Back to Article

  • zach1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Finally, I was waiting for a review for weeks. Can't wait to read it. Reply
  • bji - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Why don't you post *after* you've read the review so that you don't waste review comment space? Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    But then how could he be first? :P Reply
  • JoseVilla - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $82h… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online. (Home more information)
  • kevin_newell - Thursday, October 09, 2014 - link

    It's not bad.. but a lot better options are out there. /Kevin from Reply
  • zach1 - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    So someone won't post "first" and then the following comments will then be like, why did you waste space writing that, and ruin the first page of the form, but you had to comment any way so I guess I failed. Reply
  • kedesh83 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I've been looking at getting a gaming notebook due to me traveling a lot for my job, but this is just ridiculous. the Lenovo y500 has 2 graphics cards, a 1080p panel, and cost a grand. Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    That's right. And a few months ago, the Lenovo Y580 had a faster GTX660M and was available for as low as $799 from Newegg. A gaming notebook that can run BF3/Skyrim on high... for $799. It was never mentioned on Anandtech to my knowledge, and instead they had about 63 articles about the Razer 17" notebook for about 3x the price ($2499 or something like that), comparatively speaking, a luxury item.

    Most of the stuff Anandtech looks at is sent to them by mail, likely from the manufacturer themselves. Sorry to say it but that basically makes them a mouthpiece for others' corporate marketing budgets.

    That being said, this thing looks pretty cool.
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Forgot to mention, the Razer 17" notebook had nearly identical specs. Reply
  • kedesh83 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    guess it makes sense when your also a mouthpiece for the right/libertarians Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    WTF!? Reply
  • TheQuestian - Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - link

    Haha! Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    If you think the rest of the industry is any different, I have a bridge to sell you. We review what we're sent, same as anyone else.

    But that doesn't make us a mouthpiece. I'd like to think we're pretty critical; we may review what we're sent, but we put the screws to it.
  • bji - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Why do you review only what you're sent? Can't you have a budget where you buy hardware, review it, and then re-sell it? Every review would cost a couple hundred bucks to produce but that can't be much averaged over the time you spent writing the review (if I spent 20 hours writing a review, the time cost would far exceed a couple of hundred dollars spent on the hardware), and also, you make advertising revenue ... Reply
  • p1esk - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Very good point. Besides, it would easy to resell when you have a huge audience of potential buyers. Reply
  • resination - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Heh. "This laptop is overpriced junk. Click here to buy ours." Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    point well made. Reply
  • kevith - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Seriously? Should Anand Lil Shimpi run around, shopping for hardware to review? And after reviewing it, they should spend time trying to resell it?

    I really don´t think that would work...
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link


    Have a donation/kickstarter system to fund the hardware review budget. Once something is reviewed, slap a fancy Anandtech logo on it and sell it for a 20% loss.

    Anything would be better than sitting and waiting for a manufacturer to send you a cherry-picked sample.
  • MySchizoBuddy - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    the purpose of a reviewer is to test honestly what was handed to them. whether it is given to them or bought is irrelevant. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    A few hundred dollars isn't much less than what most hardware reviewers get paid to begin with. "Hey, can you go buy that $900 laptop, review it, resell it for $700, and we'll pay you the standard $400 for your review?" Reviewing hardware is nice, but when a full review can take 20-40 hours to put together (sometimes more), you can see that investing even four or five extra hours starts to really cut into the revenue/income.

    Then there's the fact that outside of Lenovo, we generally get most of the laptops that are really worth reviewing. We don't need to review every budget laptop, and we don't have the manpower to do so -- and the readership would get really tired of seeing multiple laptop reviews each week where 90% of the laptops are "average" -- okay for a certain price point, but with various flaws.

    Should we need to essentially pay for the privilege of reviewing a specific manufacturer's hardware? Now add in the time it requires to resell a laptop, and the risk of fraud, and it's a big can of worms I'm not really keen to open. In fact, I know one site that tried to do this with desktop systems some years ago so that they could really see what the end user experience was like, including calling tech support to troubleshoot a problem. The reviews ended up not generating enough revenue to cover their cost, the section basically got axed, and the reviewer in question ended up working for one of the big tech companies.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I should also note that buying your own review units means your reviews will be, at best, several weeks after everyone else. That's not the end of the world, but it does mean about one third the traffic as being one of the first reviews. Reply
  • bji - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    I've read comments not too infrequently about people wishing for reviews that didn't happen because the manufacturer didn't send a sample. And also I've heard people lament about wanting to read reviews of hardware several weeks or months past its release time.

