Gaming based laptops have boomed in recent months and quarters. There are plenty of companies getting their feet wet and some are trying to push the limits. QHD+ is starting to look like a new standard in the higher end laptops, as seen in the 13.3” Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and the 15” Dell XPS 15 (read Jarred’s review of the XPS 15 here), and Razer are deciding to go with something similar for the 2014 Razer Blade refresh.

Aside from the touchscreen 14” QHD+ panel, which is an IGZO panel rather than the pentile screen seen on the Lenovo, the New Razer Blade 2014 edition is equipped with an Intel Core i7-4702HQ quad core processor, 8GB of DDR3L-1600 and the recently announced NVIDIA GTX 870M. That sounds like a beefy machine to begin with, and beats out the old Razer Blade that only had a 1600x900 panel and a GTX 765M.

This new device measures 345x235x17.9mm, which Razer likes to point out is smaller than a dime. The machine isn’t the lightest, weighing in at 4.47 lbs (2.03 kg), but we do get an Intel 7260 2x2 802.11ac WiFi module in there as well as a choice of SATA M.2 drives. Razer is accepting preorders based solely on the size of the M.2 drive: $2200 for a 128GB, $2400 for 256GB and $2700 for 512GB.

The keyboard is fully backlit in green, and the laptop uses a 70Wh battery with a 150W power adapter. This makes sense, given the CPU is a 37W part and the GPU is set to be rated around 100W. This would reinforce the image on Razer’s website of dual fans in the chassis. Connectivity comes via three USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI 1.4a port and headphone/microphone jacks.

Razer Blade 14-Inch Specifications
  2013
(Current)
2014
(New)
Processor Intel Core i7-4702HQ
(4x2.2GHz + HTT, Turbo to 3.2GHz, 22nm, 6MB L3, 37W)
Intel Core i7-4702HQ
(4x2.2GHz + HTT, Turbo to 3.2GHz, 22nm, 6MB L3, 37W)
Chipset Intel HM87 Intel HM87
Memory 8GB DDR3L-1600 8GB DDR3L-1600
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M 2GB GDDR5
768 CUDA cores,
797MHz/863MHz core
4GHz memory
128-bit memory bus

Intel HD 4600 Graphics
(20 EUs, up to 1.15GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M 3GB GDDR5
1344 CUDA cores,
941 MHz core
5 GHz memory clocks
192-bit memory bus

Intel HD 4600 Graphics
(20 EUs, up to 1.15GHz)
Display 14" LED Matte 16:9 900p
AU Optronics AUO103E
14" IGZO 16:9 3200x1800
Multitouch with LED Backlight
Hard Drive(s) Samsung PM841 256GB
mSATA 6Gbps SSD
128GB / 256GB / 512 GB
SATA M.2
Optical Drive - -
Networking Killer Wireless-N 1202
Dual Band 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Intel Wireless-AC 7260HMW
Dual Band 2x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0
Audio Realtek ALC269 HD audio
Stereo speakers
Combination mic/headphone jack
?
Battery 70Wh 70Wh
Front Side - -
Right Side USB 3.0
HDMI 1.4a
Kensington lock
USB 3.0
HDMI 1.4a
Kensington Lock
Left Side AC adapter
2x USB 3.0
Combination mic/headphone jack
AC adapter
2x USB 3.0
Combination mic/headphone jack
Back Side - -
Operating System Windows 8 64-bit Windows 8.1 64-bit
Dimensions 13.6" x 9.3" x 0.66"
345mm x 235mm x 16.8mm
13.6" x 9.3 " x 0.70"
345mm x 235mm x 17.9mm
Weight 4.1 lbs
1.88 kg
4.47 lbs
2.03 kg
Extras Webcam
USB 3.0
Killer Networks wireless networking
Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard
2.0 MP Webcam
USB 3.0
Intel 2x2 802.11ac 
Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard
Warranty 1-year limited ?
Pricing $1,799 Starting at $2200 for 128GB

Powering 5.76 million pixels in QHD+ rather than 2.07 million of 1080p means an almost three-fold increase, and 4x over the older Razer Blade at 900p. That begs the question as to what frame rates we might see at 3200x1800 in this new device. I doubt that BF4 will be running at some high quality settings at 3200x1800, but I like the fact that the industry is headed to higher density panels in a smaller chassis.

Because I have been lax at being a proper gamer these past few years, my eyes would really open to a version of this without the discrete GPU – give me a high density, top quality panel with a lot of battery life and my usual OS, and all is good.  However for running around to a LAN, it would either be an SFF machine or something like this that would fit right in.

Razer is taking pre-orders for shipping next month. In an interview with TechCrunch, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan explained how the company has listened to their customers, and aim to help alleviate the previous issues regarding keeping up with demand. Markets like Russia and Taiwan will follow after North America.

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  • r3loaded - Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - link

    Any plans to ever come to Europe? Also, what's the battery life like? Reply
  • JoshHo - Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - link

    Wow, this could be good. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - link

    I seriously hope any laptop that starts at over $2k is good. Reply
  • Jon Tseng - Saturday, March 22, 2014 - link

    Tsk you're spoiled

    Back in the day a Toshiba 5200 would have set you back north of $5200. To be fair that dough got you a super-fast 386/20 and a huge 2 MEGABYTES of RAM...

    http://www.toshiba-europe.com/bv/computers/product...

    But if the price of a high end laptop has fallen from $5000 to $2000 (excluding the impact of inflation that sounds bargainous to me!

    PS And the IBM PS2 Model 70-486 used to set you back more than $10k on release. But that's another story entirely...
    Reply
  • squirrelboy - Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - link

    Why do manufacturers keep placing the air intakes and/or hot components exactly where your legs are when you have the LAPtop on your LAP? Reply
  • e36Jeff - Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - link

    If you go through the literature for almost any notebook, you will find they almost never refer to them as laptops, but as notebooks. This is because most notebooks (especially gaming-oriented ones) are not meant to be used on the lap due to heat output. They put the vents there because its the only way for them to push that much heat out of a chassis this skinny. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    Except heat rises, and it has no where to go sitting on a desk. The hot air will come out on all four corners very slowly, instead of quickly out the back. Additionally, the hot air will creep over to that cold air intake since they are 3 inches apart.

    There's a reason why Apple and virtually any other premium laptop designers put vents on the back, because that's the most logical choice.
    Reply
  • DryAir - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    But the outakes are in the back. Those in the bottom are air intakes, both of them. Its 2 fans, 2 intakes, 2 outtakes. The required air flow to remove the heat that those parts output requires does not allow for small intakes at the side, like the macbook pro.

    Makes sense, honestly.
    Reply
  • blzd - Friday, March 21, 2014 - link

    Which laptop do you have that pushes air out the bottom? It's always out the side usually and you get 1 side that is extra hot, usually the left to accommodate right handed mouse users. Reply
  • mkozakewich - Friday, March 14, 2014 - link

    Old "laptops" were big things. Literally, lap-top computers. When the small, ultra-thin 15.6"-screen 1.5"-thick models started coming out, they were given the different, sexier category name of "notebooks" -- the same as ultrabooks are doing now.

    I wonder what's next. Sheets? Pages? Brochures, god forbid?
    Reply

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