Razer Blade Stealth review: An ultrabook at a very low price

Razer Blade Stealth was first seen in the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show early this year. After having spent some time with this product, I now know why this slim Windows 10 laptop attracted so many people when it was unveiled. The laptop is best known for three things: keyboards, gaming peripherals and a 12.5-inch screen.

Notwithstanding experience of Razer in the PC gaming biz, this laptop is not solely a gaming laptop. It is an amalgam of various ideas focused on what a top-line ultrabook-style laptop should look like, including some wish-lists things we’ve sought for years.

The company is known to produce gaming laptops with 14-inch or 17-inch display. Despite housing high-end gaming components, these laptops are reasonably light and thin. The Razer Blade Stealth retains much of the feel and look of the earlier models, such as rigid construction, the matte-black shell, green snake-like logo and minimalist design. But the most important thing you should note is that this is not exclusively a gaming laptop.

A Razer laptop with no a dedicated graphics card was unexpected, it’s like having an Apple product short of an app store. While Blade Stealth is not just a gaming laptop, it is still within Razer’s large gaming ecosystem. The laptop’s single desktop graphics card is housed in an external box. Power to the laptop is enabled through Thunderbolt-enabled USB-C connection.

Other companies have tried to make an external graphics solution for laptops.  However, they have not been able to crack the code of balancing performance, flexibility, design, and price. Asus has provided same products off and on for years while Dell tried to add an external GPU box to Alienware 13 in 2014. The products were too expensive to buy.

The Blade Stealth is very impressive.  It offers high-end components, backlit Chroma keyboard and a great design, plus extras such as  programmable and fun to play, all costing $999 or AU$1,549.

The keyboard is possibly the most notable downgrade from the previous Blades. To fit into the ultrabook form, Razer greatly reduced the key travel. Consequently, the keyboard is very fast for keying, but with uncomfortable stilted tactile feedback.

It does look incredible, though. Razer’s added its Chroma per-key RGB backlighting to the Blade Stealth. That mean you can still access the full suite of crazy effects available in the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate such as Spectrum Cycling, Reactive, Breathing, and a handful of others. The laptop is definitely not in the least, it still turn heads.

You cannot afford to sneeze at the Razer Blade Stealth’s specs. Razer has brought to the market two versions of the laptop. The laptops are more similar than they are unlike. Both are equipped with 8GB of RAM, a Core i7-6500U, Intel HD 520 graphics, and a 12.5-inch display.  In addition, each version has gaming prowess on its own. The differences are in available storage and screen resolution. Both versions have the Killer Networking Killer 1535 802.11ac wireless modem and Bluetooth 4.1 support.