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, 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:

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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) touch4K (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
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
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, 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
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. 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 steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at