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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  • dishayu - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    "which is an IGZO panel rather than the pentile screen seen on the Lenovo"

    Is this completely unrelated or am I missing something here? PenTile is the name of a subpixel arrangement and IGZO is a display tech utilizing IGZO semiconductors for constructing display panels.
    Reply
  • TechGizmo - Friday, March 21, 2014 - link

    You're right about IGZO being a display tech. However, the high res Lenovo laptops are notorious for having pentile displays (rgbw) on the Yoga 2 Pro and possibly also on the Carbon X1. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    I wonder if the display has a glossy surface. I sure hope so, it almost has to for the digitizer in the touch screen right? Reply
  • Chuck123 - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    The 870M is a 100W card. How can they make such a thing work on such a thin-and-light design without throttling? Reply
  • ijozic - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    Same here. It's like an overclocked 680M so its performance is close to that of stock 780M. Fitted in a laptop barely bigger (about 1 cm wider and deeper) than my Sony S13 and even 0.5 cm thinner. Compared to Sony, they did remove the optical and HDD drives and the RAM slot, and the Sony cooling design (or lack of) does suck, but still.. The cooling should be somewhat revolutionary for this to work as advertised (I'd expect no significant heat issues, no super noisy fans and no throttling during normal gaming loads - Cinebench and Furmark running in parallel notwithstanding). Reply
  • n13L5 - Sunday, May 04, 2014 - link

    There's a notebookcheck.com test in german. It gets quite hot with Cinebench and Furmark running simultaneously, but apparently no problems during normal gaming, other than the area above the keyboard being fairly hot and the CPU and GPU operating closer to their upper temperature limits.

    I figure I will run games on mine in 1600x900 (quartered) resolution without any trouble. using 3200x1800 for games would probably require turning down the settings a lot. I'll still appreciate the high resolution for image editing and for running software like Cakewalk Sonar or Solidworks etc.
    Reply
  • Connoisseur - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    On a side note, this will most likely be my next laptop. I'm only waiting for the first reviews to come in to make sure there aren't any major heat or noise issues. It still shocks me that most of these high-end gaming notebook manufacturers haven't figured out the art of simplistic design and clean lines. Companies like MSI, Gigabyte and Alienware just make gaudy designs. If I'm paying north of $1,500 for a machine, I damn well want it to look good as well as have good performance. Reply
  • gamer1000k - Thursday, March 13, 2014 - link

    Looks like a pretty nice machine, although I'm disappointed that a website like Anandtech has completely ignored the Clevo W230ST. I know they only review machines they are sent, but they could at least mention this machine in one of their articles as being something to look at for a small, ridiculously powerful laptop.

    It's a little thicker and heavier, but supports the 47W TDP cpus, 2x standard laptop DIMMs, a 2.5" drive, 2x mSata drives, wired gigabit ethernet, nVidia 765m, (and SD card reader) and still has all the modular panels and removable battery that laptops should have. It's made out of high grade plastic instead of aluminum and doesn't look as powerful as it is (which is a good thing in my opinion, the Razer Blade is just crying out for attention and looks like a direct rip-off of a macbook pro, i.e. its going to be a tempting target for thieves). When it gets its yearly update, I don't doubt it will be rocking at least the same GPU as this newly refreshed Razer. On a side note, I really like the screen the new Razer Blade has, sounds like Razer learned their lesson about cheaping out on the screen.

    Sorry for the mini-rant, I just get annoyed when all the tech sites drool over the Razer Blade and at best mention the W230ST in passing.
    Reply
  • n13L5 - Sunday, May 04, 2014 - link

    I suppose Razer didn't send them another after the (totally accurate) panning of the display on the last model...?

    This time around, I didn't wait for a new review and just ordered one. After all, last year's model has tested rather well aside from the display. So I don't see much risk with one of Sharp's IGZO displays fixing the one big issue.

    I'm still waiting for mine to come: I'm 2 days away from the 4 weeks mark (they say on their website "ships in 3-4 weeks"
    Reply
  • nightcabbage - Sunday, March 16, 2014 - link

    Without a Display Port out (as other gaming laptops have), how will we get G-SYNC to work with this laptop?! That seems like a stupid move on such a high end machine with a GPU that supports G-SYNC (unless Razer knows something we don't.... perhaps nVidia might open up G-SYNC to work on HDMI out soon?) Reply

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