Razer has announced a refresh for its 14-inch Blade and 17-inch Blade Pro that should bring the gaming laptops up to spec with the latest hardware from Intel and Nvidia. The smaller model is also getting an insane display upgrade that turns the uninspiring 1600×900 resolution of its predecessor into its greatest strength, thanks to a 3200 x 1800 IGZO IPS screen that's crisp, offers wider viewing angles, and faster response times for gaming.
To put that into perspective, Apple’s 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels, with a density of 227 pixels per inch. The new 14-inch Blade’s screen comes in at 262 pixels per inch.
Powering graphics is Nvidia’s just-released 870M GPU, which should provide approximately 65% better framerate performance than last year’s 765M. Other specs include a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-4702HQ processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD storage options, 802.11ac wireless, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, a backlit anti-ghosting keyboard and 10-point capacitive multi-touch support to accommodate Windows 8.
Battery life is promised to come in at about six hours under normal use or four hours when you’re gaming. Both the cooling system and the touchpad buttons have been refined to keep the surface cool, but other than a minor increase in thickness to 0.7-inches the chasis and keyboard remain the same.
The 2014 Razer Blade starts at $2,199 and will ship in mid-April -- pre-orders are open now.
Meanwhile the 17-inch Razer Blade Pro sticks with a 1920 x 1080 panel and was updated to a slightly lower-end GeForce GTX 860M GPU, reportedly to avoid sacrificing battery life too much. Nevertheless Razer is still promising a ~40% performance boost compared to last year’s model. Elsewhere there’s an Intel Core i7-4200HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, 128GB to 512GB SSD options, 802.11ac, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and Ethernet.
The Blade Pro doesn’t carry a touch sensitive panel but instead you’ll get its distinctive Switchblade UI, a touchscreen that lies underneath the touchpad alongside special LCD keys can be customized with various functions such as macros for Windows 8 Charms, games, and more.
The Razer Blade Pro starts at $2,299 for the base 128GB SSD model and is available now.