Razer Blade Stealth (2019) review: The compact ultrabook for gamers and creative people
Razer's Blade Stealth enters a new round. In addition to the design, the keyboard layout of the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) has also changed. There is also the latest Proprocessors from Intel and a dedicated graphics card. Can the package convince? my test
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Unboxing and initial setup
The package contents of the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) have been divided into two separate packages, which are in turn in a large one. Razer put the USB-C charger in the smaller cardboard box. And even if this is very long and feels very good thanks to the fabric sheathing, it bothered me that there is only one string that holds the cable together when it is rolled up. In the larger package, Razer put the plastic-protected Ultrabook, along with some instructions and stickers. In terms of design, I really liked this box with the green color accents on the inside and the slightly highlighted Razer logo on the lid.
The initial setup of the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) is very simple and compact, as is typical for Windows. After selecting your own language and the country you live in, you can optionally add your Microsoft account. You will then be asked whether you want to synchronize the local files with OneDrive. You will then be prompted to set up a password and Windows Hello. Overall, this lasts Prohalf an hour at most.
Design: Black aluminum unibody case
First of all: In terms of design, nobody can imitate the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) that quickly. The ultrabook is made of black aluminum, looks very sexy and also feels very high quality. In processing, it's about the same level as that 2 Laptop Surface, if not better. However, opening the Blade Stealth (2019) is not proeasily possible with one hand. Some might be bothered that the device is a bit sharp-edged. For that it is very portable. It weighs just 1,28 kilograms, is 210 millimeters wide, 305 millimeters long and 15 millimeters high.
Two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports and a jack plug are available for the connections. The USB-A ports are based on USB 3.1. One of the two USB-C connection points even supports Tunderbolt 3 with four PCI Express lanes. This means that you can connect an external E-GPU for gaming. More about my experience with gaming on the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) can be found below. The laptop can be charged on both sides, which can be really relieving in some situations.
On the underside, Razer installed the grilles for the fans. In addition, two rubber strips were attached to prevent the work and gaming device from slipping on surfaces. And indeed, the Razer Ultrabook stands bombproof on a wide variety of work surfaces.
I've heard it annoys some that the Razer logo no longer lights up in RGB colors. But that's okay with me, because the laptop looks a lot more minimalistic and better. But that's probably a matter of taste.
Display: up to 4K
Razer offers two 16:10 display options for the Blade Stealth (2019): a matte Full HD screen and a 4K touchscreen. The diagonal is 13 inches in both cases. In both variants, the sRGB color space becomes 100 Procent covered. My test device had the matte Full HD display. And I'm actually quite happy about that. My fear with the 4K version is that the battery will drain faster and the performance will not be as good because more pixels have to be moved. And yet I have always been very satisfied with the image that is shown to me. The colors and sharpness were right here.
Razer installed the not really good webcam and a sensor for unlocking via Windows Hello above the display. This works pretty reliably - if you don't wear glasses. Otherwise it is advisable to save the face with and without glasses. A bit of a shame, as Microsoft shows with the Surface Laptop 2 that it can actually be done better. What is missing in addition to the webcam and scanner is the ambient light sensor. The Razer Blade Stealth (2019) does not have a feature for automatic display brightness control, which is a major disadvantage for me.
Keyboard and trackpad: Well ...
Let's now turn to the keyboard deck. For the first time, I immediately noticed the speakers, which are located to the right and left of the keyboard. And I liked them very much. They can get very loud without the sound clipping. The support of Dolby Atmos contributes to the good sound quality. There are even several sound modes in a dedicated app on the ultrabook.
Now that the term has already been mentioned, we come to the keyboard. And yes, it only partially convinced me. I'll start with the positive things. The keyboard is backlit. And not just in a certain color or in white, but in all possible RGB colors. Razer calls this Chroma. In the Synapse app, details on this later, you can personalize the intervals at which the lighting should change. I also liked the typing experience. The key drop is not too short, as is the case with the MacBooks, but not too long either. The perfect middle ground. There is still a BIG need for improvement in the key layout. I wonder who came up with the idea of making the shift keys as big as the neighboring keys. So it is very difficult to feel it. This is particularly bad with the shift on the right side, which is located next to the arrow keys of the same size. In addition, I could not find out what this omninous PRINT key is responsible for when there is a print screen right next to it.
