Razer has introduced two new versions of its Blade, including a 14-inch version of the high-end gaming laptop. The 17-inch Razer Blade Pro uses a 2.4GHz Intel fourth-generation Haswell processor at 47W TDP, along with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics card, promising the combination will offer up to twice the performance of the previous gen. Just like the last generation of Blade, it's still 0.88 inches thick, and it includes the same Switchblade UI, programmable keyboard, and Dolby speaker software... we're eager to see if the speakers have improved since the last Dolby iteration.
Razer justifies the "Pro" in the name by including a number of professional design apps with the Switchblade UI, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, Maya, and GIMP (which is in fact free to download anyways.) It's not clear whether these are full versions or simply trials. The Switchblade UI has been updated with hotkeys for the new programs.
The laptop also has a 74 watt-hour battery, up from the previous 60 watt-hour unit. 256GB of solid state storage comes standard, as well as 8GB of memory, in the 6.6 pound package.
"We tried to distill the very best reference points of the MacBook Air."
Far more interestingly, Razer is also announcing a more portable 14-inch Blade. "We tried to distill the very best reference points of the MacBook Air for our gaming laptop," says Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, pointing out that the 0.66-inch thin model is thinner than the thickest point of Apple's machine. Despite the thinness, it uses the same graphics card and an unspecified fourth-generation Intel processor at 37W TDP, with a matte 1600 x 900 screen and a multi-touch trackpad. The company claims it will run Crysis 3 at 45 frames per second on average. It carries 8GB of RAM and a baseline of 128GB in solid-state storage, expandable to 256GB or 512GB, and you'll find three USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port on the sides. It promises six hours of battery life, which is far more life than one could expect from a larger gaming laptop, though that number was measured on MobileMark 2007 which often grossly underestimates real-world usage. The 14-inch Blade will start at a hefty $1,799, with pre-orders beginning June 3rd at midnight. The new 17-inch model, meanwhile, will start at $2,299. Both should begin shipping two weeks after pre-orders begin. Game developers with a successful Kickstarter can get the Blade Pro for just $999 as part of a special discount program.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles contributed to this report.