Display & Keyboard
So those bezels are thick, but there is one aspect Razer has nailed with this display: its quality.
Base level models of this laptop come with a 12.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display at 234 PPI, upgradable to a 4K display at 352 PPI for a few hundred dollars. Both displays use IGZO-TFT LCD technology and all models, whether 1440p or 4K, come with a touchscreen except the most affordable base unit.
It's great to see Razer chucking high resolution displays into all Blade Stealth models. At this size and price point you’d typically receive a 1080p display, which is adequate but not exactly class-leading. With the Blade Stealth, however, the 1440p display in my review unit was sharp and easy to read, packing more clarity than a standard 1080p panel. Occasionally I ran into Windows scaling issues, as this display basically requires 150% scaling to be readable, but Windows has improved significantly in this area with recent releases.
While the 1440p display is already sharp and leads to better battery life and performance, there is a reason to upgrade to the 4K display: a wider gamut. The 1440p option only supports 70% of the Adobe RGB spectrum (roughly equivalent to full sRGB coverage), whereas the 4K display has 100% Adobe RGB support, according to Razer’s figures.
As I received a 1440p model to review, my display testing revolves around this unit and how it conforms to sRGB. By default, the Razer Blade Stealth implements annoying dynamic contrast, however this is related to Intel’s Display Power Saving Technology and can be disabled in the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel.
The Blade Stealth’s 1440p display is slightly above average as far as 13-inch-class laptop displays are concerned. The panel is capable of 330 nits of peak brightness, which is enough to compensate for the display’s glossy coating in high-glare situations. A contrast ratio of around 1100:1 is good for an LCD, while viewing angles were outstanding.
This panel covers 98.6% of the sRGB spectrum and 75.7% of the Adobe RGB spectrum, beating Razer’s claims. Color accuracy is respectable without being outstanding; the display is not strictly sRGB accurate, but it’s similar in accuracy to other laptops of this class. This is mostly due to an inaccurate white point, which is too blue and pushes the display’s color temperature above 6504K. If this was closer to the correct point, the display would perform similarly to the best laptop displays, such as the Surface Book.
Thanks to SpectraCal’s CALMAN 5 software, it was possible to calibrate this display to a very accurate level.
The keyboard on the Razer Blade Stealth is fantastic. Each key is adequately sized and spaced, making it easy to quickly start typing on this laptop. Tactile feedback is excellent thanks to great travel distance and solid though not particularly clicky keyswitches. Simply put, this is one of the best notebook keyboards I’ve tested in recent years.
Razer is a market leader in RGB LED-lit accessories, so it’s no surprise to see the Blade Stealth includes a fully-RGB keyboard with individual lights in every key. Unlike some laptops that only support zoned RGB lighting, the Blade Stealth allows you to customize the color of every single key using their intricate Chroma software. There are also several presets that pulse the backlight, cycle through colors, and even perform cool effects.
The backlights can go very bright, making the RGB effect visible even in broad daylight, though the backlight brightness level is customizable to either save battery or reduce glare at night. The one downside to this backlight is that secondary key functions, such as punctuation on the number keys, is not illuminated, which can make it hard to type in a dark room.
The trackpad included with the Blade Stealth is large and responsive, leading to a great mousing experience. Razer has sensibly opted for a Synaptics touchpad here, which is an excellent piece of hardware that performs well. I had to turn up the sensitivity for it to track at a decent speed, though this isn’t unusual for most laptops; I like a fast, accurate trackpad and that’s what you can achieve with the Blade Stealth.