Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2020) Review

The updated Razer Blade Stealth 13 is the best version of an excellent laptop yet. It boasts a compact metal build, a gaming-ready GPU, and a robust feature set as good as any premium ultraportable.

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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.com.

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