    Obviously you don't have to buy any of the hardware that you already get before release or otherwise directly from the manufacturer, and augmenting those reviews with some self-purchased hardware wouldn't change that.

    I am sorry to hear though that the reviewer compensation is so meager; I would consider 20 - 40 hours to write a review to be worth thousands of dollars of my time and if I was investing that much time I wouldn't care much about eating a couple hundred on resale losses. If you're only getting paid $400 for 20 - 40 hours of time spent writing a review then you must be doing it to some extent for hobby purposes in addition to the income, because obviously it's no way to make a living. With that in mind, I don't mind spending hundreds every month on my hobby, if I were a reviewer I'd probably just look at the resale losses as funding my hobby, and I'd spend my time reviewing what I liked to and wanted to, not what manufacturers decided to send to me.

    There must be something to this review business though; I've seen pictures of Anand's house from some of the articles on here and it looks pretty nice :)
  • n13L5 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    Its not that bad, as long as you don't have to work with a crummy CMS to actually publish it and waste more hours...

    But really, stop talking about "buying" stuff to review, there are specialized rental agencies who send you the stuff for 2 weeks to review and pick it back up when done.
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    I like anandtech. Please don't change. The formats fine. I'd rather have your in depth reviews, and more of them, rather than more shallow reviews. I've been a reader for the last 3 years. If I had any criticism, you should have a 'to-buy' section, where you recommend hardware (summarized), we buy, you get a referral fee.

    Anandtech's transparency is by far the best I've seen (eg, look at apple insider, cnet, etc)
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Sorta like how appleinsider has that macmall and a few other companies with price comparisons and sometimes promos. AT could do something similar, but for other resellers and special/discount pricing for certain products, like... Motherboards.. Ram... GPU etc Reply
  • burgertime - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Can't you start your own hardware review website? Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Valid points all around, but I would think if AT reached out to Lenovo, there wouldn't be too much trouble in procuring a review sample.

    Seems to me this is more of a case of that model flying under the radar. It's pretty obvious why parts like this from Razer cost a ton more...they spend a lot more on marketing.

    That being said I think this is way too expensive for any kind of laptop, but then again I don't game on these kinds of mobile platforms. Lack of gigabit Ethernet as mentioned in the article is a non-starter for me.
  • n13L5 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    They don't have to have a budget to "buy" hardware to review. There are agencies specializing on loaning gear to review sites. Tech rags can rent the stuff for 2 weeks or 3 weeks or whatever time they think they need. At the end, it gets picked up by a courier. Reply
  • dsumanik - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Dustin I'd encourage you to read anands current "best Mac laptops June 2013" article.

    It is shameless, biased, direct marketing for apple.

    As a decade-long supporter of this site I'd like to see that article deleted and an apology issued.

    Yeah it's no big deal and relatively minor, but the deeper issue is credibility.... Like wtf. Is happening to you guys?
  • krumme - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Yes, but Dustin says what needs to be said, and is quite frank about the situaiton. He is by far one of the reviewers with most credit in my book. Reply
  • Pfffman - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    In Anand's defence, there are people that actually don't consider anything apart from Apple so it is actually helpful in that respect. Since customers have their own biases and preferences, and in the case mentioned a very particular one, it is still providing analysis based on what Anand is trying to say is the most benefit based on your usage model. It would be a lot more alarming if it was a "best laptops June 2013" and it only listed Apple.

    I personally don't and have never managed to use OSX properly.
  • justaviking - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    One thing I have always enjoyed and appreciated about is the BLEND of ANALYTICAL ANALYSIS and OPINION... and their distinction between them.

    The AnandTech staff will often say share the bias they had coming into a review, and how it was supported or how they were surprised (in both good and bad ways). They also talk about how their usage pattern might affect their opinion.

    This is by far my favorite tech review site.
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    Brian Klug's review of the HTC One (April 5, 2013 - stands out as truly singular in nature. It is the finest tech review I've ever had the pleasure of savoring.

    In fact, my labeling it as a "tech review" does both Brian & AnandTech a disservice: Brian's efforts are a distillation of literary excellence as applied through journalistic themes. Very Well Done One & All!

