The Razer Blade is a menacing gaming beast in an Ultrabook's body. Since other gaming laptops tend to be 10-pound slabs, the lithe Blade has become a top choice among critics.
Powerful gamer and everyday laptop. "The Blade will play any and all modern games at high settings" at its native less-than-HD resolution, reports AnandTech.com after throwing seven tough titles at it. However, playing demanding titles at full HD on an external 1080p monitor can get a little dicey. Day-to-day tasks pose no problem, and experts actually recommend the Razer Blade as a capable alternative to a MacBook Pro (though that's largely before Apple's recent upgrade). Battery life is very good -- about seven hours if you're not gaming -- thanks to a fuel-sipping Intel Core i7 Haswell processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M GPU, which switches to integrated Intel graphics when not needed.
Super-svelte, but skimpy connections. The Razer Blade's sleek frame simply amazes experts. It's a hair slimmer than the 13-inch MacBook Air (Est. $1,050 and up) at its thickest point and weighs just 4 pounds and change -- definitely Ultrabook territory. Testers love the comfy anti-ghosting keyboard and big, silky multi-touchpad, although the latter stalls several times in David Pierce's test for TheVerge.com. There's also no optical drive, Ethernet port or touch screen here; Pierce reckons it would gobble up too much space. The Blade runs really hot when gaming, making it too hot to hold on your lap.
MacBook Pro meets street racer. Compared to most gaming laptops, the Razer Blade looks practically buttoned down. Cleanly fashioned with a matte-black aluminum shell, only the glowing green tri-snake logo on the lid and keyboard backlight imply that it's hiding serious muscle under the hood. "It looks a little like the rebellious, street-racing sibling of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display," says Pierce at TheVerge.com. It "would be equally at home in an arcade or a boardroom." Reviewers appreciate the Razer's clear, booming speakers, but its 14-inch screen disappoints. The 1,600-by-900-pixel resolution is fine even though it's not full HD, but poor viewing angles frustrate testers.
Hit and miss. The company has a poor customer service reputation, but its products typically hold up well; tales of Blade defects are few and far between. The Razer comes with a one-year warranty, with a two-year option available at an additional cost.
Not cheap, but it's worth it. The world's first gaming Ultrabook, the Razer Blade makes a lot of financial sense. It can realistically do double-duty as your gamer plus your everyday carry-around laptop.
1. Laptop Magazine
"Sexy and powerful," says Smith about the latest Razer Blade, which she gives 4 stars out of 5. Other small Haswell-powered gaming laptops from Alienware and MSI perform similarly in benchmark tests, but the Razer is thinner and lighter. Still, Smith wishes for a better display and cooler operation.
Review: Razer Blade 14 Review, Sherri L. Smith, July 2, 2013
2. PC World
The new Razer Blade is one of PC World's favorite gaming laptops. It performs on par with another favorite, the new CyberPower FangBook Evo HX7-200, but the Razer is far more portable. The FangBook has a bigger, better screen and more memory, though, so the choice depends on your priorities.
Review: Review: Razer's Blade Is a Sleek, Smart Ultraportable Gaming Machine, Alex Wawro, July 2, 2013
Two testers -- one gamer and one non-gamer -- review the Razer Blade here, and both really like it. It looks like a MacBook Pro with the heart of a true gaming machine and is portable enough for everyday, but Hollister says it does need a better screen and cooling.
Review: Razer Blade Review (14-inch), Sean Hollister, July 2, 2013
"If you want the thinnest, sleekest gaming notebook out there, this is your one stop shop," Sklavos says of the new Razer Blade. Gaming is impressive, and the Haswell-powered Razer matches rivals with last-gen Intel processors in extensive benchmark tests. However, Sklavos can't believe the display isn't better quality.
Review: Razer Blade 14-Inch Gaming Notebook Review, Dustin Sklavos, July 2, 2013
With super-portability, outstanding performance and a long-lasting battery, the Razer Blade earns an easy Editors' Choice here. It blows away last year's versions of similar-sized gaming laptops from Alienware and Maingear in benchmark tests.
Review: Razer Blade (2013), Brian Westover, July 2, 2013