Razer has announced the early 2020 edition of its Blade Stealth 13. The new model replaces last year’s GTX model and starts at $1,799. It will be available in the second quarter of 2020.
The biggest news is that the new Stealth is the first Ultrabook with a 13.3-inch 120Hz display, compared to the 60Hz displays on prior models. (Razer will also offer a 4K touchscreen model aimed at content creators). A higher refresh screen is ideal for gaming, as it provides smoother visuals while in games. Razer says the new panel will cover 100 percent of the sRGB spectrum.
The late 2019 Blade Stealth was praised by reviewers as the most powerful ultraportable ever made. The device was just 3.13 pounds and 15.3 millimeters thick, and it was powered by a GTX 1650 Max-Q. Fitting such powerful hardware into a thin chassis was a big accomplishment for Razer and finally made the Blade Stealth a capable gaming laptop. Previously, it would have been highly unusual to see anything more powerful than an MX 150 graphics card in an ultraportable machine; the heat output was considered to be too much for such a form factor.
But while the configuration was impressive, and could handle games like Overwatch without a problem, reviewers agreed that it wasn’t quite up to the task of running AAA titles. Engadget tried to run Destiny 2 and called the experience “stuttery.”
This Stealth is even more ambitious, and Razer clearly hopes that it might better suit the needs of serious gamers. It’s even lighter, at 3.11 pounds, and 15.3 millimeters thick once again. But Razer is trying its luck with an even more powerful graphics card: this one’s got a GTX 1650 Ti with Max-Q design and 4GB of GDDR6 memory.
This Stealth uses the same Core i7-1065G7H as its predecessor did, but uses a 25W variant, while the previous used a 15W variant. A higher wattage processor generally leads to higher performance — but also more power consumption and more heat.
“The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is the world’s most powerful Ultrabook and we just made it better,” said Razer senior vice president Brad Wildes in a statement. “The new Razer Blade Stealth 13 introduces the next evolution of ultraportable gaming, providing users the perfect balance between fun and function.”
Finally, I know what you’re probably wondering, and the answer is yes: Razer did fix the Blade’s keyboard, just like it did on the recent Blade 15 refresh. No longer will you have to worry about accidentally tapping the up arrow; Razer has extended the shift key and wedged both directional keys underneath it.
The question, of course, is how this machine will stack up against the AMD-powered Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. The model we tested was $1,449, just a bit heavier, and able to run Red Dead Redemption II just fine on high settings. That’s currently the portable gaming laptop to beat, and the Blade Stealth 13 may be our first look at whether Intel is up to the challenge.