The Razer Blade Stealth was always intended to be a non-gaming machine from a company that calls itself a “lifestyle brand for gamers.” Or at least, it’s a computer that could blend in at a business meeting instead of screaming, “I am a gamer, look at all these crazy lights!” A 2018 update to the device that went on sale today has a tone-on-tone logo on the back that looks a little less attention grabbing than the bright-green Razer logo from before, and it doubles down on the previous model’s ultraportable credentials with slimmer bezels.
But the biggest improvements are actually in performance. The new Razer Blade Stealth comes in three configurations at $1,399, $1,599, and $1,899, and the top two add discrete graphics (NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory). The entry-level spec still just has integrated Intel HD Graphics 620. The second-tier spec with the MX150 (and an additional 8GB of memory over the base spec, bringing it to 16GB 2133MHz) is only $200 more than the base spec, making it a tempting upgrade for gamers.
The real party starts with the top spec, which replaces the 13.3-inch FullHD display with a 4K touchscreen in the same size. Both display options have 50 percent smaller bezels than last year’s model at 4.9mm, and they support 100 percent of the sRGB color space. The $1,899 spec also has 512GB of flash storage; the two lower configurations have just 256GB, and the top spec has faster storage, too.
All three configurations have Intel’s 8th-gen Core i7-8565U processor, a Thunderbolt 3 port with external GPU support, a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, two USB-A 3.1 ports, and a headphone jack. They also have the same dimensions: 0.58″ x 11.99″ x 7.27″.
Battery life varies, though. To improve battery life, Razer ditched per-key RGB lighting in favor of one zone for the whole keyboard. The company promises 13 hours for the base model, 11 hours for the mid-tier one, and eight hours for the 4K unit.
The keyboard might have lost an RGB lighting feature, but Razer claims it is otherwise improved—specifically, that it’s “optimized to feel punchier and more responsive.” The touchpad is also larger and offers Microsoft Precision support.
The other big new feature here is an IR Web camera with Windows Hello support, a first for Razer laptops. The press release announcing the laptop states that “Razer also retained the ideal Web-camera placement at the top of the screen to avoid awkward shots.” This is a direct dig at some competing laptops with webcams below the screen, like the Dell XPS 13.
All in all, the updated device seems like a better deal than before for consumers who want a sort-of-gaming-laptop that’s portable and blends in—the move from the green Razer logo to the tone-on-tone logo alone improves things. It’s always good to see gaming laptops that don’t look ridiculous, even if the graphics performance here is not strong enough to run demanding games at the screen’s 4K resolution.
Razer is still essentially a gaming brand, though, and this product is a little out of place in its lineup. That’s partly because Razer doesn’t offer long-term service packages like Apple’s AppleCare or Dell’s Premium Support Plus, which may feel necessary for a pricy laptop that can hardly be user-serviced.
Razer is accepting orders on the new Stealth starting today.