The updated 14-inch Razer Blade packs a slim gaming laptop with an amazing 3,200x1,800 screen.
For a relative newcomer to the world of laptops, PC accessory company Razer has already put out a couple of very impressive early systems. The original Razer Blade packed a discrete GPU into a very slim, matte black body (reminiscent of the old black MacBook), along with a combo touchpad/second screen that was clever, but ultimately underutilized.
The second version went back to a basic keyboard-plus-touchpad layout, and was the thinnest, sexiest gaming laptop we'd ever seen, but it was undone by a lower-resolution, non-touch screen of dubious quality. Not what you wanted to see in a $1,600-and-up laptop at the dawn of the Windows 8 era.
Also new is the 2014 version of the Razer Blade Pro, a 17-inch gaming laptop that sticks with a 1,920x1,080 non-touch display, and also brings back the second screen touchpad, also known as the Switchblade UI, which may become more useful once new features -- such as a set of controls for the Windows 8 Charms bar and other OS functions -- are added. Even though it's a larger laptop, the 17-inch Razer Blade Pro only goes up to Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 860M GPU.
Both the 14-inch and 15-inch models are SSD-only, starting at 128GB, which may be too small for gamers who need to download full games, and going up to 256GB and 512GB from there.
In our hands-on time with both systems, Razer continues to impress with its design savvy, especially for a product line that's newer than nearly anything else on the market. While there are plenty of 13-inch and 14-inch gaming laptops now, from Alienware, Origin PC, Maingear, and others, none comes close to the 18mm thickness of the 14-inch Razer Blade, which the company describes as about as thin as dime standing on its edge.
The new Razer Blade and Razer Blade Pro will be available to pre-order later in March, and should start shipping in April. The 14-inch Blade starts at $2,199 and the 17-inch Blade Pro starts at $2,299.