The 2014 Razer Blade Reviewby Brett Howse on October 10, 2014 9:00 AM EST
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- Razer Blade
The Razer Blade continues to utilize the Intel Core i7-4702HQ CPU due to the timing of the launch. There are a couple of different choices at this time (i.e. i7-4710HQ) that were not around when the Razer Blade was refreshed. Compared to an Ultrabook, the Razer Blade is a full quad-core part with eight threads, so performance should be significantly better than the Haswell U series parts, but of course that is at the expense of power consumption, with the i7-4702HQ CPU rated at 37 watts. Coupled to this is an SSD in the Samsung PM851 and 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory, which should provide excellent performance for day to day tasks.
With the 37 watt CPU, the Razer Blade falls right where you would expect. Overall, there is more performance than the Ultrabook class machines such as the Yoga 2 Pro and the Surface Pro 3, but other gaming laptops with higher wattage CPUs are a bit faster. Still, for the Razer Blade’s intended use scenario, system performance is great. The M.2 SSD in the Razer Blade performs very well in the PCMark 8 Storage test, scoring very close to the rest of the SSD pack.
The new Razer Blade has updated the WiFi card from the previous version that used a Killer Wireless-N 1202 dual-band 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n solution. The new Blade now features the Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 7260, which adds support for 802.11ac. This wireless card is a 2x2:2 card offering connection speeds up to 866 Mbps on an 802.11ac connection.
With around 400 Mbps sustained transfer speeds, the Intel wireless card does pretty well with the router close by, but in other tests Ganesh has found that the Broadcom BCM4352 card performs better, especially with some drywall between you and the router. With the Razer Blade 30’ from the router in another room, the wireless speeds dropped to around 270 Mbps, which is still a reasonable result. Still, the Blade has 802.11ac and therefore supports both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz, so there is not too much to complain about here. The Intel card also performs the Bluetooth 4.0 functions.
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tekeffect - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkHopefully they don't wait a whole year before updating to a 970m and 16gb ram
nathanddrews - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkSeems like a missed opportunity. Unless you have an immediate need or have the money to upgrade in four months, it seems better to wait for a Broadwell + 16GB + 970M combination or at least 16GB + 970M. Also, the markup going from 128GB to 512GB is more expensive than MSRP on a 1TB SSD... I expect some margin in the price when buying pre-built, but that's just excessive to me. Otherwise, it's a great looking machine!
hammer256 - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkThis. The timing is a tad strange, frankly.
JarredWalton - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkTechnically our review was delayed, as the updated Blade launched a few months back. Razer hasn't announced a 970M release yet, but I expect that will come soon enough.
nathanddrews - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkFunny, I didn't even realize. I just assume that everything you folks review is brand new. Looks like it came out in June/July, so that makes more sense then. Let me restate my above comment as though it were July 1:
Wow, this notebook is amazing! I can't wait to buy one! ;-)
spencer_richter - Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - linkAs for gaming, it is nowhere close to the ASUS ROG G750JM-DS71 (I recommend seeing https://tr.im/d3342 for example).
eanazag - Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - linkI think the next Razer should be a Broadwell + 970M + 16 GB RAM. It should have a bare minimum 256GB drive for gaming.
I love this thing and was considering this last tax season against a rMBP and the Dell XPS15 with the high res display. A 750M was just too weak for me for gaming anything but Blizzard games. I ended up with an AMD R290 gpu for my desktop upgrade, which was a more sensible choice when discussing the non-sensible cost of gaming products.
Morawka - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkthis laptop they are reviewing is almost a year old. It came out 8 months ago. Razer will no doubt release a 2015 model in feb
Samus - Saturday, October 11, 2014 - linkYou either can't count or you are trolling, because this laptop is 5 months old and didn't even retail until June 15th.
We will probably be able to pick these up at a huge price cut after the Maxwell model is released, a lot like how GTX 770's were going for $350 before Maxwell and are now selling for <$200 on eBay (used)
I've always though this was a beautiful machine, and the Maxwell edition will be an amazing boon to battery life and cooling...but that doesn't make this unit irrelevant.
Connoisseur - Friday, October 10, 2014 - linkLove mine so far. Wishlist for the 2015 model would be a 970m, 16GB of RAM, DisplayPort and/or HDMI 2.0. If they throw in a Broadwell CPU in there too, I can't imagine that this wouldn't be the perfect laptop for 95% of use case scenarios.