Which Razer Laptop Is Right for You? Blade vs Stealth vs Pro
Razer’s laptops are like MacBooks for gamers. They're chic, just as slim, and more powerful than anything that comes out of Cupertino. Plus, these are some of the few gaming laptops that can pass in a business meeting as well as a LAN party.
So which laptop in Razer's stable is right for you? Is it the surprisingly potent 12-inch Stealth, the 14-inch Blade (one of the slimmest gaming rigs on Earth) or the 17-inch behemoth that is the Blade Pro? The following guide will help you decide.
The Blade Stealth: For Those Always on the Move
Pros: Designed to take on the likes of the Dell XPS 13 and Apple Macbook (12-inch), the Razer Blade Stealth serves up power and speed. Starting at $1,249, this svelte little beauty (2.8 pounds, 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.52 inches) is made of the same stunning CNC aluminum, gorgeous display and captivating customizable Chroma keyboard as its bigger brethren.
In the interest of retaining those ultraportable dimensions, the Blade Stealth is only equipped with an integrated graphics card. While you'll be able to play less-demanding titles like Dirt 3, games like Witcher 3, Rise of the Tomb Raider or Grand Theft Auto V are pretty much out of the question.
However, you can transform the Stealth into a full-fledged gaming system if you invest in the $499 Razer Core, the company's external GPU. All you need is the right desktop graphics card and boom! You've got a lean, mean gaming machine that will give a bonafide gaming laptop a run for its money. But if you need something with a little more oomph, Razer has just announced its latest eGPU, the Core V2. It's the first eGPU to feature a dual Thunderbolt 3 internal controller design. That means it has separate lanes to support quickly rendering those gorgeous frame rates for your gane as well as supporting a 4K display.
Razer's latest Blade Stealth (starting at $1,399) crams a bigger and sharper 13.3-inch touchscreen QHD display, into the 0.5-inch chassis. To further play up the bigger display, Razer has significantly shrunk the surrounding bezels. The new system is one of the latest to roll out Intel's new 8th-gen processors. In our early tests, we've found the new chips perform about 76 percent better than their predecessors.
Similar to the previous model, the Stealth is designed to appeal to mobile professionals and will ship in gunmetal-gray aluminum. In addition to the new color, the 13-inch Blade Stealth swaps out the glowing snake logo for a more demure black emblem. It also swaps out the multicolored Chroma keyboard for office-friendly white backlighting.
Cons: Although it's big on speed, performance and, of course, looks, the Blade Stealth is lacking in the battery department. The 12.5 system lasted only about 6 hours on our battery test while the 13-inch lasted a little over 5 hours. Both results are below average for an ultraportable notebook. The keyboards are also a bit shallow for our tastes.
The Blade: For Gamers Who Play on the Go
Pros: The crown jewel in Razer's lineup, the Blade offers an alluring mix of power, portability and longevity that makes it perfect for gaming on the go or settling in for a long quest on your couch. Weighing just 4.2 pounds, this is one slick beast.
Starting at $1,999, the Blade offers a 7th-gen Intel processor, beginning with Intel Core i5. And thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, the Blade is one of the thinnest VR-ready laptops on the market. It also has the typical Razer aesthetic, down to the glowing customizable Chroma keyboard.
In terms of games, the 1060 GTX GPU will net you a solid 60 fps on most titles on High. And if you're feeling up to it, I definitely recommend plugging in an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and taking a walk on the virtual side. But, ultimately, the Blade is ideal for gamers that don't want a massive desktop replacement taking up valuable space, but still want to play games at high framerates. And if you need it to, the Blade can definitely pull its weight as a productivity machine.
Cons: Thanks to that aluminum frame, the Blade can feel as hot as it looks. And with a chassis this compact, something had to be sacrificed. In the case of the Blade, the speakers aren't as loud as I'd expect, so you'll want to have a good headset or external speakers handy.
The Blade Pro: For Creative Professionals and Gamers with Deep Pockets
Pros: Back in the day, the 17-inch MacBook Pro used to be the end-all, be-all for creative professionals. But that system has gone the way of the dodo, leaving a 17-inch hole in many a video editor, music maker and game creator's heart. Fortunately, Razer has the solution with the Blade Pro.
With a starting price of $1,999, the latest Blade Pro serves up a crazy vivid 4K Nvidia G-Sync display along with THX-certified audio. You also get an overclocked Intel Core i7-7820HK processor with 32GB of RAM and a Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU -- currently the most powerful mobile GPU available -- all in a chassis that's 0.88-inches thick and a manageable 7.7 pounds. The system also comes with a pair of lightning-fast PCIe SSDs and a programmable scroll wheel.
With the GTX 1080 and the G-Sync display, you can expect some seriously high framerates minus the unsightly tearing that can sometimes occur when the display fails to keep pace with the GPU. And like its smaller brother, the Blade Pro is more than capable of supporting VR. But outside of gaming, this laptop is made to create, whether it's music, video, gaming or even designing a building.
Razer recently launched a more affordable iteration of the Pro. Starting $2,299, this Pro has a GTX 1060 GPU with a Core i7 processor with 16GB RAM and a 1920 x 1080 display. The laptop also switches out the ultra-low profile mechanical keyboard for regular scissor switches.
Cons: At $3,999, this bad boy is crazy expensive, so only deep-pocketed creative professionals and gamers need apply. However, those of us on a tighter budget should also consider the cheaper $2,299 version. It doesn't have the bells and whistles of the premium version, but it's still a solid option.
|Razer Blade Stealth||Razer Blade Stealth (13-inch)||Razer Blade||Razer Blade Pro|
|Screen||12.5 inches, 2560 x 1440 / 3840 x 2160||13.3 inches, 3200 x 1800||14 inches, 1920 x 1080 / 3840 x 2160||17.3 inches, 1920 x 1080/3840 x 2160|
|CPU||Core i7-8550U/ Core i5-7200U / Core i7-7500U||Core i7-7500U||Core i7-7700HQ||Core i7-7700HQ/Core i7-7820HK|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620||Intel HD Graphics 620||GTX 1060||GTX 1060|
|RAM||8 - 16GB||16GB||16GB||16GB|
|Storage||128 - 2TB SSD||256 - 1TB SSD||256 - 1TB SSD||256GB SSD + 2TB HDD|
|Size||12.6 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches||12.6 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches||13.6 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches||16.7 x 11 x 0.88 inches|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||2.9 pounds||4.2 pounds||7.7 pounds|