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

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. 

Giving it just a touch of gamer flair, the keyboard has Razer Chroma single-zone full-key backlighting. The company's Synapse software lets you customize colors and patterns for the backlight as well as set up key macros. Rubber dome switches give the keys a softer feel, but with a nice responsive pop. The one thing I don't like about it is the tiny right shift key, which depending on how you type, can lead to a lot of corrections.  

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The keyboard is flanked by four speakers that deliver clear, loud audio that's backed with Dolby Atmos support. Turning the Atmos on helps make music, movies and games sound fuller and not thin and tinny. The new glass Windows Precision touchpad is one of the best you'll find on a laptop: large, smooth and accurate.  

Creating with a side of gaming

It bears repeating that, despite Razer's position as a gaming lifestyle brand, the Stealth is aimed more at creators than gamers. Its fine for battle arena games like Fortnite, PUBG and Overwatch, but more demanding titles will need be played at low settings. Similarly, this isn't a workstation so demanding video, image or graphics work might require some extra rendering time. That said, even this discrete entry-level GPU is way better than trying to do any of these things on integrated graphics. Plus, for professionals or gamers who want to boost performance when you need it, you can pony up for a Razer Core, its $300 external GPU box, as well as a graphics card to put in it.  

The 4K UHD display is nice to look at, but it doesn't do battery life any favors. We got 6 hours and 49 minutes on our streaming video battery test. For the best combination of battery life and performance, you'll want to step down to the full HD panel with the Nvidia graphics, while the base model will have the best battery life.  

Pint-size pro power

No one buys a Razer laptop because it's a bargain. They get them because the hardware looks great and performs well, and the company has an alluring brand identity right down to its three-headed snake logo. The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is no doubt an expensive premium laptop and, yes, you can get a better deal elsewhere if you want faster graphics performance. But it just won't have the features, quality or design of this little PC. 

Geekbench 4 (multicore)

Razer Blade Stealth
16110
Lenovo Yoga C930
13978
Dell XPS 13 (2018)
12855
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
11983
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)
7870
Acer Swift 7
6027

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore)

Razer Blade Stealth
702
Lenovo Yoga C930
635
Dell XPS 13 (2018)
629
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
589
Acer Swift 7
263
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)
253

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery drain test (Streaming)

Lenovo Yoga C930
746
Dell XPS 13 (2018)
738
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
671
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)
646
Acer Swift 7
561
Razer Blade Stealth
409

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

System configurations

Razer Blade Stealth Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce MX150; 512GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga C930 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Apple MacOS Mojave 10.14; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel UHD Graphics 617; 256GB SSD
Dell XPS 13 (2018) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB
Acer Swift 7 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 615; 256GB SSD

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