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Razer Goes Non-Gaming With Book 13, Its First Productivity Notebook

Razer Book 13
(Image credit: Razer)

It’s clear that Razer’s been eyeing the productivity market for a while now. Its productivity peripherals from earlier this summer, including a mouse made in partnership with Humanscale as well as a keyboard and mousepad that look more at home in an office than a gamer lair, served as the company’s first official steps into non-gamer gear. That said, its Razer Blade Stealth lineup has long been gaming-focused mostly in name (and style) only. Now, after getting its feet wet, the company’s following in MSI’s footsteps by cannonballing into the productivity market with the new Razer Book 13. 

Razer Book 13 $1,199Razer Book 13 $1,599Razer Book 13 $1,999
CPUIntel Core i5-1135G7Intel Core i7-1165G7Intel Core i7-1165G7
GPUIntel Iris XeIntel Iris XeIntel Iris Xe
Memory8GB LPDDR4x-4267 MHz16GB LPDDR4x-4267 MHz16GB LPDDR4x-4267 MHz
Storage256GB SSD512GB SSD513GB SSD
Display1920 x 1200, non-touch1920 x 1200, multi-touch3840 x 2400, multi-touch
NetworkingIntel Wi-Fi 6Intel Wi-Fi 6Intel Wi-Fi 6
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x microSD card reader, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x microSD card reader, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1x microSD card reader, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack

The Razer Book 13 is a new white-and-black laptop that looks nothing like what you’d expect from a typical Razer computer. While it does have the same sleek shell as the Blade line, there’s no green accents on the I/O here, nor is there a dedicated GPU. The only features on the Razer Book 13 that immediately scream Razer are the company’s logo on the laptop’s lid and the per-key RGB keyboard. 

Razer Book 13

(Image credit: Razer)

The Razer Book 13 comes with three models, starting from $1,199 and going up to $1,999. The cheapest model has an Intel Core i5-1135G7, while the other two each have a Core i7-1165G7. The cheapest model also only has 8GB of RAM, while the other two have 16GB. The most expensive model has a 512GB SSD, with the other two capping out at 256GB, and each model has a unique screen. The cheapest model packs a 1920 x 1200 non-touch screen,  while the middle model has a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen and the most expensive model features a 4K touchscreen.

All of these models use integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics rather than a discrete GPU. They're also all Intel Evo certified, which means they promise “over 14 hours of battery life on 1080p, instant wake and fast recharging.”

That description leans closer to what one would expect out of Dell or Asus rather than Razer, but there are a few standout details here that link the Razer Book 13 more strongly to its parent company. 

Razer Book 13

(Image credit: Razer)

Most noticeable out of the gate is the per-key RGB keyboard, which has Razer Chroma integration and is compatible with Razer Synapse 3. We usually see RGB reserved for gaming computers, but Razer representatives told us over a phone call that they decided to keep RGB on the Razer Book 13 because they “wanted to make sure we included our Razer DNA into this.” They also suggested that the RGB keyboard could be used for productivity purposes, like making custom lighting for Photoshop hotkeys. 

Razer Book 13

(Image credit: Razer)

The second detail linking the Razer Book 13 to its parent company is the Razer logo on the lid. Rather than redesigning its logo to look less aggressive and thus more at home in an office, as was the case with the HP Omen, Razer’s decided to stick to its guns and keep its logo on its productivity computers. “The Razer three-headed snake logo is Razer,” representatives told us over the phone. “It’s still true to our brand, and we don’t want to shy away from that.”

I’m sure any employers will be very understanding of that during job interviews.

Finally, the Razer Book 13 is also compatible with the Razer Core X external GPU, if you need to boost its productivity or absolutely must game on it. Or, you could just buy a Razer Blade Stealth.

That brings us to our major question about this laptop. In our eyes, Razer’s current Razer Blade Stealth line is already more geared towards productivity than gaming, so the Razer Book 13 looks mostly like an aesthetic change. That’s a worthwhile consideration for a computer you might want to bring around coworkers, but since you can get similar power from the Blade Stealth line for a similar price and also have an internal GPU, does the Book 13 do enough to stand out -- especially since its logo still screams Razer, for good and ill?

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.