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Razer's Blade is a sleek, smart ultraportable gaming machine

Alex Wawro | July 3, 2013
The new Haswell-powered Blade panders to PC gamers on the go, cramming premium hardware into a petite chassis.

Then again, you get to play visually striking games like BioShock Infinite on a super-thin computer that fits comfortably on your lap. Razer deserves credit for making good on its promise to deliver the world's most powerful ultraportable gaming laptop. The extra gaming-focused features built into the Blade are a nice touch: You can crank the stereo speakers nice and loud, and the keyboard is fully programmable through the included Razer Synapse 2.0 software. The anti-ghosting feature built into the keyboard enables the Blade to recognize multiple keypresses at the same time, which means you don't have to worry quite as much about hitting the wrong key in the heat of a fervent League of Legends match.


The Blade's screen is perfectly serviceable for the lion's share of your computing needs, but its poor viewing angles diminish the joy of watching movies or playing games.

The keys themselves are small and comfortable to type on, with enough travel that you can touch-type with confidence. You can dim or shut the backlight off entirely if you don't feel like advertising your membership in the Cult of Razer. Sadly, the green glowing Razer logo on the lid cannot be killed.


Despite being remarkably thin, the Razer Blade feels solid and comfortable to type on

As reviewed, Razer expects to fetch a cool $2,000 for the Blade. That's not bad when you consider it earned an excellent score of 414 in our Notebook WorldBench 8.1 benchmarking suite. That score indicates that it's roughly four times faster the mainstream Asus Vivobook S550CA we use for a reference notebook, and it's on par with the performance of the fastest notebook we've tested to date: The CyberPower FangBook EVO HX7-200. The FangBook, which sells for $1550, has a larger display (17-inches, with native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels), a faster CPU and GPU, and more memory, but it also tips the scales at more than 10 pounds and looks about as elegant as a water buffalo.

Bottom line
Goofy green glow and its TN panel aside, the Blade is the most practical laptop Razer has ever made. Like the 17-inch Pro, it functions equally well as a gaming laptop or a high-powered Windows 8 work machine, but the 14-inch Blade has the advantage of being small enough to use in a coffee shop or on an airplane (we measured battery life at more than 4.5 hours) without irritating your neighbors. And while it doesn't sport the touchscreen or the funky peripherals of the Razer Edge Pro, the Blade is more powerful and far more comfortable to use than Razer's Windows 8 gaming tablet.

 

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