Top positive review
A good laptop for a power user or any user (with or without a need for the graphics card)
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 3, 2014
So I love this computer, still great! I use an external monitor at home frequently and it still runs great for the casual gamer I am.
That said, last night flames came out of the vent and the power cut out. Haven't tried booting and sent a message to Razer. If they respond well, then perfect I love Razer! If not, well I might just be building my own desktop.
Not marking down starts because I do love the computer, but I expect more than 4 years out of a laptop.
I don't know if people read these updates, but I'm happy enough with this laptop to keep updating this review anyway.
Just because it's old, doesn't mean it is at all outdated. The haswell architecture is phenomenal for power and battery life when set correctly.
I use this laptop daily, often as a sort of desktop replacement, I usually leave it unplugged during general internet/word processing (still getting ~6 hours on balance no problem) and plug it in when doing any demanding tasks. I recently tried a program which reads battery SMBUS data, it said my battery had 8% wear. Seems accurate because I do not notice a difference from the day I bought it. I'm very very VERY happy with this battery. I had come to the conclusion that if this laptop was still good in 2 years I'd have no problem paying to have a new battery put in, but I'm even more impressed that this laptop runs great and the battery is still great! I do wish I had some way to have the battery (which is internal) stop charging at say 50%. Can't have it all I guess.
As far as visual imperfections, my cheap ass laptop lock has exposed some aluminum around the lock hole, no way razers fault cause the lock sucks and I hated myself when I saw it, but it's not a lot. I frequently use USB ports (for ethernet in my dorm), and the finish is still perfect around the ports.
I had begun to worry about the build up of finger oils making the keyboard 'shinny' when I last reviewed. Well there's a reason they include a kick ass microfiber cloth with the computer. It works great. I did use a small amount of rubbing alcohol and now its as good as new! Once again extremely happy.
I had previously used this laptop for games, but more recently I've had the chance to use this laptop for virtualization (running SAS) and for intensive Excel use. By intensive I mean VBA scripts on state gross receipt tax at my job and on 1.2 TRILLION cells of data in a single file using power pivot. The strange part to me, the CPU rarely needs to go above 50% for these. Of course the laptop comes with an mSATA drive, and I set my page file to 32GB... These are massive tabulations. The mSATA prove the bottle neck, I believe, as I still get a sustained over 200MB/s read/write time from these during those scripts. (I installed a second mSATA originally via microsoft storage space, now as a second drive [I'm afraid to use the raid card and lose the operating system]). This thing is better than my work computer with the a Xeon E3 and a professional graphics card (its ~2800$ machine).
While I don't want to suggest to anyone to void their warranty opening up the unit, it's easy with a very small torx driver. (means it's impossable to stip these screws if you're careful, but a small amount of black finish wears off, its also the bottom so its pssh) Even though yes it voids your warranty, I suggest opening up and blowing the dust out of this case 2x a year. It's just good for the small form factor and it's surprising the dust that gets in, despite the very good design(inevitable with any air cooled system so not at all a con).
MY CURRENT FEELING ABOUT MY BABY <3
If I was looking at this PC to buy used today (seems like you right?), I would pay up to $1,100.(adjust for size, this is 256, and I put in another msata for $150). This is coming from someone who is still incredibly happy with his purchase, which was closer to 1700 after tax w/ msata upgrade. (Everyone online said this pc was a year old and outdated, still plays new games and crunches numbers fast).
That being said, I look at specs on new computers, and I'm not compelled to sell this and get anything else, despite the ability to. Sure some new specs are good, and the new nvidia cards make me smile, as does the idea of 4K. I plan on keeping this pc as my main computer for the next 2+ year, barring it still boots; in the future I hope to make this my work on the go laptop and build a desktop. I think this laptop as it comes down in price due to age, is perfect for a college student, or someone looking for a computer with good battery life and zippy operation without breaking the bank. It will last 4 to 6 years still if taken care of (and be useful for games just as well if not better than a console you buy today).
To kind of put it in perspective, I probably wouldn't sell this laptop for $1,000. I would highly consider it, but I do not feel like anything else I can buy for that price comes close to what I have here.
Sorry, another note cause I love this thing, the sound is A+. I have been interested in lossless media and bit perfect playback and while I've thought about an external DAC, I compare the graph of the soundcard this has with those and I save my money.
Another comment, my power adapter used to do the weird clicking thing, not anymore. I don't know when it stopped but it did after being taken to work a couple times. This was recently, like last 2 months I just never noticed it ever.
Just buy the damn thing!
