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Razer Blade Stealth: Premium Ultrabook from a gaming brand

By Ian Chee & Koh Wanzi - 4 May 2016

Conclusion

A portable Ultrabook for Razer fans, and the occasional leprechaun

Razer Blade Stealth

All in all, the Razer Blade Stealth may appeal the most to existing Razer fans. It draws on the design heritage of previous Blade notebooks, which have been reasonably attractive machines in their own right, and Razer has managed to blend minimalism quite effectively with the Chroma keyboard. So while this means that it can reasonably appeal to folks that aren’t already enamored with the Razer brand, we suspect that the Razer logo on the lid may not be every one’s cup of tea.

That aside, it’s important to remember that the Blade Stealth isn’t exactly a standalone Ultrabook like the other models we’ve compared it with. While it works perfectly fine on its own, its trump card is still the fact that it will work out-of-the-box with the Razer Core external graphics enclosure. Furthermore, although the Core dock can theoretically be used to boost the performance of any laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port – this still requires work on the manufacturer’s part to enable support for external graphics – there’s nothing quite like getting a laptop that matches the aesthetics of the dock perfectly.

Razer Blade Stealth charging

In fact, the Razer Blade Stealth may be better characterized as one half of a two-part gaming system. The Core dock stays put on your desk, while the notebook serves your mobile computing needs and lets you hook it up to the dock for a proper gaming experience. 

And then there’s that Chroma keyboard, which we simply love. Nevertheless, it’s entirely possible that the gratuitous, bordering on frivolous, lighting could very well be the one thing that turns people off an otherwise great notebook. There are also other drawbacks, like the shallow key travel distance that might make it a poor choice for anyone who is going to be doing a lot of typing, and the slightly below average battery life.

These weaknesses temper what was a pleasant overall experience with the notebook. The Razer Blade Stealth is a good notebook, but it ultimately doesn’t feel quite as refined as products like the Dell XPS 13. We’d recommend it, but with a few caveats attached. So if you’re looking for an affordable, high-performing product with a bit of spunk, the Razer Blade Stealth is right up your alley. More so if you dig the idea that the notebook can be transformed into a bonafide gaming machine if you don't mind spending more on the optional Core dock and the graphics card to match your needs.  It is truly a strong alternative to many of its competitors, but if you want a more serious, polished Ultrabook and have the budget for it, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 9
  • Mobility 8
The Good
Slim and attractive design
Solid build quality
QHD touchscreen is bright, crisp and vibrant
Per-key RGB illumination offers a lot of customization options
Great value for money
Discrete graphics performance with optional docking system
The Bad
Below average battery life
Shallow key travel distance
Stereo speakers lack clarity