Razer has announced a new update for its latest 2022 Razer Blade 14 notebooks that will upgrade the systems to USB4 connectivity - without requiring new hardware. The update will come in the unexpected form of a software update, that will upgrade the Blade 14's dual Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports to USB 4. In addition, the update will give the notebooks 40Gbps of bandwidth to play with.
Upgrading the USB ports on a laptop with a software update is not something you see every day. Unfortunately, Razer hasn't shared details on how it could upgrade the 2022 Blade 14 to USB 4 with software alone. However, DIY laptop manufacturer Framework recently issued a very similar upgrade for its 12th-Gen models.
According to a recent Framework blog post, Framework's laptops have supported USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4 for years, despite not having official support until last week. This is because the hardware was already in place, including the retimers, USB power delivery controllers, power circuitry, and connectors to support both USB 4 and Thunderbolt 4. However, it took Framework two years to address all the bugs related to both connectivity standards. Last week the company finally unveiled a fully-certified firmware update for Thunderbolt 4 specifically, but it appears the USB 4 update is still pending.
Nonetheless, we suspect Razer had a similar roadmap with the 2022 Razer Blade 14 notebooks, where these laptops were built with USB 4 in mind at the very start of the design process. Still, thanks to delays and bugs occurring during the certification process, Razer finally has a USB 4 software update ready for the public.
If you own a 2022 Razer Blade 14, head to Razer's support page to download the new update to get official USB 4 support. For more details on USB 4, check out our USB guide here, but simply put, USB 4 is the successor to USB 3.2 - and all of its different variants, with the biggest upgrade being its bandwidth, rated at 40Gbps.
But that's not all; Razer is also pairing the update with Microsoft Pluton support, giving 2022 Razer Blade 14 notebooks additional security from attackers. Pluton is a dedicated chip on the CPU that is used instead of the TPM module on the laptop. This adds extra security and prevents attackers from accessing the communication lanes between the two chips. For all intents and purposes, Pluton functions as a more secure TPM module.
Razer is also announcing a new color for the 2022 Blade 14, called the Mercury Edition, which resembles the color of a traditional Apple Macbook. The new color will be available on two new SKUs, featuring a Ryzen 9 6900HX processor paired with either an RTX 3060 GPU or an RTX 3070 Ti. The 3060 variant is priced at $1999.99, and the 3070 Ti model is $2,599.99.
I've had quite a few struggles with a lack of knowledge from Razers technical team, so I know Tom's Hardware probably isn't at fault here, but a working link would be great as I'm unable to get this from Razer (or even find it myself in their software and driver downloads section.)