As much as I have been dreading it, there is something that I need to accept. I could put it off further, but that will only make the reality more grim, more disturbing. The writing on the wall is clear: my gaming laptop needs to be replaced. It’s the unfortunate end state of all devices of its kind; living on borrowed time from the day they are created until the ever quickening pace of technology renders them obsolete, destined for a life of older games and word processing. To that end, I have recently spent some quality time with Razer’s newest model of gaming focused, light-weight Ultrabooks, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 in the hopes that it might be the home for all my future digital endeavours.
So, the laptop itself comes in at a little bit beefier than three pounds, certainly not the lightest product of its class on the market, but still extremely light, making my old portable feel closer to a murder weapon than a piece of tech. It’s about the same weight as a MacBook Pro, with similarly scant dimensions, roughly 12 inches (ca. 30 cm) by 8 inches (ca. 20 cm). It’ll fit in whatever backpack or laptop bag you need it too without causing long term back issues down the road. On top of that, the Razer Blade Stealth comes in a sleek, angular, metal black on black case with a subdued Razer symbol on the back, so it’ll look smart where ever you end up indulging in your gaming habit. It’s a nice looking little device that hides some serious power under the hood.
Now, when I first got my hands on this stealthy little blade, I ran a few benchmark tests on the whole shebang and came up a bit disapointed. There are a few different models with different configurations, and the one I was currently looking at was under performing due to its graphics card. Everything else seemed to be pulling its weight pretty amicably, but the internal GeForce GTX 1650 Ti card was cause for concern. I was also a bit concerned that there might be some temperature concerns as I could already feel things getting warm to the touch. Regardless, upon putting the machine through some rigorous and long play sessions on a variety of resource intense games, I found it to perform far better than I was expecting. Throughout my testing I didn’t run into any problems as the result of the hardware and the excess heat wasn’t nearly the issue I was afraid it might have been.
|Label 1||120Hz Model||OLED Model|
|OS||Windows 10||Windows 10|
|Processor||Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7||Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7|
|Display||13.3″ FHD Matte (1920 x 1080)120Hz, 100% sRGB, 4.9mm slim side bezels, individually factory calibrated||13.3″ FHD OLED (1920 x 1080)Touch display, 60Hz, 100% sRGB & DCI-P3, 4.9mm slim side bezels, individually factory calibrated, Gorilla® Glass|
|Graphics||NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti4GB GDDR6 VRAM with Max-Q Design||NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti4GB GDDR6 VRAM with Max-Q Design|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2|
|Memory||16GB LPDDR4x 3733MHzDual-channel onboard memory (Fixed)||16GB LPDDR4x 3733MHzDual-channel onboard memory (Fixed)|
|Keyboard||Keyboard with Razer Chroma™ RGBSingle-zone full key backlighting and anti-ghosting technology||Keyboard with Razer Chroma™ RGBSingle-zone full key backlighting and anti-ghosting technology|
|Touchpad||Glass touchpad (Microsoft Precision)||Glass touchpad (Microsoft Precision)|
|Connectivity||• Wi-Fi 6 – Intel® Wireless-AX 201 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax)• Bluetooth® 5.1 connectivity||• Wi-Fi 6 – Intel® Wireless-AX 201 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax)• Bluetooth® 5.1 connectivity|
|I/O||• 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 (USB-C™), power port• 2x Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1||• 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 (USB-C™), power port• 2x Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1|
|Camera||HD 720p, Windows Hello compliant infrared camera||HD 720p, Windows Hello compliant infrared camera|
|Audio||• Stereo, 4 Speakers + Smart Amp• THX® Spatial Audio• 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port• 4 – Array microphone||• Stereo, 4 Speakers + Smart Amp• THX® Spatial Audio• 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port• 4 – Array microphone|
|Additional Features||• Intel® Platform Trust Technology (Intel® PTT) security embedded• Razer Synapse 3 enabled with programmable keyboard||• Intel® Platform Trust Technology (Intel® PTT) security embedded• Razer Synapse 3 enabled with programmable keyboard|
|Finish||BlackTemper 6 CNC precision milled unibody aluminum chassis, anodized finish, tone-on-tone Razer logo||BlackTemper 6 CNC precision milled unibody aluminum chassis, anodized finish, tone-on-tone Razer logo|
|Approx. Dimensions||• Height: 0.60” / 15.3mm• Width: 11.99” / 304.6 mm• Depth: 8.27” / 210 mm||• Height: 0.60” / 15.3mm• Width: 11.99” / 304.6 mm• Depth: 8.27” / 210 mm|
|Approx. Weight||3.11lbs / 1.41kg||3.26lbs / 1.48kg|
|Power||Compact 100W USB-C power adapter||Compact 100W USB-C power adapter|
Now, as far as the other important internals, the Stealth Blade 13 packs an Intel i7 processor, the 1165G7 or the 1065G7, depending on the model, 16 Gbs of RAM and a decently sized 512 GB SSD. I know that I, personally, would want to supplement that SSD with and external hard drive to kick it up over a TB, but I’m starting to suspect I’m some kind of digital hoarder, so your mileage may vary there. Regardless, 512 Gbs of super fast solid state storage is great for such a small, on the go system, and the CPU can make up for a lot of the aforementioned GPU woes.
The screen itself is lovely to look at, offering a variety of options between the models ranging from full HD to 4K with options for touch and higher refresh rates thrown into the mix as well. A pair of small speakers flank the customizable, chroma keyboard that can really boom when given the appropriate opportunity , despite their small size. The keyboard itself is well optimized, with reduced arrow keys so that they don’t get in the way of your extensive use of the right shift and maintaining its minor footprint. The coloured, programmable backlighting is also a nice touch for all your night time game sessions. To really put the cherry on top, there’s even a nice, large touchpad that slides smoothly and manages to stay out of the way when not in use.
As far as ports go, we’re looking at a pair of USB-A’s and a pair of USB-C’s (One used for charging) plus an audio jack. As USB-C’s become more prevalent I’m always happy to see an extra one on a device. Similarly, I like having two USB-A’s for older peripherals and storage devices, though I still found myself reaching for a USB hub. It is notable that there is no HDMI port to be found, so connecting to an external monitor at home will want some sort of hub. Luckily enough, Razer has just such a device ready to plug right into that extra USB-C port. Incidentally, they also offer a external GPU enclosure so that you can pair with your laptop to keep up with the ever looming threat of obsolescence. Neither of the devices are necessary for the Razer Blade Stealth 13, but are certainly ideas to consider when thinking about the long-term life of this gaming Ultrabook.
If an extremely mobile gaming laptop is something important to you then the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a great option for you. It packs plenty of power into a tight, attractive box. However, if your gaming habit lands you in a more stationary situation, then your $1599.99 – $1999.99 would likely be better put toward something more easily upgradable and last for many years to come.