Razer Blade Stealth (2018) 1 Year later!

Discussion in 'Systems' started by gamedevryan, Feb 10, 2020.

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  1. gamedevryan

    gamedevryan New Member

    Hey folks. It's been (almost) a year since I bought my first Razer laptop, a lovely Razer Blade Stealth, and I thought I'd share my findings with you! Lots of reviews I find are about first impressions, which are handy, but I find few people write about their longer term impressions.

    Some background on me to start. I'm a game developer from Toronto. I've always been an advocate of developers like myself having two computers; a big ol' PC desktop and a sleek MacBook laptop. PC Desktop runs everything and can be upgraded easily, and the MacBook laptop is sturdy to carry around and generally very very very reliable. In 2017 I upgraded to the 15" MacBook Pro from that year. It was a huge disappointment. MacBooks suck now? Performance was disappointing. My right speaker 'melted' and didn't make sound properly. Boot Camp didn't work properly. I tried to stay positive about having nothing but USB-C ports, but folks, we need more than just USB-C ports. I'm sure you've all heard of the keyboard issues. That laptop cost me almost $5000. I bought a Razer Core X for it, and tossed in a Radeon RX 580, which helped a little, but wouldn't work in Boot Camp (the famous Code 12 issue). Time to cut my losses and get back to work, I thought, so I sold the MacBook and bought myself a Razer Blade Stealth. Specifically, the 13" QHD version with the quad-core i7-8550u CPU.

    ...and I love it.

    Great things about this laptop
    • Love typing on this keyboard! This is what laptop chiclet keys should feel like, and color is fun
    • Great to get a Quad core CPU in this form factor
    • I'm coming from MacBooks, so the ability to replace the SSD is astounding. I swapped in a Samsung Evo Plus 1TB on day one. I also replaced the Wifi card for one that supports Wifi 6.
    • It's light. It's sturdy. It's pretty. Like a MacBook!
    • More than just USB-C ports.
    • No Code 12 eGPU errors, since the laptop and my eGPU are made by the same company and often appear in branding materials together. Thanks for making sure they work great together, Razer.
    Needs improvement
    • Maximum screen brightness disappointing. I can really only do serious work in a dark-ish room or with an external monitor.
    • Memory isn't upgradable (I'm assuming we'd have to trade some thinness for this). 16gb is fine for me right now, though.
    • Touch screen has had some very minor glitches on a few occasions, so I disabled it in the Device Manager. I don't use this.
    • I wish there was an extra USB-C port (oh wait, they added that in 2019).
    Some interesting findings
    1. With a modest GPU (Radeon RX 580) the CPU quickly becomes the bottleneck on titles like Monster Hunter World. Just because it's a quad-core i7 doesn't mean it has more than ~20 watts going through it!
    2. I'm curious about the new blade stealth with Intel Core i7-1065G7. Benchmarks claim it's a good chunk faster than the i7-8550U in mine, though apparently that CPU is slower in the GeForce 1650 configuration than in the iGPU config.
    3. Temperatures can get a little high, but not bad enough to warrant re-applying the thermal paste or undervolting like a lot of people are suggesting. A vertical laptop stand helps mine get all the airflow it needs.
    This laptop is my daily driver for work in demanding apps like Unity3d, Maya, Substance Painter, Photoshop, and more. There's no MacBook or PC Desktop in my life now. When I'm at work, the laptop sits atop the eGPU on a vertical stand, plugged into a mouse, keyboard, and 4k monitor. The CPU leaves a little bit to be desired sometimes, but generally does everything I ask of it. I am so happy with this little guy. It's real easy to forget that it's a 13" ultrabook.

    Happy to answer any questions people might have! If you're looking to save a few bucks and buy the 2018 model like me (with bigger bezels around the screen), I say go for it!
  2. M-S-G

    M-S-G Well-Known Member

    Cool. Danke für dein Feedback. Ich werde von meinem 2019er Model ab ca Oktober einen Bericht hier schreiben. Mal schauen. Find deinen Beitrag sehr gut.

    Cool. Thanks for your feedback. I will write a report about my 2019 model here from about October. We'll see. Find your contribution very good.
    figrin1 and gamedevryan like this.
  3. razob

    razob New Member

    Hey Ryan, thanks for the write-up. I just jumped into Razer myself last month, with pretty much the same strategy as you - 2018 15" Advanced. It's good to read about your positive experience a year later, my machine is a beast and beats most other laptops out of the water, even though it's "only" last-gen hardware.

    Since you're offering advice :) Do you bother getting the latest GeForce drivers from Nvidia, or do you just stick to the older drivers Razer provides? I couldn't find any opinion/experience on that anywhere so far, plus I'm not even sure which Nvidia drivers to get for the 1070 Max-Q - desktop or laptop. I'm still learning the ropes as you can see.

    Any insight you can provide is much appreciated. Thanks!
  4. gamedevryan

    gamedevryan New Member

    My Razer Blade only has Intel graphics, but I installed updates from Intel instead of waiting for Razer supplied ones. I think you're probably okay to install the latest from NVIDIA, though it's important you get laptop ones since the cards work very differently.
  5. Brastic

    Brastic Active Member

    My wife has the same 2018 Stealth and I agree with everything you stated. For a daily work laptop, it just gets the job done and it plugs into a Core for GPU and big screen action. My daughter has a 2019 and I just do not like the keyboard. Yes, the arrow keys are easier to use, but the location of the up arrow where my right pinky wants the shirt to be just sucks. I could not use the 2019 Stealth. There is no way I would get a days work on it. I am hoping that the 2020 models will have the faster i7 and that they fix the keyboard.
  6. Joikansai

    Joikansai Well-Known Member VANGUARD

    Yes your voice is heard, yesterday new stealth with keyboard layout update is just announced.

    But it doesn’t made me want to upgrade enough from stealth late 2019...
  7. M-S-G

    M-S-G Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Dekades just put it on the front page too. Really cool. I still think the Stealth 13" is the most beautiful device of its size, with a decent graphics card.
  8. Brastic

    Brastic Active Member

    I am so happy to see the keyboard fix. The new Stealth is a ultrabook beast. If I was in the market for one, I would have purchased one. Thank you Razer for listening.
  9. Ragnarblade

    Ragnarblade New Member

    likewise. after several accidents where you hit the up arrow instead of shift, i use the synapse to map the arrow key to be shift as well. I rarely use the arrow key anyway
    Brastic likes this.
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