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Dell XPS 13 versus Razer Blade Stealth: Which should I buy?

XPS 13
XPS 13

One is made by a well known brand in the field of laptops, and gained a reputation of quality and innovation in recent years, too. The other comes from a relative upstart better known for its PC gaming peripherals. Indeed, the Blade Stealth is one of only two laptops offered by Razer.

Then there's the XPS 13 (opens in new tab), a laptop we currently have sitting at the top of our recommended list.. While we stand by that, it doesn't necessarily make it the best for everyone.

So, we're putting these two cutting-edge Ultrabooks up against one another. If you're interested in either, let's see if we can help you decide which one you should buy.

Dell XPS 13

XPS 13

The Blade Stealth is a different approach to laptops from Razer, one the company says is going to challenge the standard ultrabook crowd. The first place to look, then, is to see if its packing the hardware.

Here's a breakdown of some of the main specs:

CategoryDell XPS 13Razer Blade Stealth
Operating SystemWindows 10Windows 10
Display13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 (non-touch)
3200 x 1800 (touch)
12.5-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) touch
4K (3840 x 2160) touch
ProcessorIntel Core i3/i5/i7 {6th generation)Intel Core i7-6500U (Skylake)
GraphicsIntel HD/IrisIntel HD 520
Storage128GB SSD, 256/512GB PCIe SSD128/256/512GB PCIe SSD
RAM4/8/16GB8GB
Battery56 Wh45Wh
Ports2 x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, full sized SD card, 3.5mm headsetUSB-C Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm headset
WiFi802.11ac802.11ac
Bluetooth4.14.1
Dimensions304 x 200 x 15 mm321 x 206 x 13.1 mm
Weight1.29kg (2.8lbs)1.25kg (2.75lbs)
PriceFrom $799From $999

On paper there's really not a lot to choose between them. Razer has a very strong ultrabook packed full of high-end hardware. It's a top of the line laptop and it isn't trying to be anything else.

Dell does offer a cheaper starting price for the XPS 13 (opens in new tab), which is commendable, but the extra $200 to the Blade Stealth is possibly worth it. You get a decent hardware bump over the cheaper XPS 13, and it's mostly a wash when it comes to pricing at the higher end.

The battery is something to consider, too, since the Razer's is smaller. Both laptops are offered with high resolution displays. If you spec up a Razer Blade Stealth with the 4K option it'll feature a sharper resolution than the XPS 13, but it's going to suck more power, too. And when you've got a smaller battery to begin with, that's even more of a hit in the longevity department.

Razer Blade Stealth

Razer Blade Stealth and Core

The biggest differentiator between the two is the Razer Core. This is optional and an extra expense, but it transforms the Blade Stealth into much more than just an Ultrabook. It combines the hardware inside the laptop with a full desktop graphics card as well as expanding the number of available ports. All with a single cable connected to the USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port.

It's this which plays into Razer's description of the Blade Stealth being the "ultimate ultrabook." The larger Blade laptop is a full gaming machine complete with dedicated GPU, but the Blade Stealth makes do with only the integrated Intel graphics — and that just won't cut it for gaming. So the idea is you have a gaming rig when you're at home and a sleek ultrabook for when you need to go outside.

Dell has a similar product, but it's limited to their gaming-centric Alienware line. And those are quite expensive, too, but nowhere near as portable as either the XPS 13 or the Blade Stealth.

There's also the styling to consider. The XPS 13 is unmistakeable with its InfinityEdge display, while Razer's Chroma system of LED lighting on the keyboard gives the Stealth its own visual edge. You can turn it off, of course, as you might want to if you're hitting the board room for a meeting. The XPS is certainly the more reserved looking of the two, though the Razer Blade Stealth is certainly the most understated of Razer devices.

So, which should you buy? It's a tough question and thankfully you'll be in good hands whichever you get. Dell has a few more options to spec up on the XPS 13, it will likely last longer through most days and is a little more 'business-y' looking if you're going to be using it for work.

But, if you like to work and play and you're partial to PC gaming, the Blade Stealth is an excellent choice. It offers you the freedom to go out to work all day with a sleek, top of the line ultrabook, then come home and pwn some noobs.

