Sunday, October 25, 2020

Razer Book 13 - First Look Impressions

The Razer book 13 is not like their typical gaming laptops they sell, I mean razer's motto has always been gamers first well this is the opposite approach. It's everybody else first gamer second. Razer book 13 is taking some of that dna of the razer and just turning it into a really cool ultrabook. It does look like one but it's a lot smaller even though they both share a 13 inch display razer was able to trim the book 13 down, what you get is a smaller form factor with that same premium cnc design.

How they did this was by reducing the bezel size like look at the size of the bezels on the book 13 compared to the bezels of the stealth 13. There is a big difference especially when you take a look at the bottom the other thing is the build quality they're very similar but on the back of the book 13 you have a rubber pad. I don't know if this is going to make it onto the retail unit as it is a pre-production sample but I really hope this is just all aluminum port setup is very similar too but they did make some changes to make the ports more diverse considering a lot of people are going to be carrying this laptop to school or into the office. On the left hand side you have a similar setup with your thunderbolt 4 port usb and your audio jack but on the right side you have another thunderbolt 4 port but instead of a usb port you get a full size hdmi plus a micro sd card slot.

I would have loved to see an sd card slot but razer says because due to size constraints all they could put was a micro sd card instead now there is one cool new feature of this laptop that none of the blades or stealth share it's the fact that when you open up the laptop the bottom of it moves upwards kind of very similar to asus ergo hinge display pushes on the table and lifts the base unit up allowing for better airflow. Now this keyboard feels exactly the same as the cell 13 it has the same travel distance it even has per key rgb which is really interesting for a productivity based notebook now i like this it gives you a bit of customization that other ultrabooks don't have this touchpad feels the same too but it's smaller due to the limited deck size compared to the stealth 13 you'll also notice that the speaker grilles are thinner on the book 13 and that's because they can only fit two speakers compared to four.

The book 13 comes with an i5 or an i7 and this is the first time razer has offered an i5 on their laptops this is smart because ultrabooks are different like most people buying dell xps 13s or macbook airs are usually buying the i5 sku because let's face it the i5 is more than capable for general productivity but if you want intel evo the certification that offers things like instant on display and and 14 hour battery life then you got to buy the i7 that's the only thing that has the sticker on it now razer did say that the i5 supports these features it just won't have that stamp of approval now i can't show you performance benchmarks just because this is a pre-production unit but what i can show you is the performance from the razer blade stealth 13 11th gen that i reviewed not too long ago i'm expecting performance on this to be close or match the stealth 13. so very strong cpu performance with very fast single core clock speeds and a very beefy integrated gpu due to the intel xe graphics chip this integrated gpu is more than capable for light photoshop lightroom and even some light video editing.

It's not going to blaze through games at high settings but you can play some older titles if you drop the settings down to medium internally not a lot is upgradeable and if you do buy this just know that the ram is soldered onto the motherboard and you only have an option between 8 or 16 gigabytes the drive can be upgraded you can swap this out for something bigger up to 2 terabytes the battery is 55 watt hours and razer says you should be able to get 14 hours of battery life so the big difference between the book 13 and the rest of razer's lineup is the display every gaming laptop they sell uses a 16 by 9 aspect ratio which is great for gaming but for productivity you want a taller display whether it be 16 by 10 like you have here or 3x2 i like this display it's very color accurate it's bright and has good color gamut the only downfall to it is it's stuck at 60 hertz if you want a high refresh display you have to look at the stealth or blade lineup there's no fingerprint scanner to log you in but you do get windows hello facial recognition which is much quicker anyways because you have to touch anything.

I will say this the webcam is not that great i wish razer put a better webcam on this considering a lot of us are working from home so here's the thing i really like the book 13 and i'm glad razer is kind of branching out away from just gaming products this is a very very attractive ultrabook and i think a lot of people are gonna like it but don't buy it yet okay let me get an actual review sample into the studio do a proper review run the benchmarks and see how the thermals and performance run on this laptop but i'm liking what i see so far.