Razer has just announced the Book 13. Its name leaves little doubt, it is an ultraportable designed to compete with the Dell XPS 13 or the Apple MacBook Pro 13. It adopts the latest Intel chip and does not offer any so-called gaming feature, or almost.
A careful design
With Razer, we are used to gaming equipment and hardware. For its range of Blade laptops, for example, the features highlighted range from the dedicated GPU, to the 144 Hz screen to the RGB keyboard. These are portable gaming-oriented machines that can also, as is the case with the Blade Stealth 13, be suitable for very wide uses. They are also products recognized for their quality of conception and their careful design.
Razer exits gaming with the Book 13. Concretely, it is an ultraportable – a light, thin laptop PC with a lot of autonomy – very sober. Visually, it reminds us of the Microsoft Surface Book or the old Apple MacBook Pro with this gray matte metal coating. The rest is classic, let it be wide touchpad and the keyboard with laptop traditional (scissor mechanism), but which snaps well under the fingers. Note however that the keyboard is backlit, it is even RGB. We find the DNA of Razer all the same. The location of the speakers, to the right and left of the keyboard, recalls the layout of the MacBook Pro.
But the inspirations do not stop there. There’s also that 13.4-inch IPS display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, so it offers more height than traditional 16: 9 screens on laptops. This is exactly the screen found on the latest XPS 13 9310. You can choose it in Full HD definition with a matte finish (non-touch) or in 4K UHD with a glossy finish (touch). Note that there is no OLED option unlike what we can have on the Blade range. Same observation for the refresh rate, not 144 Hz or 240 Hz, it is 60 Hz on all options.
On the connectivity side, Razer has still avoided the poverty of the XPS 13 and MacBook Pro. There are two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 4 technology, but there is also a USB Type-A port (the full size) and an HDMI 2.0 jack. This very classic video output has become very rare on ultraportables, it should meet certain expectations. Like the XPS 13, there is also a micro SD slot. Inspiration is always there.
From the Intel Tiger Lake with the Intel Xe (Gen12) iGPU
The last point to be addressed is the presence of Tiger Lake (11th generation of Intel Core) which dates from September 2020. It is a four-core processor for ultrabooks, low in energy, which offers an iGPU of 96 units of execution of the new Xe graphics architecture. This is the chip that we were able to test in the XPS 13 9310. A chip that offers good battery life and good performance, even against AMD, which has become the new power-autonomy benchmark in this mobile chip market.
The Intel Xe (Gen12) iGPU chip doubles the graphics performance of the previous generation of Intel iGPUs, however this is still insufficient to speak of a gaming GPU. It can still run some recent games in HD and even Full HD for some. You can still plug in an eGPU, an external graphics card, but you’ll be limited by that 60Hz screen if you want to make it a gaming machine.
From 1,300 euros
Several configurations are available, 3 in total, up to Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD (NVMe). The entry price of the Razer Book 13 with the Intel Core i5 configuration is 1,299.99 euros and will be available in November 2020. The high-end configuration should be available around 2,000 euros ($ 1,999.99 in the United States).