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For the last few years, Razer, known for its gaming PCs and accessories, has been making the Razer Blade Stealth, an ultrabook that’s quite sleek and snazzy.
We went hands-on with the latest version of the Razer Blade Stealth, released in 2019, to see how it compares with Apple’s MacBook options.
The Razer Blade Stealth, for those unfamiliar with it, is a 13-inch ultrabook offering solid performance in a slim, compact package. It has an aesthetic reminiscent of the MacBook Pro, which is also super slim, but it looks quite a bit different with a black aluminum unibody and squared edges.
Most notably, the Razer Blade Stealth has an option for a 4K display, which is the version we have on hand. You might think a 4K display would look way better than the the lower-resolution displays on Apple’s Retina MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but on such a small machine, it’s not as noticeable as you’d expect.
The display is touch sensitive, which is not a feature on Apple’s laptops, and it has super narrow side bezels so it has a clean, modern look. The keyboard has more travel than the butterfly keys of the MacBook line, but not as much clickiness, and there’s a full set of physical function keys instead of a Touch Bar.
This is Razer we’re talking about, so naturally there’s customizable RBG backlighting for the keyboard that can be set to different colors and themes. There’s a much smaller trackpad, but it’s still nice to use and one of the better non-Apple trackpads we’ve tried. There’s no fingerprint sensor like on the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, but there is a Windows Hello facial recognition option.
When it comes to ports, the Razer Blade Stealth has two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Just one USB-C port is Thunderbolt 3 capable, compared to four on all of Apple’s USB-C MacBook Pro models.
The Razer Blade Stealth is equipped with 16GB RAM, a quad-core 1.8GHz 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card. Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pros, the closest in form factor to the Razer Blade Stealth, have an integrated GPU.
Benchmarks indicate the Razer Blade Stealth outperforms the 13-inch MacBook Pro, especially when it comes to the GPU. That’s not unexpected, though, because Razer is a gaming company. Razer also sells the Razer Blade Stealth alongside the Razer Core X external GPU to offer desktop-quality gaming.
In our testing, the Razer Blade Stealth did well with everything we threw at it, including browsing the web, watching videos, editing video with Adobe Premiere Pro, and some light gaming. Unigine Heaven benchmarks required us to drop the resolution to 1080p from 4K to get 60 to 70 frames per second, though, and it struggled at the full 4K resolution for gaming.
On an OpenCL test, the Razer Blade Steath scored 47,237 with the GeForce MX150 and 36,488 for the integrated Intel Graphics 620. For comparison’s sake, the built-in GPU in the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro scored 23,624, and the AMD Radeon Pro 555X scored 50,257. That’s a little bit like comparing apples to oranges, though, as the 15-inch MacBook Pro is a bigger machine and the 13-inch model, which is a closer comparison to the Razer, has no dedicated graphics.
Battery life in the Razer Blade Stealth is okay. It’s lasted for about six hours for tasks like web browsing and emails, but for more system intensive tasks, it can drain in less than three hours because of the power draw of the 4K display.
When it comes to price, Razer is charging a premium for its ultrabook, much like Apple does with its notebooks. The 4K 13-inch model we have on hand with the MX150 graphics card is priced at $1,900, though Razer offers lower tiers priced at $1,600 (no 4K) and $1,300 (no 4K and integrated graphics).
Given these price points, the Razer Blade Stealth is tough to recommend over other PC options, but it’s powerful, portable, and gorgeous. What do you think of the Razer Blade Stealth? Let us know in the comments.
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Google has shared its cloud revenue exactly once over the last several years. Silence tends to lead to speculation to fill the information vacuum. Luckily there are some analyst firms who try to fill the void, and it looks like Google’s cloud business is actually trending in the right direction, even if they aren’t willing to tell us an exact number.
When Google last reported its cloud revenue, last year about this time, they indicated that they had earned $1 billion in revenue for the quarter, which included Google Cloud Platform and G Suite combined. Diane Greene, who was head of Google Cloud at the time, called it an “elite business”, but in reality it was pretty small potatoes compared to Microsoft’s and Amazon’s cloud numbers, who were pulling in $4-$5 billion a quarter between them at the time. Google was looking at a $4 billion run rate for the entire year.
Google apparently didn’t like the reaction it got from that disclosure so it stopped talking about cloud revenue. Yesterday when Google’s parent company, Alphabet, issued its quarterly earnings report, to nobody’s surprise, it failed to report cloud revenue yet again, at least not directly.
Google CEO Sundar Pinchai gave some hints, but never revealed an exact number. Instead he talked in vague terms calling Google Cloud ” a fast-growing multibillion-dollar business.” The only time he came close to talking about actual revenue was when he said, “Last year, we more than doubled both the number of Google Cloud Platform deals over $1 million as well as the number of multiyear contracts signed. We also ended the year with another milestone, passing 5 million paying customers for our cloud collaboration and productivity solution, G suite.”
OK, it’s not an actual dollar figure, but it’s a sense that the company is actually moving the needle in the cloud business. A bit later in the call, CFO Ruth Porat threw in this cloud revenue nugget. “We are also seeing a really nice uptick in the number of deals that are greater than $100 million and really pleased with the success and penetration there. At this point, not updating further.” She is not updating further. Got it.
That brings us to a company that guessed for us, Canalys. While the firm didn’t share its methodology, it did come up with a figure of $2.2 billion for the quarter. Given that the company is closing larger deals and was at a billion last year, this figure feels like it’s probably in the right ballpark, but of course it’s not from the horse’s mouth, so we can’t know for certain.
Frankly, I’m a little baffled why Alphabet’s shareholders actually let the company get away with this complete lack of transparency. It seems like people would want to know exactly what they are making on that crucial part of the business, wouldn’t you? As cloud market watcher, I know I would. So we’re left to companies like Canalys to fill in the blanks, but it’s certainly not as satisfying as Google actually telling us. Maybe next quarter.
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