The Outstanding Middle Child

A beautifully constructed and portable notebook with decent gaming horsepower.

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A beautifully constructed and portable notebook with decent gaming horsepower.

Situated right between the 12.5-inch Blade Stealth ultrabook and the 17.3-inch Blade Pro with its NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080, the 14-inch Razer Blade is the middle child of the brood.

Still, the Blade has managed to strike an excellent compromise between the low-powered ultrabook and beastly 17.3inch desktop replacement, and this middle road that the Razer Blade has taken may turn out to be the one most traversed.

The Blade sports a diminutive 14-inch frame that is only 17.9mm thick, but it manages to include a 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, which is a very respectable GPU for 1080p gaming. It also weighs just 1.86kg, so the notebook offers a decent amount of power in a backpack-friendly package.

It comes bundled with a very compact 165-watt power brick, and avoids falling into the same trap as other so-called portable gaming notebooks that come with heavy, clunky adapters.

However, one drawback of its slim design is the noise. The two bottom-mounted fans can whip up quite the storm, and you’ll risk annoying anyone in the vicinity. Fortunately, we didn’t experience any problems with excessive heat, so it seems like the fans are at least doing their job.

Unlike the smaller Blade Stealth that charges over Thunderbolt 3, the Blade relies on a conventional charger, but it does still have a separate 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 port. This means that even though the Blade has a GeForce GTX 1060 inside, you’ll still be able to hook up a Thunderbolt 3-compatible dock like the Razer Core for even more graphics horsepower.

The Thunderbolt 3 port also doubles as a versatile display output connector, with the ability to connect to DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort and even VGA displays with the right adapter. That said, Razer has included a dedicated HDMI port, so you don’t have to run to get an adapter all the time.

We also really like the gorgeous unibody aluminum chassis (unfortunately, it’s quite the fingerprint magnet) and the Chroma keyboard. There are almost limitless customization options, and Razer continues to have one of the best implementations of keyboard backlighting.

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