TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Razer rocked the laptop gaming market in 2012 with its lightweight 17-inch Razer Blade laptop. Now the gaming hardware company is turning heads again with its 14-inch Razer Blade 14. At just 0.66 inches thick and only 4 pounds, the Razer Blade 14 is not only the thinnest gaming laptop ever, but also one of the lightest. We had a chance to spend a few moments with the new gaming rig here at Computex Taipei and came away impressed with its premium design and powerful performance.
MORE: Best Laptops 2013
The first thing we noticed about the Razer Blade 14 is its stunning, all-black aluminum chassis. Like its big brother, the Blade 14 has a number of bright green accents that give it that unique Razer look and feel. In addition to the green Razer logo on the back of the lid and the green backlight on the keyboard, all the USB ports have a bright color, something we’ve never seen before on a laptop. In addition to the USB ports, the Razer has a headphone/mic jack and HDMI port, but no SD Card reader.
To keep the system portable, Razer designed its own lightweight power brick. Where other 150-watt bricks weigh several pounds — as much as some whole laptops — the Blade 14’s brick is about the size of a typical 65- or 90-watt laptop AC adapter. Razer was unable to provide a precise weight, but estimated that it is just more than a pound.
Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan told us that his company designed its own keyboard to provide the best possible typing and game control experience on the Razer Blade 14. The generously-sized keys provided superior tactile feedback in our brief experience using the laptop. The keyboard also supports anti-ghosting, which means that gamers can hit many keys at once without lag. The large touchpad felt extremely smooth and accurate in our time with the Blade 14. We particularly appreciated its two mechanical mouse buttons, as they provide easier clicking and more accuracy than the buttonless pads we now see on most laptops.
The dual stereo speakers that sit on either side of the keyboard provided rich, loud sound when Tan fired up a couple of games. We didn’t have a chance to listen to music on the Razer Blade 14, but expect that it would sound equally as good.
The 14-inch, 1600 x 900-pixel matte screen is bright and sharp, though it was difficult to get a sense of how it stacks up against other 14-inch screens in terms of color or brightness. We’ll have to take a closer look when we get the system in for review.
Like other gaming notebooks, the Razer Blade 14 gets hot, Tan told us, but the company designed the system so that the hot areas are not touch points. For example, he noted, that the area around the keyboard gets warm, while the keyboard and touchpad remain cool to the touch.
Inside, the Razer Blade 14 sports an Intel 4th-generation Core i7-4702HQ running at 2.2-GHz, an Nvidia GTX 765M chip, 8GB of RAM and an SSD in either 128, 256 or 512GB capacities. Those powerful specs amount to high-end performance. We watched as Tan played a game of Crysis 3 with the graphics set at high and movement was completely smooth even as taxing special effects like rain drops and wisps of steam appeared on-screen.
The Razer Blade 14 starts at $1,799 for the 128GB model and costs $1,999 or $2,299 for the 256GB or 512GB versions, respectively. The company has already started accepting preorders. We look forward to getting a Razer Blade 14 for testing so we can see how it stacks up against the competition.