For years, Razer has made a few of the greatest gaming laptops available on the market. They’re not uniquely well-known for his or her excessive efficiency (Blades are highly effective machines however not the quickest on the market) or their costs (that are excessive). They’re well-known for his or her high-quality construct and their premium design. In brief, Razer makes the best-looking gaming laptops available on the market.
Razer has determined this yr that this aesthetic shouldn’t be restricted to gaming laptops. In its first pocket book designed for productiveness as an alternative of gaming, Razer has mixed its signature look and really feel with a 60Hz 16:10 touchscreen and a lower-power processor with built-in graphics. The Razer Book goals to be a Razer Blade on the surface and a Dell XPS 13 on the within — and it largely succeeds. Razer has made a superb laptop computer with efficiency rivaling that of the highest Home windows clamshells available on the market. That mentioned, it’s dear for what it affords, and it has just a few drawbacks that imply it received’t be the appropriate selection for everybody.
On the surface, the Razer Book 13 borrows lots of the Blade Stealth 13’s signature options. Razer’s three-headed snake adorns the lid. You may additionally acknowledge the customizable per-key RGB keyboard with speaker grilles on either side. (Not like what you’ll see on some extra garish gaming rigs, the lighting on these keys appears to be like skilled and provides to the delicate vibe.) The chassis is CNC-machined aluminum, with a easy metallic end. It is a fancy approach of claiming it’s fairly good; the MacBook Professional is fabricated from the identical materials, as are lots of the greatest Home windows laptops together with the XPS 13 and HP’s Spectre x360 14.
8.5 out of 10
- Vibrant 16:10 show
- Enticing Blade-esque design
- Highly effective efficiency
- Per-key RGB keyboard
- Simply 256GB of storage in base and midrange fashions
- Premium worth
- Clunkier than some opponents
- Battery life is simply okay
However some delicate variations clarify that this laptop computer is for the workplace, not for gaming. It’s barely lighter than the Blade Stealth, at 0.6 inches thick and 3.09 kilos. The port choice can also be higher than that of the Stealth: there are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one HDMI 2.0, one microSD slot, and one combo audio jack. That is additionally a giant benefit the Razer Book has over the XPS 13 and MacBook Professional, each of which have comparably restricted choices.
The largest change, although, is the 16:10 contact show. This makes the display screen taller than the 16:9 panels you’ll discover on the Blade (and on virtually all devoted gaming laptops). It lends you loads of further room for multitasking, with much less scrolling and zooming obligatory to see the whole lot you want to. Side ratio apart, the 1920 x 1200 show on our overview unit was fairly brilliant, maxing out at 494 nits in my testing. It’s fairly vibrant as effectively, with sharp and brilliant colours. Whereas the panel has a shiny texture, it kicks again little to no glare in brilliant settings.
Miscellaneous laptop computer stuff: the glass touchpad is roomy and fairly easy — undoubtedly certainly one of my current favorites. The audio system sound nice, with robust percussion, although I did hear some distortion at greater volumes. And I virtually by no means get to say this, however the webcam isn’t that unhealthy; it delivers a good and pretty correct image, although there’s no privateness shutter or kill swap.
In a vacuum, I’ve only a few complaints concerning the Razer Book’s chassis. I’ll level out that I discover it barely worse than the XPS 13 in just a few (subjective) areas. Not solely is it thicker and heavier than Dell’s flagship, but it surely simply appears to be like and feels clunkier, missing the XPS’s glossy portability. And whereas Razer’s keyboard and touchpad are each nice, they’re not as distinctive as both on the XPS; Dell’s keyboard has extra journey and a extra satisfying click on, and its touchpad is a little more comfy. Most frustratingly to me, Razer gives much less storage for the worth. You solely get 256GB of storage within the base and midrange fashions and can solely get 512GB within the top-end $1,999 configuration — 512GB XPS fashions come as little as $1,399, and the $1,599 XPS has 512GB of storage whereas the $1,599 Razer Book has simply 256GB (their specs are an identical in any other case).
There’s one space the place the Razer Book solidly beats the XPS, and that’s efficiency. All Razer Book fashions are Evo-verified, which means Intel vouches for them as prime performers. And our take a look at mannequin features a high-clocked (up to 28W) model of one of many chipmaker’s prime ultrabook processors, Intel’s Core i7-1165G7.
This technique flew by means of the demanding duties we threw at it. It took 9 minutes and 21 seconds to full our Premiere Professional media take a look at, which entails exporting a 5-minute, 33-second 4K video. That’s the quickest time I’ve ever gotten from a system with the quad-core 1165G7 (which powers lots of the greatest ultraportables available on the market). The XPS 13 took 10 minutes and 43 seconds to full the identical job; the extra highly effective XPS 13 2-in-1 took 10 minutes and 5 seconds.
