Razer reformulated its ultraportable Blade Stealth laptop in mid-2017 with display bezels that were 50 percent thinner, a new Microsoft Precision touchpad, and a gunmetal gray variant.

Razer likes to update its laptops with the latest Intel processors, which is great for consumers who want the best, but it may rub you the wrong way if you just bought last month's model.

That's the case with the Razer Blade Stealth late-2017 edition, which trades in its dual-core i7-7500U processor for a new quad-core i7-8550U. The RAM also gets a needed speed bump.

So how does it hold up? Check out our quick re-review in the video above.

Razer Blade Stealth specifications

Not much has changed from the mid-2017 Razer Blade Stealth, which I thoroughly reviewed back in August.

Category Razer Blade Stealth 2017
OS Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Material CNC-machine aluminum single chassis design
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8 GHz / 4.0 GHz (Base/Turbo)
Storage 256 GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
RAM 16GB LPDDR3- 2,133MHz (Fixed)
Display 13.3" IGZO Touch Screen
16:9 aspect ratio
3200 x 1800 QHD+
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Ports One Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
Two USB 3.0 port (SuperSpeed)
One HDMI 2.0a
3.5mm headphone/microphone
Audio Top-firing stereo speakers
Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition
Wireless Killer Wireless-AC 1535 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.1)
Keyboard Razer Chroma anti-ghosting keyboard with individually backlit keys
Camera 720p
Battery 53.6 WHr
45W USB-C power adapter
Weight 2.93 lbs. / 1.33 kg
Dimensions 0.52 x 12.6 x 8.1 inches
13.1 x 321 x 206 mm
Price $1,499 to $2,099

The main differences come down to the upgraded processor, which is still Intel's 15W model for Ultrabooks, but it now has four cores instead of two. That processor can also idle at lower speeds (1.8GHz) and burst to new levels (4.0GHz) compared to the older version, which idled at 2.7GHz and turbos only to 3.5GHz.

Razer has also bumped the RAM to a more performant 2,133MHz, which while minor is still welcome.

Razer Blade Stealth performance

There is nothing but good news when it comes to performance. The Blade Stealth is still very much an Ultrabook even if it looks like a proper gaming laptop. That means its Core i7 processor can handle standard Windows tasks just fine, but it will struggle when running any intensive PC game.

For those who like to game, though, Razer is hoping you'll want its external GPU system called Razer Core, which can handle up to an NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti graphics card. Running that full system will set you back a lot of money, but I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't extremely enjoyable. While it doesn't solve the problem for gaming on the go, it does let you own a premium Ultrabook that doubles as a serious gaming PC for when you're home and relaxing.

CPU

Geekbench 4.0 benchmarks (higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Razer Blade Stealth (New) i7-8550U 4,567 14,095
Razer Blade Stealth (Old) i7-7500U 4,211 8,333
Dell XPS 13 (9360) i7-8550U 4,690 14,334
Dell XPS 13 (9360) i7-6560U 4,120 7,829
Surface Book 2 13 i7-8650U 4,862 14,694
Surface Laptop i7-7660U 4,714 9,535
HP EliteBook x360 G2 i7-7600U 4,496 8,435
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext i7-7500U 4,316 8,320

The refreshed 8th generation Intel processor boosts the single core speed by a nice amount, but it's the multi-core score that sees the biggest boost.

GPU

Geekbench 4.0 OpenCL (higher is better)

Device GPU Compute score
Razer Blade Stealth UHD 620 22,274
Razer Blade Stealth HD 620 20,092
Surface Book Perf. Base GTX 965M 64,108
Surface Laptop i7 Iris 640 31,010
Surface Pro 2017 Iris 640 30,678
Lenovo Legion Y720 HD 630 20,878
Dell XPS 13 (9360) HD 620 19,410
Surface Book HD 520 18,197

The Razer Blade Stealth gets a small graphics boost with the newer Intel UHD 620 component compared to the mid-2017 model running the Intel HD 620.

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (higher is better)

Device Read Write
Raze Blade Stealth 1,375 MB/s 1,321 MB/s
Raze Blade Stealth 1,281 MB/s 1,330 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 9360 1,368 MB/s 847 MB/s
Surface Book 2 13 1,411 MB/s 1,202 MB/s
Surface Laptop 423 MB/s 237 MB/s
Lenovo X1 Carbon 1,518 MB/s 1,188 MB/s
Samsung Notebook 9 Ext 1,365 MB/s 1,213 MB/s
HP EliteBook x360 G2 1,129 MB/s 916 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 15 1,128 MB/s 862 MB/s

Our review unit is running a Samsung PM9610 SSD, which is a premium storage solution. The read and write speeds reflect this choice by Razer and it gives excellent performance.

Razer continues to use premium parts in the Blade Stealth making the overall experience enjoyable. The fast processor, RAM, and a solid-state drive (SSD) help justify the steep cost.

Razer Blade Stealth remains an solid Ultrabook

There are much cheaper Ulltrabooks on the market, but Razer has carved out a nice niche for itself with a premium, unique design and quality components. The Blade Stealth is just fun to use. Performance is great for this class, the port selection is good, you get a full Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C jack, and the display and trackpad are top notch.

Where the Blade Stealth stumbles is battery life, which falls just below eight hours. That's not actually terrible considering how thin and light the Stealth is, but it is below that of other Ultrabooks in this category. Likewise, the keyboard is a bit on the shallow side for typing, though it still ranks high for my usage.

The original Blade Stealth never impressed me, but the mid-2017 and now late-2017 editions have changed that perception. The Blade Stealth is one of the nicest Ultrabooks you can get, but it's not for everyone.

Your best bet, like all laptops, is trying to find one in a store like Best Buy or Microsoft to try it out yourself. But if you're looking for something a bit different and the feature set meets your expectations, the Blade Stealth is still forging its path. Let's just hope for better battery life next time around.

See at Razer

Pros:

  • Excellent display.
  • New Intel processor performs great.
  • Outstanding build quality and design.
  • Precision touchpad and 16GB of RAM.
  • Full Thunderbolt 3 for eGPU.

Cons:

  • Traditional laptop design.
  • There are many cheaper alternatives.
  • Battery life just below eight hours.
  • No Windows Hello.

4 out of 5