Design

From a distance, you would be hard pressed to tell the Razer Blade Stealth apart from the Razer Blade 14, if not for the fact that it’s a bit smaller. The Stealth is made out of the same CNC aluminum shell, with a matte black finish. The finish looks great, but it’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet, so keep a cloth handy. The top of the lid has Razer logo, which is really the one thing that moves away from the subtle look that the rest of the laptop has. With the matte black finish, and clean lines, the Stealth is as elegant as any Ultrabook around.

The left side has the Thunderbotl 3-enabled USB-C port for charging and docking, as well as a single USB 3.0 port and 3.5mm jack. The right side has a full-size HDMI port and the other USB 3.0 port. Other than those, the Stealth is devoid of openings or buttons on the outside.

It’s not too often we give much time to the underside of a notebook, but Razer is one of the few companies to do this right. The cooling intakes are found here, as well as some extremely sticky feet which run the entire width of the laptop. This gives the Stealth a very solid posture when sitting on a desk, and I know this is hard to believe, but that’s not always the case with every laptop.

Razer’s unique cooling solution puts the cooling exhaust vents in the hinge between the display and back of the laptop, which is the same cooling solution they offer on the larger Blade 14. This hides the exhaust vents for a cleaner look, although it can cause some heat build-up in the hinge itself. This isn’t as big of an issue in the Stealth as it is in the Blade 14, due to the much lower thermal output of the Stealth.

Opening the lid, you see a couple of things right off the bat. First, Razer has kept the same deck mounted speakers as the Blade 14, which is nice to see since most Ultrabooks end up putting the speakers on the bottom. You also see that the display bezels are quite large, and Razer could have easily put a 13.3-inch panel into this notebook. Thin bezels seem to be something only Dell and Microsoft want to offer. The larger bezels do allow Razer to fit a good size keyboard into the chassis, in addition to the side mounted speakers, and there is also plenty of room for the generous trackpad.

The keyboard in the Razer Blade Stealth is a typical Ultrabook keyboard, with shallow travel due to the limited thickness of the device. Anyone who is going to be writing a novel is going to want something with a bit more travel. It’s a common complaint but I understand there is only so much travel available when trying to keep the device as thin and light as possible. The resistance on the keys is decent, which helps a bit. Surprisingly, and once again likely due to Razer wanting to expand their customer base, the Razer font which is used on their other products is not on the Stealth. Instead you get a much more traditional look to the key faces. Razer’s trackpad is quite good, which a nice large smooth surface and accurate responses. The trackpad leverages Synaptics software for multi-touch.

Likely the most interesting aspect of the keyboard though is the backlighting. The Stealth is the first laptop to offer per-key RGB backlighting, and Razer uses their Chroma branding to distinguish this. This means you can change the key lighting to any of 16.7 million colors (red green blue, 256 levels per color) and the Razer Synapse software gives full customizability to this. There are several patterns you can choose from, including spectrum cycling to shift among all of the colors, breathing, wave, ripple, or just static. It also lets Razer do some funky things like being able to change the function key lighting when the function key is pressed. It’s a great effect, and being able to change the backlighting lets you customize the laptop to your own tastes, and considering the pricing on the laptop it’s a nice addition.

The design of the Stealth is pure Razer, and they’ve done a great job taking the look and feel of their larger laptops and scaling it down to the Ultrabook form factor. The CNC aluminum shell is solid, and the build quality is very nice. The entire package is just 13.1 mm or 0.52” thick, and weighs 1.25 kg or 2.75 lbs.

Introduction System Performance
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  • bug77 - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    Hear, hear!
    My desktop has it's place and is the only device I game on (save for PvZ2 on my old tablet).
    Reply
  • lmcd - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    While the battery life isn't mind-blowing, I wish the storage tiers went 900-1100-1300-1500. Six hour battery life, while bad by comparison, is still more than the average person's working time away from the desk and wouldn't limit most of the people interested in this. Reply
  • jcbenten - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    The thick bezel makes it look old. After seeing the XPS and Surface Book I could not stand to look at this screen. Reply
  • nagi603 - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    Yeah, that bezel looks thicker than that of my old 2004 gaming laptop... Reply
  • Naql99 - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    I bought one of these for my son. First power adapter was defective out of the box. The usb-c connector would not 'snap' into place. Returned it and the replacement unit broke in about 2 weeks when the tip fell out of the end of the cable. I assumed my son was at fault, so I purchased another for the princely sum of $140. The tip fell out of that one within 3 days. Razer refused to replacement. Well, sorry, but cannot afford to keep shelling out $140 a pop for charging bricks and they clearly have a build quality defect. Sure, the colored backlit keys are pretty, but Razer quality is sub-par and their support let me down. We ended up buying an Innergie charger for $40 that works, even though Razer support warned me that using it instead of their crappy $140 chargers would 'void my warranty'. Ok, your warranty isn't worth squat. May I recommend the dell xps precision laptops which are also eGPU capable. As for the Core, it does not even offer a thunderbolt pass-thru, so how can that be considered an actual docking unit. There will be other eGPU solutions soon. I would wait. Buyer beware. Out of the two months my kid has had it, he's only been able to use it for maybe 2 weeks. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    It has a bunch of USB ports, an ethernet port, and a bunch of video out ports. That looks like a standard docking station to me. If I were to criticize it for anything, a lack of audio ports would be my biggest grumble.

    Not including TBs optional passthrough feature was probably a deliberate decision to limit competition for bandwidth the GPU needs. An x4 PCIe connection is enough that most games will run at almost full speed; only an x1 will strangle a large fraction of them. Even with just USB+ethernet you could end up oversaturating TB3: 32gb for PCIe, + 4x 5gb for USB3 + 1gb for ethernet is 53 gb vs TB3's 40gb. In practice that's unlikely to be a major concern; not least because 1 or more of the USB ports would typically be filled with low bandwidth devices (keyboard, mouse, usb headset); and USB3 devices capable of maxing the bus speed for sustained periods of time are relatively uncommon. Chaining a second high bandwidth TB device OTOH could be problematic; giving it half the total bandwidth would hurt the GPU in a significant number of games. Things that would fall under the category of "clever^H^H^H^H^H^Hstupid user tricks" like chaining a TB3 monitor and having it run off the laptops IGP (either due to misconfiguration, or not having video pass through support for the docs GPU due to cost or hardware limitations) could also end up burning people.

    IMO with GPUs in the mix any sort of daisy chaining would need to wait for a future standard that supports at least 8x PCIe.
    Reply
  • Naql99 - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    I see your point, but I have a significant number of thunderbolt devices. I need to be able to hook up my external disks. In general, it is frustrating that there are so many thunderbolt devices that insist on being the the last device in the chain. In any case, I would have purchased the Core, if not for the support/wuality issues noted above. Reply
  • jsntech - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    Razer has made enough missteps for me (Synapse 2.0, numerous failed devices which were very gently used) that despite the decent form factor competing pretty nicely with rMBP 13 and such, I won't even consider it (not to mention 16:9 is *especially* poorly suited on a 12.5" display). Reply
  • jsntech - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    Er, the MB is probably a better comparison. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - link

    For that price, I would have expected for them to use the i7 6560u with the iris 540 gpu, and have better battery life. This thing is just a normal uber expensive ultrabook without the dock, at least with iris it could stand on its own a bit. Reply

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