battery is less than those seen in many gaming laptops. Over eight hours of battery life were obtained when playing a looped film at 50% brightness, which is not bad at all given the potent internal technology.

You’ll need to turn off the RGB lighting and reduce the brightness from its highest setting if you want to game while you’re on the road, but you should be able to get up to 4 hours of gaming time from a full charge. The Blade 14 loses one point since Razer still insists on utilizing a proprietary charging connector even though the provided AC converter isn’t overly big and charges the laptop quite quickly.

Razer Blade 14 (2022) Review Vredict

If you want an RTX 3070 or better but don’t want a screen bigger than 14 inches, this might be your best option right now. The Razer Blade 14 does a stellar job of cramming high-end performance into a compact chassis. Despite its mighty components, the Blade 14 is surprisingly quiet, with the fans only ramping up to a mild hum under resource-intensive workloads. It can get a little warm, but never to the point where we’d be worried about performance throttling.

Some people simply don’t want to play triple-A games on a 14-inch display, and they’re perfectly entitled to feel that way. Consider the Blade 17, if you can afford an even more ludicrously expensive laptop. The gorgeous display, decent battery life, and powerhouse internals mean that the latest Blade 14 can easily pull double duty as a content creation platform in addition to its great gaming performance.

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