Razer updates Blade, Blade Pro gaming laptops

The Razer Blade Pro gets Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 860M "Maxwell" graphics, while the Blade now offers a 3,200x1,800 touchscreen display.

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While some of Razer's non-peripheral products haven't exactly captured the public's imagination ( the Edge Windows 8 gaming tablet ), and others are still embryonic ( the Project Christine modular PC ), the company's Blade and Blade Pro performance laptops have been well-reviewed, if a niche buy given their high price tag.

Released late last spring , the Blade was a 14-inch portable that Razer claimed was the "world's thinnest gaming laptop" at just 0.66 inches thick, while the Blade Pro was a 17-inch version with a higher-res display. The company has now updated both models, boosting the screen resolution of the Blade and upgrading the graphics on the Blade Pro.

The original Blade's display had a resolution of "just" 1,600x900, but the 2014 edition boasts a 3,200x1,800 screen, which Razer claims is the first for a 14-inch laptop. The company also says the new panel increases contrast by 250 percent over the preceding edition. Other specs for the new Blade include an Intel Core i7-4702HQ quad-core Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M graphics, and 128GB of solid-state storage.

The Blade Pro retains its 1080p full HD screen (1,920x1,080), but gets a boost in the graphics department in the form of the just-released GeForce GTX 860M , based on the latest "Maxwell" architecture. Razer is also shipping it with a bunch of new apps that work with the Switchblade User Interface (SBUI), including a Twitch one and a music-creation program designed with dance music artist Afrojack. Like the Blade, the Pro system comes with a Core i7 quad-core CPU and a 128GB SSD, though it now has twice as much RAM standard.

Both refreshed models are up for pre-order on Razer's site. The Blade starts at $2,199.99, while you'll pay $100 more for a base Blade Pro configuration. (In either case, you can pay $200 more for a 256GB SSD or an extra $500 for a 512GB drive.) The company says the new models will be shipped in a few weeks.

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