Razer’s gunmetal Blade Stealth is like dressing a gaming laptop in a suit

The chassis of this Blade Stealth isn’t dramatically different than it has been in past generations — except for its new gunmetal paint job. An all-black exterior, backlit triple snake logo and a keyboard with every color in the rainbow is often what kept corporate types and minimalists away from Razer’s laptop portfolio.

Everything screamed “gamer” or “PC enthusiast,” but the user experience has been well-revered across the internet. Now for the first time, Razer is making a laptop with a new color scheme, with a basic backlit keyboard, sans snake light show — it’s refreshing.

A Blade is only as sharp as its specs…

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves — as nice as the Blade Stealth is as a productivity machine, it’s not a gaming computer despite being the product of one of the most gaming-oriented companies on Earth. This Stealth comes with a Core i7-7500U processor (2.7GHz, 2.9GHz TurboBoost), 16GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive.

However, the prime feature of this configuration is the dazzling 13″ QHD + IGZO touchscreen, which is set at a 3200 x 1800 resolution. It’s glossy and crisp, and its 100 percent sRGB color distribution is among some of the best of the Windows ultrabooks, hands down.

Beyond those core specs, the gunmetal Blade Stealth is an ordinary Windows 10 ultrabook. Its only special feature is being part of the Razer hardware ecosystem, which is a powerful bullet point. It means you can purchase the Razer Core enclosure to go along with it, install the GPU of your choice and connect via the only Thunderbolt/USB-C on the system to help drive 3D PC games.

This is an excellent solution if you’re looking to own a “gaming laptop,” but don’t want the bulkiness, heat or lack of battery life. And unlike the other Blades in Razer’s portfolio, technically you can upgrade your GPU.

As a productivity machine

I hate to admit it, but I do miss the Chrome keyboard technology. Razer’s 16.8 million programmable keyboards have become just as much of a staple to the brand’s image as the triple-head snake, the color green and all-black-everything aesthetic. But aesthetics aside, the Blade Stealth works as a strong mobile warrior, weighing just 2.93 pounds.

Between writing up my experiences with the machine, editing photos in Lightroom, listening to much on Spotify and generally just having too many tabs/windows open in Chrome, the Stealth lasted about eight hours. Close enough to the nine hours or so that Razer advertises, and I’m sure I can close the gap — if I lowered the max screen and keyboard brightness.

Port selection is minimal, but not disappointing (still no SD card slot, sorry). Your single USB-C/Thunderbolt port is also the charging port, and there is an aux port, along with flanking USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI-out.

Now for the speaker, keyboard, trackpad trifecta. While the keyboard could use more travel, it’s evenly distributed, with practically no flex while being easy to get started on.

The trackpad is as tall as the size of the palm rest will allow, smooth to the touch and accurate, now arguably one of my favorites.

As for the stereo speakers: While they aren’t THX certified like the big brother Blade Pro’s, they offer enough bass and clarity to entertain, surprisingly so, considering their small size.

Bottom line

One of the best ultrabooks out there just got a lot more presentable.

For a $100 premium over a 13-inch, non-TouchBar MacBook Pro you can have the ability to invest more dollars to play games. Regardless, even without the Core you’d have the advantage of more RAM, storage space and ports than the base MacBook — with the added benefit of a touchscreen.

If you’ve had any reservations about getting a Blade Stealth because it was too flashy, you’re in luck. One of the best ultrabooks out there just got a lot more presentable.

Price as Reviewed: $1,399 at Razer USA

Published at Thu, 31 Aug 2017 21:14:27 +0000