The Razer Blade Stealth is not only THE Ultrabook for ultimate gamers; in fact, it is one of the best Ultrabooks for all of us. Though, it fails to offer the excellent battery life; its vibrant screen display, high-end performance, and exceptional value make it one of our favorite laptops of the year. Let’s dig deep into the outstanding features and specs of this laptop in our Razer Blade Stealth review.
Razer Blade Stealth review: What We Like?
- Larger, brighter display
- Subtler aesthetics on the gunmetal version
- Excellent Kaby Lake Refresh performance
Razer Blade Stealth review: What We Don’t?
- Shorter and shorter battery life
- No 4K display option in sight
Highlights Of Razer Blade Stealth Review
Razer Blade Stealth line is a non-gaming alternative to its flagship Blade gaming laptops, turning the same sleek design into a smaller, thinner general purpose ultraportable. Before we plunge into the detailed Razer Blade Stealth review, let’s have a brief look at the highlights of Razer Blade Stealth review.
- The display itself is a 12.5-inch panel, but Razer has installed it into a much more significant chassis, making it around the same size as a regular 13.3-inch laptop.
- Recently, Razer upgraded its Ultrabook with Intel’s latest, 8th-generation Kaby Lake Refresh processors.
- It sports Intel HD Graphics 620, 16GB LPDDR3 memory, 2.7-3.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-7500U and 256GB PCIe SSD.
- Thunderbolt/USB-C 3.1, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm headset jack are also packed with Razer Blade Stealth.
- Razer’s Blade Stealth is no longer a unique contender for the laptop world, and Razer is taking measures to assure it tarries appropriate to newcomers. This time around that means expanding the screen without — changing the chassis –raising the price and offering a new color. Gunmetal.
This more subtle option should make it a better choice for anyone not looking to broadcast their gamer status, and it won’t cost any more than similarly equipped matte black Blade Stealth. We spent a few minutes with the system at E3 2017, and it’s shaping up to be a solid update.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Key Specs
- CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- RAM: 16GB DDR3 (2,133MHz)
- Screen: 13.3-inch, QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) IGZO display
- Storage: 512GB SSD (M.2 PCIe)
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C), HDMI 2.0, headset jack
- Connectivity: Killer Wireless-AC + Bluetooth 4.1
- Camera: 720p camera
- Weight: 2.98 pounds (1.35kg)
- Size: 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.54 inches (32.1 x 20.6 x 1.38cm; W x D x H)
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Design:
Despite the blow up in screen size; this 13.3-inch Razer Blade is no bigger than its 12.5-inch forerunner. It keeps most of its original dimensions; measuring 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.54 inches (32.1 x 20.6 x 1.38cm). That makes it 0.02-inches (0.7cm) thicker than last-generation models, but it’s still thin enough to give the 0.59-inch (1.49) thick MacBook Pro a run for its money while still offering full-sized USB 3.0 ports to boot.
Unfortunately, the latest Kaby Lake Refresh update also bumps up the weight to 2.98 pounds (1.35kg), making it the heaviest version of the Stealth that Razer has ever released. Comparatively, the Kaby Lake-powered, 13-inch refresh tips the scales at 2.93 pounds (1.33kg), and the 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth weigh in at 2.84 pounds (1.29kg).
These fractions of a pound/kilogram increases are likely due to additional cooling needed for the Stealth’s new quad-core processors. While it isn’t dramatically heavier, this Ultrabook is getting dangerously close to weighing more than three pounds.
Aside from the screen bezels, the biggest aesthetic change Razer has introduced is the new gunmetal version of its Ultrabook. Synonymous with its name, the Stealth has always been the company’s most understated laptop, and the new color adds to that quality.
Gone are the RGB keyboard and light-up lid logo. Instead, the gunmetal version features a simpler white backlight on the keys. Meanwhile, the ‘tone-on-tone’ printed triskelion symbol is actually hard to miss unless you’re turning the laptop from side to side, like one of those old holographic prints.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Display And Audio:
The base model Razer Blade Stealth comes with a 2,560 x 1,440 IGZO touchscreen that’s 12.5 inches. A 13.3-inch panel is more usual on a laptop of this size. Aside from the bezel issues mentioned above, the other problem with a screen this size is that everything looks absolutely tiny unless you turn Windows 10’s display scaling options up to maximum.
However, sizing everything up determines the accuracy enhancements you see from the high resolution are entirely lost; apart from when gaming or watching high-resolution videos; like 4K Netflix.
Stunningly, there’s a greater-spec model that arises with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. This is the unique model available with a 1TB SSD, but that display resolution will probably cause even more significant scaling difficulties.
Most renowned about the Razer Blade Stealth is its great speakers. They’re powerful, clear and display a considerable amount of depth. I could cheerfully listen to music on them during Razer Blade Stealth review, and they’re more than good enough for TV programs as well.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Keyboard And Touchpad:
The keyboard is not the nicest you’ll find on an Ultrabook; with a relatively rattly and shoal action. The keys themselves are of a fair size and are backlit too, but they are not individually comfortable when typing for extended periods.