Fortunately, I liked the touchpad better again. It supports Windows precision drivers, which means that internal gestures and all other inputs are recognized very precisely at all times. I also liked the size of the trackpad and the soft click feeling.
Specifications: With dedicated graphics card
In my configuration of the Razer Blade Stealth (2019), the Intel Core i7-8565U of the current Whiskey Lake generation works with four cores. The chip can clock up to an incredible 4,6 gigahertz. There is also the MX150 graphics card from Nvidia, 16 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of SSD storage. The latter could get a bit small if you plan on downloading some big games. But it was always enough for me. This powerhouse achieved a single-core score of 5.037 points and a multi-core score of 16.092 points in Geekbench. The Blade Stealth (3) achieved 2019 points in 3.019DMark. (Source: DigitalTrends) The more expensive version of the ultrabook only has 512 gigabytes of memory instead of just 256 gigabytes.
I think it goes without saying that a laptop with such equipment does not quickly reach its limits. The Blade boots up in a flash and is immediately ready for use Programme always start without waiting times and never crash. The same applies when using Photoshop, Lightroom, Netbeans or VS Code. Working in Chrome with 15 open tabs is also possible without further difficulties. The laptop can only stutter when a second display is connected - especially when playing videos.
A few sentences about battery life. The battery in my model is 53,1 watt hours and according to Razer it should last up to 11 hours. For tasks that don't require a lot of computing power, I was able to get an approximate usage time of eight to nine hours without much difficulty. After a school day, which lasts from 8:00 a.m. to 13:15 p.m., it was often over. However, I have to say that my laptops are usually used every six hours during school hours. In addition, at school I often work with complex apps and Prohave to do with grammar. The Blade Stealth (2019) is charged within two hours thanks to the 65-watt charger.
Windows 2019 Home runs on the Razer Blade Stealth (10). Unfortunately, it is still in the now outdated version 1803. I could not find an update to Windows 10 version 1809 in the settings. I can say that everything works as it should. There is no bloatware either - except for Razer Synapse.
As mentioned above, there are settings for chroma and performance in the app. With the latter, among other things, the speed of the fans and the refresh rate can be regulated. You can also activate your own gaming mode, in which keys such as the Windows key can be deactivated and individual keys can be assigned shortcuts.
Because the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) with the dedicated graphics card is suitable for gaming, I put it to such a test. For this, I set the Windows performance to the maximum level and in the Synapse app the refresh rate to 59 Hertz, the performance to "Balanced" and the fan to automatic speed. The ultrabook did not run on electricity during the test.
I chose Far Cry 5 for the game. I didn't change anything in the game settings for the resolution before starting the game. I was ultimately surprised at how much fun the game was on the Blade. Everything went very smoothly. Only with jerky movements did the number of images go down pro second noticeably - but only for a brief moment. As I expected, the fan was active the whole time. In return, the device did not get uncomfortably warm. It goes without saying that the battery was empty after the gaming session. Bottom line I can say that gaming prois possible without any problems, even if you shouldn't expect any performance miracles from such a compact laptop.
Prices and availability
The Razer Blade Stealth (2019) is available in the configurations listed above in the Razer online shop, on Amazon and from selected retailers, including MediaMarkt. The cheapest model costs 1400 euros. For the most expensive variant, up to 1900 euros are due. My test device costs 1600 euros.
The Razer Blade Stealth (2019) can be used in many different ways. It doesn't matter whether you're just watching a film, which is great thanks to the Dolby Atmos speakers, editing photos in Photoshop and Lightroom, or playing things like Far Cry 5 - all of this is not for the ultrabook Proproblem It's also fun on the very good 13-inch display. But the Blade is not perfect. The keyboard layout could be better and Windows Hello could work more accurately. I also wish that Razer will soon deliver Windows 10 Version 1809.
Thank you for providing the Razer Blade Stealth (2019).