Since its inception, Razer has been known for its great gaming hardware. Not only that, but the attention to detail the company gives to every product rivals Apple and Microsoft. If you look at any accessory, even the Xbox One controllers, the build quality is excellent and surpasses Microsoft’s entry-level devices. Razer’s gaming laptops are on another level though. The metal is smooth and feels sturdy to the touch. The logo stands out beautifully when light shines on it. Lastly, the “clicky” keyboard changes color in a seamless way which enchants the user.
In our opinion, Razer’s machines are a work of art. However, the company has had limited appeal in the past due to their fixation on gaming devices. With the Razer Blade Stealth though, that stereotype has been shattered because this is an excellent device for any mobile professional, especially the new reduced-bezels model. It features 2 USB-C ports, 2 regular USB ports, and a headphone jack. It also charges through a USB-C charger.
For the past few months, we’ve been testing out the new Razer Blade Stealth 13 and can say that it has truly blown us away. From its sleek, angular design to its great performance, the ultrabook should appeal to a wide range of consumers outside of gaming. The device is very slim as it measures 0.58” by 11.99” by 8.27” now. As stated earlier — despite a few quirks — the laptop should appeal to the modern mobile professional who requires a sturdy, light, powerful, and reliable device during travel.
The laptop is made out of aluminum and feels smooth to the touch. If you’ve ever felt Apple devices, you’ll know that the company prefers a rougher finish which is prone to scratches and other issues. Well, you’ll be happy to know that the Razer Blade Stealth’s smooth finish also gives it a somewhat scratch-resistant property. We wouldn’t advise putting your keys in the same bag as the Razer Blade Stealth, but you won’t need to constantly worry about putting it in a case because accidentally hitting it against the corner of your table won’t give it a noticeable gash. Unlike Apple’s laptops, this device won’t scratch unless you purposely take a sharp metal object to it. This is a necessity for people who hardly have the time to constantly protect their devices.
We reviewed last year’s gunmetal Razer Blade Stealth and gave it a high score based on its design and screen. However, we had issues with its trackpad, screen design, and performance. Luckily, this year’s model packs quite a punch and is more configurable than ever. The $1,399.99 base model we tested features a quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor with Hyper Threading from 1.8 GHz to 4.6 GHz. There’s also 8 GB of LPDDR3 2133MHz dual-channel memory. Unfortunately, unlike the more expensive models, this one only came with Intel UHD Graphics 620 and a 256 GB SSD. You’ll need to use a Razer Core with an external GPU to properly game on it. Lastly, the biggest addition has to be a Windows Hello-supported camera so that you don’t need to enter a password every time you turn on the device. Customers have been waiting for this feature for a long time now.
The industry has moved on in many ways. Last year’s screen design could be improved because other manufacturers are coming out with almost bezel-less bodies. Luckily, that’s been addressed this time around because the new screen is very close to the edges. Unlike the 1080p display which came with the entry-level model, you probably want to opt for the 4K touchscreen which is stunning. It allows you to simply focus on your content. 4K is the future of the industry and a 1080p screen feels like quite the downgrade nowadays. This one’s matte, unlike the glossy 4K one, so some people might still prefer it. We would’ve preferred if the base model featured a matte 4K screen though.
Aside from the screen position, the trackpad feels like it’s received some improvements. It’s still a little unwieldy, but definitely not as bad as last year. However, it still doesn’t compare to the ones found on Apple’s MacBooks or Microsoft’s Surface Book devices. They’re still industry-leading. This year glass Razer trackpad is almost there though. Maybe making it a little wider would be beneficial in future devices. It also needs to be much smoother. If it’s a glass trackpad, it should be as smooth as glass.
Our next complaint still revolves around Windows 10. While Windows 10 is a good operating system, it still isn’t at the level of macOS. It doesn’t look as good or feels as smooth. If you go to the Windows Store, many of the applications aren’t of the highest quality. Plus, even in 2019, Windows 10 comes with bloatware which Microsoft seems to be pushing on consumers. For example, when we booted up the device, Windows 10 automatically installed numerous free-to-play games without even asking. Razer isn’t responsible for this, but the company really needs to address this concern with Microsoft. We’ve brought up this point again and again, but we really shouldn’t have to uninstall Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Friends Saga every time we set up a new device. That’s just ridiculous at this point.
The new Razer Blade Stealth 13 gets a little warm if you’re watching high-resolution films or editing a long video. It’s definitely not uncomfortable to use because the heat dissipation does a great job of keeping the internal temperature at around 50°C. The maximum we recorded was 64°C. If you want to game, edit high-resolution videos, and work on high-resolution images in Adobe Photoshop, you should probably go with the 4K model which has more RAM and a better GPU. Intel UHD Graphics 620 doesn’t compare with NVIDIA’s offering. This model’s Geekbench scores almost always come in around 4,821 for single-core and 11,997 for multi-core performance. It’s OpenCL score is 37,885. The base model is definitely not a powerhouse, but it’s a capable device.
Overall, the new Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a great product which has its quirks. This year the performance is great, but the trackpad still needs a little bit of work. The battery should also last roughly 10 hours through normal use from our experience. Now, why would someone choose the Razer Blade Stealth 13 over a device like the Surface Book? In our opinion, the main reason would be the design. This laptop is much smaller than Microsoft’s offering and the incredibly sturdy construction with a smooth, scratch-resistant finish makes it ideal for traveling. The phenomenal keyboard also makes getting work done easy. This is definitely a product geared towards mobile professionals and anyone who travels around should consider it.