Razer is praised for its high performance/size ratio elegant gaming laptops, and with its Blade Stealth series introduced in 2016, tries to address the ultra-light and high-performance market segment.
This is the first time you will find a discrete graphics solution in the Stealth 13.3-inch machine, in the form of the 25W Nvidia GeForce MX150 4GB GDDR5 (not to be confused with the 10W version of the GeForce MX150 that delivers better power efficiency for a lower performance).
Besides the 25W GeForce MX150 only found in this the “Advanced” model, the major updates are the new 8th gen Whiskey Lake Intel Core i7-8565U processor, the revamped design with 4.9 mm thin bezels (finally!) with webcam at the top, a 4K touch display option and a better battery life for the FHD base model (according to Razer). The display options will give users more choices compared to this year Blade Stealth that only offers a QHD (3200 x 1800 pixel 276 PPI).
Since 2016, we have seen some updates of the Blade Stealth, including the latest 2018 model that features the previous 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U for its high-end version.
The primary idea behind a thin and light 13.3-inch laptop that could deliver compute-intensive gaming was to make it easy to plug it to an external powerful graphics processor, a.k.a. the Razer Core (now the Core V2).
Razer is taking a risk in launching a 4K 13-inch thin form factor with a 25W GeForce MX150 discrete graphics because the battery life will obviously suffer from it, and will be compared to the most famous, thin and stylish 13-inch laptops out there, which do not deliver such power-hungry high performance.
Think about laptops like DELL XPS 13 (integrated graphics), MacBook Pro 13 (integrated graphics), and even the ultra-compact 13.9-inch Lenovo Yoga C930 or the 14-inch Huawei MateBook X Pro with the 10W GeForce MX150, all featuring older 8th Gen Intel processors at publishing date (Kaby Lake R gen).
To make users happy when it comes to battery life, Razer is coming with a Full HD Matte non-touch display base model that relies only on the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 for gaming or media editing, unless you plug it to a wall outlet and to the Razer Core V2 equipped with a powerful graphics card.
We spend a brief time with the Razer Blade Stealth 2019, and we were quite impressed by the new design, the stylish and compact unibody CNC chassis with its subtle iconic Razer logo engraved in black on the black cover, getting rid (for the better) of the highly recognizable brand flashy green. The design team decided to remove the rounded edges and use sharp edges instead, which makes the design sleek but aggressive at the same time.
If you wonder, the Black color is anodized and not painted which makes it a lot more resistant to scratches and blemishes in general.
The display’s most visible change is the 4.9mm thin bezels (60% thinner than previously), a universally claimed design trait. There’s an FHD base version of course, but also a 4K (3840×2160) option for users who want the sharpest image and text, both are 60Hz. We’re not sure what the 4K display image quality is, but the FHD version has a 100% sRGB color gamut, which is very decent.
Optionally, buyers can choose to have a regular webcam or an infrared (IR) camera that can unlock the PC by recognizing the face of the registered user.
The time for benchmarks has not come yet, but with a Core i7-8565U processor and a 25W version of NVIDIA’s GeForce MX150 (4GB), this could be the most powerful 13.3” laptop yet, when it comes to gaming. Other laptops typically have a 10W GeForce MX150 which should be significantly slower.
With a battery of 53.1 Wh (Watt-hours), the battery capacity is very decent, but not out of this world, even for a 13.3”. Some 13.9” laptops can pack as much as 80 Wh of capacity. It depends on one’s usage model: many gamers play while plugged to a Power source. In that case, a slightly lower battery capacity isn’t a problem.
Frankly, if you’re playing at 60FPS, an additional 20 Wh of capacity will not buy you that much time but would increase both cost and chassis. If you want to write long reviews and browse the web, there are probably more suitable options for the price.
For those who want long battery life, the FHD display might be an acceptable tradeoff that will consume much less power than its 4K. Razer says that the battery life for the FHD version can reach 13 hours* of video playback, one of the common benchmarks for laptops and tablets.
*Video playback test with Razer Blade Stealth Base Model with 8th Gen Intel Core i7, Intel® UHD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and FHD display. Actual battery life varies depending on product configuration, software, usage, power management settings and other factors.
The Razer Blade packs an incredible amount of graphics power for such a small chassis. If the performance reflects what we’re reading in the specs, it should be the fastest gaming laptop for this size and weight.
The design refresh is a success in my opinion, and a welcome change after such a long time the previous design which was starting to age.