    Now, what's for dessert?
  • Menty - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Why not leave the Apple hatred at the door where it belongs? An article about "Best Mac Laptops" is a) only going to contain information about Macs and b) will be appreciated by some readers of this site. It's not a "Best Laptops" article that only contains Macs, is it? Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Saturday, July 06, 2013 - link

    In reply to dsumanik (7/2/13):
    A person of intelligence & integrity is capable of holding a distinct personal preference for a given *Something* and simultaneously rendering a reasoned, well supported, & laudably fair critique on that *Something* or *Some-other things*. In fact, such figures in public forums were once respected, & were seen to be exemplars of an ideal worth striving toward.

    Our current cultural climate, however, guides us to accept as our reference point the fact that, regardless of an individuals voice, there is always an undisclosed personal agenda being promoted. Essentially, no one but "ME" (read as, "You the Reader") is capable of anything that isn't hopelessly tainted by the poison of blatant self-interest, abject Fanboi-ism, or both.

    An unfortunate consequence is that examples of intelligent, reasoned, critical thought are becoming quite rare. One example of such analysis is to be found here: The HTC One: A Remarkable Device, Anand’s mini Review; by Anand Lal Shimpi on March 21, 2013 4:49 PM EST -

    Okay, so, we can all agree that no one individual is "perfect". By combining our shared human fallibility with a shared assumption of good intent (until such trust is proved unwarranted), comment forums may become worth the time spent reading them.

    PRO TIP: Not everyone can, or should be, immediately grouped in with the morally bereft Wall Street Ponzi Scheme Promoter, or the craven Supreme Court Justice voting to legalize unprecedented graft & corruption via Citizens United. Doing so only reveals a pathetic pattern of conveniently fact-free, wretched intellectual laziness that "The Ladies do NOT find appealing".
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link


    I didn't say one word about how others review hardware. If you do something bad, the fact that everyone else does it too, doesn't make it OK.

    The obvious problem inherent in reviewing what you're sent is you only have what the manufacturer wants you to have. They know how their product works and they probably won't knowingly send a lemon to Anandtech. Therefore they pretty much know a bit about what you're going to say on their behalf when they send you a package. So you are sort of a mouthpiece.

    Another problem is that you actually miss a lot of good stuff, like the Lenovo laptop the OP mentioned.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    You really don't understand how this works, do you? The industry operates the way it does for a reason, and if you think companies are just sending out their best stuff, you're giving them too much credit. They send out what they think will be the most compelling, but a lot of this stuff is going through PR companies.

    If you really think I'm a mouthpiece, I highly encourage you to go back and read my review of MSI's GT70 Dragon Edition.
  • ppeterka - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    flyingpants1: Why don't you or the OP buy the aforementioned laptop, send it to Anandtech to review, then after it, just sell it off cheaper? Reply
  • kedesh83 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    You have a point there, but i have always come to Anandtech since it started for intelligent reviews about hardware i care about, and written by people who know what they hell they are talking about, rather then the snub nosed hipsters of Engadget and the like Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Besides the fact that all told we have only had 13 articles in recent history dealing with Razer at all (, you might have also missed this:

    OMG! What's that? Totally shameless, biased, and direct marketing material I guess, where we recommended the Y500 series as a potent gaming notebook for the price. Hmmmm...
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Hah, I did miss that. Thanks Jarred. Reply
  • Razorbak86 - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    ROFLMAO! Thanks, Jarred. You just made my morning. :D Reply
  • phoenixangel - Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - link

    hey guys don't worry about what just a few people say, me and most of my friends treat your reviews with great respect and appreciate your efforts. In fact we have gone through tons of review websites with heavy bias so much so we ditched them one by one, and we're left with yours :) Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    The problem with a lot of manufacturers is they don't get how much advertising even a mediocre review on a well-respected site like Anandtech gives them, and they don't provide sites with their hardware so they can review them. This isn't really Anandtech's fault, it's Lenovo's.

    EVERY major hardware review site gets the stuff they review from someone who sent it to them, almost always the company that made it. Very few can actually afford to buy hardware themselves, and those sites that can (Tomshardware, for example), don't.