The biggest critique right now to the Blade Stealth is availability. For example, it's not yet available in Europe, and we don't exactly know when it will be. The Core is also yet to become available at time of writing. Dell already has an established global store of its own as well as selling through Microsoft. Which gives it an edge if you want one now, for sure. For many, the Blade Stealth will be a waiting game.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

11 Comments
  • Both are great laptops, but I would not exchange my XPS 13 for any other currently available device.
  • How do the trackpads compare?
  • the trackpad on the XPS 15 is only average (detects single finger just fine, but struggles with multi finger gestures, there was also a build problem where the track could get depressed in a bottom corner making click travel uneven between right and left sides). It also has this weird grainy brushed aluminum feel (yes, on the trackpad itself). IDK if the XPS 13 uses the same pad or not, but if it does then I'd give the pad a 3/5 for an otherwise terrific computer. The Razor blade trackpad, like literally everything else about the Razor blade, looks and feels just like a black macbook pro. So the trackpad is wonderfully smooth, 5/5, and does gestures very well. Which computer feels better? IMO, the rubberized keyboard on the XPS feels great, and its rubberized bottom handles heat very well, where the Razor lineup can get burning hot. The Razor will turn more heads at the cafe though. I think the external GPU is an ugly, non-portable gimmick, but that gimmick could be the future, better to start somewhere than not at all.
  • I can't say anything about the Razer, but I am loving my XPS 13. Only two changes I would make: 1) Dell needs to sell a USB-C charger. There is a Google Chromebook USB-C charger that should work, but I would rather have one built and designed specifically for the XPS. 2) The SD card does not sit flush with the edge of the device, it sticks out about 1/4 inch and I am concerned about it getting damaged.  #1 is just a wish, and not that big a deal. #2 is a concern. But if that is the only problems so far, then you know it is a damn good laptop.
  • I would go with the Razer. Look - all these devices are made of the same stuff.  The thing that separates these OEMs is the level of crap they give you after you buy their device.  Because sooner or later you will need them - and are they worth the time, frustration, and anger! Since my experince below - I have never bought a device from Dell.  I have bought over eight Razer Blades and have needed their tech support several times.  It's a night and day difference!!  A person actually PICKS up the phone - and that agent takes you thru the whole process!  They even call after your device is returned to make sure the issue(s) is resolved!  I only bought the high end PCs with double the recommended RAM and ONLY SSDs drives.  I paid for "Premium" Service and accidental damage - which was at times over 1/3 of the unit cost.  I paid for these ridiculous services to save time.  Of all the PCs bought - I have only had accidental damage on two units.  And OMG - it was hell to get Dell to honor their part of the agreement.  On the first replacement - they wanted to replace my XPS with an Inspiron. Never mind that my XPS had more RAM, a video card, better resolution screen, an SSD!  I had to combat the Dell representative over multiple calls for them to finally send me an XPS device.  The second time it was worse - at one point Dell blamed me for sending one of their dead on arrival replacements to a wrong depot.  I was using THEIR shipping label!  When everything was cleared and they had no other excuse - they said that they will not send me a replacement because I never sent them the original device from the last replacement.  I asked them well if I did not send the original device then how did Dell determine that I was to be given a replacement in the first place?!  After FOUR months and countless hours on the phone with ridiculous Dell reps - I finally got a refurbished XPS 15!!
  • The table doesn't scale properly on lumia 950
  • Integrated graphics can play many, but not all of the latest games. Just not at the highest settings. Tech is advancing. One day, integrated graphics will be capable of 4k at 120fps. But by then dedicated GPUs will be eons ahead.
  • I have the QHD Dell xps13 top of the line. Great laptop except for Windows 10 that runs like a dog on it. Get the lower non touch version!! My battery life is around 4 hours with light usage. Better still get something with Windows 7 installed. Really disappointed with Windows 10, not only due to its harvesting of my content etc. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Razer Stealth should not even exist.  Garbage company
  • I aquired the XPS13 from Microsoft Store UK with a pretty sweet deal for around £700 and I think this is an excellent laptop. It replaced a heavy 17.3 inch machine and I could not be happied - at home I used an external monitor anyway and this is a great compromise. I purchased seperately a Dell USB-C dock which is essential in my set up so the only complaint I have really is that this is an extra cost you have to bear in mind - without it I would not be able to use it for the same purposes due to the ports it has been equipped with. It feels solid, a little less premium and I don't think anyone who is not tech savy would say this in total is over a grand RRP. Don't get me wrong it's a great device with awesome battery life and all but I can't help but think it does not seem like it's worth what it costs at first glance. All in all, this is not really what I care about so I am 100% satisfied. It's so easy to handle with one hand too. I got the matte FHD screen at it easily runs at over 8h battery - often closer to 9-10 hours which is awesome. 
  • TO THE POSTER : Not all dell xps 13 have Intel Iris graphics.