Razer nonetheless hasn’t fairly caught Apple’s M1 methods, although. The newest MacBook Professional completed the take a look at in seven minutes and 39 seconds. And naturally, built-in graphics can’t maintain a candle to a midrange GPU, even in a skinny and gentle chassis. The Blade Stealth 13 with a GTX 1650 Ti knocked out the export in simply 5 minutes and 50 seconds.
In real-world efficiency, the Razer Book additionally shines. The laptop computer dealt with my pretty demanding load of Chrome tabs, Zoom calls, and different apps with no situation. It boots up from standby virtually immediately and in a short time from the powered-off state as effectively. After all, the XPS 13 can also be fairly good in these situations.
Whereas the Book 13 is decidedly not a gaming laptop computer, it’s a Razer-branded product, so some may marvel the way it video games. The reply is it delivers a few of the greatest built-in graphics efficiency I’ve seen from a Home windows clamshell. It solidly beats the XPS 13 clamshell and is about on par with the extra highly effective 2-in-1. In follow, it’s most fitted for lighter gaming and heavier titles at decrease settings.
The Razer Book averaged 142fps on Rocket League’s most setting with out dipping beneath 125; the XPS put up 111fps with a minimal of 100. Razer additionally wins on League of Legends, averaging 219fps to the Dell’s 205fps. After all, since each machines have a 60Hz display screen, you received’t observe a distinction within the high quality of those video games — however these numbers ought to provide you with a way of the Razer Book’s energy.
Graphic efficiency will make one thing of a distinction on heavier titles. The Razer Book beat the XPS on the extra demanding Overwatch at Extremely settings, averaging 65fps to the XPS’s 48fps. It additionally averaged 32fps on Shadow of the Tomb Raider at its lowest settings, the place the XPS averaged 22fps. That’s vital as a result of it means you possibly can feasibly play Tomb Raider in 1080p on the Razer Book, which might be disagreeable to do on the XPS.
That consequence additionally makes clear that — to reiterate — regardless of aesthetic similarity, this laptop computer shouldn’t be a Blade. The Stealth 13 averaged 45fps on Tomb Raider’s highest settings. If you’d like to sport with this kind issue, purchase the Blade. You’ll additionally get far more storage for the worth.
When it comes to cooling, the Razer Book has chops. It did a considerably higher job of protecting its CPU cool than the XPS did in my testing. Through the Adobe export, the 1165G7 stayed comfortably within the mid-60s to mid-70s (Celsius) with occasional spikes as excessive because the low 90s. It largely remained within the excessive 50s through the Tomb Raider benchmark, with spikes up to the mid-70s. All in all, I didn’t see any throttling or slowdown, and the keyboard by no means bought uncomfortably scorching beneath load.
However you’re making a trade-off for all this energy: battery life. It’s not horrible, but it surely’s nothing to write house about. I bought a mean of six hours and 45 minutes whereas utilizing the Book 13 for normal workplace work with occasional Zoom calls and streaming at 200 nits of brightness. (This was within the Battery Saver profile, which you’ll be able to toggle in Razer’s Synapse software program.) Meaning I can’t go a full day with out charging, although your mileage will differ based mostly in your duties and settings. I’ve gotten over 9 hours placing loads of machines by means of that very same workload, together with the XPS 13.
The Razer Book 13 has plenty of issues going for it, particularly for Razer followers. It’s definitely among the finest ultraportable laptops you should purchase — however whether or not it’s the greatest is an advanced query to reply.
In some areas (keyboard, touchpad, portability), the Razer Book is barely worse than the XPS 13. In others (show high quality and construct high quality) it’s about on par. And it brings just a few nifty options (the port choice and the RGB keyboard) that Dell’s clamshell doesn’t have — however I doubt these are making or breaking the buying resolution for most individuals. On web, I believe Razer comes out barely worse on the chassis entrance.
However that’s not the place the Razer Book makes its case. That class is efficiency. In contrast to different Home windows clamshells I’ve examined previously yr, the Razer Book is prime of the category. It stands out in productiveness and media work in addition to gaming. However, you’re making some sacrifices for that energy, as well as to the hefty price ticket it carries. You may get just a few hours extra battery life from plenty of laptops within the Razer Book’s class (together with the XPS 13) and considerably extra storage as effectively. For folk within the Book’s meant viewers (customers on the lookout for a transportable work or leisure driver) these trade-offs are in all probability price contemplating.
In the end, the Razer Book 13 is a powerful new laptop computer from Razer with rather a lot to like, and I’m positive many purchasers will likely be proud of it. However these trade-offs imply I can’t fairly name it one of the best product for most individuals.