2019 Razer Blade Stealth (vs MBP) - computer engineering

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by GoldfishRT, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    #1
    Anybody here have experience with it yet?

    4K one is $1499 at Best Buy. Only a bit less powerful than the 2018 MacBook Pro 15” for $1799. Back to wondering which to get.

    I liked my 15” MacBook Pro a lot but had issues as you’re all aware which ended up being returned after a few months (thanks Costco!) I was pretty content not getting a laptop period and waiting but I’m going back to get a new bachelors degree in computer engineering this fall. I want to get one in the flash sale that ends today.

    On the surface the screen size is just enough to sway me but maybe there are other things I’m not thinking of.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    I gotta imagine that 4k on 13" display isn't going to be all that useful.

    Wait and see what the school requires?

    Overall, I really love the Razer designs, and aesthetics and they are fast computers. I cannot speak for the stealth but the 15" Razer had aggressive fans the battery life was not great - at least out of the box. I was able to tweak the settings to help extend battery life but my Thinkpad is getting better and Apple does some great work on their laptops as I've always gotten great battery life from them
     
  3. GoldfishRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    Meh. Like most schools you can get through it without actually buying a laptop. They have beefy workstations there and for checking out at the library if needed. I'm only buying because I'm already a salaryman and why not. Outside of school I have very little use for a laptop other than to admire and play some Civ.

    Many students use Macs but Windows is necessary for some apps but it's give and take. Some of the more computer science focused classes have a strong Mac preference.

    I agree 4k is excessive but 1080p is too low and there's no QHD display so 4k it is (it'd be different at the MSRPs for sure though).

    In any case, while my hand isn't really forced, that deal on the 15" MacBook Pro passed before I could make a decision but the Blade is still on sale everywhere. I was really looking for a way to justify the extra $300; I think that would have mostly come down to screen size. At a greater than $600 difference I think I'll take the Razer (or if it's bad, just stick with the 13" MacBook Pro.)

    But I was reading and I think it's worth a try. The thermal performance seems stunning and it seems like an extremely refined product.

    Except that arrow key.

    You mention battery life on the X1 - has that improved with time? I remember the big bruhaha at the beginning was it was a small battery that never seemed to last as long as it should. I think I'd want at least 6 hours of normal office work - is that possible now?
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #4
    yeah, that was a pain point for me when I briefly owned the Razer

    The battery life was better then the 15" Razer, but inferior to the MBP. I can manage over 6 hours on the thinkpad, but in all honesty, I've not needed to do that. I've been near a plug most of the time of my ownership of the X1E
     
  5. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #5
    Yup, the shift and arrow key placement was my main reason for returning the 2019 15” advanced Razer too. I will say the fans ramped up a couple of times and the keyboard got warm.

    I did like it a lot, but at price I paid there was no way I’d keep with that keyboard.

    OP, I cannot answer about your workload, but I’d throughly test the Razer keyboards before you buy.
     
  6. nikster0029 macrumors 6502a

    nikster0029

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    #6
    Just ordered a 13” 4K blade and will report back
     
  7. GoldfishRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    Looking forward to hearing about it. I went the MacBook route again. We’ll see how it goes I guess.
     
  8. nikster0029 macrumors 6502a

    nikster0029

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    Got it for $1599 from Amazon and it delivered next day for free. So far, I love the 4K panel. It is bright and color accurate with minimal black light bleed.

    Keyboard is tactile and the only complaint I have is the right shift key being too small.

    No speaker cracklings. No problems with charging on full load. I updated the BIOS and EC immediately too.

    I will report back with battery life later.
     
  9. hajime macrumors 603

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    #9
    Battery life is also one of my purchase factors. I wonder if it is that important if it is very small and light and can do quick charge. For example, 1.4kg laptop with ac adapter together are still very light to me.
     
  10. jrichards1408 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I've owned various laptops from macbooks to razer blade dell's and thinkpad and none of them lasted more than 5h when actually using them
     
  11. nikster0029 macrumors 6502a

    nikster0029

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    #11
    My computer lasts 5 hours full brightness from 100% to 0% doing word outlook and chrome
     
  12. jrichards1408 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    That sounds about right.
     
