(Image: © Tom's Hardware)
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is an ultraportable with a discrete GPU, but it’s only good enough for light gaming experiences and isn’t as good at some other laptops in productivity tasks.
- Discrete GPU
- 120Hz Display
- Slick design
- Subpar productivity
- Less than 8 hours battery life
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is an ultrabook that would really rather you think of it as a gaming computer. And to it’s credit, its dedicated GPU, looks, and 120 Hz screen back up that image. But while it’s perfect for older games and light esports titles, our testing shows that it’s still firmly a productivity machine first, although it struggles to lead the pack there.
That’s mostly because this is, at its heart, an incremental improvement over last year’s modellast. The key difference here is that it upgrades the graphics from integrated Intel Iris Plus to a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q. That’s enough for Razer to call this “the world’s first gaming ultrabook.”
The Blade Stealth 13 does try to stand out with its style and high frame rate display, but its size and specs put it in competition with ultraportables like the MSI Prestige 14 rather than the larger Razer Blade gaming machines that it looks like. In most modern games, it simply can’t keep up. It does have its niche, but what matters here is productivity. And although it may try to sidestep this issue with branding, we found that other, cheaper ultraportables beat it on what the category does best.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-1065G7|
|Graphics||Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q|
|Memory||16 GB DDR4|
|Storage||512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD|
|Display||13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080, 120Hz|
|Ports||2x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1x USB Type-C, 1x Thunderbolt 3, 1x 3.5mm combination headphone/microphone jack|
|Power Adapter||100 W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions(WxDxH)||12 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches|
|Price (as configured)||$1,499.99|
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 takes the minimalistic looks of Razer’s line of gaming laptops and crunches them down into a 13 inch ultrabook. At almost exact ruler length, it’s pretty cute to see a form factor that I’m most accustomed to seeing on beefy RTX rigs shrunk down to something I can do curls with. But it also works well – the small size really emphasizes the unintrusive look of the Blade design.
That design gives you a matte black shell with a sleek, professional appearance that almost feels like a jumbo business card. The only decorations here are the green USB ports and the glossy Razer logo on the lid, while everything else about this laptop’s style prioritizes function and keeping distractions out of the way. That means all of the Blade Stealth 13’s fans keep to the bottom of the laptop as well as on the part of the hinge that faces away from you. Opening the lid reveals the touchpad, chiclet style keyboard and upward-firing speakers, with no distracting branding or ornate design work to be found.
Overall, it’s an effective look, with my only major gripe being that the Blade Stealth 13 is somehow still a fingerprint magnet despite having a matte surface.
I could, however, do with more ports. The Blade Stealth 13 is almost symmetrical, with neither side offering too many options. The left side has a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port and a 3.5mm combination microphone and audio port, while the right side has a Thunderbolt 3 port and another USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port. I appreciate the inclusion of Thunderbolt, and it’s nice that I can plug the charger into either side of the laptop. But with most of the Blade Stealth 13’s ultraportable contemporaries at least having microSD card readers as well, I can’t help but feel like something’s missing.
Compromises are somewhat understandable when aiming to make a computer this small and lightweight, however. At 12 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches, the Blade Stealth 13 is in the middle ground among other ultraportable rivals, which is impressive given its inclusion of a dedicated graphics card. The MSI Prestige 14, which has the non-Ti version of the same GPU as the Blade Stealth 13, is for instance wider than at 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches. The HP Spectre x360 13 is also longer and thicker than it despite not having a GPU, coming in at 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches, but it has convertible functionality. While the Blade Stealth 13 isn’t quite as small as the GPU-less Dell XPS 13 9300, which is 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches, it still lives up to its name by packing decent graphics power into an ultraportable package.
Unfortunately, that power does mean it is heavier than all of its competition. At 3.1 pounds, it easily weighs more than the MSI Prestige 14’s 2.8 pounds, the Dell XPS 13 9300’s 2.8 pounds and the HP Spectre x360 13’s 2.7 pounds.
Unlike the other Razer Blades, being an ultrabook makes this more of a productivity laptop.
Under the hood, the Blade Stealth 13 packs an Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, as do two of the other computers we tested it against – the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360. The i7-1065G7 is an Ice Lake processor that launched late last year, which makes it a little old but still plenty relevant for the ultrabook category. However, it does leave the Blade Stealth 13 at a disadvantage against one of the few other ultrabooks with a dedicated GPU, the MSI Prestige 14. This machine packs a Comet Lake Intel Core i7-10710U and an Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q. The Blade Stealth 13 has a slightly more powerful GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU, but our numbers show it still struggles to keep up in productivity.