Razer gave us a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read their full version.
An Ultrabook is usually a matter of compromise, and if you want a thin and light laptop, power is often sacrificed. However, the Razer Book 13 defies this stereotype and offers a stylish and attractive alternative to other high-end ultraportable. I tested it for 40 hours to find out if it lived up to both its gorgeous Ultrabook looks and Razer’s ability to build powerful gaming laptops.
Design: beauty in minimalism
Razer is known for its flashy gaming-centric laptops, mice and keyboards, clearly marketed to gamers, but has always shown some restraint with some of its more extravagant gaming products. The Book 13 pushes that limitation forward with just a few stylish reminders of the laptop’s gaming heritage: the twisted Razer logo on top and, of course, RGB keyboard lighting.
While you can make the RGB look any way you want, it’s fully customizable, so you can change it to a solid white backlight if you want. I especially liked that when you press the Fn key, the corresponding keys light up and stand out from the rest of the keyboard. It’s a small touch, but it’s something I missed when using other keyboards.
The keyboard has white keys with a silver aluminum background and speaker grilles on both sides. It offers an exceptional, comfortable and efficient typing experience. The trackpad is just as good as it is large and accurate, and I’ve found it easily meets Apple and Dell quality standards.
The overall build quality is simply fantastic as the Book 13 is solid and sturdy and built to last. The screen hinge is sturdy, but still soft to use. My only complaint might be that the soft bezels around the screen bezel may not last as long as the rest of the laptop, although it’s not really a critical part. I noticed some wear and tear, especially when I opened the laptop again after only a month of use.
For such a thin laptop, the Book 13 has a surprising amount of ports. You get 4 Thunderbolt ports, a USB Type A port, an HDMI port, a microSD slot and a 3.5 headphone/mic combo port. eg Today such a versatile selection of inputs is not self-evident, and that is a big point for the book 13.
Installation process: very simple
There’s not much to say about configuring the Razer Book 13. It’s just a standard Windows 10 Home installation with no surprises, so you can be up and running in minutes.
Display: Positively beautiful
The Razer Book 13 configuration we tested has a stunning 13.5-inch UHD 60Hz display that is both highly color-accurate and offers a stunning image. This is perfect for both creative pursuits that require color accuracy and media consumption. The 16:10 aspect ratio is certainly tuned for productivity. The frame is pleasantly thin and the screen is made of Gorilla Glass 6, which makes it very resistant to scratches.
Performance: meager and bad
The Razer Book 13 surprised me with how much power it packs in despite not having a dedicated graphics card. It’s a great machine for photo editing, light video editing, and other creative pursuits, and it’s even a fairly capable gaming machine. Inside, you’ll find an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and 16 GB of RAM.
These produced a GFX benchmark score of 14,256, which isn’t crazy by gaming PC standards, but is more than you’d expect from an integrated GPU. In PC Mark 10, it scored 4,608, which is certainly respectable.
I was able to play Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel on low settings and got a smooth experience, and in DOTA 2 I was able to max out the graphics settings when I lowered the resolution to 1080p. This makes the Book 13 perfect for racing and even some AAA games if you don’t want to change the settings. For such a stylish and compact laptop, this is quite impressive
The Book 13 comes with a 512GB SSD. That’s good enough, but it would have been nice to have a whole terabyte of storage.
Software: no bulge
I am happy to report that Book 13 is almost free of bulges. In addition to the usual goodies you get with Windows 10 Home, the laptop comes with Razer Synapse installed, which is an absolute must as it allows you to control the keyboard’s customizable RGB backlight among some other useful features.
Connectivity – the latest and the best
With Wi-Fi 6, the Book 13 had no problem taking full advantage of my home network. It offers a fast and reliable connection and Bluetooth 5.0 is also available.
Battery: juice for the day
Razer claims a battery life of up to 10 hours or even slightly longer, and I found that to be accurate. Book 13 should last an office day at no extra cost, depending on usage of course.
Sound: Great sound for a small laptop
You wouldn’t expect to get good sound from such a small laptop, but the Book 13 works quite well in this regard. It has THX spatial sound and offers a very good listening experience. It is certainly loud enough to produce sound at maximum volume without any noticeable distortion. The cover of 2Cello’s “Thunderstruck” is my favorite track for testing speakers and headphones, and I also listened to their new cover of “Levin ‘on a Prayer”. Book 13 presented them both beautifully.
It’s particularly good in the minds and highs, but as you might expect, it loses something in the bass range. However, it is more than enough for listening to music, playing games or watching movies.
Camera: authorized webcam
The Book 13’s webcam is average for a laptop. It captures 720p video and is perfectly acceptable, albeit not great. The video quality looks good even in relatively difficult situations.
This is a premium, ultraportable device designed more for professional work, and the ability to play is actually a nice bonus. Due to competition from Dell and Apple, it doesn’t come with an unreasonable price tag.
Razer Book 13 vs Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1
The Razer Book 13 has some great competitors, perhaps the most important being the excellent Dell XPS 13 7390 2-in-1. Its main advantage over the Razer is the ability to transform into a tablet, but the Razer beats it in terms of raw power and, of course, the Book 13 has gorgeous RGB backlighting.
A great looking laptop with a compact design and impressive power.
There is a lot to love about the Razer Book 13 and not a lot of bad things to say about it. It’s not a graphics powerhouse, but the fact that you can play on it is remarkable. Between its solid design, eye-catching aesthetic, and the little details that tie the whole package together, this is a great little Ultrabook.