When Razer introduced its 13-inch Stealth laptop in 2016, I didn’t do a review. I was told it wasn’t a gaming machine, strictly a productivity device. The latest Razer Blade Stealth, outfitted with Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1650 mobile graphics, can play PC games capably without taking up too much space. It’s exactly the tiny gaming system I’ve been looking for.
As much as I enjoy PC gaming on my desktop machine in front of a massive monitor, I spend much of my computer time these days typing on tiny surfaces. Due to a medical condition, I spend most of my day working from a hospital bed on a small over-the-bed desk. There is no room for a desktop. There is barely room for action figures, energy drinks, and game controllers...you know, the essentials. My current setup features a full-size laptop on a wobbly arm shared by the monitor I use for my game consoles. It’s a mess.
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is not a mess. It is 12-inch-wide, 9-inch-deep, .6-inch-high black box (it’s also available in Mercury White). It weighs a little over three pounds. Razer likes to photograph the system next to a dime, which makes dimes feel all tall and superior. Good on you, dimes.
This particular black box opens to reveal a gorgeous 13.3-inch 4K touch display, with a pre-installed rainbow wallpaper to show off how bright and vibrant it is (very). The keyboard is very low profile but moderately responsive. The touch pad is a touch pad, fine for surfing the web, shit for gaming, as is the case with all touch pads.
There are ports for game-enhancing accessories on the Razer Blade Stealth 13, like a proper mouse or mechanical keyboard, but not many. There’s a Thunderbolt 3 power port, a USB-C 3.1 port, and a pair of standard USB 3.1 ports. I appreciate having a pair of USB-C size ports to provide power, since every new piece of hardware I get is USB-C these days. If I need to plug in more than two standard USB devices, I can always grab a hub.
The outside of the Razer Blade Stealth is very nice. I prefer it in pink, but the pink model does not have the powerful insides of the new GTX 4K model. Along with the Geforce GTX 1650 graphics, it’s powered by a quad-core 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor with a base speed of 1.3 GHz and turbo speed of 3.9 Ghz. It’s got 16 gigabytes of LPDDR4 3733 MHz dual-channel memory, and a 500GB PCIe M.2 drive for storing things like video games, Photoshop, and downloaded episodes of The Mandalorian. Speaking of Star Wars...
Here I am playing Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order on a $US1,700 ($2,528) laptop sitting lopsided on some junk on my over-the-bed desk. I didn’t clear it a space because I don’t want to get too attached. Still, even lopsided it performs like a small, relatively powerful champ.
I say relatively because this model of the Razer Blade Stealth’s power is modest compared to gaming-dedicated powerhouses like the Razer Blade and Blade Pro. It has a 4K display, but don’t expect smooth gameplay at 4K resolution. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order runs well enough at 1920 x 1080 at the “high” graphics setting, but it’s not maintaining a steady 60 frames-per-second. It nails 60 in an older game like Overwatch. It’s become my favourite way to play World of Warcraft. And I’m certain that it’s capable of handling just about every game I can throw at it in playable normal HD.
The GTX 4K model of the Razer Blade Stealth is not overwhelmingly powerful, which is fine. I did not want it to be a rip-roaring dedicated gaming laptop with fans blowing at full-speed to keep up with the most demanding games at impossible resolutions. I wanted a small, unassuming piece of of hardware that does everything I need to do for my job—surfing the internet, editing photos, making animated GIFs, being a dick on Twitter—and plays video games pretty well. That’s what the latest Razer Blade Stealth does. For my purposes, it’s perfect.
Well, once I paint it pink.