Purchased: May 2014 (Open box via amazon warehouse deals)
Just because it's a year old doesn't mean it's not insanely powerful. Nearly every review I read online about this laptop faulted the screen, but I see no problems. It's bright and it's a screen. I moved from a 17 inch laptop with the same resolution and find this perfect. Text is readable, and all that extra space is filled with content. I like how portable this laptop is and was one requirement I had for a laptop. This laptop is a perfect candidate for amazon's 14 inch laptop sleeve which provides piece of mind and fingerprint protection, which is one I guess downside to having the best looking laptop around. Don't get me wrong I love the look of this rig, but your grandparents will treat you like you're 3 again. I guess it's the glowing green snake. I just want to say before going on however that I didn't buy this laptop because It rocks games. Here's my list of incentives: battery life 30%, Portability 20%, Power under the hood 25%, Gaming potential 15%, Looks 5%, last 5% comes down to other things such how put together and reliable the system is. I try to not make the same assumptions as many online review sites do and I wouldn't have bought this laptop If I did.
Now this laptop is now nearly a year old and technology changes rapidly. This is actually why I think it's such a good deal right now. The processor is extremely powerful and the mSATA drive is the new standard for speed. These things aren't going to change in the next couple of years so drastically that this computer won't stack up. 8GB of ram sounds so little compared to other gaming laptops (read bricks) but the only time I use it all is when I'm doing a virus scan. Webcam is ehh. I opened the app on accident and it was grainy but I have an Iphone if i want to see you.
A few other things people will mention about why this laptop isn't worth it is that the new one is so much better, but the new one has even greater heating issues (not necessarily bad, but noticeable in this one and I wouldn't want it much hotter), and the new screen as beautiful as it looks, can't be fully utilized while gaming and maintaining frame rates. Battery life suffers too. If a touch screen is your thing then go for it. Windows is now much nicer with touch, and I am starting to understand now all the windows 8 hate. Available ports is often mentioned as lacking too, but think about it. When is the last time you used a DVD? Or plugged into ethernet? A VGA projector plug further adds bulk without function. I'm glad to have a smaller laptop without these unnecessary plugs. You can get an external DVD drive for ~30$ or an ethernet plug for ~10$. The laptop sleeve you're going to buy will fit it.
---Get the 14 inch amazon basic one. I have not felt the razer sleeves I bet they're amazing, but for 10$ the amazon sleave more than fits expectations.-----
Just buy this laptop. If you've come far enough to actually read this review and actually consider this laptop then you're ready to actually experience what the Razer 14 has to offer. From the games I've played, both Civ 5 and Skyrim play on maxed out settings amazingly well, with the fan only kicking up to levels you can hear when fighting alot, just turn up the sound, it runs very quite. (metro is killer, and it's a very demanding game btw).
I think windows 8.1 is this computers biggest fault, but I'll get used to it. I've just basically turned off Start and it's mostly exactly like windows 7.
I bought this from amazon's warehouse deals. The 1,000 price difference over this years model made my decision easy. Anything you buy from amazon warehouse has been inspected and it's condition listed. Mine simply didn't come in the original box, but everything was present. Probably just an open box and it saved be $$$, it's definitely worth looking into.
I've been using this laptop for a year now, as such I am updating this to anyone considering this laptop an honest opinion.
I am still very happy with my choice of this laptop. For those of you worried about battery life in causal settings, I achieve 6-8 hours of real usage with the balanced powerplan and screen brightness low. For gaming it's closer to 2-3 hours, but I don't game away from my dorm room (I'm in college). One 'upgrade' I did make is purchasing a 1080p touch screen monitor (Got a dell, actually love it ~150$ on amazon warehouse deals) along with a monitor stand. The pair fit comfortably on my dorm desk and I get a cool dual monitor setup. The 765M is more than powerful enough to play games at full HD resolution, although some tweaking in the settings makes it much more enjoyable. Set the graphics to high performance in the Nvidea control panel! I do notice from time to time that the keyboard has grease stains on it. I don't know what else to call it, it's just from daily use. The touchpad still rocks!
I had previously said how I opened up and installed a second 250GB msata, a decision I still am happy with. It is cheaper than buying the 500GB model. The Blade has a dedicated RAID card but required formating both hard drives and I was hesitant and instead used microsoft storage space, which works well! The 500GB provides plenty of space for 3-4 large games, matlab (which utilizes the GPU great!), and 20GB of music (lossless files sound great through the headphone port) and I still have plenty of room leftover! (~200GB)
Battery still holds up great, although I'm unsure if i'd ever be able to replace it on my own, or want to, if it was necessary. Good computer, holding up well and definity eyeing a Razer again in the future, but this baby still has alot of life left in it.