Razer’s Blade Stealth 13 computers are noteworthy for being some of the thinnest and lightest gaming laptops money can buy. To be completely accurate, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 notebooks aren’t truly gaming laptops; the $1,499 base model relies on integrated graphics that are poorly suited for playing modern games. Dishing out a bit more cash, however, gets you a Razer Blade Stealth 13 with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU for $1,799, which gives it gives it an enormous amount of gaming potential relative to its compact size. But with such a high price and just a mid-range gaming solution, is the Razer Blade Stealth 13 really worth owning?
The newest 2019 version of Razer’s Blade Stealth 13 laptop is externally identical to last year’s model with a sleek black aluminum chassis. Razer etched its company logo on the top of the system to help it stand out, and the notebook comes equipped with an attention-grabbing RGB LED keyboard.
The base model of the 13.3-inch system features a 1080p display with full support for the sRGB color gamut, but there is a more exciting 4K display option available for those that can drop a few thousand dollars on a laptop. As I mentioned in the intro, the base model also lacks a GPU, but Razer made up for this slightly by equipping the system with Intel’s Core i7-1065G7 processor. This is one of the handful of chips that Intel ships with its Iris Plus Graphics. Although Iris Plus Graphics can’t compete with the graphics processors from AMD or Nvidia, they are still some of the fastest integrated graphics available and suitable for playing older games.
Our sister site PCMag tested a Razer Blade Stealth 13 equipped with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 against several competing systems to gauge its performance. This system, as equipped, sells for $1,999.99. The MSI GS65 Stealth and the larger Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model held a decisive advantage in these tests, but we can’t forget that both are bigger, with substantially larger thermal solutions and more powerful GPUs.
If you want to get a rough idea of how the base model Razer Blade Stealth 13 would perform in these tests with its Intel Iris Plus graphics, look closer at the also-tested Dell XPS 13. This system also utilizes the aforementioned Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and Iris Plus graphics, and while I can’t say its performance will be identical to the base model Razer Blade Stealth 13, it should be in the same ballpark.
Kicking things off with Cinebench R15 and Photoshop CC, things look bad for the Razer Blade Stealth 13. It comes in last in both of these tests, even though it’s running the same processor as the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.
In Unigine’s Superposition 1.0 test, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 climbs into third thanks to its capable graphics processor. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, in this case, offers roughly about a third of the Stealth 13’s performance. Clearly, if you want to game, Iris Plus is not enough.
With the help of the Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 GPU, the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is able to run both Far Cry 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider at 1080p without any issues. It doesn’t manage to quite maintain 60fps, but realistically the performance is about what I’d expect from a midrange GPU.
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a difficult system to judge. On the one hand, if you just want a gaming laptop, there are countless better options that deliver significantly better performance at a lower price. At the same time, if you value portability above all else, there are also plenty of high-performance ultrabooks that would also be less expensive. If you really need a system that can do both, your options are relatively limited; the Razer Blade Stealth 13 with its compact gaming power would certainly be one of the better choices.
That said, I still find it hard to recommend the Razer Blade Stealth 13. At $2,000, you could even realistically buy a gaming laptop and a quality ultrabook. Sure, you wouldn’t have one device for everything, but it also gives you some security that if one system goes out unexpectedly you’ll still have the other one. I just don’t see enough here to find the Razer Blade Stealth 13 tempting at its current price point.
- At a Glance: Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Super Twin Fan Review
- At a Glance: Logitech Pro X Review
- At a Glance: ViewSonic VP3481 Review