...by which I mean: it looks like a genuinely appealing way to play games. Not just Football Manager on the sofa, but honest-to-goodness, SMAA-laden, universe-sized, DirectX 12-supported videogames. Razer's updated 2016 build of their 14-inch Blade ultrabook contains an Intel Core i7 6700HQ CPU, a GTX 970M GPU, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. It's also compatible with Razer's own Core external graphics bay, which uses a Thunderbolt 3 connection to hook up a desktop graphics card to mobile devices.
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There's also a lot to be said for the Blade's aesthetic. The RGB backlighting shouts "gaming!" at suitably high volume, but could be programmed to a restrained colour scheme for those who don't want their devices to resemble a flyover of Las Vegas. The chassis itself is wonderfully understated, too.
Here's the full list of specs from the Blade's official site:
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad-Core Processor (2.6GHz / 3.5GHz)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M (6GB GDDR5 VRAM)
- 16GB Systems Memory (DDR4, 2133 MHz)
- Windows 10 64-bit
- 256GB / 512GB SSD (PCIe M.2) options
- 14.0-in. IGZO QHD+ 16:9 Ratio, 3200x1800, with LED backlight, capacitive multi-touch
- Anti-ghosting keyboard with per-key lighting Powered by Chroma
- Killer Wireless-AC 1535 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.1)
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
- USB 3.0 port x3 (SuperSpeed)
- HDMI 1.4b video and audio output
- 3.5 mm headphone/microphone combo port
- Built-in webcam (2.0 MP)
- Built-in stereo speakers
- Array microphone
- Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition
- 7.1 Codec support (via HDMI)
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip embedded
- Razer Synapse enabled with programmable keyboard, trackpad, backlighting, and fan control
- Kensington security slot
- Compact 165W power adapter
- Built-in 70Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
- Approx. Size: 0.70 in. / 17.9 mm (Height) x 13.6 in. / 345 mm (Width) x 9.3 in. / 235 mm (Depth)
- Approx. Weight: 4.25 lbs. / 1.93 kg
All that componentry's chucking the graphics at a 3200x1800 pixel QHD+ panel, a notably high native resolution for a 14-inch device. It'll be interesting to see if the onboard graphics hardware is capable of running that resolution at playable frame rates in most games, or whether the Core external GPU housing is the intended solution.
Compared with last year's model, the 2016 Blade is lighter at 1.93kg, features more onboard RAM, a PCIe SSD, and that all-important Thunderbolt connection.
The Blade's available in two models at the moment, priced at $1999 for the 256GB SSD version and $2199 for the 512 model. They're expected to ship in April, but you can preorder now if that's your thing.