  13. GoldfishRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    Not bad driving that 4K panel at high brightness and using Chrome.

    How’s the performance been?
     
  14. nikster0029 macrumors 6502a

    nikster0029

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    #14
    I can’t complain. 16gb of RAM really is noticeable on Windows, but the trackpad gestures and glitches it sometimes has when registering touches makes it a bit more cumbersome to work on compared to a Mac.

    Graphics wise I have yet to try that out as it is not my intended goal with this laptop,”.
     
  15. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

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    #15
    Does that not answer your question? If you'll be running Windows apps, you'll be far better off with a Windows machine, bootcamp is ok, but does necessitate at least a 1TB drive (IMO) which gets pricey, and necessitates a BTO from Apple - not to mention buying the Windows license at even more cost. You could use the school's computers for these apps, but do you want to tie yourself there after school if there's an assignment that requires it?
     
  16. GoldfishRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    Eh. A lot of it is cross-platform regardless with only a few things requiring Windows. I get free copies of Windows too so it's not really a problem.

    Still, thinking of taking advantage of Razer's generous return policy to give it a go.
     
  17. Rockadile macrumors 6502

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    #17
    You can try mapping the up arrow key to be right shift in Synapse.

    And also undervolt using Throttlestop for better battery and less heat.
     
  18. kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #18
    Appreciate some of the responses in this thread especially key mapping and throttle stop which I almost positive someone else mentioned.

    I am still thinking about the Razers though, despite voicing my Mac going forward posts. :rolleyes::mad::rolleyes: I’ve been reading up on the 17” Pro and because of the larger screen, vapor cooling and the ability to upgrade internals, it is on my mind.

    I’ll take another look at the 17” at the MS store next week. I blew it off because of the keyboard, but now that I’ve done more research and can remap that arrow key, it’s lodged in my mind.

    The 15” Advanced is a great machine. Yes, it runs hot, but not constantly like the 13” stealth models I’ve tested.
     
  19. GoldfishRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    #19

    If you use it away from a desk I guess that 17” Razer has tremendously awful battery life. There are two fans set at the front of the machine and as I recall the battery capacity is only like 60w or something like that.

    I’ve had my replacement MacBook Pro two weeks and I’m completely indifferent to it. It’s basically beyond reproach in terms of assembly quality with no display bleed! But my return window ends tomorrow. I’ll keep it in the short term I think - I don’t want to get banned from returns or be that guy anyway. It’s just so supremely boring. But after monitoring what I want in terms of power and aesthetic and utility - I think an updated Stealth will be on the shortlist of replacements (so long as they retain a USB-A port). Or a 15” if they were to stick a better display option on the low end (1440p @ 144hz would be so awesome). We’ll see in 6mo.
     
  20. kazmac, Aug 9, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019

    kazmac macrumors 604

    kazmac

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    #20
    Thanks for that info, I wouldn’t be using a 17” away from an outlet, but that is a very good point. I am not expecting 10-12 hours but 8 hours would be fine. I’ll investigate as I know Razer updated the cooling system on the 17” for this new model.

    Yes, you’re right the 17” Battery is 70+ watts while the 15” is 80 watts. Both run warm...
     
  21. jrichards1408 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Is it worth getting this ahead of waiting for the carbon X1?
     
  22. GoldfishRT thread starter macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    I think that's entirely based on what your priorities are. The X1 will have a larger display, better keyboard, more ports, and probably better battery life but you'd be giving up the GPU, trackpad, and sex appeal.

    I've heard bad things about Lenovo having huge variance in their lineup these days due to using multiple suppliers though. So I don't know if I'd pick one over the other based on quality control - Lenovo has much better support.

    I like the Razer better but that's just me but I'm a big fan of the 14" form factor Lenovo is using. It's upsetting Razer abandoned it.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    I heard that too, the 15" laptops don't have any issues, but I've seen some complaints on the 13" display

    That and its only FHD, but for the battery life I was surprised by the reviews of the short battery life. In all seriousness I liked the 17" model, having a larger display while on the go is a temptation. I guess it all depends on how often do I use a laptop not hooked up to an external monitor.
     

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22 July 16, 2019