The Razer Blade 14 is a solid step-up from last year's variant, with better internals, a larger 16:10 display, removable RAM modules, and better cooling as well. The accompanying display is excellent, and the new 7000 series AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS performs exceptionally with the RTX 4070. The 14-inch form factor makes this an extremely portable laptop offering, and the port options are also decent. It's quite a bummer that the laptop isn't officially available in India.
In this review, we're going to be taking a look at the 2023 variant of the Razer Blade 14. While there was no significant upgrade between the 2021 and 2022 variants of the Razer Blade 14, the 2023 variant sees some major changes, both with the hardware and the externals of the laptop. The unit we received came with the new 7000 series AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor, paired with the NVIDIA RTX 4070. Other than that, it came with 16GB of DDR5-5600 RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage, and a 14-inch 2560 x 1600 resolution, 240 Hz IPS panel. We should point out that this laptop is not officially available in India, but if you are planning to pick the laptop up abroad, it will set you back by USD 2,699. Definitely not cheap, but as you can see from the specs, it certainly packs a punch, at least on paper. Let's dive into the full review to see just how well the new 7000 series Ryzen 9 and the RTX 4070 perform.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 4070
RAM: 16GB DDR5-5600
Display: 14-inch, 2560 x 1600, 240 Hz IPS panel
Storage: 1 TB SSD
Ports: 2 USB-A, 2-USB-C, 1 HDMI 2.1
I personally have not tested the previous model of the Razer Blade 14, however, a cursory glance will tell you that they look pretty similar, at least on the outside. The new Razer Blade 14 uses the same aluminium body as last year's model with similar branding. The overall look and feel of the laptop remain the same; you know that this is a Razer Blade laptop without a doubt. The laptop features excellent build quality, it felt very sturdy and reliable in our hands. The base is strong with little to no flex upon application of pressure, and even the laptop lid and hinge feel extremely reliable with barely any flex or wobble.
With the display now being 16:10 instead of 16:9 from the previous Razer Blade 14, the laptop is slightly larger to accommodate the extra screen space. As such, we see that even the touchpad on the new Razer Blade 14 is slightly larger than last year's model. Another new thing Razer has incorporated in the Razer Blade 14 starting this year is a webcam shutter slide and removable RAM modules. This is fantastic from a consumer's point of view, and while the Razer Blade 14 ends up being around 1mm thicker than last year's variant, it's a minor sacrifice.
With this being a 14-inch laptop, ports are understandably limited. There are no ports on the front or back of the machine. On both the left and right side you have a single USB-A and USB-C 3.2 Gen. 2 port for a total of two each. On the right side, you have an HDMI 2.1 port and a Kensington lock and on the left side, you have the AC adapter port, and the combo audio.
The display on the Razer Blade 14 is great. The 16:10 240 Hz IPS panel offers high peak brightness. We tested 552 NITS average peak brightness during our display test. It's also very colour accurate making it excellent for your content creation needs on the go. We tested an sRGB coverage of 99.6 percent and a DCI-P3 coverage of 98.3 percent. The only drawback we would say is that it's not an OLED panel, which honestly isn't all that much of a drawback.
With that, we come to the performance on the Razer Blade 14 2023. Quickly going through the specs once again, the new Razer Blade 14 comes with the new 7000 series AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS processor with a base TDP of 35W, which is paired with the NVIDIA RTX 4070 with a TGP of 140W. For this review, we'll be comparing it with the HP OMEN Transcend 16, which also features an RTX 4070 (with a TGP of 130W), and an Intel Core i7-13700HX, which features a base TDP of 55W.
Starting things off with processor performance, looking at general productivity with the PCMark 10 benchmark, we can see that the new Ryzen 9 actually performs better than the 13th gen i7 almost across the board, save one field.
We use the Cinebench R23 benchmark to test single-thread and multi-thread performance. Here, while the 13th gen Core i7-13700HX performs better in single-thread performance, the Ryzen 9 ends up scoring higher in multi-thread performance.
When it comes to encryption and decryption, for which we use WinRAR and 7-Zip's benchmark tools, the 13th gen Core i7 slightly inches ahead of the Ryzen 9 in the WinRAR benchmark, but with 7-Zip, the Ryzen 9 takes the win by a landslide.
Overall, the Ryzen 9 7940HS comes out as the better-performing processor of the two.
Next, we come to gaming performance. Both laptops feature NVIDIA RTX 4070s, however, the TGP on the HP OMEN Transcend 16 is slightly lower at 130W compared to the 140W on the Razer Blade 14.
That said, the difference in scores isn't all that big. As you can see, the 3DMark scores for both laptops are very close, but the higher TGP on the Razer Blade 14 does seem to have made a difference.
The same translated to real-world gaming as well. We tested both laptops across a range of games, both CPU and GPU intensive. The FPS numbers for the most part are very close, but the Razer Blade 14 inches ahead in most games. Except for Valorant. Valorant is weird.
Either way, the NVIDIA RTX 4070 is an excellent laptop GPU, and you should have no trouble running the latest AAA games with ease, even at the higher resolution display offered by the Razer Blade 14.
Usually, laptops with small form factors, like the Razer Blade 14, tend to heat up a lot more than their larger gaming laptop counterparts. Surprisingly, the Razer Blade 14 handles heat exceptionally well, especially when compared to last year's model. This is thanks to both the slightly larger size, and the presence of the new Max Fan mode profile in Razer Synapse, which keeps the laptop surprisingly cool under stress. Of course, the Max Fan mode also makes the laptop pretty loud.
During our CPU stress test, we recorded a peak CPU temp of 76 degrees Celsius, which is great. Similarly, surface temps across the laptop never went across the 40-degree Celsius mark. Do keep in mind that all of our thermal testing is done in an air-conditioned environment, so the laptop would run hotter sans the AC.
At approximately 90 minutes, the 68Wh battery on the Razer Blade 14 has the best battery life we’ve tested in a gaming laptop this year. That’s 90 minutes of just gaming. This is of course with the refresh rate set to 60 Hz. At 240 Hz, the battery drains a LOT quicker. General productivity tasks, web browsing, etc will net you a lot more time on the Razer Blade 14 while unplugged.
The Razer Blade 14 is a solid step up from last year's variant, with better internals, a larger 16:10 display, removable RAM modules, and better cooling as well. The accompanying display is excellent, and the new 7000 series AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS performs exceptionally with the RTX 4070. The 14-inch form factor makes this an extremely portable laptop offering, and the port options are also decent. It's quite a bummer that the laptop isn't officially available in India.
|Release Date:||06 Jul 2023|