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Razer's new Blade might be the ultimate VR-ready laptop

The 14-inch Blade upgrades to more powerful Nvidia graphics and a matte 1080p display. Plus, it starts $200 cheaper.

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Sean Hollister
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Sean Hollister

Senior Editor / Reviews

When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.

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2 min read

Razer's about to sell a whole lot more Blades. All it took was one tweak.

With one of Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 1060 graphics chips inside, the 0.7-inch (18mm) thick Razer Blade just become one of the smallest, most attractive VR-ready PCs.

Instead of lugging around a giant desktop to introduce your friends and colleagues to the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, Razer claims you'll be able to do it with a sleek laptop roughly the size of Apple's smallest MacBook Pro with Retina display. (Razer's computer is not the only laptop with Nvidia's new VR-ready laptop chips, but it's definitely the smallest we've seen.)

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The new Razer Blade 14's price breakdown in the US.

Razer

Plus, the new Blade 14 starts a full $200 cheaper -- thanks to a lower-res 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution IPS screen with a matte finish, instead of the high-res 3,200x1,800-pixel touchscreen panel that came standard earlier this year.

Personally, I'd take a matte 1080p screen any day of the week. Not only do they typically offer more battery life and fewer distracting reflections, the reduced graphical demands of lower resolution typically means smoother gameplay.

Other than those important tweaks, the 14-inch Razer Blade is pretty much the same thin gaming laptop we liked earlier this year. It's got the same 4.25-pound (1.92 kg) jet black aluminum body, the same sixth-gen quad-core Intel processor and 16GB of RAM, the same colorful Chroma keyboard and the same 70 watt-hour battery. (Razer says it's hoping for improved battery life, but wouldn't promise it during an interview with CNET.)

You can watch our video review of the previous Blade 14 below:

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Watch this: A gaming laptop with a colorful personality

The new Blade 14 is also still compatible with the Razer Core external graphics dock if you need some additional oomph, though I can't recommend you buy that till we've had a chance to test it out.

The new 14-inch Razer Blade starts at $1,799 in the US, which is roughly £1,355 or AU$2,380, though availability outside the US hasn't been confirmed. Preorders begin today at razerstore.com, and devices should ship this October.

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