The best feature is the RGB backlighting. Unlike most other gaming laptops, the keys are individually lit. This means each key can display a different color, allowing for some fun effects including flashing the keys for every press, and colorful wave patterns. They’re not essential, but they’re fun nonetheless.
The touchpad is cool, but nothing extraordinary. It doesn’t have the immediate precision of its high-end competitors and truly feels indolent upon first use during Razer Blade Stealth review. A prompt tweak of Windows touchpad settings saw me right, but it still isn’t a great experience for a laptop designed to be used on the move.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Performance:
Razer has run all-out in terms of performance, presenting the Intel Core i7-7500U as much vigor as it requires to get the work done.
This occurs at the cost of heat, sound and battery life, but there isn’t an Ultrabook on the market that’s performed as well in our Geekbench 3 benchmarks. It’s close, but the Razer’s multi-core score of 7,818 beats both the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Pro 13 with Touch Bar.
Under heavy load its coolers kick up really a fuss, and as quickly as you cast a 3D game at it (via the Core graphics dock), it generates an absolute racket. It’s a moderately big price to give for marginally suitable performance, but it’s at least Razer’s different selling point.
It’s more than able to edit Full HD videos and should perform most simple projects in a matter of few minutes.
The Blade Stealth comes with either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR3 memory; which is a step down from the DDR4 found in the Dell XPS 13 but the same as the memory in the base model 13-inch MacBook Pro.
My model came with a 256GB PCIe SSD, which exhibits great performance. I measured its read speeds at an impressive 1,275MB/sec, which is more than a match for the Dell XPS 13.
The onboard Intel HD Graphics 620 isn’t good enough for high-end gaming and will be able to play only older titles at a lower resolution. If you want gaming grunt, you’ll want a more expensive laptop – or hooking up the Razer Core with a GPU inside.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Inputs and Outputs
As with earlier generations; the Blade Stealth appears with potently influential speakers and a bigger, more substantial keyboard than the MacBook Pro. What has improved this year is that Razer promoted its Ultrabook with a Windows Precision Touchpad.
We didn’t have numerous objections with the trackpads on preceding models, but the direct-from-Microsoft drivers give even better tracking and multi-touch gesture recognition. So, we’ll take the improvement on the laptop’s pointing device even if we felt it wasn’t necessary.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Battery life
While we see the performance upgrade year-over-year; the Blade Stealth’s battery life has also got a hit with every new iteration. The newest version survived our movie playback battery test during Razer Blade Stealth review for five hours and 9 minutes; which was less than the five hours and 25 minutes of the preceding Kaby Lake-powered edition – and that was already under the five hours and 44 minutes result we observed from the 12.5-inch 2016 model.
The reason behind these battery life drops are the bigger, sharper displays and the latest quad-core processor. Going from the 12.5-inch model in 2016 to the 13-inch refresh; the screen is not only corporally more substantial, but the screen resolution improved from 2560 x 1440 to 3200 x 1800. Furthermore, the two extra cores on the Kaby Lake Refresh processor can’t upgrade performance without also utilizing more power.
The Blade Stealth also lags behind its peers for longevity. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar was able to run the same movie test for 6 hours and 37 minutes. Meanwhile, the Dell XPS 13 lasted for a conspicuous 10 hours and 29 minutes. Of course, both these Ultrabooks highlight lower-resolution screens. Had the Blade Stealth come with a Full HD display? It would possibly last for seven or more hours.
Five hours of battery life – which we could readily extend to six hours – isn’t atrocious, but it also isn’t exceptional. You’ll have to fully turn off the keyboard backlight and lower your display brightness to get through a cross-country flight. We even wouldn’t feel enough bringing this Ultrabook to run without its charger.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Power Management
Compared to the direct predecessor and the Dell XPS 13, with 7.5 watts on normal during idle, the Blade Stealth draws almost a quarter more power out of the battery with its i7-8550U and the extensive display. On the other hand, the Razer confers its better side during full capacity, giving the best consumption effects of the comparison models in our test. The maximum value of 34.6 watts during full load is probably not entirely practical though, but due to computation constraints might have been shown only after the top value was reached. We can believe that the maximum is also in the range of at least 50 watts, as in the Blade Stealth i7-7500U. At 65 watts, the compact power supply is also generously sized even for more power-hungry applications.
Razer Blade Stealth Review: Our Take On:
The Stealth has everything going for it. It looks fabulous, is thin and light and compresses every last ounce of power out of its CPU. Nevertheless, this comes at a cost. Battery life, display size, and loud fans are all shortcomings that are difficult to justify in a market so full of excellent alternatives.
The apparent opposition is the Dell XPS 13, which just about knocks down the Razer in every area apart from performance, where it’s very alike. The XPS 13 values around £70 more for an equivalent specification, but it’s well worth paying for.
With all of that said in Razer Blade Stealth review; if you want just one device that will work as both your work device and your gaming equipment, and you have a lot of money to spend, choosing up a Blade and Core together is a fascinating proposition.