Razer Announces Blade and Blade Pro, Brings Haswell to Gaming Notebooks

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Razer may have made waves earlier this year with its gaming tablet offerings, but laptops are still its forte, and to that end the company has announced the next entries in its Blade line of gaming notebooks. The new 14-inch Razer Blade and 17-inch Razer Blade Pro will be up for purchase less than a year after their last-gen predecessor when pre-orders begin on June 3, but Razer is hoping that the machines\’ next-gen specs will sway more customers its way.

\"RazerAs one would imagine, the Blade Pro is the most powerful of the pair, though most of it resembles the previously-released second-gen Razer Blade. The Windows 8 laptop packs a \”future 4th gen Intel Core processor\” — also known as a Haswell chip — Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M and Intel HD4600 graphics, and 8 GB of DDR3L RAM. The 17.3-inch display comes in full 1080p, a 2-megapixel webcam and backlit keyboard are included, and the usual slate of USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi is also onboard.

Razer is positing the Blade Pro as a laptop for both gamers and professionals by touting its portability alongside its meaty specs. The machine is 0.88 inches at its thinnest point and weighs 6.5 pounds, while a 74 Wh battery is said to provide improved battery life. The Blade Pro comes with Razer\’s proprietary \’Switchblade\’ LCD interface for extra game and app control, while software like Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Maya and GIMP come pre-installed as well.

The Blade, meanwhile, packs many of the same internals in a slimmer and smaller form factor. Its Haswell CPU, RAM, and GPU are all the same as those in the Blade Pro, but its 14-inch display is downgraded to a 1600 x 900 resolution, its webcam is brought down to 1.3-megapixels, and there\’s no Switchblade UI to be found.

\"RazerThe machine comes in at 0.66 inches at its thinnest point and weighs 4.14 pounds, however, which makes it relatively airy for a gaming machine. Razer claims that the new Blade\’s 70 Wh battery will provide six hours of battery life as well.

One downside may come in the storage department. Both the Blade Pro and the Blade utilize SSD over HDD, which should make for zippier performance, but by default the two come with 128 GB of space. That could be plenty for lots of gamers, but frequent downloaders may see that room fill up quickly. Thankfully, Razer offers options for 256 GB and 512 GB of storage, but that\’ll make these already-pricey options even more expensive.

The Blade Pro will start at $2,299 – which is a lot, but still $200 cheaper than the last Razer Blade –when pre-orders begin next week, while the Blade will come in at $1,799. Razer says the two will be available in North America sometime in the second quarter of this year, with a global rollout following sometime after that. Further attempting to make the Blade Pro appeal to professionals, the company also said that indie game developers who have run a successful Kickstarter campaign will be able to get the 17-inch notebook for $999.

Source: Razer, (2)

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