    And, seriously, implying that Anandtech is in any way beholden to those that provide the site with hardware is ludicrous. Dustin reams Razer a new hole over the screen provided with this laptop (rightly so), and he wouldn't do that if he was just being their "mouthpiece".
  • xTRICKYxx - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    When the Y580 came out, I convinced 2 of my friends to get it. It was $1000 for a 3 year warranty, 1080P display, 8GB Ram, i7-3630QM, GTX 660M, and pretty decent battery. Lenovo hit a home run with that laptop and they sold a lot of them I'm sure. Reply
  • PNN - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Y500's build quality is atrocious. Its nice and fast, but it feels like a cheap netbook. Reply
  • lordbannon - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I picked up one of the y500s a month ago - right after the bump to 750s. Haven't been disappointed in it thus far for the price. Wish it had better battery life, but since it's main purpose it to let me play games from the hotel I can't complain. I do agree that it seems every windows laptop is missing just one bit keeping it from being awesome. Reply
  • Flunk - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    With this you're paying for a lot of things size, weight, performance, build quality so its not really a fair comparison. If you really want everything it's going to cost you. The Y500 has terrible battery life, SLI instead of a single card, is heavier and suffers from middling build quality. If you want a good value, yes they Y500 is better value but if you simply must have everything the Blade doesn't really have any competition. Reply
  • Flying Goat - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    The big difference is form factor - the y500 weighs 50% more. Not many choices if you want a high end notebook under 6 pounds, and this weighs a mere 4.1 pounds. Only other such laptop I'm aware of is the 15" Asus 51vz, which doesn't have as powerful a GPU (But does have a comparable price). Thinking I may get a 51vz, myself, since I prefer the larger screen. Otherwise, I'd seriously be considering a Razer Blade. Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I think Apple pays each and every Windows OEM to make the best possible laptops and fuck one aspect of the hardware, so that they always build a flawed notebook. Reply
  • madmilk - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Indeed. There are so few ultrabooks that can match the 15" rMBP (Asus UX51Vz comes to mind), and this could've been one of them. With that screen though (200:1, seriously?), it's practically in junk territory. Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I still think this should use the Samsung-style 3200x1800 display and halve that res for gaming. Might as well at this price point, and compete head-on with the Macbooks. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Bingo! Well this one is off the list. I was a little worried about the resolution but I could deal with it. Horrible panel, not so much. There were 4 different laptops on my list as candidates to buy this fall. This one, the Alienware 14, then at the opposite end of the spectrum of "I'm more portable but can only play games at medium quality at 720p...maybe", I've got the Zenbook Infinity and the 13 rMBP with the 28 watt Iris parts. I love the fact that the Alienware 14 has 2 mSATA slots AND a full height 2.5" drive, but now I'm really leaning toward the more portable barely gaming capable choices. The Alienware config I'm interested in is the $1750 one (1080p IPS/GTX 765m/AC/16GB), and I'm sure my wallet will take an equal or larger beating with a 512GB storage option on the Infinity or the rMBP. Storage is where you get raped on anything thin :(. Reply
  • ananduser - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    The new revamped Alienwares are all aluminium. There are also no compromises regarding temperature as there is ample room for cooling. This Razer unit is full of compromises due to portability and design constrains. Alienware is really the only choice right now. Reply
  • Razorbak86 - Monday, July 08, 2013 - link

    Sager and Clevo beg to differ. Reply
  • zach1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Is the display only horrible for the price range or will a $900 laptop beat it. Reply
  • purrcatian - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    You can get an IPS screen in laptops under $900. Reply
  • wrkingclass_hero - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I actually yelled out "oh no!" when I saw the ratio, and murmured "oh goodness..." when I saw the black levels. That is a terrible display all around, gamut, viewing angles... they fouled up the whole product with that one piece. Reply
  • Sushisamurai - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Damn, another PC gaming notebook bites the dust... The panel was truly shocking... But then I thought... Why not plug in a display... ...Herms..... Reply
  • Bob Todd - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Because if the display is bad enough that you'd want to use an external monitor all the time, you might as well be using a desktop ;). Somewhat joking, but really if you can afford to drop ~$2K on a laptop, then spending a quarter to half that for a much more capable gaming desktop (in addition to a laptop) probably isn't that big of a deal. Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I was actually planning to buy this laptop and develop on it but not with that fucked up panel. Just look at Asus or Lenovo or others to get the best panels on the Windows side of the world. Heck even Dell has upped their game here. Jeez, talk about a royal fu to their users. Reply
  • sivmac239 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Yeah I was going pick one up too, but I much have a uglier laptop with a better screen than a pretty one with a substandard one. I really dont want to go Mac but man the screen options are abysmal for most laptops. Reply
  • Aegrum - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    "Razer's designers made the Mona Lisa of gaming notebooks, and then drew a moustache, goatee, and monocle on her."

