Compact gaming notebooks may not be easy on the market, as users are demanding a lot of things at the same time. A portable gaming notebook needs to last a long time without a power outlet and should be as compact, lightweight and pretty as possible. A good keyboard and a bright display are a matter of course, as well as acceptable frame rates in our favorite games.
With all these points, it is not surprising that nearly all gaming devices concentrate on one thing and convince them less in other respects. Most battery life and portability are neglected in favor of performance.
The Blazer Stealth 13 by Razer is a surprising exception and convinces us in the test in almost all respects. It can call without exaggeration, the best gaming notebook on the go. Gamblers, who are looking for a working device with a game option, are well served here. Rarely can we say that the investment of at least 2,000 euros is really worthwhile for the test configuration we were asked.
Razer has sent us two different variants of the 13-inch gaming notebook, one with Full HD LCD panel and an otherwise identical model with optional 4K OLED display. Both devices use an Intel Core i7-1065G7 of the current generation Ice Lake, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB NVMe SSD. Gaming performance is also ensured by a dedicated Nvidia GPU – the Geforce GTX 1650 Max-Q.
• At the beginning we look at the slightly modified chassis. Instead of typical gaming accents, Razer relies on a simple design.
• In the second part, the device shows that it is still suitable for playing.
• In our opinion, the OLED panel is not worth the surcharge, but in some cases even a disadvantage, as we note in the third part.
• Finally, let's conclude our conclusion.
Already in the case of Razer has changed some things compared to the slightly older predecessor. The narrower display edges around the 13.3-inch panel also affect a slightly more compact, but through the dedicated GPU also thicker chassis. Instead of 321 x 206 x 13 mm, this now measures 305 x 210 x 15.3 mm. Razer also worked on the design. The typical snake logo no longer lights up and the narrow notches on the lid give way to a completely matt black and flat surface. As a result, the notebook looks more like a working device than a gaming notebook.
The case has become simpler. (Image: Martin Wolf / Golem.de)
However, it is still possible to let the individual LEDs and the keyboard light up in different colors as desired. Here the gaming aspect of the notebook is still visible. We find the simple design suitable – especially if we want to use the device away from games in the office or when traveling. The weight of about 1,400 grams is just okay.
The build quality of the Blade Stealth 13 continues to be excellent. Here nothing wobbles and creaks. Also, the hinge is rigid enough to keep the panel stable. The rough aluminum surface also feels very good again and is reminiscent of its predecessor. However, this also means that fingerprints and dirt on the device quickly show up.
For a 13.3-inch notebook, the Blade Stealth 13 once again has a very good connection variety. We can use a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB Type C connector (3.2 Gen2) and two USB A connectors (3.2 Gen1). By comparison, the Dell XPS 13 (9380), which in many cases is the reference, has one USB Type-C port less. In network operation, however, we can not use one of the USB-C ports without an adapter, because the supplied power supply uses it. We also lack an SD card reader, which is present on most business devices.
Connections on the right (picture: Martin Wolf / Golem.de)
The keyboard and the trackpad can convince again. The flat and large keys of the Stealth 13 have a short shift travel and a soft pressure point. The quick release of the keys can be an advantage in games and makes for a pleasant typing experience. Also surprising: Razer uses full-sized arrow keys, which can be used in games to move the character or to navigate in the source text while programming.
The trackpad has also been enlarged once again by Razer. It reminds of the touchpad of the Macbook Air or the current Surface Laptop 3. When working, we never have the feeling to connect a mouse. We can not say that about some other devices like the Sony Vaio SX14.
Although the Blade Stealth 13 is compact, we can play many games with acceptable frame rates without sacrificing too much graphic detail.