The Razer Blade Stealth 13 could be “the world’s first gaming ultrabook,” as the company claims. It features Intel’s brand-new 10th-gen, 10nm Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7 inside, and—wait for it—a GeForce GTX 1650 GPU.
On paper, we’d agree. Most thin-and-light laptops by definition remove any consideration of discrete graphics, because hot GPUs and tight spaces don’t mix well. There’s Huawei’s Matebook X Pro with its GeForce MX150, but that discrete GPU isn’t even formally considered a gaming part by Nvidia. The Razer Blade Stealth 13’s GeForce GTX 1650 is far more capable, but we don’t know just how fast Razer can run it in a laptop this small.
GPUs are even more limited by thermals and power than CPUs. The same GeForce GTX 1650, for example, will perform better in a larger, thicker laptop than a thinner one, as you can see below comparing the slender Dell XPS 15 against a beefy Acer Nitro 5.
Take that same GeForce GTX 1650 and drop it into a 13-inch chassis, and what will you get? We’ll have to wait for reviews to find out, but no matter what, it’s still likely to be far better than the 10-watt GeForce MX150 in the Matebook X Pro.
GPUs are just as limited by thermals and power as a CPU.
Is it really an ultrabook?
We’re not even sure the Razer Blade Stealth 13 can call itself an ultrabook, let alone a gaming one. It measures about 12 inches wide, 8.3 inches deep, and about 0.6 inch thick (15.3mm.) It’s that thickness and the side view that’ll make you question its ultrabook claim.
In the picture below, for example, the body looks like it should be shopping in the husky section of jeans.
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 asks: “Does this GPU make me look fat?”
In reality though, it’s not that thick. In fact, if Razer’s claims of 15.3mm are true, it’s actually about 1mm thinner than an XPS 13 9380’s thickest portion. Look the picture of the XPS 13 9380, below. Even though its rear is actually thicker than the Razer Blade Stealth 13’s, the taper works like vertical stripes on a dress or suit and makes it appear thinner than it is.
The taper of modern ultrabooks make them appear thinner than they are.
At least you get the new parts inside. Besides the 10th-gen, 10nm Ice Lake Core i7-1065G7, you also get that CPU’s new support for LPDDR-X/3733 RAM. Razer correctly offers it with 16GB of RAM, unlike some makers who are dipping as low as 4GB.
Razer will offer three versions. The two GTX models share the same 16GB of LPDDR4X, 512GB PCIe SSD, Core i7-1065G7, WiFi 6, and 53.1-watt-hour battery. The only difference is the display: One offers a 1080p screen, and the other a 4K touch display.
The last model is the Razer Stealth Mercury White. This model will be the entry-level version with a 1080p screen, 16GB of RAM, Core i7-1065G7, and 256GB PCIe SSD. Left out of this model is the GeForce GTX 1650.
For those concerned about graphics performance, Razer is specifying a 25-watt TDP for the Ice Lake CPU, which gives it gaming performance approaching that of a 10-watt GeForce MX150 GPU.
All three feature 4-lane Thunderbolt 3 ports, as well as USB-C and USB-A ports. While all three share the same trackpad, battery capacity, and CPU, there is a weight difference. The CPU-only Blade Stealth 13 will weigh about 2.99 pounds. The step up with the GeForce GTX ups the weight to 3.13 pounds. Add the 4K panel and touch (which requires heavier glass) and the weight goes to 3.26 pounds. Battery life is expected to be best on the model without discrete graphics, and worst on the 4K model. The increased power of the GPUs will also require a bigger power brick with the GeForce models featuring a 100 watt brick, and the CPU-only model featuring just a 65-watt model.
The biggest disappointment to gamers may be the keyboard. While known for its dazzling per-key displays of color, Razer said only single-zone lightning will be used. The company didn’t say why, but the decision on previous models was usually over battery life concerns.
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 claims to be the “world’s first gaming ultrabook.”
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