Razer Book 13 is the company's first non-gaming laptop, and it's a beauty

Razer Book 13 Press
Razer Book 13 Press (Image credit: Razer)

What you need to know

  • Razer Book 13 is a premium productivity-focused Ultrabook.
  • It features a 16:10 anti-reflective display (optional touch and 4K).
  • There are options for a 28-watt Core i5 or i7.
  • The Intel Evo-certified laptops launch this month, starting at $1,200.

For years, Razer's premium gaming laptops have served as jumping-off points for those looking to switch from Apple MacBooks. It is an odd side effect for what are primarily gaming machines, which is the opposite of Apple's premium offerings. Razer is finally leaning into the growing demand for its hardware design ... without the gaming frippery.

Enter the new Razer Book 13 — a lovely 13.4-inch laptop that is both powerful and a bit different from other premium Ultrabooks on the market.

Razer Book 13: Specs, and everything else

Source: Razer (Image credit: Source: Razer)

The Book 13 features a 16:10 anti-reflective, factory-calibrated display that seems not too dissimilar to what Dell uses in its highly praised XPS 13 laptops. There are three display options, including full HD with no touch (and matte), full HD with touch, and a "4K" model also with touch. That design allows for exceptionally thin bezels on all four sides. Indeed, Razer claims they are the "world's thinnest bezels on any 13.4" panel."

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CategoryRazer Blade Stealth (Late-2020)
OSWindow 10 Home (64-bit)
Display13.4-inch 16:10
Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) Non-Touch
Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) Touch
UHD+ (3840 x 2400) Touch
Gorilla Glass 6
Processor28W 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 (2.4 GHz / 3.8 GHz)
28W 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8 GHz / 4.7 GHz)
Vapor chamber cooling
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe
RAM8 or 16GB
StorageUp to 512GB PCIe M.2 (upgradeable to 2TB)
SecurityWindows Hello (face)
Ports1x microSD card reader
1x HDMI 2.0 port
2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) (power, 4 lanes of PCI Express)
1x USB-A 3.2
Headphone/mic jack
KeyboardRazer Chroma w/ per-key RGB backlighting
Microsoft Precision
Camera720p webcam
Windows Hello infrared camera
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6 Intel Wireless AX 201 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
Bluetooth 5.1
Audio2x upward-facing speakers + Smart Amp
THX Spatial Audio
Dimensions0.60" x 11.6" x 7.8" (15.15mm x 295.6mm x 198mm)
Battery4,602 mAh
65-watt charger
Battery lifeUp to 14 hours (full HD models)
Up to 11 hours (UHD)
Weight2.95 to 3.11lbs (1.34 to 1.4kg)
ColorsMercury White
T6 CNC Aluminum, anodized

Where things get really interesting is the processor. Razer uses the more powerful 28-watt 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 (this is the first time Razer is offering a Core i5 option). Ultrabook laptops typically have just 15-watt processors, so when combined with Razer's premium vapor chamber cooling, we should see some exceptional performance we usually do not get from 13-inch Ultrabooks.

For graphics, Razer opts for Intel Iris Xe graphics instead of a discrete GPU, which serves as a nice differentiator from the Blade Stealth 13. Those needing some serious graphics will be pleased to know Razer is making its popular Core X eGPU in matching mercury white, too.

The ports are also different. These days, many laptops suffice with just a couple of Type-C Thunderbolts, but Razer is doing that plus more. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, but also a Type-A 3.2 for those who still need one. There is also a full HDMI 2.0 port and micro SD reader, both of which are exceedingly rare on 13-inch non-business laptops.

Audio features two upward-firing amped speakers with THX Spatial Audio (360-degree sound), which should be adequate for this market.

A full per-key Chroma RGB keyboard lets you pick your color (including plain white) or specific colors for frequently used keys or macros.

Brad Wildes, senior vice president and general manager of Razer's Systems business unit, had this to say about the Book 13:

The new Razer Book 13 is the culmination of a decade's worth of experience in developing and crafting high-end gaming machines. Sleek, powerful, and compact, the Razer Book 13 breaks-out from the boring crowd and delivers prosumers an experience not yet realized in a work laptop.

Razer Book 13 is Intel Evo certified (and what that means)

Update: Intel has now reversed its position and is calling the entry-level Razer Book 13 Evo certified.

The Razer Book 13 models are also now all Intel Evo certified.

Intel Evo is the second iteration of Project Athena, but more formalized. To meet the criteria, the laptop needs to have a touch display, Wi-Fi 6, 11th Gen Core i5 or i7, Xe graphics, far-field microphones, Thunderbolt 4, and a big focus on battery life. That should result in:

  • Consistent responsiveness on battery.
  • Wake from sleep in less than 1 second.
  • 9 or more hours of real-world battery life on laptops with a Full HD display.
  • 4 or more hours of battery life in a 30-minute charge on laptops with Full HD display.

But don't fret if you only want the $1,199 entry-level model, which is technically not Evo certified. That model actually meets all the requirements above except the required touch screen. If that doesn't bother you, you still get all the Intel Evo benefits for power and instant-resume.

Source: Razer (Image credit: Source: Razer)

Razer Book 13 is shaping up to be one killer laptop that looks like a cross between an XPS 13 and Surface Book. It could very well make it our Best Windows Laptop 2020 list pending our review.

Razer Book 13 price and availability

Pricing starts at $1,199 for the Core i5 model without a touch screen, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage (user upgradeable up to 2TB). That model is available from Razer.com and RazerStore retail locations worldwide this month (November).

Moving up to the $1,600 model, you jump to a Core i7, touch display, and 16GB of RAM. The top tier is $2,000 and features that "4K" UHD touch display and 512GB of storage. Those Core i7 models start shipping in November 2020 at Razer.com, RazerStore retail locations, and select retailers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and China.

Razer will host a live event at 7:00 PM PDT at the RazerStore in Las Vegas today where Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan will be talking about and unboxing the new laptop on the Razer YouTube channel.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.