Razer Blade 14-inch (2013) - The Supermodel of Gaming Notebooks

Battery Life, Power Consumption & Portability Index

Battery Life & Power Consumption

A quick glance at the graphs and the question that is probably foremost on readers’ mind is, “Why does the Razer Blade have such terrible battery life in comparison to the MSI GE40?”

To begin, the MSI GE40 was not tested using our usual battery benchmark utility which is Powermark. If you recall, our test unit refused to run Powermark and we had to resort to our old testing methodology which was to loop a 720p video clip over and over until the battery run out of juice. And with new processor and graphics technologies, it is hard to say how the systems will react. Looking at this result, we are guessing that the latest Core processors and NVIDIA graphics are really well optimized for playing video, hence the discrepancy in timings. This was confirmed when we tried looping the same 720p video over and over on the Razer Blade and managed 450 minutes - 38 minutes more than the MSI GE40.

In the case of the Razer Blade, we managed to run Powermark and it ran for a reasonable 172 minutes from its 70Wh battery, which is just shy of three hours and significantly better than the old 17-inch Razer Blade and the giant Dell Alienware M17X R4 and MSI GT70 0NE.

Power consumption therefore comes in at around 24 watts, which is decent. This is much better the Dell Alienware M17X R4 and MSI GT70 0NE, and it improves slightly on last year’s Razer Blade. Of course these mentioned comparison notebooks are all much larger with larger displays and a more power draining platform. The only reason we're mentioned them is because the Razer is Blade 14-inch is able to deliver performance as good or better than these behemoths, but yet the new Razer Blade is available in a smaller and much more power efficient package. At the same time, take note that true Ultrabooks can deliver much more battery life and thus the Razer Blade is decent for its gaming-grade ultra portable.


Portability Index

Our Portability Index factors in battery life, weight and volume so you can see which notebook is the most worthwhile to carry around. Despite the shorter battery life, the Razer Blade still managed a respectable Portability Index ratio of 1.119, almost comparable the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook. This is thanks to its slim dimensions and low weight. Also, comparing it with other gaming notebooks, such as last year’s Razer Blade and giants such as the Alienware M17X R4 and Toshiba Qosmio X870, the new Razer Blade is practically a featherweight.

In real world usage we found the new Blade to be very portable. It will fit into bags easily and its modest weight will help ensure that your shoulders do not get sore even if you had to carry it for an entire day. Again, it doesn't really trump mainstream Ultrabooks, but for its category, it's really decent. Take note that the portability of the MSI GE40 is based on the video looping run which gives it a better footing (no thanks to its inability to run Powermark).

Overall rating 8.5/10
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The Good
Well-built, compact design
Good performance
Good keyboard with cool green backlight
Killer Wireless-N connectivity
The Bad
Display is substandard
Trackpad is erratic to use
Connectivity options can be better

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