Razer Blade Stealth Review
Razer Blade Stealth
- Stunning, lightweight design
- Great performance
- Excellent speakers
- Hhighly configurable Razer Chroma keyboard
- Bright display with good contrast
- Below-average battery life
- Lacks SD card reader
Razer Blade Stealth – A masterpiece is born.
Every Razer Blade Stealth is CNC-milled from a single block of aircraft-grade aluminium for maximum durability and a sleek, beautiful form. No compromises.
Weighing no more than 2.93 lbs, your Razer Blade Stealth is the perfect lightweight companion, wherever you choose to go.
Forgot your charger? Don’t sweat it. Experience all-day mobility with the Razer Blade Stealth’s long-lasting battery life.
The $1,249 Razer Blade Stealth hovers on the brink of greatness. It’s a simply gorgeous piece of machinery, accented by a lovely quad-HD display and a tantalizing Chroma keyboard. Then there’s the Kaby Lake processor and integrated graphics, which deliver a one-two punch of overall performance and graphics prowess with a relatively speedy PCIe SSD.
And if you want to keep the price tag below $1,000, the $899 Core i5 configuration is an olive branch to consumers previously put off by Razer’s prohibitive pricing. The optional $399 Core graphics amp can complete the package, by transforming the Stealth from a sexy productivity machine into an unadulterated gaming beast.
For Razer to win, though, it will need to work on extending the Blade Stealth’s battery life even further and adding some cushion to the otherwise stunning keyboard. The $1,074 Asus ZenBook 3 is thinner and lighter, and offers comparable performance, but you’ll have to pay $1,599 for the cool blue color. The $1,299 Apple MacBook and the Dell XPS 13 are better choices if you need longer battery life.
Overall, the Razer Blade Stealth is a very good choice for mobile professionals or students by day and, if you spring for the amp, hard-core gamers by night.
The new Blade Stealth is aggressively priced compared to most high-end ultrabooks on the market. Even when ignoring the $899.99 entry model with a Core i5 CPU, the $999.99 model is more affordable than many ultraportables like the HP Spectre, Lenovo Yoga 910 and Asus ZenBook 3, while packing better hardware. Dell has a competing $999.99 XPS 13 model but still can’t match the Razer Blade Stealth on hardware.
At an affordable price point, the Blade Stealth is a laptop you can’t ignore. Its flaws are mostly minor, resulting in a polished ultrabook that’s one of our Kaby Lake favorites.
The Stealth has plenty going for it. It looks great, is thin and light and squeezes every last ounce of power out of its CPU. However, this comes at a cost. Battery life, screen size and noisy fans are all drawbacks that are hard to justify in a market so full of exceptional alternatives.
The obvious opposition is the Dell XPS 13, which just about beats the Razer in every area aside from performance, where it’s very close. The XPS 13 costs around £70 more for an equivalent specification, but it’s well worth paying for.
With all of that said, if you want just one device that will act as both your work machine and your gaming rig, and you have a lot of cash to spend, picking up a Blade and Core together is a tempting proposition.
pcmag.com (Intel Core i5 version)
The Core i5 Blade Stealth’s specs may not be out of the ordinary, but it’s rare to get them in such a high-quality compact build for this price. It’s a very appealing value given that it stacks up to more expensive machines pretty nicely, and you don’t especially notice compromises in any area. The sleek look and features like USB 3.0 ports and customizable keys are still present, with speed that can get through any normal tasks. If you’re looking to cut down on cost you should highly consider this configuration of the Blade Stealth. A Core i7 processor is never going to hurt, though, so if you plan to do more intensive work, and have $100 more to spend, the Core i7 New Blade Stealth is an excellent choice. The beautifully constructed Dell XPS 13 Touch is another top configurable option.
The Razer Blade Stealth remains one of the best deals around if you’re looking for 12 or 13-inch laptop and want to spend around $1,000 or £1,000 (probably around AU$1,800). Adding a bit more for double the RAM and hard drive space makes sense, but skip the optional 4K display, which is both expensive and a major drag on battery life. The fun Chroma keyboard is amusing, but not a huge factor in my strong recommendation for this system.
Other 12-inch laptops are slimmer and lighter, but many lack a touchscreen and are limited to a single USB-C port. On the other hand, the Stealth looks and feels like a 13.3-inch laptop, despite having only a 12.5-inch display.
One extra note, if you’re interested in doing some gaming on this laptop, Razer sells an external box called the, which holds a (sold-separately) desktop graphics card and connects via Thunderbolt. The Core is $500 and a good graphics card will run you another $500. We haven’t had a chance to test the Core out yet, but it sounds interesting, especially if you want to use a virtual reality headset with your laptop.
With their new Blade Stealth, Razer was able to eliminate the most significant shortcoming: the mediocre battery life. With between 8 and 13 hours, the new laptop can be used away from outlets much longer and will – depending on the tasks – last the entire day.
The chassis remains unchanged. The design is decidedly high-end and comparable to Apple’s MacBooks as far as build quality and haptics are concerned. Too bad that the matte-black surface is so susceptible to finger prints, which are very hard to remove to boot.
This time around the notebook we received was equipped with a QHD+ panel. The display scores quite well and is almost as good as the 4K option. Especially when considering the small size of 12.5 inches, this particular display appears to be the better choice in most cases. The configuration with the lower-end panel is also 200 Euro (~$220) cheaper and likely contributes positively to the (lower) power consumption.
We also are impressed by the offered performance. The CPU test results are quite good, even when the system is subjected to continuous load. The Blade Stealth should work quite well with the Razer Core and should turn the combination into a bonafide gaming system. More details will follow in a subsequent review.
The Razer Blade Stealth comes at a competitive price that demands attention over other higher priced Ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Pro. It performs better in a thinner and more affordable package than its competitors.
It offers all the features we’ve come to expect from Ultrabooks, including a premium design, long battery life, an attractive screen and reliable performance. Then it brings unique features, like the fully customizable RGB keyboard and the ability to plug in an external GPU box for serious gaming while already having an IGZO display suitable for fast-paced action.
From the short key travel and the honestly crap power adapter, the Blade is not a perfect device. But, these are only two small annoyances from what is otherwise a stellar Ultrabook. With the greatly improved battery life, Razer has finally delivered on its promise to make a thin, yet powerful and long-lasting laptop that stands among the pantheon of the best Ultrabooks.