The New 14-inch Razer Blade Notebook,Does The Hardware and Design Justify The Hefty Price Tag?

File-It-Under: Gaming Ultraportables By: D.F.Skinner!~ Razer_Blade_V04_CMYK_WBG

Probably the biggest news within the tech inner circle this week outside of anything being Apple is the release of the new Razer Blade Notebook. Razer which is known for making computer peripherals like the mouse and keyboards has just released its third generation Razer Blade notebook that is thin in design making it the worlds thinnest gaming notebook, it has the same similar MacBook Pro design,but its powerful enough to run any graphic intense game thrown at it.Here's the thing though,this is no ordinary Windows notebook that you can get at a BestBuy for reasonable price at $500,this notebook costs $1,800.Does this beautifully design notebook with top notch hardware that's inside justify the expensive price tag? Let's take a close observation,shall we.

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About The Hardware

Like most gaming laptops which there aren't many today on the market outside of Alienware,Clevo,MSI and ASUS,the Razer has supreme hardware inside crammed into a thin unibody and unlike the Alienware which has 2-inches in thickness. The Razer Blade is rocking the new Haswell Intel Core i7-4702HQ processor,not a single core processing,but fours cores measuring in at 2GHz with a turbo boost at 3.2GHz, since this is a Haswell processor it running on the 22nm platform at 37W,you should expect the components on the integrated motherboard to run cool(More on the cooling factor later). There is 8GB of DDR3 memory with 1600 MHz of RAM speed. Probably the pinnacle hardware outside of the processor in the new Razer Blade notebook is the graphic card, its rocking the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M graphic with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory. The  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M has 768 CUDA cores,measuring in at 797MHz, with a 863MHz clock boost. Just want to add that the NVIDIA GeForce 765M graphic card in the Razer Blade notebook is powered by the GK106 Kepler mobile processor.

Surprisingly the new Razer Blade notebook doesn't use a PCIe based storage drive to offset its hefty price tag,instead,it uses a Samsung PM841 mSATA 6Gbps SSD that comes in at 256GB. On the networking and connection front,the Razer Blade uses the latest Killer Wireless-N dual-band 2 x 2 802.11a/b/g/n, three USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port and your basic mic and headphone jack. Speaking of audio,the new Razer Blade has what seems to be standard in the notebook industry a Realtek ALC269 HD audio chipset.

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And That Design?

Aside from the hardware,the big star of the show is the Razer Blade's design which takes on a MacBook Pro-ish aesthetics. The 14-inch notebook is an a all aluminum matte black chassis,with a slight ridge on the lid of the notebook which gives it some style.The logo on the Razer glows when the notebook is powered on,which is once again MacBook Pro inspired.It also has what you're seeing is a industry standard a back lit keyboard with an emerald green LED color scheme.

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Ahhh But There's  Flaws

You wouldn't think that a $1,800 notebook would have any flaws,but in the case of the Razer Blade Notebook,it has some noticeable flaws. Let us first examine the display, many tech websites who have reviewed the Razer Blade are saying that the display on the notebook is average at best, a mere 1600 x 900 resolution,something you shouldn't expect from a high end notebook. I mean there is just no excuse when you have other gaming notebooks such as the Alienware 14 which is much thicker, has the same GPU yet offers a 1080p IPS display,ouch.The Razer Blade has an respectable 453 nits, but its the linear boost, the black levels are very sub par 2.24 nits.

And then there's the cooling that's in the Razer Blade which is average for a thin high end notebook with supreme hardware, many who reviewed the product complained that during peaked gaming,the notebook had a tendency to overheat,to the point you can't even place the notebook on your lap,yes that hot.But to be fair,it takes very intelligent engineering to be able to cram some heavy duty hardware into a very thin unibody so expect some type of compromise. Razer has constructed only two fans which intakes from the bottom and then exhaust it through the notebooks heatsink. If you look at the bottom of the notebook there reveals only two ventilated intake fans,no other visible exhaust. As a result, the Razer Blade hardware is said to emit a lot of heat through its keyboard and power button which makes it difficult to touch.

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The Thoughts

Put aside some of the few flaws that's within the Razer Blade 14-inch notebook,it has impeccable design,nice keyboard setup and of course some of the best hardware you'll see in any high end gaming system.Performance wise according to benchmark numbers I've seen on several websites, the Razr Blade notebook is on par with some of best of the best in gaming systems.Is the $1,800 price justified,of course in my opinion,one would be tempted to not want to buy this beautiful notebook. Put the 14-inch gaming notebook in the Beast category.