Razer Blade Stealth (2019) review: The best Windows alternative to a MacBook Pro

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The Good The 2019 Razer Blade Stealth cleans up nicely with a new streamlined design and a smaller, lighter body and the option for a beautiful color-calibrated 4K UHD display and discrete graphics.

The Bad It's expensive, particularly with the 4K display and discrete graphics, both of which hurt battery life.

The Bottom Line It's no bargain, but anyone looking for a Windows alternative to a 13-inch MacBook Pro should start their search with the Razer Blade Stealth.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 7

The 2019 Blade Stealth, the smallest laptop in Razer's lineup, strays even more than past versions from the company's image of delivering goods for hardcore gamers only. 

Milled from high-grade aluminum, the 13.3-inch ultraportable has an elegant, streamlined chassis. Thinner bezels around the display helped shrink its overall footprint and further clean up its appearance. And on the iconic three-headed snake logo on the lid is now in basic black instead of glowing green. 

The Stealth isn't really for gaming, either. There are three configurations, starting at $1,399 (£1,300, AU$2,449), all of which use a quad-core Intel i7-8565U processor. The base model 8GB RAM, a 256GB SATA M.2 SSD, a 1,920x1,080-pixel full HD display and integrated graphics. Another $200 doubles your RAM, swaps the SATA SSD for a PCIe M.2 and adds a 4GB version of Nividia's entry-level GeForce MX150 graphics card. (It's also the only one that comes in a limited-edition quartz pink.) 

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're willing to go up to $1,899 for the config reviewed here (£1,800 in the UK and currently not available in Australia), storage gets bumped up to a 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD and the display changes to a beautiful UHD-resolution touchscreen (though you do get less battery life, unfortunately). That is definitely expensive, especially if you're simply after the most graphics power you can get for your money

However, it's still not as high as a similarly configured 2018 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, which is hundreds more and doesn't even have the option for discrete graphics. In other words, the price isn't as ridiculous as it sounds (or at least not as ridiculous as Apple's pricing) and the performance doesn't disappoint. As far as Windows alternatives for the MacBook Pro go, none quite hit the mark like this Stealth update.  

Razer Blade Stealth

Price as reviewed $1,899
Display size/resolution 13.3-inch 3,840 x 2,160 touch display
CPU 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
PC Memory 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
Graphics 4GB Nvidia GeForce MX150
Storage 512GB SSD
Networking 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

There are two USB-A and two USB-C ports, one of which is Thunderbolt 3. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Maybe it's the metal body combined with its compact size and 3-pound weight (1.38kg), but the Stealth feels sturdy. The lid is stiff and there's no discernible flex to the base, adding to the high-quality feel. Though I know there are plenty of people out there who simply don't care about what their laptop looks like, I do, and really appreciate the clean simplicity of the Stealth. 

The displays, regardless of which resolution you choose, are factory calibrated to 100 percent sRGB, so out of the box it's ready for content creation. It's one of the best displays I've seen on a PC this size. Above the display is an unremarkable HD 720p infrared camera. While there's no fingerprint reader, you can use the camera for signing in to the laptop or websites with facial recognition using Windows Hello. 

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