Razer Sharpens Its Blade Stealth Ultrabook With ‘Core’ Thunderbolt 3 External Graphics Enclosure

Choosing a laptop usually involves a series of compromises, one of those being power versus portability. On one hand, Ultrabooks offer the convenience of thin and light designs that make toting them around easy, but if you want powerful graphics and gaming performance, a chunky desktop replacement is in order. Or is it? Razer is challenging that notion with its new Blade Stealth laptop and external "Core" graphics accessory.

Let's start with the Blade Stealth. This latest model measures a scant 0.52 inches at the waistline and checks in at a mere 2.75 pounds. It's CNC milled out of aircraft grade aluminum for a premium yet solid feel, resulting in a sleek and travel friendly chassis that won't weigh owners down during business trips.

Razer Blade Stealth

When it comes time to use the laptop, Razer Blade Stealth owners will be treated to a 12.5-inch IGZO panel with either a 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) resolution with 100 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, or a Quad HD (2560x1440) resolution, both touch enabled with wide viewing angles.

An Intel Core i7-6500U dual-core CPU based on Intel's Skylake architecture runs the show. It's aided by 8GB of LPDDR3-1866 memory, up to 512GB of PCIe-based SSD storage, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 (more on that in a moment).

Other features include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, a single Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port, 2MP webcam, 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack, HDMI output, and Windows 10 64-bit.

What about those graphics? Intel Graphics 520 is a pretty weaksauce option for a Razer product designed for gaming, but there's a method to Razer's madness. As configured, the Razer Blade Stealth is primed for business trips and lugging to and from the office. Work chores, in other words.

Razer Core

When you're at home and want to game, Razer's pitching a plug-and-play external desktop graphics enclosure called Razer Core. It connects to the laptop's Thunderbolt 3 port and can run practically any desktop graphics card from AMD or NVIDIA, giving users desktop class gaming at home. Heck, if you have a 4K monitor, you could invest in a high-end graphics card and use the laptop as a desktop replacement at home while still toting it around like an ordinary Ultrabook.

"Before today, gamers needed a portable system for everyday work and a separate desktop computer to power their PC games at the highest level possible," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. "For the first time ever, there is no need for two separate systems. The Razer Blade Stealth offers the portability of an Ultrabook with the scalability to play hardcore games with desktop graphics performance thanks to the Razer Core."

Razer Blade Stealth and Core

Price is obviously a consideration and to that end, the Razer Blade Stealth starts at $999 and ends at $1,599 for the highest end version. You can purchase one now direct from Razer.

As for the Core, Razer hasn't decided on a price point yet, though plans to offer the accessory in the first half of this year.