    Such a perfect description! Such a bummer - I was really looking forward to this system. Give it a better panel and ThunderBolt 2.0 in case I want to use an eGPU in the future, and you have, in my eyes, the perfect laptop. I guess I'll have to wait another year.
  • Bayonet - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Nice Duchampian reference there Dustin, showing off your Art knowledge ;) Reply
  • MykeM - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I think the photo of the internal design is based on earlier CAD drawing. I could be wrong but I saw a photo someone posted of the actual internal on the Notebook Review Forum:
  • mountcarlmore - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Now you know how I feel owning the MSI ge-40, a cheaper and slightly thicker competitor to the blade. Why do so much right, only to make such a boneheaded decision as pinching pennies on the display. I bet my ass Razer used the same pos AUO that is in my laptop. Reply
  • mountcarlmore - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Correction, mine apparently is a auo303e rather than razer's auo103e for whatever its worth. My spyder measured the contrast the same as in the review, 2 de, and I think around 72% of adobe rgb after calibration, which isn't terrible really. Reply
  • hfm - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    I wonder how hard it would be to put a different 14" panel in this thing? I would consider getting it just for the opportunity to do that down the road. Reply
  • Braincruser - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    The heat is not ok. 93C for a brand new notebook that hasn't seen dust at all is not OK. This thing will trottle and shut down in regular use all the time. Don't forget this is a gaming laptop, anything above 85 is trouble. Reply
  • karasaj - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Why on earth did they do that? Razer took the original blade, improved in almost every way, and shot themselves in the foot. They could have had literally the perfect notebook. I'd love to see a comment from them on this. Reply
  • Krafty1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Fix the display...give me a Thunderbolt port for mild future proofing...I'll find the money.

    Otherwise...still waiting.
  • robco - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    If they're going to crib from Apple, they need to go all the way. I don't want to hear any criticism about how Apple lacks ports or requires adapters. Not even ac wireless? With a rMBP, I could use a gig-E network adapter. My other primary concern is the intake vents on the bottom, since I do often use my laptop in my lap.

    I agree that this laptop has a lot going for it. But the display is very important. I don't see why they went cheap. Granted, Razer may not have Apple's R&D resources, but they don't have to write their own OS either.
  • Check101 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Ah, thank you for the clarification. This confirms my thoughts... The notebook manages heat by pushing the heat away from the user, and it is slim, powerful, sturdy, and has a large battery. Now, some hard numbers show that this screen is terrible for this price-point. I was very curious about an upcoming review ever since Razer CEO posted a review of the 14 inch Blade on his Facebook page arguing that the screen was just fine, but that was a very quick review that glossed over important details. Now we know... Razer needs another iteration of this notebook... Reply
  • arthur449 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Great review, Dustin. I enjoyed your attention to detail about the notebook's hot spots and remarks about the usability of the keyboard. You're also spot-on about Razer hitting the sweet spot in terms of notebook gaming hardware.

    While the screen is hilariously bad, how're its response times? It seems completely odd to me that they would've neglected this aspect of the overall package so badly. Maybe they sacrificed viewing angles, contrast, and color quality in favor of a bright twitchy TN panel gamers on-the-go would appreciate in poorly lit areas? I'm assuming it's not a 120Hz panel, but does it have any notable ghosting?
  • dwade123 - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    It already struggles with the latest console ports. Next-gen ones are gonna make this an obsolete device. Reply
  • Silma - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    It looks nice enough but unfortunately it follows the tradition of too many notebook makers of marrying a decent/good cpu/gpu pair with as many crappy parts as possible. Yet again, as for the Carbon X1, an indecent super ba Reply
  • Silma - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    super bad super low res screen.
    This, combined with no Ethernet network, and the wariness with Razer's lack of quality control that came with the purchases of too many premium mouses that won't work more than a few months at the most, will make it easy for to admire the notebook's aesthetics
    from afar and buy something else, probably the Asus Infinity or the Samsung 9+ if they ever step out of vaporware.
  • SpartanJet - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Will you be reviewing the Razer Blade Pro this time around? Reply
  • wdfmph - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Last time I said gaming laptop does not make sense and lots of people shoot me. See it yourself. It just has to drop the ball here or there no matter how expensive they could be. Last time is the stupid single fan design in the MSI laptop, this time is the miserable screen.

    In addition, I think reliability of RAZER products questionable.
  • Winterblade - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Great review... hopefully the next version will correct the display quality, I'm perfectly fine with the resolution but if indeed windows 8.1 can fix the way windows manages high-density displays then I would definetly want a more dense display.

    Also, please Razer add a gigabit ethernet port or at least bundle the next generation blade with an adapter, this is a gaming machine, not a god-damn tablet.

