Razer announced a significant refresh to its Blade Stealth, the popular dual-core gaming Ultrabook that weighs less than three pounds.
We got some hands-on time with the new laptop at E3 2017 and came away impressed. Very impressed. Here is what's new, improved, and why Razer is proving it understands what gamers want.
Razer Blade Stealth 2017
The Blade Stealth, (see our 2016 review) with its 12.5-inch 4K display, quickly became one of the most popular gaming-focused Ultrabooks of the last few years. And it attracted more than just gamers with its super thin design and CNC-machined aluminum chassis. Apple fans who want to trade in their Macs for a Windows PC often check out the Razer line, and the Blade Stealth is a popular choice for converts.
However, the Blade Stealth always had a few complaints from the non-gaming crowd. For example, some users didn't like the glowing Razer logo, and the display bezels were awfully wide. Razer addressed that and other issues with this latest refresh. Here is a list of the major changes:
- 13.3-inch QHD (3200 x1800) IGZO display (new).
- 50 percent smaller bezels (new).
- Optional gunmetal gray finish with white backlit keys (new).
- Precision touchpad (new).
- Seventh-generation Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U processor (updated).
- Up to nine hours battery (improved).
- 16GB of RAM (up from 8GB).
That is a significant shift in design. Luckily, pros and gamers who still want a 12.5-inch 4K display can still grab that version in all black.
Instead of the 4K 12.5-inch screen users can also now get the optional 13.3-inch QHD IGZO touchscreen instead, which fits in the same chassis.
The result are bezels that are 50 percent thinner than before, addressing one of the biggest complaints from owners. To put it bluntly, the Blade Stealth now looks like a normal laptop with a 16 x 9 aspect ratio.
Razer also claims 100 percent sRGB color accuracy and up to 400 nits of color brightness with the display.
Not everyone loves the matte-black look of the Blade Stealth, nor the glowing green snake on the front lid. Razer addressed this by offering a new gunmetal gray scheme that looks outstanding. Not only does it look more professional, it appears to hide fingerprints a bit better than that matte-black chassis.
In place of the glowing green snake logo is a simple non-glowing dark silver one. Again, the goal is to make a laptop you can carry into a business setting without advertising that you're a gamer.
The color scheme choice is also deeper. There is no color Chroma keyboard backlighting. Instead, you get normal white. And the USB ports are black instead of green. While some will see these as "boring," for many people that is exactly what they wanted. Since Razer is keeping the black version with Chroma anyway, the optional choice is welcome.
More precise touchpad
Razer has always had good touchpads, but the new one it outstanding. The large, glass navigation area is now Precision-certified using Microsoft drivers to ensure accurate and consistent cursor movement, which means the device can take full advantage the gestures in Windows 10.
Being a Precision stickler myself, I'm very excited to see this change.
New guts, new glory
The new Razer has a dual-core Core i7-7500U "Kaby Lake" processor, reducing system heat and extending battery life slightly to about nine hours.
Instead of an 8GB option, the Blade Stealth only comes in 16GB configurations now – something that Razer says its customers preferred.
Storage still comes in 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of PCIe NVMe solid state drive (SSD) options, and my hunch is they will be made by Samsung.
Razer Blade Stealth 2017 specifications
|Color||Traditional black or gunmetal with tone-on-tone Razer logo (USA only)|
|Display||13.3-inch IGZO 16:9 aspect ratio|
Capacitive multi-touch display
|Resolutions||QHD+ (3200 x 1800)|
100 percent sRGB Touch IGZO Panel
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7500U Processor (2.7 GHz, 3.5 GHz)|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe SSD options|
|RAM||16GB dual-channel system memory (LPDDR3-1866MHz)|
|OS||Windows 10 (64-bit)|
|Wi-Fi||Killer Wireless-AC 1535 (902.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.1)|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)|
Two USB 3.0 ports (SuperSpeed)
HDMI 2.0a audio and video output
3.5 mm headphone and microphone combo port
|Camera||Built-in front-facing webcam|
|Lighting||Chroma anti-ghosting keyboard with individually backlit keys|
|Audio||Top-firing built-in stereo speakers|
Built-in array microphone
|Security||Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip embedded|
|Power||Compact 45 W USB-C power adapter|
|Battery||Built-in 43.6 Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery|
|Dimensions||0.52 in. (13.1 mm) [height] x 12.6 in. (321 mm) [width] x 8.1 in. (206 mm) [depth]|
|Weight||2.93 lbs. (1.33 kg)|
Overall, I'm very excited about the new Blade Stealth, and I love the changes Razer made because it is clear the company is listening to its audience. It's not an easy task building a gaming PC that also caters to students and professionals, but the company is making all the right decisions.
