The 14-inch Razer Blade we reviewed last year was a near-perfect gaming laptop. Slim and powerful, the Blade had just one major flaw: a terrible display. All your sleepness nights are about to end because Razer's new Blade is even more powerful and this time its screen absolutely doesn't suck.
So Much Clarity
Last year's Blade had a 1600 x 900 resolution matte display. I love matte screens, but the one on the Blade was just awful. It had really poor viewing angles.
Razer's not making the same mistake this time around. The new Blade has the same 14-inch (16:9 aspect ratio) display, but with a whopping 3200 x 1800 resolution. While the matte display is gone, the new IGZO IPS display is arguably for the better with 160-degree viewing angles and more accurate color reproduction. And, the screen is a touchscreen — perfect for Windows 8.
To put the Blade's gorgeous display into perspective: Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display only has a 2560 x 1200 resolution display and its 15-inch only has a 2880 x 1800 resolution display.
Gamers: this could possibly be the best-looking display on any laptop that isn't 4K. Period.
All Suped Up
Aside from a new high-resolution screen, Razer also went to town updating the Blade's specs. You want power? You can't handle the power.
The Blade is powered by a 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-4702HQ Quad Core processor with hyper threading (turboboosted to 3.2GHz), an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M GPU with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM and an Intel HD4600 integrated graphics. It has 8GB of DDR3L-1600Mhz RAM, options of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB of SSD, stereo speakers, backlit anti-ghosting chiclet-style keyboard, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4 port, stereo speakers and a 2-megapixel HD webcam. And you get Windows 8.1 64-bit.
All that is kind of meaningless in a gaming laptop if battery life stinks. A 70-Watt-hour battery should give the Blade up to six hours of power, but we'll reserve judgment when we get to test one of these out for ourselves.
More Premium, More Money
On the whole, the new Blade is still the sleekest gaming laptop around. It's a little thicker (one millimeter thicker) and slightly heavier (4.5 pounds; half a pound heavier), but you're still getting the premium Razer design and attention to detail.
All the new bells and whistles do come at a cost: the new Blade is $2,199 (the old Blade started at $1,800), which is kind of the expensive. Then again, so are MacBooks.
The old Blade was an impressive, svelte piece of aluminum-machined kit. But the new Blade — it's a whole other beast. The Razer Blade is available for pre-order now on Razer's websitewith units expected to ship out in early April.