    I'm all in for a truly portable gaming machine, and at this very moment I consider this the very best option in that regard (NO, I will not carry more than 2Kg half-way trough the world, nobody should :P), that being said, with 2 horrible faults (display & ethernet) I just can't justify my self buying the blade, fix at least one of these and count me onboard for Gen2 Blade 14.
  • Roland00Address - Tuesday, July 02, 2013 - link

    Dustin before you send back the Razer or resell it can you by chance test the integrated graphics for the intel hd4600. We got benchmarks for the desktop 4600 (but that has a much higher tdp so it can always hit those boost clocks), and we saw how thermally limited the intel 5000 was compared to the intel 4400 with the macbook air and acer s7.

    It would be nice to know how the non ulv intel hd graphics will perform in mainstream notebooks, and how this will compare to trinity/richland.
  • Khenglish - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    One thing I would like to see more detail on for gaming laptops is temperatures. Cooling is a huge issue for gaming laptops.

    What program got you to 93C? What was the room temp? If you got to 93C after running linpack an hour, then 93C is fine. If you got to 93C from 3dm11's physics test, then we have a problem. Can you confirm that there was no throttling? Haswell's throttle point is not until 100C, but sometimes the BIOS will trigger early throttling, or do something like disable turbo if the dGPU is active.

    Same story for gpu temps. Just loop one of the unigen benchmarks for an hour or something.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    "While the Blade has incorporated some of the best elements of Apple notebook design" - Apple was not the first to release a thin laptop or to use the chiclet keyboard so why do web sites like this keep on pushing these thoughts? It instantly places the machine, in readers minds, as being somewhat negative. Reply
  • VLSImagic - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Probably because when you put this directly next to an Apple rMBP 15", then you're looking at something that, shall we say, was 'inpired' by the Apple in terms of its design. And its not just on the outside either, checkout the 15" rMBP motherboard in this picture and then compare it to the Blade's internals in the article:
  • augustofretes - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    You apple deniers need to grow up, Apple invented the ultrabook, ultrabooks exist because they were and are a response to Apple's Macbook Air, they launched that while the industry was high on Netbooks... Reply
  • Steveymoo - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    What an archaic pricing scheme - The system uses 3 variants of the samsung 840 SSD (admittedly gutted and custom fitted, but still.) As far as I can see, there is only around a $200 difference between the 128gb, and 500gb variants of this SSD. So apart from blatant profiteering, where are they getting the $400 mark-up in price from? Reply
  • SpeedyGonzales - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    ...out of their asses. Base configuration upgrades such as RAM, SSD and GPU upgrades are usually used to rip-off customers. See: Alienware, Razer, a certain extend the Clevo resellers as well, but not as drastic. Reply
  • Terrestrial - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Anand, what do you think about Min's post on Facebook about the panel on the Blade, reprinted below:

    I’ve been asked many times why we chose a TN panel over an IPS panel for the Razer Blade and my response has been “It’s the best 14” panel available for gaming.” I thought I’d go into it in greater detail.

    The TN panel on the Razer Blade has a transition time of 8ms (16ms worst case) and essentially, that means that pixels can completely turn on or off within the refresh time allotted in a 60Hz display. The IPS panels available to us at the time had a refresh rate of 35ms (50ms worst case) and basically that means there could be visible artifact during pixel transitions from any one color to another.

    The difference between 50ms and 16ms means that we can avoid any chance of visible artifact during quickly changing frames, i.e. gaming performance is best on the panel we chose.

    However, admittedly, while gaming performance is better on the panel we chose, other issues like vertical viewing angles are poorer for the TN panel as compared to IPS panels.

    We made these decisions well aware that it would have an impact on other uses – i.e. lying in bed and watching a movie with a friend etc, but it has always been gaming first here at Razer. Honestly, from my own personal perspective, I don’t have any issues with viewing angles cos I’m forever alone on my laptop anyway.

    This is akin to the decision that we made for the first Razer Blade Pro 2 years ago where we picked a dual-core CPU with a higher clock rate vs a quad-core CPU with a lower clock rate. For the tech uninitiated then, most said “why not Quad core?” but the hardcore gamers understood that a higher clock speed dual core CPU would outperform a lower clock speed quad core for gaming. It was only till the Quad Core CPUs met our gaming spec that we moved to a Quad Core CPU. Similarly, when it came to screen selection for the new Razer Blade, we picked the 14” best screen there was for gamers.

    Would we pick an IPS panel in the future? Possibly, but only if the refresh rates are up to par with our expectations for our customers – you – the gamer. Until then, the 14” TN panel is the best panel there is for gaming.

