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What Makes Razer's Ultrabook Great
Razer claims the Blade Stealth is the ultimate ultrabook, and in some ways the laptop lives up to this claim. The company has produced a solid, well-rounded device that largely gives consumers what they are after: decent performance and battery life in a compact, portable form factor.
The design is one of my favourite aspects to the Blade Stealth. The black all-aluminium chassis is solid, well-crafted, and gives this laptop a look that matches its price tag. While not record-breaking, the Stealth is still slim, light, and portable, plus it still comes with ports that people use every day: USB Type-A and a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, alongside Thunderbolt 3 USB-C. Acid green highlights complement the stealthy black design to striking effect.
The Blade Stealth includes one of the best laptop keyboards I've used, with great travel distance and decent tactile feedback to each key. Full RGB LED backlighting is included, with tons of cool effects made possible through the company's intricate Chroma software. Backlighting is so customizable you can choose to go ridiculously overboard or pleasantly understated depending on your preference. Throw in a very good trackpad along with a touchscreen display, and the Blade Stealth sports an excellent trio of input methods.
While the design of the Blade Stealth is generally fantastic, it's not perfect. Opting for a matte black finish makes this laptop an annoying fingerprint magnet. The screen is also surrounded by enormous bezels; there's easily enough room here for a larger display.
The display itself goes beyond what most other laptops provide at this price point. A 12.5-inch 1440p screen is standard where most laptops only provide 1080p, and it can be upgraded to a 4K panel with 100% Adobe RGB support if you so choose. The 1440p display on my review unit was vibrant, bright, and packed great viewing angles. It's not completely accurate out of the box, but it can easily be calibrated to dead-accurate sRGB for creative professionals.
Almost all models of the Blade Stealth come with Intel's Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U inside, which provides excellent performance in a tight power envelope. There's no real reason to upgrade over something with Skylake inside, but those upgrading from older laptops will see decent gains. Performance is capped off with a great, quiet cooling solution and a fast SSD.
The Blade Stealth's battery life is much improved compared to its predecessor. While the previous model wasn't at all competitive, this new Kaby Lake powered model holds its own against other similarly-sized ultrabooks.
The new Blade Stealth is aggressively priced compared to most high-end ultrabooks on the market. Even when ignoring the $899.99 entry model with a Core i5 CPU, the $999.99 model is more affordable than many ultraportables like the HP Spectre, Lenovo Yoga 910 and Asus ZenBook 3, while packing better hardware. Dell has a competing $999.99 XPS 13 model but still can't match the Razer Blade Stealth on hardware.
At an affordable price point, the Blade Stealth is a laptop you can't ignore. Its flaws are mostly minor, resulting in a polished ultrabook that's one of our Kaby Lake favorites.
Pros: Understated yet premium design. Excellent performance from the Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U. Beautiful high-resolution display. Superb RGB LED-backlit keyboard. Still has full-sized USB and HDMI.
Cons: Thick bezels around the display. Fingerprint magnet.