Today Razer took the wraps off of their updated version of the Blade. We took a look at the 2014 model last year, and found that it was a very impressive device, with one of the best displays we have ever tested, and a powerful CPU/GPU combo that was capable of driving most games at reasonable framerates. It is packed into a CNC aluminum shell that gives a feeling of quality. However, by the time we were able to review the device (our fault, not Razer's), NVIDIA had already released a new set of mobile GPUs that offered even more performance and better power efficiency with the Maxwell based GTX 980M and GTX 970M.

Razer kept all that was great about last year’s model including the amazing IGZO 3200x1800 display, great aluminum body, and powerful cooling capabilities, and updated the internals to make the system even more powerful. The aforementioned GPU has been updated from the GTX 870M to the GM204 based GTX 970M (with 3GB of VRAM – GTX 970 RAM issues do not affect the mobile part; interestingly, the mobile parts are available with 3GB or 6GB VRAM, but Razer opted for the slightly less expensive option). This should provide quite a bit more punch when gaming, especially with the high resolution display.

They have also bumped the CPU up from the Core i7-4702HQ to the Core i7-4720HQ, which bumps the frequency from 2.2-3.2 GHz up to 2.6-3.6 GHz. The 4720HQ model is new to the Intel Haswell stable this quarter. The move from a 37 watt CPU to a 47 watt CPU is likely possible due to the power efficiency of the GM204 GPU and should give a pretty good boost to performance and allow the CPU to stay at its maximum boost for longer. Finally, to round out the performance updates, Razer is now outfitting the Blade with 16GB of DDR3L 1600 MHz memory, which removes one of my complaints about the 2014 model, since a $2500 laptop should not have 8GB of memory.

Razer is also adding a new option to the lineup. A less expensive model is now available, which features a 1920x1080 resolution IPS display, and 8 GB of memory. It keeps the same CPU and GPU combo though, but only a 256 GB SSD is available. This model will also lose the touch capability, and instead feature an anti-glare matte finish, which some people prefer.

Razer Blade 14-Inch Specifications
  2014
(Last Model)
2015
(New Model)
Processor Intel Core i7-4702HQ
(4x2.2GHz + HTT, Turbo to 3.2GHz, 22nm, 6MB L3, 37W)
Intel Core i7-4720HQ
(4x2.6GHz + HTT, Turbo to 3.6GHz, 22nm, 6MB L3, 47W)
Chipset Intel HM87 Intel HM87
Memory 8GB DDR3L-1600 16GB DDR3L-1600
Graphics 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)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
1280 CUDA cores,
924 MHz + Boost
5 GHz memory clocks
192-bit memory bus

Intel HD 4600 Graphics
(20 EUs, up to 1.20GHz)
Display 14" Glossy 16:9 3200x1800
Sharp LQ140Z1JW01 IGZO
Multitouch with LED Backlight
Optional
Anti-Glare Matte 16:9 1920x1080
LED Backlight non-touch
Hard Drive(s) 128/256/512GB
SATA M.2
256GB Only on 1080p model
Optical Drive N/A
Networking Intel Wireless-AC 7260HMW
Dual Band 2x2:2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0
Audio Realtek ALC269 HD audio
Stereo speakers
Combination mic/headphone jack
Battery 150 watt power adapter
70Wh Lithium-Ion Polymer
Front Side -
Right Side USB 3.0
HDMI 1.4a
Kensington Lock
Left Side AC adapter
2x USB 3.0
Combination mic/headphone jack
Back Side -
Operating System Windows 8.1 64-bit
Dimensions 13.6" x 9.3 " x 0.70"
345mm x 235mm x 17.8mm
Weight QHD+ Model:
4.47 lbs
2.03 kg
1080p Model:
4.19 lbs
1.9 kg
Extras 2.0 MP Webcam
Razer Synapse 2.0 Software
10-point Multitouch Display on QHD+ Model
Backlit anti-ghosting keyboard
Warranty 1 year limited
Pricing $2199 for 128GB QHD+ Model
$1999 for 256 GB 1080p Model

This is a pretty solid update to one of the best Windows laptops you can buy. The device already had excellent performance, but the high DPI display would often bring the GTX 870M to its limits. The move to GM204 should have a significant performance improvement. The addition of 16GB of RAM will also allow this laptop up to be more than a gaming laptop, with the ability to run multiple virtual machines or demanding software. It keeps it in a package that is the same dimensions and weight as the outgoing model, which at 4.47 lbs / 2.03 kg was already slim for the amount of power onboard.

Razer is shipping us a new model of the Blade for review, which we will have up shortly. Check back to see how the new system compares soon. For those that cannot wait for the review, the new Razer Blade is on sale now, starting at $2199 for the 128GB/QHD+ model, and $1999 for the FHD model at www.razerzone.com/blade.

Source: Razer

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  • MrCommunistGen - Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - link

    I know it's nothing to really complain about, but I was really hoping to see a PCI-E M.2 SSD in the next generation of the Razer Blade. They seem to really be pushing the envelope on specs everywhere else.

    I guess that'd have required a larger change to the system as a whole and would have also increased BoM cost.

    I'd really like to see OEMs start to use PCI-E M.2 SSDs in their builds to bring down costs of the formfactor.
    Reply
  • htwingnut - Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - link

    Meh. This is pretty much the same as the MSI Ghost Pro, except a couple hundred more expensive, and the Ghost Pro has a 2.5" drive bay. Good luck Razer. 970m does run cooler than the 870m considerably, but it still a lot of heat to dissipate between the CPU and GPU. Only saving grace is if the battery life is better than 2.5 hours browsing. Reply
  • htwingnut - Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - link

    Oops. Also note that the 1080p version only comes with 8GB RAM not 16GB. Plus the Ghost Pro has two M.2 slots and one 2.5" drive bay, not to mention user upgradable RAM, all weighing less than the Blade and with a 15.6" screen not 14".

    I don't know why people find the Razer laptops so great. Other than ultimate thinness, they're always lagging behind the competition in specs. I'm not impressed Razer. Offer this same laptop with dual M.2 SSD slots with stock 16GB + 256GB and with user ability to add their own, and price it at $1500, then I'll be impressed.
    Reply
  • Anirudh Suresh - Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - link

    The ghost pro is quite an awesome laptop on paper but there are a lot of users complaining of poor build quality, backlight bleed, pathetic trackpad, faulty units, low quality SSDs etc.

    read the feedback of users on newegg
    Reply
  • V900 - Thursday, February 5, 2015 - link

    Is it just me, or is the 1080p model crazy overpriced? 2-300$ is a normal price difference for a 8gb memory upgrade, but for 8 gb AND a QHD screen?!? Reply
  • V900 - Thursday, February 5, 2015 - link

    Beautyful machine, though I'd prefer it a tad bit smaller in an ideal world. But you cant get a better laptop than this or a MacBook Pro.

    Unfortunately, just like with the MacBook you have to sacrifice some upgrade-ability to get a machine down to this size.

    A 128 gb hard disk (or even 256&512
    Reply
  • V900 - Thursday, February 5, 2015 - link

    V900 - Thursday, February 05, 2015 - link
    Beautyful machine, though I'd prefer it a tad bit smaller in an ideal world. But you cant get a better laptop than this or a MacBook Pro.

    Unfortunately, just like with the MacBook you have to sacrifice some upgrade-ability to get a machine down to this size.

    A 128 gb hard disk may feel a little small. (As even a 256&512gb HD would, if you plan to have a lot of games on there!) but its not a Big problem these days. Besides online storage, an external flashHD through USB3 is way faster than internal HDs used to be anyways.
    Reply

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