In and Around the Razer Blade 14-Inch

As I mentioned previously, it's hard not to compare the Razer Blade 14-inch to Apple's MacBook Pro. That's not really a problem, though; I'm not an Apple user or an Apple fan, but it's hard to really argue that Apple's ID and general notebook quality have yet to find a good match in the Windows space. If you're going to crib from anyone's design playbook, that would probably be the one.

The Razer Blade 14-inch enjoys an aluminum chassis from head to toe. There are two slight ridges on the lid to give it class and character (and probably a tough of rigidity), and the Razer logo glows when the system is powered on. The body itself seems to be a unibody aluminum chassis, but what I'd like to draw attention to is the internal design.


Source: Razer Blade website.

There's some incredibly smart engineering at work here to get the system this thin, but there are compromises made, too. Razer employs a pair of small fans that intake air from the bottom and exhaust it through heatsink arrays hidden in the hinge. The result is a chassis with virtually no visible ventilation yet still has actual cooling potential.

A look at the bottom of the notebook reveals exactly that. Two ventilated intakes for the fans, no visible exhausts. The tradeoff with this design is a tremendous amount of heat above the keyboard. Razer does a fantastic job of managing noise, but the panel of aluminum above the keyboard, where the power button is, gets extremely hot and unpleasant to the touch.

With the chiclet keycap design this radiant heat won't be a major issue during prolonged gaming sessions, but it's something to be aware of. The internal thermal design means the palm rests never get too warm, though; it's all actually pretty slick.

Users who aren't enamored with Razer's Switchblade panel in the larger Blade Pro unit will be overjoyed to see a spacious touchpad complete with two dedicated mouse buttons. As for the keyboard itself, it's plenty comfortable, though for some bizarre reason I found myself frequently fat-fingering it despite a lack of actual fat fingers. I suspect this problem will be unique to me and maybe a couple of other users; the keyboard still has plenty of travel and depth and it's tough to find any real fault with. In fact my only real complaint is the lack of any indication that the document navigation keys are mapped to Fn combinations with the arrows. That's a sacrifice made for the sake of ID, though, and I have a hard time complaining too much.

For the past two Razer Blade reviews, it was easy for me to sit back and quibble with Vivek's enthusiasm over the industrial design of the Blades at the expense of the notebook's actual practicality. Yet with the 14-inch Blade, it's hard not to see his point. Even if Razer has essentialy created the RazerBook Pro, they still cribbed from the right playbook. The Blade is for anyone who wanted the MacBook Pro in black (which does go with everything), and it's for anyone who has gotten more than a little tired of ostentatious, gaudy gaming notebook designs. It's a shot fired across the bow of vendors like Alienware, stating in no uncertain terms that you can have a powerful, performance gaming notebook in a sleeker form factor. The Blade's ID feels like gaming for grown-ups.

Introducing the Razer Blade 14-Inch System and Futuremark Performance
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  • krumme - Tuesday, July 2, 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 2, 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.
    Reply
  • justaviking - Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - link

    One thing I have always enjoyed and appreciated about AnandTech.com 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.
    Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Saturday, July 6, 2013 - link

    Brian Klug's review of the HTC One (April 5, 2013 - http://www.anandtech.com/show/6747/htc-one-review) 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?
    Reply
  • Menty - Wednesday, July 3, 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 6, 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 - http://www.anandtech.com/show/6851/the-htc-one-a-r...

    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".
    Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - link

    Dustin,

    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.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, July 2, 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.
    Reply
  • ppeterka - Friday, July 5, 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 2, 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

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