Razer is updating one of its most recognizable laptops, the 13.3-inch Blade Stealth, with a new chassis and specs. The updated Blade Stealth can be configured as a full HD, battery-conscious laptop or a 4K touchscreen machine with discrete graphics. Ultimately, this is going to be Razer’s most portable and affordable laptop, putting it in direct competition with machines from Apple and Dell.
The big deal with the Stealth’s fall refresh is its changing footprint. At first glance, I thought the new Blade Stealth was smaller than the previous generation, until I placed them side by side. In reality, the 2.82-pound laptop is actually four-tenths of an inch thicker, with thinner 4.9mm bezels flanking the screen (which are 60 percent thinner than the last gen’s) that make it appear to have a smaller footprint. It also has a smaller power brick for charging over USB-C.
Razer revamped the Stealth’s speaker setup, with four Dolby Atmos tuned speakers (two more than before) on both sides of the keyboard. There’s also a larger Windows Precision Touchpad than before, complete with native gesture support.
You might be getting slightly more for your money this year, too: the new Blade Stealth starts with a quad-core processor, but with the same $1,399 starting price. Previously, you’d only get two cores, and $1,499 would get you a quad-core chip.
The new Blade Stealth has an Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz (Turbo Boost to 4.6GHz), Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics, 8GB RAM, a 1080p matte screen (with 100 percent sRGB coverage), and a slower 256GB SATA SSD.
If that’s not enough power, you can upgrade the Blade Stealth laptop to a 4K glossy touchscreen, a new 25-watt version of Nvidia’s MX150 discrete graphics chip that Razer claims is fast enough to play League or Fortnite (on lower settings) at 1080p or 4K, 16GB RAM, and a faster 512GB PCIe solid state drive. These upgrades push the Stealth’s price tag up to the $1,899 mark.
On its own, the Stealth isn’t a gaming laptop (even with the MX150 chip), but both models still have eGPU support. That’ll allow you to use an enclosure like Razer’s own Core dock to attach a desktop-class GPU over a Thunderbolt 3 connection, with four PCIe lanes capable of 40GBps data transfers.
Razer hasn’t retained the individual Chroma key backlighting we’ve seen in the advanced Blade 15 and the last-gen Stealth. Instead, Razer swapped it for the single-zone layout in the base Blade 15 in order to conserve battery life, which company reps claim is “up to 13 hours” on the base 1080p Stealth, or three hours more than previously claimed with the last-gen Stealth. We’ll see how that pans out when we review the new Stealth in the coming weeks.
Another new hardware addition is the IR camera mounted at the top of the display that allows you to log in to the Blade Stealth using Windows Hello facial recognition. It’s been a heavily requested feature of mine on previous Blade laptops, so it’s great to see facial recognition finally making an appearance in their lineup.
The new Razer Blade Stealth launches today, starting at $1,399 from Razer.com and select retailers in the US and Canada. It’s also coming soon to retailers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan.