The new Razer Blade Stealth and Razer Core are quite the combo. Rather than just contain the hobbyist performance that Razer is known for, the Razer Blade Stealth and Razer Core are two extremely compatible pieces of hardware that are sure to start changing the portable PC gaming market. Recently, at GDC, a brand new piece of Razer hardware was elaborated on. The Razer Blade series is a series of gaming laptops put out by Razer that are ultra thin but have enthusiast performance, typically housing dedicated graphics cards, big SSDs, and powerful quad cores.
Razer is well known for having stylish, high-performance products that are quite flashy with their included LEDs. The Razer Blade Stealth is an ultrabook that very much resembles the design of a typical ultrabook, which seems to be based off the MacBook Pro type of design. The Razer Blade Stealth has a 12.5 inch screen with a 4K Ultra HD touchscreen (3840×2160), but a model is also available to have an upscaled 1080p resolution of 2560×1440 resolution, which supposedly only has around 70% of the available colors that the more graphically impressive Stealth has. On the back of the enclosure is the ever-present Razer logo, which independently “breathes” as the strength of its glow increases and decreases over a gentle interval.
The Razer Blade Stealth has an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 Type A ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, which is the charging port as well as responsible for managing high-speed transfers. The Razer Blade stealth will include a 2.5 GHz Core i7-6500u, Intel HD 520 integrated graphics, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and an internal SSD which will range anywhere from 128GB to 512GB. The starting price for the basic model of the Stealth, which includes the 1440p resolution monitor, starts at $999; for the 4k Ultra HD edition, this starts at $1399; the customer can optionally choose to upgrade the size of the storage as well, which will cause the price to jump for every 128GB incrementally added. Other laptops are available with better performance features, sure, but the Stealth’s main claim is its awesome Chroma keyboard, as well as the USB-C Thunderbolt port which will connect to the Razer Core.
Compared to the original Razer Blade, the Stealth’s keyboard has been streamlined and made less effective – the keys do not pop out as much now to give the ultrabook a more complete form factor, but still deliver a nice tactile feedback reminiscent of a mechanical keyboard. The Razer Blade Stealth’s keyboard does include the onboard Chroma system, which allows for each key to be individually backlit and have changing colors per the user’s’ preference. The effects are also copied from the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate, which include the display options of spectrum cycling, breathing, reactive, and many more; there is also the Chroma workshop, which allows for either official integration or third party integration into the keyboard. This means that the game will have a custom keyboard profile, causing the keyboard to glow and react with what is happening in the game. Since this is primarily a gaming laptop, the refined and changed keyboard could make or break a purchase for any gamer.
The Razer Core is the companion product which is being billed with the Razer Stealth. The Core is a standalone box enclosure, which connects to the Razer Blade by the USB-C Thunderbolt port. Inside the Razer Core would be a graphics card (not included), which then takes over for rendering the laptop’s graphics. The idea is that the owner would use the Razer Blade laptop for their everyday tasks, such as work, and could then take it home and hook it up to their Razer Core for any rendering needs. The Razer Core is designed to work best with Razer laptops, but will work with any laptop that has a specific set of Intel cores and the required USB-C Thunderbolt drives to connect it. The Razer Core provides power to the laptop through a 375-watt power supply, and even charges it if required.
The Razer Core includes a number of USB 3.0 ports, as well as containing the typical PCI-E enclosure on the back where the graphics card’s ports are available. However, the Razer Core will only accept a number of supported graphics cards, which include the AMD Radeon R9 280/290/300 series, the new AMD Radeon R9 Nano and Fury series, the Nvidia GeFORCE GTX 750 and 900 series, as well as the Titan series.
The Razer Core will be available starting in April, costing $499 USD. However, if the customer already owns a Razer Blade laptop, they can receive a $100 discount, and new purchasers of the Razer Blade Stealth will also receive $100 off. Do note that this does NOT include the price of a graphics card, which could cost up to $500 or more, depending on the type of power that you would want.