    Our design philosophy has always been to design and build the best possible products for gamers. And that will never change!
  • SpeedyGonzales - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link


    I think gamers are willing to compromise on viewing angles, maybe on colour gamut as well, but not on black levels.

    Focusing on response time only, does not help, if dark gaming scenes are rather grey.

    Are you telling us, that there is no 1600*900 TN panel available with a black level less than 0,5 ?

    What is needed is a TN panel with a contrast ratio of at least 600 and a color gamut of 68+, in this case gamers will compromise on viewing angels.

    At this price point this panel makes the entire Laptop obsolete, because dark scenes will be "unplayable", regardless of screen response time.

    Whilst talking about design decisions, the Razer Blade pro, with its 1080p resolution is underpowered. All tests so far show, that the GTX765 is massively bandwidth limited and therefore not future proof at a native 1080p resolution.

    Both laptops look very nice and I would be willing to pay the Razer premium, even for the 500GB SSD, but not with such bad design compromises.
  • processinfo - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Crap, I was thinking about buying one but with this display forget about it.
    Crappy TN pannel in $2000 machine! What are they thinking?!!
  • evilspoons - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Well, I was hoping to buy this as a replacement for my dead Macbook Pro. I primarily use my laptop for Photoshop Lightroom, but with a display that terrible there's no way in hell they're getting my money. What a huge loss... I'd easily pay another $200 to have a proper IPS panel in this thing. Reply
  • aferox - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    Shame about the screen. I for one would be willing to pay more for a great screen at the same resolution. I won't shell out a hefty amount of dollars for almost there, though.

    Will you be reviewing the Gigabyte P34G when it comes out? That appears to be catering to a similar market.
  • jason.mcallister - Wednesday, July 03, 2013 - link

    The screen size and quality would be too big of a sacrifice, regardless of the internal specs. Even being a gamer who has spend 3k on a system in the past, I could never spend more than 1k on a laptop with a 14" screen. 15.6" is bare minimum, of course my eye sight is not what it used to be and I wear glasses to play games on my PC. I do like this brand however, and it does look cool, just not going to have a primary gaming laptop with that sticky small screen. Reply
  • robco - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I just checked their website. Not only do they go stingy on the screen, but also the warranty. $299, but it only extends the warranty to two years - excluding the battery. Ouch. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Damn this is so close to being a great notebook!

    I think I could see myself as a Razer notebook owner in the future. I know Razer will probably fix the display issue in the next revision, include a 256GB SSD for the same price as the current 128GB model, and with Maxwell coming out next year, Gaming ultrabooks will be ever more popular.

    Good job Razer!
  • GuniGuGu - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Great review, would've love to see it compared to the much cheaper, yet similarly specced clevo w230st. I think Anadtech should be able to get their hands on a review unit by now.. demand it :) Reply
  • adamrussell - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    Isnt the 900p kind of a deal breaker? This is supposed to be a top end gaming machine. Reply
  • SpeedyGonzales - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    I think the 900p is ok for 14 inch and given the capabilities of the GTX765.

    The bigger problem is the 1080p on the Blade Pro, which will not allow you to play the native resolution with a GTX765 for most of the upcoming (and recent) games.
  • elrui - Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - link

    My understanding of the review is that the resolution of the display isn't the largest deal breaker as it was chosen to provide an accurate resolution that the card could perform well at. The deal breaker is the actual quality of the screen. According to the measurements it's color reproduction, viewing angles and lights/darks are abysmal Reply
  • dineshramdin - Thursday, July 04, 2013 - link

    For Alienware, I got 14 notched a higher 111fps at the resolution of at 1366 x 768, which is amazing…
  • zh.aung - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    "...seriously crippled the notebook with a lousy screen that threatens to undermine the whole operation. I can't fathom what the thought process was behind this decision..."
    The most perplexing thing since the disappearance of the start button!
  • n13L5 - Friday, July 05, 2013 - link

    People already complained about their display panel at Computex, so I had filed a pre-sales ticket with Razer, regarding the display just before they started taking orders. This was their answer:

    I have read through your email and unfortunately we are unable to share this information, as we may make changes in manufacturing that will change the type and model of LCD panel in use. We can only point you to the product specifications page, which I'm sure you have visited. Once reviews start coming online from the various tech sites they may share more about their impressions of the panel.

