Razer Blade 14 Review (2021) - 1440p 165Hz AMD Gaming Laptop

One of the big selling points of Razer Blade laptops is the displays, which tend to be among the nicest gaming laptops in terms of the way the contrast and colors pop.

As the name suggests the Razer Blade 14 comes with a 14-inch screen that has a 1440p IPS display. Here at WePC we are generally of the opinion that 1440p is of questionable utility for gaming purposes until you hit a screen size of around 17 inches, certainly at 14″ 1080p gives you all the image refinement you need. The drop in FPS that comes with playing games at 1440p means it’s not really worth it unless you’re going to appreciate the increased resolution visually, which we don’t think 14-inch displays allow you to do.

So is there any point in getting a 1440p gaming laptop of this size? Well if you’re interested in using it for some visual editing, color grading, graphic design, or other workstation tasks then the extra resolution can definitely come in handy. Besides this, simply watching any TV show/footage above 1080p is a better experience on this machine. One can always turn down the resolution settings in game to 1080p to get those superior FPS and then enjoy the benefits of 1440p in other general usage. Ultimately the closest 14inch competitors to the Razer Blade 14 are also 1440p, so if you’re set on a portable gaming laptop of this size you don’t really have any other option.

The maximum refresh rate of the Razer Blade 14 is 165Hz, meaning a maximum effective 165 FPS in game – more than enough for the purposes of most gamers who want to play either single player titles or fast-paced shooters (by contrast the PS5 and Xbox Series X are capped at a maximum of 120Hz display output). However, truly competitive gamers playing first person shooters will probably want to consider larger size laptops with higher refresh rate displays. This also applies to the response time of the Razer Blade 14 – at around 9ms grey-to-grey this is above the 6ms needed for seamless transitions that non-casual players of twitch shooters may desire, but still the Razer Blade 14 has the fastest response time of any 14-inch laptop on the market. For technical reasons we won’t go into, it’s just easier to get lower ms on bigger displays, so within its own market, the Razer Blade 14 can’t be beaten on this.

Razer Blade 14 Color Gamut

Razer Blade Pro 14 AMD color gamut

Razer claims that the color gamut of this display covers 100% of the sRGB space. As you can see illustrated in the above image, and in the one below detailing the results of our profiling test below, we recorded a gamut coverage of 99.8% of the sRGB spectrum which equates to a gamut volume of 142.3% of the sRGB space – which is effectively 100%. This means the display could definitely be used for sRGB colorwork alongside its function as a gaming laptop.

Adobe RGB coverage was substantially below 100%, but 85.0% is still good for a gaming laptop, if not quite good enough for professional work in this color space. DCI P3 results were even better, and at 96.7% you could definitely still use the Razer Blade 14 for work in this space.

Razer Blade Pro 14 AMD calibration and profiling

Razer Blade 14 Color Accuracy Out Of The Box

Razer claims that the displays on the Razer Blade 14 are “individually calibrated for quality and true color accuracy” (but we calibrated it again anyway). Prior to calibration, the color accuracy out of the box showed an average delta of 2.81, which is just above the 2.5 threshold of what we’d consider to be a respectable level of variance. The white point was good at 7117K, black depth was also good at 0.1111 cd/m², and the contrast ratio was about as good as you’d reasonably expect from an IPS panel at 996.9:1.

Razer Blade 14 Color Accuracy Following Calibration

After testing it out of the box we calibrated the display using Display CAL. After calibration, the results were somewhat improved, though not substantially. The white point came down a bit to 7029K and black depth to 0.1069 cd/m². Contrast improved a bit, with the ratio going up to 1044.2:1. The average delta was the biggest beneficiary, reaching 2.25, making it suitable for color-accurate work in the sRGB space, whilst not being the most accurate on the market.

All-in-all, while you will get better results in terms of color accuracy if you calibrate the display as we did, you should find the out-of-the-box settings perfectly adequate even for some light editing, definitely for gaming purposes.

Razer Blade 14 Panel Uniformity

Razer Blade 14 Panel Uniformity Test

For all laptops, we review we do a panel uniformity test after their calibration which tests for both luminance and color accuracy. We start on the centremost point as a reference and then test all the other sections of the screen (25 in total) to see how they compare.

Generally, any average color variation under 1.00 is good and shows up as green in the image below, though the average consumer won’t be able to tell much difference below 3.00. Visual editors who work with color however may have a keener eye.

As you can see in the image above the majority of the panel displayed acceptable-good uniformity, with the right-hand side and bottom of the display showing the worst results. It’s common that one or more edges of the screen show some variation. The section that showed the greatest deviation was the middle pane on the right, with an average color variation of 2.62 – bordering on noticeable even to the untrained but still within acceptable limits. Overall, although you’d potentially notice a difference in the display uniformity if you were doing color grading or other color-related workflows, the screen would probably still suffice. For gamers, this panel uniformity is totally fine, though bear in mind that results can vary between each individual laptop.

Brightness

We finished off our color accuracy testing by running a luminance test. On this particular laptop, we have a peak brightness of 365.00 cd/m² and a minimum of 17.59 cd/m² which is fairly in keeping with the claims made by Razer and a good range of brightness – the brightest setting in particular impressed. For daytime viewing, we always recommend matching the brightness to 120 cd/m² which equates to a brightness setting of 40% under the brightness controls for this laptop.

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