Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with Razer’s Blade laptop. The Switchblade UI (soon to also have a home on the DeathStalker Ultimate gaming keyboard), the sleek form factor and the gorgeous screen were all things we loved. It was a great first foray into the laptop market, but it had room to grow, especially for the price. At PAX Prime this weekend, Razer took the opportunity to announce a major refresh to the hardware that addresses some (not all) of our concerns, including the price.

This time out, Razer has upgraded the processor to pump twice as much power as the first Blade laptop. The video card has also been enhanced jumping up to from an NVIDIA 555m to a 660m. One of the things that jumped out in our review was the heat and sound that radiated from the Blade. Thankfully, they’ve gone back to the drawing board on the thermal system. We’re anxious to see how it works both in terms of volume and that burning feeling in our laps… no… the technology induced one.

The Switchblade UI returns, but this time there is hope that it will serve a greater purpose than simply watching YouTube videos. A few weeks ago, Razer announced a software developer kit that will hopefully see custom layouts and uses for the keyboard’s LCD and dynamic buttons. It’s unclear if the typing surface has changed. As you may recall, we noted that the key travel and layout made for a cramped and difficult to use environment. Here’s hoping those things have been addressed. One of our chief complaints (the up and down keys being grouped onto one button) seems to remain based on images.

A couple of other changes of note: the RAM has been upgraded from 1333 Mhz to 1600 Mhz, all three USB ports are USB 3.0 now and the hard drive is now a hybrid 500 GB 7200 RPM and 64 GB SDD. The change in storage comes at a small price with a bump in weight from 6.4 lbs to 6.6 lbs. The form factor is identical with dimensions and screen size exactly the same as the first Blade.

One thing that Razer did hear from media and consumers is that the price was a bit too steep. They’ve taken a step to mitigate this concern, dropping the cost from $2,799.99 to $2,499.99. Whether these changes are enough to get you to drop the cash on a gaming laptop rather than a desktop really depends on your lifestyle and needs. Regardless, you can’t deny how damn sexy the new Razer Blade looks (even if it’s all the new pretty is on the inside)

Processor Intel Core i7-2640M(2×2.80GHz + HTT, Turbo to 3.5GHz, 32nm, 4MB L3, 35W) Future Platform with 3rd Generation Intel Core Processor
Chipset Intel HM67 Intel HM77
Memory 2x4GB DDR3-1333 8 GB Dual Channel DDR3-1600
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GT 660M 2GB GDDR5
Display 17.3″ LED Matte 16:9 1080p 17.3″ LED Matte 16:9 1080p
Hard Drive 256GB Lite-On LET-256M2S 6Gbps SSD 500GB 7200 RPM HDD (Primary) with 64GB SATA III SSD with NVELO Dataplex Software
Audio Realtek ALC275 HD AudioStereo speakersSingle combination mic/headphone jack Integrated Digital 7.1 Audio Support via HDMI 1.4Built-in speakersSingle combination mic/headphone jack
Battery 6-Cell, 60Wh (integrated) 6-Cell, 60Wh (integrated)
Ports AC Adaptor PortGigabit EthernetHDMIUSB 3.02 x USB 2.0

Headphone/Line-in Combo

AC Adaptor PortGigabit EthernetIntegrated WiFi A/G/NIntegrated Bluetooth 4.0HDMI 1.4

3 x USB 3.0

Headphone/Line-in Combo

Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Dimensions 16.81″ x 10.90″ x 0.88″ (WxDxH) / 427mm x 277mm x 22.4mm 16.81″ x 10.90″ x 0.88″ (WxDxH) / 427mm x 277mm x 22.4mm
Weight 6.4 lbs/2.91kg 6.6 lbs/2.99 kg
Other stuff 2.0MP WebcamAmbient light sensorBacklit keyboardSwitchblade UITen dynamic LCD keys

4.05″ WVGA LCD touchpad (capacitive, multitouch)

2.0MP WebcamAmbient light sensorBacklit keyboardSwitchblade UITen dynamic LCD keys

4.05″ WVGA LCD touchpad (capacitive, multitouch)

 

The Razer Blade is available for pre-order on the Razer website with an expected shipping window of this month.