Combined with full Thunderbolt 3 and Type C, users can take this super thin laptop home and connect to the Razer Core external GPU (eGPU; $499 or $399 if purchased with a Blade Stealth) for serious gaming.
You can order one today starting at $1,399 from RazerStore.com. Later this month, you can find the laptop in Best Buy (online and physical), Microsoft Stores (online, and physical) and Amazon.com. Itwill be available in U.S., Canada, UK, Germany and France.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
Dang, that looks really good. The only thing I don't like is their logo, but that certainly wouldn't stop me from buying it.
You could tell people it was made on the Isle of Man.
Damn that gray one looks super nice.
Looks great in gray. If only the bezels were slimmer and they offered a 1920x1080 touchscreen option. Would love to see Razer make a 2-in-1 (360-degree hinge)...
Wait, they slimmed down the bezels MASSIVELY and you're still not happy with them?!
They're slimmed down MASSIVELY compared to the 12.5" Blade Stealth, but they're still large compared to the XPS 13, Spectre x360 and Yoga 720.
@Richard this shows how MASSIVELY thick they were previously that even though they slimmed them down, they are still thick.
Too bad Razor couldn't include the Intel Iris 640 or 650 graphics in the i7. Expected more from a gaming-focused company. Both the Surface Laptop and the MacBook pro 13' i7 do have it. Nice laptop though
the problem is that the macbook is 600 dollars more expensive and the surface laptop doesnt have a thunderbolt 3 port
If only they could go all the way with bezel-less display, this would be THE perfect laptop.
ok now just bring us a 15' inch model, and you'll have me as a happy customer
Dan, help me choose between this and XPS 13 :)
I have the 2016 4k model. It's 100% awesome, but battery life can be a bit of a pain. If battery life is a potential bugbear for you, go for the non-4k model or go for the XPS 13.
I don't really like the design of Razer's laptops but this does seem like a nice laptop AND, yet again, a far far better option than the Surface Laptop AND for the same price you had to pay for the minimum acceptable SL - i5/8GB/256GB - you get an i7, 16GB of RAM, QHD display an a ton more ports. I honestly don't know who on their right mind would buy a Surface Laptop apart from hardcore Microsoft-fanboys. 'cause, if we're being honest, even Apple users would get a better bang-for-buck with any other Windows laptop (although, admiteddly, Apple users don't normally have the brains to understand the concept of value-for-money...otherwise they would never be Apple users :P)
Agreed. The Surface Laptop is ridiculously overpriced, which is all the more boggling considering it is 'aimed towards students.' The only upside to the SL over Stealth is that it has Iris graphics and Alcantara keyboard. But would you seriously pay $500 more to get just that and still get less ports and lower res display?
Don't also forget that the Razer does not have Windows Hello capabilities. No IR camera or Fingerprint. Also check that of the i7 of SL which comes with intel 7660U processor and Intel Iris Plus 640 Graphics. All add up to the price.
Daniel's been hitting the gym?
Wow did they just created the perfect laptop? Great design, perfect I/O selection, precision touchpad, smaller bezels... Seriously, I couldn't see any down side so far, it looks perfect. Only curious about the battery life...
I still wish they sold the $899 model with an i7 instead of an i5. I don't want a touch screen. Hopefully this one will be available that way in the future. >.<
no windows hello capabilities? c'mon razer it's 2017.
It looks wonderful. Very smart of Razer to acknowledge its popularity with people who work as well as game ;) Question: How do I get my hands on that new sleeve shown in the video? I want one for my Razer Blade Stealth 2016.
Can anyone point me to the sleeve shown in the video (the one with mouse mat attached)? I can't find it on the razer store, there is only a simple neoprene sleeve there...
So what's better for light gaming on the go this or a new SP 4 with i7 and intel iris and 16go of ram???
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