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Razer returns with the ‘most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop’ at E3

Razer returns with the 'most powerful 14-inch gaming laptop' at E3


Razer

We’ll let Razer have its 5 minutes of E3 glory for the “world’s fastest 14-inch gaming laptop,” the Razer Blade 14. Razer’s simply the first to announce one this size with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX — also Razer’s first AMD CPU in the Blade line — and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 crammed inside. But a svelte, small, no-compromise (well, minimal compromise) gaming laptop from Razer is always welcome. 

Along with the laptop, the company launched a new wall charger, based on Gallium Nitride rather than silicon, its USB-C 130W GaN Charger. No weird names for that one.

The last 14-inch Razer Blade debuted in 2017 (you can still buy one used, if you so desire), and it makes sense that Razer would revive it for the 14-inch laptop renaissance that began around 2020. The 2021 Blade 14, as you’d expect, looks like a somewhat shrunken version of the 15-inch, though it’s roughly the same thickness as the 15-inch at 16.8mm.

There will be three models of the Blade 14 at launch. All use the Ryzen 9 5900HX, with the same 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM and 720p webcam (yuck, but there’s an IR cam with Windows Hello support), as well as Razer’s THX Spatial Audio, HDMI 2.1 and other ports and so on. 

The entry-level $1,800 model incorporates a 144Hz 1080p screen and an RTX 3060 GPU; for $2,200 you upgrade to an RTX 3070 with a 165Hz 1440p display, and $2,800 bumps that to an RTX 3080. The SSD is upgradable but the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, which is kind of a bummer. The screens support FreeSync Premium adaptive refresh through G-Sync compability mode.

Razer rates the battery life at up to 12 hours, though it’s likely in the ballpark of 10 hours based on what we’ve seen elsewhere. As you’d expect, the RTX 3080 isn’t being pushed to the max in this system; the GPU power draw can range anywhere from 80 to 150 watts, and Razer takes the middle road at 100 watts. In comparison, the hefty 15-inch Asus ROG Strix Scar we’re testing pulls down 130 watts.

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Razer

Power up

Since Razer is gradually switching over to support USB-C power delivery for its laptops, it makes sense that it would want to have its own charger as well. But because Razer is Razer, it decided to go with something completely different, and thus we get the USB-C 130W GaN Charger.

GaN is an up-and-coming technology that can handle higher voltages than silicon, runs cooler and can support higher energy density for smaller, lighter bricks. Razer’s charger weighs 12.3 oz (349g), with dual USB-C connectors that support up to 100W each — enough to charge almost any laptop — and dual USB-A connections at up to 18W each. It plugs directly into an outlet or you can use the included 6.6ft (2m) cable, and it comes bundled with overseas adapters.

You can preorder it now for $180.

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Razer

Razer’s monolithic Raptor 27 27-inch monitor doesn’t get a makeover, but the 1440p panel does get upgraded to a 165Hz model (from 144Hz), with a maximum brightness of 400 nits and HDR support. It’s also the “world’s first THX-certified gaming monitor,” which translates into some THX cinema mode presets and controls. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been upgraded to support HDMI 2.1.

You do have an option now to mount it via the new optional VESA mount (100×100), which slides into the slots on the back used for tilting on the standard mount.

The monitor is available in preorder now for $799 and the VESA mount is another $100.

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