Recently, I went to a coffee shop to do some stuff for work. As I looked up from my computer, I saw many other people doing the same thing—glued to their computers with a blue light shining on their face.
There is one thing I remember starkly from this memory. All of the computers that I saw were made by Apple.
This is the market Razer's Gunmetal Blade Stealth is aiming to break in to; this is Razer's all encompassing computer.
A computer for everyone
Razer, the maker of all things gaming, is trying to expand its portfolio by offering products beyond the reach of gamers. Razer already made a Blade Stealth with the small portable design that was meant for casual customers, but the all-black finish and vibrant green logo didn't appeal to everybody.
This is why it created the Gunmetal color option. It is a maturing of sorts for Razer, one that has the company looking at the broader picture instead of niche categories it has previously occupied. Introducing a new color that will appeal to more people is a great first step.
I talked to Razer when the Gunmetal color was announced, and the company told me that it was a response to customers who didn't want a computer that was so ostentatious. Along with the less menacing paint job, Razer also did away with the glowing green Razer snake logo in favor of a non-glowing logo, and Chroma keyboard for an all-white keyboard.
This is Razer's computer for everyone.
Razer continues its impressive design
Like the regular Stealth, the Gunmetal version retains the premium aluminum body with flat sides and smooth finish. It has this cold, premium feel when it is left unattended overnight that gives off a substantial aura. The new Gunmetal color option looks impressive. It is much more understated than the Black option before it, but every bit as nice to look at.
Weighing at 2.93lbs, taking it on the go is never an issue. It's neither tedious nor tiring to carry in your bag. I used it with the Protective 13″ Sleeve and Atheris Bluetooth mouse, which provided an extra layer of comfort while on-the-go.
I did miss the Chroma keyboard and its 16.9 million color options. It would have been nice of Razer to include it with the default color setting set to white, with the option to activate the colorful configurations later on, but it didn't.
The Gunmetal Blade Stealth comes with a 13.3-inch QHD+ touch display. Razer also has a 12.5-inch 4K display, but unfortunately the Gunmetal model doesn't get it. The unit we tested looks absolutely fantastic with a resolution of 3200 x 1800; colors pop, images are crisp and the touch capability is a nice perk. The only gripe I have with it is that it doesn't get too bright. It only becomes an issue when outdoors, but it's something to keep in mind.
This is the first Razar computer to feature integrated trackpad with Windows drivers. Previously, it used a wonky trackpad with physical buttons at the bottom. It was a terrible experience, one that Razer astutely fixed. Scrolling through web pages or documents is smooth with the glass top and the clicking mechanism is very tactile. This is one of the most underrated parts of the Stealth line; the regular Blade line is still stuck with the terrible trackpad.
Razer also included all the ports you will need: Thunderbolt 3 (charging port), two USB-A, HDMI and a headphone jack.
Performance is good, with greatness as an option
In its basic configuration of the Gunmetal Stealth, the only thing that can be changed is the SSD, which ranges from 256GB up to 1TB. Everything else stays the same: 7th gen Intel Core i7-7500U, Intel HD Graphics 520 and 16GB of RAM (LPDDR3, 1866MHz). This ensures performance is snappy.
For everyday tasks, the spec breakdown for the Blade Stealth is overkill. It handles browsing the web and managing multiple apps with aplomb. In my everyday workflow of editing docs, answering email and surfing the web, there was no issue at all. The battery also held up great. Razer claims 9 hours of battery life with the QHD+ model is possible, but I found it to be closer to the 7.5 hour mark, which is still solid. That should be enough to get through a full day.
Getting to more intensive tasks like video editing and gaming and the integrated graphics begin to show. It can do them, but compromises have to be made. Don't expect to game at 60 frames per second or edit raw 4K video; this computer is not meant for that.
Enter the Razer Core. This external enclosure is a plug and play graphic card set-up that delivers desktop performance. Instantly, the Blade Stealth become a legit gaming rig. Playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds at max specs was a buttery smooth experience.
I cannot overstate the difference in performance from using the standard Stealth internals to switching to the Razer Core. The ability of having an ultra portable computer with the ability to have a powerhouse at home is real, and it's a combination of the Stealth and the Razer Core.
It is not necessary to invest the extra $399 (plus extra for the graphics cards) of the Core, but it is a nice option that to have.
A fantastic but expensive option
The 256GB model we tested out retails for $1,399. That can go as high as $1,999 if you get 1TB of storage or more if you opt to get the Core. At the same price range, you're in MacBook Pro territory.
Dell, HP and Windows make great computers with similar specs that come in under the $1,000 threshold. It's unfortunate the Gunmetal Blade Stealth is way over that price, but given its premium build, portable design and Razer Core functionality, I'd say it's worth it to have the best of everything.
You can find cheaper options elsewhere, but few, if any, will be as great as the Gunmetal Blade Stealth
Casual customers who just want a laptop that functions and looks great will be satisfied with the Gunmetal Blade Stealth. And if by chance they get into gaming later on, the Razer Core is out there to complete the experience.
Disclaimer: Razer provided TechnoBuffalo with a Gunmetal Blade Stealth along with the Protective 13″ Sleeve and Atheris mouse to review.