The Blade Stealth stole the show at CES 2016 for good reason. This sleek Ultrabook, Razer’s first, is beautifully designed. The black all-aluminum exterior is of very high quality, and blissfully simple in appearance. It’s one of the thinnest notebooks on the market at 0.52 inches. Combined with its scant 2.75 pound carry weight, this is a notebook you’ll want to take everywhere.
What will prevent you from going very far, however, is its unfortunate battery life. The Stealth lasted about half as long as we were expecting, just two hours, 40 minutes. You may be able to get about a third more than that doing light work, but it’s still well short of the full working days’ life we were hoping for. We suspect its 4K touch display, although it provides brilliant picture quality, takes a lot of resources to run.
Two other areas where the Stealth fell short were in noise level and keyboard feedback. Its cooling fan tends to stay off for most usage, but it becomes quite noticeable if you’re running demanding apps. The Chroma keyboard, as Razer calls it, is perhaps the Stealth’s best feature, but not because it offers a good typing experience. The key travel is much too short to provide meaningful feedback. We did get used to it, but never stopped wishing for more feedback. What we loved about the keyboard, however, was its stellar individual RGB backlighting system. You can choose from 16.8 million colors per key, set them to change in patterns, and more. It’s extremely well done.
At $1,399, our review unit is fairly priced, especially in light of its 4K display and Core i7-6500U processor. Competing Ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 only offer a Core i5 at this price, and a lower resolution 3K display. As noted, we do wish Razer offered a version with 16GB of RAM. After all, there is no way to upgrade the RAM on your own.
This is one notebook we truly wanted to grant an Editor’s Choice. However, its scant battery life sells it short of the mark. We suspect the base model with the QHD+ display will last a bit longer, but if you want the 4K, you’ll have to deal with its short but sweet life. We’ll be very interested to see if the performance upgrade from the upcoming Razer Core is enough to make us overlook the limitations of battery life.
- 4K touch display with outstanding image quality
- Brilliant RGB keyboard backlighting
- Simple, elegant design
- Solid quality
- Good speakers
- Substandard battery life
- Very limited keyboard feedback
- Cooling fan can get loud
- No media card reader or lock slot