The Razer Blade Stealth 13 2019 is An Unimaginably Thin Gaming Ultrabook
Razer has always had an outstanding gaming laptop line. The Razer Blade 2018, for example, was one of the best gaming notebooks you could buy. It had a powerful GPU and CPU combo, a great 15.6-inch screen, and most importantly, an almost impossibly thin profile. It was an incredible mix of internals because of the chassis that it came wrapped in was that of a 14-inch laptop. In fact, some laptops with much less powerful GPUs and a slightly bigger profile tended to heat up when taxed. The Razer Blade had none of these issues.
For the Ultrabook segment, they have the Razer Blade Stealth. But that was straight up not a gaming-oriented device no matter how much they tried to push is it as such. Therefore, when I heard that the company is coming up with a Razer Blade Stealth with a GTX 1650, I was genuinely flabbergasted.
Thin and Light
The new 13.3-inch screen makes it as stealthy as ever. In a coffee shop filled with MacBook Airs and Surface Pros, the Razer Blade Stealth would feel right at home. It doesn’t take up much space on the table, so you’d have room leftover for your coffee.
For a computer that comes with a GTX 1650, the 0.6-inch thickness is nearly impossible to imagine. Sure, some high-end ultraportable notebooks like the Huawei Matebook X Pro come with a discrete MX 250, but the performance in graphics crunching power is nowhere near the GTX 1650. It's important to note, however, that while it still falls within the category of an Ultrabook, it’s quite a bit heavier and thicker than its predecessor. The added GPU component takes its toll here.
Having said that, it's still quite a looker. It’s a got a unibody metal construction in matte black that gives credence to its stealth moniker while giving it a touch of luxury too.
However, its thinness limits some of its capabilities too. For example, instead of individually lit RGB keys, Razer opted for a single colour across the entire keyboard. Although you can still change the colour if you want, you'll just have to settle for just one.
Another concern is cooling. Will the slim design have the proper ventilation? That’s something that we’d have to figure out later when they finally start shipping.
It’s the first Ultrabook-class laptop that has a proper GTX GPU. So right now, it’s the only one in its category - a proper gaming Ultraportable. This lets Razer charge a hefty premium for this device. They’re shipping it at $1,800. But that’s for the FHD equipped with the GTX 1650 GPU. If you want to go 4K, you’d have to fork out $2,000.
There’s a $1,500 ‘mercury white’ version without the GPU, though. What it’s got going for it is the 25W TDP processor with an integrated GPU. If you already loved the previous versions of the Razer Blade Stealth, you’d love this spec update too. If your workflow is more on the processor-heavy side, you should opt for this one. The integrated Iris Plus graphics card that it comes with is also a capable gaming performer even if it is a bit underwhelming compared to the next option.
Those are, admittedly, pretty steep prices but for the performance you’ll be getting, they’re pretty reasonable. It must be noted, however, that the GTX 1650 that it comes with is Max-Q. This means it’s not as powerful as the desktop version. But, whatever the case, it’s the most powerful GPU ever put on a 13-incher. Which 13-inch laptop have you used that can play ultra-settings on Doom at 60 frames per second?
Each model also comes with 16GB of RAM. So, whether you’re a multitasking savant with 52 browser tabs open or you just like playing RAM hungry games, you’re sure to be home free with the Razer Blade Stealth.
As a bonus, all the models would also come with a faster M.2 SSD which makes more efficient use of the Thunderbolt 3 port that it comes with. Data transfers using that port should be a lot faster than the last model because of this upgrade.
To make sure that the processing power can keep up with the graphics power, Razer paired the GTX 1650 with a 10th Generation Intel i7 on all versions available.
Monster Battery Life
When it comes to battery life, discrete GPU-equipped laptops are usually the laggards of the notebook world. For one thing, space constraints because of the added component make a big battery a physical impossibility. Another thing is that the GPU draws extra power when it’s being used so when you’re actually engaging it in a task, you’ll use even more battery power. This makes the unplugged gaming experience, not even worth it to try.
Razer boasts that it can last 10-11 hours per charge if you use it as a regular laptop. Gaming use, however, is still a bit of a mystery. But, knowing how other gaming laptops perform with the same day-to-day activities, I reckon the Razer Blade Stealth could go for at least an hour longer.
The Razer Blade Stealth has always been marketed as a gaming Ultrabook. The previous versions, however, have been limited as a gaming machine by the integrated graphics that they came with. Sure, they were capable of playing games but they weren't capable of playing them well. To do that, you must plug it into some sort of an external GPU via the Thunderbolt 3 port.
This upgraded Razer Blade Stealth is the first in its line to truly embody what they’re marketed for. A true gaming laptop that could play games at max settings with decent frame rates. In fact, it’s probably the first in the Ultrabook category to be able to boast this. It’s now become a truly portable gaming PC that you can take anywhere. Well done, Razer!