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New Razer Blade Stealth gets right what the Dell XPS 13 does wrong

New Razer Blade Stealth gets right what the Dell XPS 13 does wrong
New Razer Blade Stealth gets right what the Dell XPS 13 does wrong
The 4.9 mm bezels are 60 percent thinner than the last generation with a "retina-shattering" 13.3-inch 4K UHD display. Razer is promising 100 percent sRGB coverage, Whiskey Lake-U CPUs, and optional full-power GeForce MX150 graphics for a starting price of $1400 USD.

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It’s only been just over a year since the last major Blade Stealth refresh, but this latest iteration introduces some of the biggest changes yet for Razer’s 13.3-inch Ultrabook series.

Simply called the Blade Stealth (again), the 2018 model will launch with a Base Model SKU and an Advanced Model SKU much like the recent Blade 15 Base Model and Blade 15 Advanced Model. Both options will carry an updated design that tosses the old Stealth chassis for a skeleton closely resembling that of the Blade 15 series. In fact, Razer describes it as a “miniaturized Blade 15” since its narrow 4.9 mm bezels, anodized aluminum chassis, outer lid logo, and overall profile all mimic the larger 15.6-inch model. In this regard, the Stealth feels as strong as it’s ever been and certainly tougher than what the MSI GS65 or PS42 have to offer.

Razer Blade Stealth 2017Razer Blade Stealth 2018
CPUKaby Lake-R Core i7-8550UWhiskey Lake-U Core i7-8565U
GPUUHD Graphics 620UHD Graphics 620 or 25 W GeForce MX150 w/ 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
Display13.3-inch FHD or QHD 100 percent sRGB13.3-inch matte FHD 100 percent sRGB or glossy 4K UHD 100 percent AdobeRGB touchscreen, 4.9 mm bezel
RAM8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz (soldered)8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz (soldered)
Storage256 GB or 512 GB M.2 PCIe256 GB M.2 SATA or 512 GB M.2 PCIe
WirelessKiller 1535, Bluetooth 4.2Intel 9560, Bluetooth 5
PortsThunderbolt 3 (4x PCIe), HDMI, 2x USB Type-A 3.0, 3.5 mm combo audioThunderbolt 3 (4x PCIe), USB Type-C 3.1 Gen. 2, 2x USB Type-A 3.1, 3.5 mm combo audio
Dimensions321 x 206 x 13.8 mm304.6 x 210 x 14.8 mm
Weight1.35 kgStarting at 1.28 kg
Launch MSRPStarting at $1700 USDStarting at $1300 USD
Redesigned Blade Stealth is essentially a mini Blade 15
Redesigned Blade Stealth is essentially a mini Blade 15
The previous bright green logo is now silver for a more professional and business-like demeanor
The previous bright green logo is now silver for a more professional and business-like demeanor
The two USB Type-C ports on the left and right edges can be used to charge the system
The two USB Type-C ports on the left and right edges can be used to charge the system
Same familiar matte black texture that we're already familiar with
Same familiar matte black texture that we're already familiar with

Internally, both the Base Model and the Advanced Model will be getting Intel Whiskey Lake-U CPUs and soldered RAM. The pricier Advanced Model configuration, however, will have more powerful discrete GeForce MX150 graphics and a 4K UHD touchscreen compared to the integrated UHD Graphics 620 and matte FHD panel of the Base Model. Thunderbolt 3 comes standard across the lineup for compatibility with the Razer Core series.

Perhaps the most notable features of the new Blade Stealth are what it gets right when compared to its closest competitors like the XPS 13, MateBook X Pro, or MSI PS42. For one, its webcam is at its rightful place atop the screen unlike on the Dell or Huawei. Furthermore, its dedicated MX150 GPU is the faster 25 W variant and not the slower 10 W variant as found on the Huawei for 20 to 40 percent increased graphics performance. Lastly, its PCIe x4 Thunderbolt 3 port supports the full 40 Gbps theoretical transfer rate unlike on the Huawei or the older XPS 13 models. Razer has been very careful to not cut any corners and we’re glad to see all these boxes checked for enthusiasts to appreciate.

Same keyboard layout and travel depth as on the Blade 15
Same keyboard layout and travel depth as on the Blade 15
Unibody CNC aluminum frame before being anodized to matte black
Unibody CNC aluminum frame before being anodized to matte black
No more per-key RGB Chroma lighting for now
No more per-key RGB Chroma lighting for now
Soldered RAM means there's not much to upgrade outside of the M.2 SSD
Soldered RAM means there's not much to upgrade outside of the M.2 SSD

There are a couple of setbacks on the new models to keep in mind. The gray gunmetal color of the previous Blade Stealth will not be available and so the usual black will be the only option for now. Per-key RGB lighting has also been dropped in order to preserve battery life according to Razer. In its place is a single-zone RGB backlight not unlike the keyboard of the Blade 15 Base Model. Other than these cosmetic omissions, the new lineup is looking to be a huge update that the Stealth series needs to better compete against the wave of narrow-bezel Ultrabooks.

The 2018 Blade Stealth is launching this week in North America for a starting price of $1400 USD with a European launch by the end of this month. A third mid-range SKU will be made available as well.

The new 2018 model (right) is actually a bit thicker than the 2017 model (left)
The new 2018 model (right) is actually a bit thicker than the 2017 model (left)
The lid and hinges of the 2018 model (right) are also thicker than last year's version (left)
The lid and hinges of the 2018 model (right) are also thicker than last year's version (left)
2018 Blade Stealth (top) has sharper and more defined edges and corners than the 2017 Blade Stealth (bottom)
2018 Blade Stealth (top) has sharper and more defined edges and corners than the 2017 Blade Stealth (bottom)
Outer lid surface is now completely flat on the 2018 model (right) and without the colored logo on the 2017 model (left)
Outer lid surface is now completely flat on the 2018 model (right) and without the colored logo on the 2017 model (left)
Still no SD card reader for the Blade laptop
Still no SD card reader for the Blade laptop
Razer is claiming a 13-hour battery life on its base model
Razer is claiming a 13-hour battery life on its base model

Source(s)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > New Razer Blade Stealth gets right what the Dell XPS 13 does wrong
Allen Ngo, 2018-12- 4 (Update: 2018-11-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.