    Unsurprisingly, the bad commentary on a bad panel isn't showing any signs of changing. Facts are facts (except for the marketing departments of the world)
  • Hrel - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    Idk, I still feel like this style of gaming laptop won't be a... comfortable proposition until we get another manufacturing shrink. Which just depresses me since it means AMD is right out. Intel's pricing has been getting absurd over the years. I really like what Razer is doing here though, I don't think it's bad now, but I still wouldn't call this platform "mature". Reply
  • Hrel - Sunday, July 07, 2013 - link

    Also, not having 802.11ac at this point, ESPECIALLY at this price point, is simply unnaceptable.

    I agree completely with your laments on the LCD. I'd still pick Alienware if I were to spend this kind of money. Especially since how thing/light it is has no bearing on my decision at all. I'm a man though, not a girl. So I can't even tell the difference between 5 and 15lbs, much less 4 and 6. As long as it's under 50lbs in the bag with everything I'm good.
  • geniekid - Monday, July 15, 2013 - link

    Looks really good. Well done AT/Box Reply
  • windsor83 - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    I think Razer chose a lesser resolution display to minimize the power. Displays are known to be very power hungry, take retina display for instance, mac get super hot when working on maya, for instance, for very long time. But again, why do we need a stunning display to play games?? isnt the fps and portability more important than the display? We didnt have hd 4 years ago. Honestly I just bought an alienware 14 and display is stunning and design is solid but the font size is way too small by default, then it becomes ugly if i increase the font size. I have to squint my eyes to see what i am typing on gmail or msdoc. Then the edge just press my wrist so hard that I now fear getting a carpal tunnel syndrome. So is my alienware really worth it if it gives me ailment problems? I am boggling my mind whether to return my alienware and get the razer instead sacrificing the display. Please comment on my question, is the display really that important? Reply
  • NimbusTLD - Friday, October 04, 2013 - link

    I just got my Razer Blade 14 last week after being on the fence about it due to the screen's notoriety amongst the press. I have to say it's not that bad. I can see how having a higher resolution would give me the same squinting issues that you write about - Windows just isn't ready to handle high PPI (not that 1080p at 14" is even that high...). 900p seems to give a perfect readable font size at native scaling for me.The viewing angles and colours don't seriously bother me either - sure it's a bit annoying, but the rest of the laptop makes up for it. I wanted a laptop now, and the Razer Blade 14 is the one which is closest to my preferences: powerful enough for games and image editing, and thin enough to be carried around during my travels. Until Windows dramatically steps up their scaling, or Razer release a similar model with an IPS panel, I don't see myself buying anything else :) Reply
  • zhouse17 - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - link

    I think that this review was unnecessarily harsh. I've had my razer blade 14" for about 5 days now, and I love it. I was trying to decide between the razer blade 14" and the macbook pro retina 15" for a long time, and was leaning towards buying the macbook after reading this review. I fit into the niche that this laptop is designed for as I really value portability since I'm a grad student and carry my laptop everywhere, but I also want to be able to play games. This review really threw me off, since they trash the screen so hard, because I have a lot of respect for Anandtech. I spend at least 8 hours a day looking at my computer screen, mostly taking notes and studying, so a lousy screen would really be a deal breaker for me. In reality, though, the screen on this thing isn't bad at all. My last computer (a dell latitude e6500) had a matte TN screen, and you get used to it really fast. In my opinion it’s totally worth having a TN panel just for the faster refresh rate, since everything still looks so good. The pixel density on this 1600x900 screen is about the same as for a slightly larger 1080p screen, and it’s actually the perfect resolution for the video card. The viewing angles aren’t great, but that’s completely a non-issue unless you want to play split-screen multiplayer games on your 14” screen, in which case you should just buy an hdmi cable and use a TV or an external monitor. Everything looks sharp, and the color and contrast look great to me, but I’m not a photo editor. As for the rest of the computer, this thing is truly a feat of modern engineering. It packs more power into a smaller package than I even thought possible, and runs insanely fast. It boots up in like 8 seconds, and the battery life is good (I can make it through 4 hours of taking notes/browsing the web in class without plugging it in). Plus this thing crushes games, at least for a laptop. I’ve been playing through bioshock infinite the last few days on “very high” graphics settings at 40+ fps and it looks amazing. The keyboard is the best I’ve ever used on a laptop, and the trackpad is awesome. Finally, this is overall the sexiest laptop I have ever seen. It looks and feels exactly like a macbook pro retina 13”, but with a much better color choice (black looks so much better). Obviously this laptop is aimed at a niche user who’s priorities are portability and gaming, but as a member of that niche I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now