Razer Blade Stealth 13 2020 gaming laptop review: An excellent Ultrabook

share to other networks share to twitter share to facebook

Now that we're all spending a lot of time at home, plenty of people are probably considering whether or not to buy a decent gaming laptop that can also function as a work device. And, as it goes, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 2020 edition feels tailor-made for that audience.

The Stealth 13 is what Razer calls an 'Ultrabook': it's a reasonably powerful gaming laptop that won't take up too much space at home, and it's also a properly portable product that will still be useful when the world does open up again. It's promising a lot, but can it deliver on that potential?

MORE INFO:

Check out the Stealth 13 on Razer's

Advertisement

British site

or

American site

.

When a review unit of the Stealth 13 showed up in the post, there was a frisson of excitement in the air, and that's not

just

because I've spent a lot of time on a knackered old Macbook Air from 2014 in recent months. What you're about to read are the impressions made while the Stealth 13 bedded itself into my home for a couple of weeks, and I also took it on a couple of socially-distanced outings too. Let's get cracking, then...

 

Advertisement

Design - Score 97

click to enlarge
+ 3

Even before I've popped the lid open, my first impression is made when I realise just how ridiculously light this laptop is: my kitchen scales tell me that the Stealth 13 weighs in at just 1.413kg, or 3lbs and 1.8 ounces if you prefer the imperial system. It's light enough that most people will be able to slip the Stealth 13 into the backpack or satchel or their choice and carry it around for ages with very little complaint.

And once that lid is popped, the awe just keeps coming. The in-built Chroma keyboard has full RGB colour customisation options, with the Razer Synapse app offering you lots of ways to tinker to your heart's content. The camera and speakers look cool enough without pulling focus, combining with elements like the keyboard, trackpad and screen to make a cohesive whole that looks sleek and sturdy whilst maintaining a sense of minimalism and understatedness. That is to say, you wouldn't look like a weirdo if you pulled this out on the train and started working and/or playing.

the awe just keeps coming

The Razer logo on the rear of the lid and the little fan-ports on the underside of the keyboard sing from the same hymnsheet as the front-facing elements, too - everything here looks slick without being too showy, meaning you could take this bad boy into the office and it wouldn't attract any unwanted attention.

The only thing about the design that does stand out as a bit odd is the rather large black bar between the screen and the keyboard. Presumably, this was needed to make this laptop actually fit together, but this jutting block of darkness does slightly take the edge off an otherwise hard-to-fault design. Only slightly, though.

Advertisement

Performance - Score 90

click to enlarge
+ 3

For a device that's light on the scales and easy on the eye, the Stealth 13 packs a powerful punch in terms of specs: it's got a Quad-Core 10thGen Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor, and the one we reviewed had an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU.

There's also the 512GB SSD and 16GB of RAM to consider, and the 13.3-inch FHD 120Hz Display that came with the version we reviewed. You could, alternatively, choose to have a 4K Touch Display (instead of the 120HZ display in Full HD), if hitting that 4K resolution is more important to you than refresh rates.

Thanks to the affordable wonders of Xbox Game Pass for PC, I was able to download an array of games to test what this machine could really handle - and I wasn't disappointed!

The first game I tried was 

Advertisement

Gears 5

, and I will admit that playing on a tiny keyboard with a trackpad isn't my ideal set-up for a cover-shooter. It was workable, though, and the keys do have a nice feel to them. But before long, I reached for the

Nacon Revolution Pro Controller

that I had lying around. I put the controller into PC mode, plugged it into the laptop, and within seconds I was playing in controller mode and having a much better time.

packs a powerful punch

As I tried more games, the Stealth 13 continued to impress: real-life locations looked stunning in

Microsoft Flight Simulator;

Advertisement

I was so immersed in the 'Dark Presence' that I literally jumped several times during a playthrough of

Alan Wake;

and I felt the need for speed, zipping through open-world environments in

Sunset Overdrive,

which felt fantastically fluid.

At one point, while playing 

Sunset Overdrive, 

I experienced something of a problem: the screen was flashing green during cut-scenes, and it was hard to tell if this was a problem with the game or the laptop. I was aware, after all, the laptop didn't quite hit the recommended specs for the game. However, a quick Google search tells me this is actually a common flaw in the PC port of 

Advertisement

Sunset Overdrive

, with a fix found on

Reddit

, so it doesn't seem like something to worry about with regards to the Stealth 13 itself.

With myself and my partner both working at home right now, the ability to pick up the Stealth 13 with ease and move it around our flat came in very handy. The decent 53.1Wh battery meant that I could get a good couple of hours of full-on gaming out of the Stealth 13 before I needed to get the charger out.

the Stealth 13 continued to impress

This felt like a decent session length, and there were options to reduce the performance if I wanted to make the battery last longer. I do wonder, though: if I wanted to play on a really long train journey without a plug nearby, would the Stealth 13 last the whole duration? That is a lot to ask of any laptop, though, I suppose.

One thing I did notice, trying the laptop in different spots around the flat, is that the fans underneath do sometimes kick out a fair bit of heat if you're on a soft surface like a bed or your lap (as opposed to a nice hard desk, or something properly suitable like a laptop stand). Again, though, most laptops are like that in my experience.

All things considered, the Stealth 13 does exactly what you'd want it to: it's super light and it could play any game I threw at it, and if you wanted to use it as work device as well, there's no doubt that it could handle the requirements of most office jobs. Mainly, though, it is a very handy gaming device to have, especially if your living room - like mine - is sometimes being used as an office/meeting room at the moment.

Price - Score 85

click to enlarge
+ 3

The press notes tell me that the 120Hz version I reviewed has an MSRP of $1799.99 USD, while the 4K version comes in at $1999.99. But with an offer running on the Razer website right now, you can make it a bit cheaper.

Creating the exact Stealth 13 I had (with the 1650 Ti GPU and the 120 Hz display) would cost you £1,719 GBP on the

Advertisement

British site

or $1,599.99 USD on the

American site

. You can click either of those links if you fancy eyeing up a product page and considering making a purchase.

you could probably do a lot worse

There's no denying that, whichever way you look at it, the Stealth 13 is quite a luxury purchase right now. And if you're spending over a grand on a gaming device at the moment, you might hope to receive an RTX ray-tracing graphics card, rather than the older GTX you get in here.

The graphics on the Stealth 13 were fine for me, casually using it around the flat, but some more hardcore players might want to hold out for an RTX version which may launch in future.

However, if you're looking for a light laptop that can run games as well as handling your workplace needs, the Stealth 13 can definitely do that. And if you can afford it, you could probably do a lot worse with your money than ordering one of these.

MORE INFO:

Advertisement

Check out the Stealth 13 on Razer's

British site

or

American site

.

Our Score

Pros

  • Incredibly light
  • Sleek and understated design
  • Great for gaming around the house/on the go
Advertisement

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Doesn't have RTX
  • Does kick out a fair bit of heat sometimes
Advertisement

All in all, we'll be sad to see the Stealth 13 go when a Razer representative picks it up next week and sends it off to the next journo on the list.

In this modern world where you're never quite sure which corner of your home is going to be used as a meeting room at any given moment, a powerful gaming device that you can move around with ease is a really nice addition to the fold.

The Stealth 13 looks great and is properly portable, and it could run every game we tried on it - you can't ask much more from an Ultrabook, even if an RTX version might look a bit more appealing to some (although such a version has not been announced). For me, though, the Stealth 13 did the job wonderfully and I would genuinely think about buying one if I hadn't just splurged all my savings on next-gen console pre-orders!

MORE INFO:

Check out the Stealth 13 on Razer's

British site

or

American site

.