Home Laptop Reviews Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2020) Review

Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2020) Review

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Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2020) Review

Hey, I’m Matthew Buzzi here with the newest edition of Razer’s smallest laptop. This is the Blade 13 Stealth, which is the partner to the 15-inch Blade and the 17-inch model. So, the idea between the 13-inch Blade used to be that this was their ultra-portable non-gaming notebook.

Razer has started to slowly do away with that idea over the years. They added a GPU option, so do some gaming on the side, if you wanted to go for that configuration. But now it just comes standard. There’s a 1650 TI in this, which is not a slouch in terms of gaming performance, especially at full HD.

It’s perfectly capable, no it’s not a powerhouse. It’s not as good as many 15-inch or bigger laptops. But it can definitely do the job and that puts it in, sort of, a unique place ’cause there really aren’t, I was gonna say many, but really any 13-inch gaming laptops on the market, outside of this.

You have some 14 inch options, but something this small, that’s otherwise just competing with ultra-portables, that can actually do HD gaming at 60 frames, or close, depending what you’re playing, is pretty impressive.

We’ve reviewed a lot of different re-designs of it over the years. Sometimes those include a lot of big, physical overhauls. Sometimes those just include component updates. This year’s model is somewhere in between.

There are some physical changes to this, but the main additions are new features and some component updates. Now, starting with the changes you can see, we’re gonna look at the keyboard, which has a slightly different design layout.

It doesn’t look like anything crazy and it’s not. In fact, the change is to make it a little more standardized. The arrow keys had formerly been full-sized, which on a laptop this size means you have to compromise somewhere.

So what Razer had done in the past is make the Shift key have a half-width and, for me and a lot of people who use normal sized keyboards, when you go to hit the Shift key it would actually be the arrow key instead and you’d miss.

So, Razer has finally just upgraded the Shift key to full size and made the arrow keys smaller because most people don’t use those very often and you can get away with the half-length arrow key but the irregular Shift key was kind of irritating for some users.

So, they’ve addressed that, it’s full-size. It’s otherwise a pretty standard keyboard layout. You have full back-lighting, customizable LED, which is always nice, and they even back lit the function row up here, which didn’t use to be the case on some of the older models.

So, we appreciate that as well. Now, the next change that’s technically physical is actually a little bit harder to notice. The display is 120 hertz which, since the size of the gaming GPU, you can actually make use of.

Not all games are gonna hit that with the GPU that’s in this laptop. But if you’re playing some multiplayer titles, especially if you lower the settings a little bit, you can hit 80, 100, maybe a little bit higher than that, in frames per second which makes use of the 120 hertz screen.

And the second you go over 60 frames, you’re benefiting from the higher refresh screen. So, even if you’re not sitting at that ceiling all the time, it’s a really cool inclusion. And it’s the only one at this size, at 13 inches to include a high refresh display this fast.

Other than that, this laptop is physically the same. It weighs 3.1 pounds, you got a high quality metal build. The ports are even the same, you have USB-A and USB-C on either side. This side has an audio jack and one of these USB-C ports supports Thunderbolt 3.

But otherwise, it’s the same high quality build we’ve come to know, with thin bezels. It’s a really nice looking laptop and it feels great. So with a laptop this thin and light, you obviously want to be able to use it off the charger.

This ran for about 10 hours on our battery rundown test, which is pretty good. It’s not topping any charts but that’s a nice, long battery life. You could throw it in a bag, pick it back out later, you know it’ll still be running.

Not quite all day but a pretty good result. I think the GPU and high refresh screen definitely have an impact on that battery life. So you have to give it a little bit of leeway if you’re going to want those features.

I mentioned the gaming GPU and its pretty solid performance before. What you also get is a 10th Gen Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and a 512 gigabyte SSD. For some games that have really big install sizes, looking at you Call of Duty, that’s a little limiting.

I mean, a 512 gigabyte SSD doesn’t go super far for games anymore, but it’s okay. For a laptop of this size, that’s a pretty acceptable amount. Our configuration is $1799, which is a little pricey, but you gotta remember you’re getting a high-quality, metal, compact laptop that also is a gaming GPU.

So, compared to some of the other competitors, that’s a pretty fair price. There’s only one configuration above this, which just swaps out a 4K display for our 1080p screen. That’s a 4K touchscreen, so if you’re a creative or someone who really, really likes watching media in 4K, that might be a worthwhile option to you.

I probably wouldn’t recommend it at this screen size, 13 inches is pretty small. That’ll only negatively impact your gaming, you definitely won’t be able to game at that resolution. So, the value maybe isn’t there.

But if you’re an enthusiast and you really like 4K, you have the option. Overall, we really like this laptop. There aren’t a lot like it. We were impressed last year when it, kind of, debuted in this current form, and it hasn’t changed too much from that.

There still aren’t really any competitors like it. ASUS has the 14-inch ROG Zephyrus G14, which is a really good value, it’s actually less expensive than this, and it’s a true gaming laptop. It’s a little bigger but, pros and cons to each thing.

Otherwise, this kind of competes with the Dell XPS 13, the MacBook Pro 13-inch, things that you would use as a daily ultra-portable, but it has the advantage of being a gaming machine. Some people want that, some people don’t.

You definitely don’t want to pay extra for it if you don’t do any gaming, but it’s really cool that this exists in a 13-inch form factor. And it’s really well done, not a lot of major drawbacks, good battery life.

I guess it could be longer, not a ton of port options, but it kind of gives you every type of port, so you’re pretty covered across the board. As a result, we give it a 4-star rating and you can check out my full review for details, benchmarks, see how it does in gaming performance, on pcmag.

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