Razer’s Blade Stealth Laptop Is a PC Gamer’s Dream Come True – Yahoo Tech

I’ve always been torn when it comes to gaming laptops: On the one hand, they let you play your favorite PC games on the go. On the other, save for a few rare examples, they’re about as portable as a sack of bricks.

But Razer’s new 12.5-inch Razer Blade Stealth might just have solved this most confounding of gaming conundrums. That’s because the Stealth isn’t just thin and light: because it can also be outfitted with the kind of graphics card you’d find in a desktop PC, it’s powerful, too.

Yeah, this thing is pretty awesome.

A svelte stunner

Like Razer’s other laptops, the Stealth comes wrapped in an understated aluminum body. But what makes the Stealth so intriguing is its size. At just 0.52 inches thick, the Stealth is thinner than Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air (0.68 inches). In fact, the Blade Stealth is the same thickness as Apple’s 12-inch MacBook.

What’s more, the Stealth weighs 2.75 pounds, making it lighter than the 2.96-pound MacBook Air, though still heavier than the 2.03-pound MacBook.

The Stealth’s slim size and low weight are the result of Razer’s decision to ditch an onboard graphics chip. Yes, this is a gaming laptop that runs on an integrated graphics card.

Related: More coverage of CES 2016.

But don’t fret, there’s a method to Razer’s madness. See, the Razer also comes with a USB Type-C port, which connects the Stealth to the company’s new Razer Core.

A laptop with the heart of a desktop

That’s where things get interesting: The Razer Core is an external enclosure that holds up to two desktop graphics cards. When you connect the Stealth to the Core over that USB-C connection, the laptop will use those desktop cards as its own.

That means you can play the latest and greatest PC games — with the same kind of performance you’d find on a dedicated desktop gaming rig — on a laptop.

I currently have a MacBook Air for work and other general computing, plus a dedicated gaming desktop. With the Stealth, I could ditch both for one machine that does it all.

What’s more, the Core is graphics-card agnostic, so you can use either Nvidia or AMD cards. And when whatever card you do choose becomes outdated, you can just swap it in for a new one.

How does the Blade Stealth perform, you ask? Exactly as advertised. With the Core packing an Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card, the Stealth was able to play Fallout 4 on its highest settings without so much as a hiccup.

The Core also has four built-in USB ports, so you can connect a variety of gaming peripherals, and an Ethernet slot so you can hardwire the system to your network when you want to get in some lag-free online gaming.

It costs what?

The base version of the Razer Blade Stealth gives you a 12.5-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display, an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 128 GB SSD for just $999. That’s absolutely bananas. By comparison, a similarly equipped MacBook Air would cost you $1,249.

(If you’re looking for more storage, you can upgrade to a Stealth with a 12.5-inch 3840 x 2160 resolution screen and the option of a 512 GB SSD.)

But there are a couple of gotchas on that cost equation: We still don’t know the final cost of the Core. What’s more, a high-end desktop graphics card can set you back as much as $400.

Still, $1,500 for a gaming PC that you can actually take with you and that can handle the most demanding games on the market isn’t ridiculous. Sure, it’s a lot of money. But gamers will spend that much on a desktop system that doesn’t double as a legitimate work laptop.

Check back with us for my review of the Razer Blade Stealth in the coming weeks.

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+.

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