Just like Apple, Razer is known for making beautifully designed premium laptops. Though Razer laptops are primarily aimed at gamers, the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth is an attractive proposition for gamers as well as professionals. Earlier this month, Apple updated its entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, and discontinued the 12-inch MacBook and the older MacBook Air. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro will compete directly with the Razer Blade Stealth. Let’s check out how the two laptops stack up.
For the record, Apple refers to the new entry-level Pro as “MacBook Pro 13-inch (Two Thunderbolt 3 ports).”
The new Razer Blade Stealth has a stylish matte black finish. A new subtle black logo replaces the glowing-green logo, giving it a more professional look. It has a boxier design with narrow bezels. It has a unibody aluminum shell with a large trackpad and two top-firing speakers.
It measures 0.58 x 11.99 x 8.27 inches and weighs just 2.82 pounds. Razer has given users a wide range of port options. It comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB-C 3.1 port, and two USB-A ports. It also has a headphone jack on the left.
The new MacBook Pro also has a sturdy all-aluminum design with slim bezels. It comes in Silver and Space Gray colors. It measures 0.59 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches, and weighs 3.02 pounds. Both laptops have similar dimensions, though the MacBook Pro is slightly heavier.
The upgraded entry-level MacBook Pro gets the Touch Bar and Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which means it has ditched the function keys. It has a large Force Touch trackpad. The MacBook Pro is a disappointment when it comes to ports. It has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. One of the two ports is needed for charging. There is no USB-A port or an SD card slot. If you want more ports, you have to buy third-party USB-C adapters and accessories.
The Razer Blade Stealth features a 13.3-inch matte display with full HD resolution of 1080p. It offers 100% sRGB coverage and more than 400 nits of brightness, which is impressive. Since the display has a matte finish and high brightness, you can use it outdoors on a sunny day without straining your eyes. If you are willing to shell out a few hundred dollars extra, Razer also offers a 4K touchscreen display on Blade Stealth.
The new MacBook Pro gets a superior 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology. Its Retina display has a higher resolution of 2560 x 1600 with 227ppi of pixel density. It also supports Apple’s True Tone technology. What’s more, the Pro has a higher 500 nits of brightness, and it uses Wide Color (P3) technology.
Razer Blade Stealth is powered by Intel’s 8th-gen quad-core Core i7-8565 Whisky Lake processor. It has a clock speed of 1.8GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz. It’s powerful enough to handle any task you can throw at it, whether you are playing games or working. The base model packs 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, but has the not-so-great Intel UHD 620 onboard graphics processor.
Fortunately, users can spend an additional $200 to get the 16GB RAM variant with Nvidia GeForce MX150 4GB graphics processor.
The entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is powered by a quad-core 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor with 1.4GHz clock speed and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz. It comes with 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 128GB of internal storage for the base model. For graphics power, it uses Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 645.
If you want, you can upgrade the Pro model’s processor to 8th-gen Core i7 with 1.7GHz clock speed and up to 4.5GHz Turbo Boost. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can upgrade the RAM to 16GB and storage to 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB.
Keyboard and touchpad
Razer’s laptop has a wonderful keyboard that feels great to type on. However, it requires some getting used to before you can tap the right keys every time. It has key travel of 0.8mm. The Chroma RGB lighting makes the whole package even more attractive. The Blade Stealth also gets an excellent precision glass touchpad that is as good as that of MacBook Pro.
The new MacBook Pro uses Apple’s third-generation Butterfly keyboard, which has received a lot of criticism despite Apple’s efforts to improve it. It has key travel of 0.6mm. According to Apple, the new Butterfly keyboards have fixed the issues users had encountered with older versions.
The touchpad on the MacBook Pro is among the best in the world. The controversial Touch Bar replaces the function keys.
Razer Blade Stealth promises up to 13 hours of battery life for the base model with Intel UHD 620 graphics processor. The battery life comes down to 11 hours if you opt for the discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU model. In real-life tests conducted by LaptopMag, the model with Nvidia discrete graphics endured a little over eight hours of continuous web surfing over WiFi at 150 nits of brightness. The laptop can get you through a full day of normal usage.
The Blade Stealth’s 53.1Wh battery is smaller than that of 2019 MacBook Pro’s 58.2Wh. According to Apple, the new Pro lasts up to 10 hours of web surfing and 13 hours of video playback. In real-life, you can expect battery life of up to 10 hours with normal usage.
The Razer Blade Stealth costs $1,400 for the base model with 8GB RAM, 256GB storage, and Intel UHD Graphics 620. For $1,600, you can get the 16GB RAM variant with discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, and 256GB SSD storage. The 4K touchscreen variant with 512GB of storage costs $1,900. In all three models, the processor remains the same, which is Quad-Core 8th-Gen Intel Core i7-8565U.
The 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro has been priced lower than the Blade Stealth, but it gets you lower specs. It starts at $1,299 for the base version with 8th-gen quad-core Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD storage. Opting for the 256GB storage variant will bump the cost by $200. Configuring the RAM to 16GB will add another $200 to the cost. If you want the Core i7 version, you have to spend another $300.
The new MacBook Pro has a lower starting price and a superior display. The build quality of both laptops is fantastic. If you are platform-agnostic, the Razer Blade Stealth is a much better buy with a faster Core i7 processor, optional discrete graphics, and better value for money.