Razer Blade Stealth Gets Intel 8th-Gen Upgrade and a New eGPU
Razer's on a roll. On the heels of its 13.3-inch Blade Stealth launch a few months back, the company has just announced yet another Stealth. But this latest iteration of the incredibly slim ultraportable (available sometime in October, starting at $1,699) is rocking the a new 8th-gen Intel processor.
When it ships, the starting configuration of the Stealth will feature a 1.8-GHz Intel Core i7-8550U CPU with 16GB of RAM. So, what's so great about 8th-gen chips? In our early tests, we've seen an 8th-gen chip (Core i5-8250U) perform up to 76 percent better than chips from the previous generation. The verdict's still out on how the upgrade affects battery life, as these new processors are going from dual-core to quad-core — which should require more energy. However, if Intel found a way to make the chips more energy-efficient, there's an opportunity for even better battery life.
Other noteworthy specs for the Stealth include a 512GB PCIe SSD, an Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU and a QHD+ (3200 x 1800) display. The new Stealth will retain the 2.9-pound, 12.6 x 8.1 x 0.5-inch CNC aluminum chassis of its predecessor, which will available in both black and gunmetal. Depending on whether you get the gunmetal or black version, the notebook will come with either subdued white backlit keys or Razer's gorgeous, colorful Chroma keyboard, respectively.
But while the Blade Stealth is an ultraportable designed for productivity, it's still a Razer product, and the company recognizes that consumers still want to game. That's why, in addition to the new Stealth, the company is launching a new external GPU dubbed the Razer Core V2. It's the world's first external GPU to feature a dual Thunderbolt 3 internal controller design. That means it has separate lanes for graphics and connected devices, so you hook up a monitor without introducing any ugly lag. Priced at $499, the Core V2 could effectively turn your barely-there productivity laptop into the leanest, meanest gaming laptop on the block — depending on what kind GPU you use.
Made from the same sturdy-but-lovely CNC aluminum as the laptops, the Core V2's 5.7 x 1.7 x 11.8-inch enclosure can house one double-wide, full-length PCI Express x16 GPU. That means that you can easily pop in an Nvidia 10 Series or AMD Radeon 500 Series card into the system. The Core V2 will also support the professional-grade GPUs, such as the Nvidia Quadro, essentially transforming your Stealth, Blade or Blade Pro into a hardy workstation.
While both systems look great on paper, I'm going to reserve my judgement until they're in the lab for testing. I hope that Razer has managed to fix the battery life on on the Stealth, as it's a lingering problem in an otherwise stellar laptop. I'm also eager to put the spurs to the Core V2 and see how it performs with a Quadro GPU.
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