It can be pretty easy to forget that there are things one might use a laptop for other than gaming. While a costly gaming rig is going to draw out all the requisite awe that onlookers can muster, it can be overkill when you’re not trying to push some poor graphics card to the absolute limits. Luckily, the fine purveyors of colourful gaming technology over at Razer have the Razer Book 13, an ultra light, ultra portable laptop for your everyday computing needs.
The Razer Book 13 is a compact, minimalist looking affair that is obviously trying to evoke the same sort of imagery as that of Apple’s MacBook Air, but putting it’s own spin on things with Razer’s per key RGB programmable lighting so that user’s can show off their lovely little laptops in their own eye catching ways. RGB keyboards are usually the stuff of aforementioned monstrous gaming computers, but I really think they are a nice touch on this little machine, making it memorable and personalized in ways that can really cemented it as your laptop, even if it isn’t a graphical power house.
Now, when I say that the Razer Book 13 is small, I mean that in the best possible way. The whole thing weighs around three pounds, lovely metal case and all, and measures 11.6 by 7.8 inches. When I initially opened the box up I was afraid I would throw the thing across the room like some sort of cartoon, but I am used to significantly bulkier laptops. I think my usual computer could easily do some major damage should it find it’s way of my desk and onto my poor, innocent toe. The Razer Book 13 is a much more delicate affair, while still delivering some impressive features.
Most notable among those features is the display. Here we have crisp edge to edge visuals on a 16:10 and you’ll want to look at every piece of it. The screen is absolutely gorgeous, displaying crisp visuals and deep colours, with options for full HD touch and 4K touch at the higher tiers. If you’re looking for something to stream video on or display your lengthy collection of high definition movies, then the Razer Book 13 is well suited to the task. Additionally, we have two upward facing speakers flanking the keyboard delivery some nice audio. They’re small and innocuous but offer a surprising amount of punch for such little devices.
As far as ports are concerned, the Razer Book 13 has one USB-A connection, 2 USB-C ports, one of which is used for the power supply, a headphone jack, an HDMI port and an SD Card slot, so you have your basics well covered. I would strongly suggest utilizing a USB hub or investing in bluetooth hardware, as I cannot imagine being restrained to one little USB-A, but it is still an impressive array of connections for such a slim device.
One thing that I have always hated about laptops are touch pads. They are frustrating to use, they get in the way, and they just feel awkward to use. Surprisingly, the Razer Book’s touch pad slides very nicely and the buttons offer a subdued and tactile experience, which is kind of weird. It still gets in the way a bit and I’d rather just connect a mouse, but I have never had a positive experience with a touch pad before. Overall, a weird thing to have to think about.
Now, the Razer Book 13 does come in which an Intel Iris Xe Graphics card, a speedy i7 processor and 16 GB RAM, but I wouldn’t suggest anyone spend too much time trying to play more modern games. You’ll be fine with some older games here and there, but as you creep closer and closer to newer titles the more you’ll be grappling with video driver complaints and performance issues rendering things a horrible mess, and no one needs that sort of frustration. The Razer Book 13 does fully support external graphics via the Razer Core X should you want more graphics power — an external GPU enclosure, that connects to the laptop via USB-C — but that is an additional purchase, and one that will tether you to your desk for anytime you want to enlist that level of power.
Apart from that, my complaints around the Razer Book 13 really are pretty minimal, and the thing isn’t designed with gaming in mind anyway. The base and mid range models are limited to a 256 Gb SSD, which feels tiny in modern computing, making external storage a must and further demanding an additional USB port, and the price feels a bit high when all things are considered. However, at the end of the day, what you have is a surprisingly solid computer in an attractive, compact design by a well regarded manufacturer, plus some neat-o colourful buttons.