By Lisa Eadicicco
March 15, 2016

Laptops designed to run video games are usually large, clunky, and expensive. But gaming notebook brands have made efforts to slim down their devices over the past few years, and Razer’s new Blade laptop marks another step in that direction.

This year’s Blade, which Razer announced March 15, is more compact, more powerful, and less expensive than last year’s model. Preorders start immediately; the notebook is set to ship in April.

The new Blade features a 14-inch QHD+ touch screen with a 3200 x 1800 resolution, runs on Intel’s sixth-generation Core i7 processors, and starts at $2,000. It also includes Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970M graphics card, which is found in other high-end gaming rigs. But those who want to upgrade their graphics card without getting a new system can opt for Razer’s Core external graphics enclosure, which the company says will be available soon for the new Blade. Like Razer’s Stealth laptop, the new Blade comes with the company’s Chroma keyboard — which is programmable and includes colored lights under every key.

It’s cheaper than older models, too. Razer says it previously charged $2,399 for a system with a QHD+ screen.

At 4.25 pounds, Razer’s new notebook is slightly lighter than the 4.47-pound 2015 Blade. Other gaming notebooks can weigh nearly double as much: the Asus G751JT, which comes with a larger 17-inch screen, weighs 8.4 pounds, according to its Amazon listing.

The Blade looks like it could be among the best choices for gamers that want a small yet powerful notebook. The real question will be about battery life — it would make sense to go for a thin and light gaming laptop if it meant you’d be able to painlessly carry it with you, whether it be around the house or on-the-go. But gaming laptops aren’t known for offering stellar battery life, especially those with high-resolution screens.

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