Tech review: Razer Blade Stealth (late 2018) is handsome and well-built

Clad in black anodised aluminium, the Razer Blade Stealth is sturdy and barely yields under pressure.
Clad in black anodised aluminium, the Razer Blade Stealth is sturdy and barely yields under pressure.PHOTO: RAZER

Razer has overhauled its Stealth ultrabook. It now has a similar design as the Razer Blade gaming laptop, though the Stealth - with its 13-inch display - is more portable than the 15.6-inch Blade.

The new Stealth comes with slimmer bezels. They measure just 4.9mm thick at the sides, though the bottom bezel is still fairly chunky.

Razer has also toned down its logo. The flashy backlit version on the lid has been replaced by a plain, colourless version. It makes the Stealth appear more professional, more grown-up if you will.

Thanks to the narrow bezels, it is more compact. But it is actually a tad thicker than the previous version. Its 1.3kg weight, though, is typical of a modern ultrabook.

Perhaps the extra bulk is due to its new GeForce MX150 graphics chip. While it is an entry-level model, it has more graphical horsepower than laptops with the usual integrated graphics solution from Intel. Users should have no issues running popular game titles such as Overwatch or Fortnite, especially at a lower resolution.

And if you need a more capable graphics chip, the Stealth comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port to connect to an external graphics card enclosure, such as the Razer Core. This enclosure can host a high-end desktop-class graphics card to provide the 3-D gaming performance required for more graphically intensive games.

Clad in black anodised aluminium, the Stealth is sturdy and barely yields under pressure. It looks handsome, until you put your hands on it. It smudges so easily that it was covered with fingerprints and other grease marks within minutes of handling it.

  • SPECS

    Price: $2,479.90

    Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U (1.8GHz)

    Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 4GB GDDR5

    RAM: 16GB

    Screen size: 13.3 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

    Connectivity: Thunderbolt 3 port, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A, audio jack

    Battery: 53.1 watt-hour

    RATING

    Features: 4/5

    Design: 5/5

    Performance: 4/5

    Value for money: 2/5

    Battery life: 5/5

    Overall: 4.5/5

    ST Tech Editor's Choice

Thankfully, the keys are less susceptible to grease than the rest of the laptop. They offer decent tactile feedback, though they are shallow with little travel. The keyboard feels sturdy with barely any flex.

However, the keyboard does feel slightly cramped because of the speakers at the sides. Some keys, such as the Backspace, are shorter in length than usual.

The speakers are decent, though they can sound strained when set to the maximum volume.

As expected of a Razer laptop, it comes with Razer's Chroma keyboard backlight feature. Each key can be individually configured to display your preferred hue using the preloaded Razer Synapse software.

It has a enormous touchpad that takes up the entire height of the palm rest, reminiscent of those on Apple laptops. It feels silky smooth, thanks to its glass surface.

Razer says the Stealth's display supports 100 per cent of the sRGB colour space and comes calibrated out of the box.

It certainly looks very nice to me. The colourful wallpaper that was set as the default on my review set helps to show off the screen's rich colours. Viewing angles are very wide with minimal colour shift. There is also barely any reflection because of its matte nature.

Battery life is excellent, with the Stealth lasting 8hr in our video-loop battery test with the screen brightness set to maximum.

The only downside is its price, which, at almost $2,500, puts it in the premium category. But to some users, its build quality, excellent display and flashy keyboard may be worth it.

Verdict: A top ultrabook that offers a dash of gaming, excellent display and lots of battery life.