Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Product Listing

Razer Blade Stealth 13 (Late 2019) review: This is what a gaming ultrabook looks like

By Koh Wanzi - 6 Dec 2019
Launch SRP: S$2899

Productivity & gaming performance

Test setup and performance

Here's a full list of the notebooks we're looking at:

  • Razer Blade Stealth 13 (GTX FHD Model)
  • Aftershock Forge 15
  • Aftershock Forge 15 Pro
  • Razer Blade 15

The Blade Stealth 13 will mainly be compared against the Aftershock Forge 15, which has an Intel Core i7-9750H processor and GeForce GTX 1650. It should give you an idea of the performance trade-offs if you opt for the smaller Razer laptop and its 15W Ice Lake CPU, as opposed to picking a more powerful processor and a GeForce GTX 1650 Max-P. The other two laptops are equipped with a GeForce RTX 2060 and GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, so you get an idea of how the Blade Stealth 13 stacks up against two of the more popular mobile GPU options on the market.

Test notebooks compared
  Razer Blade Stealth 13 (GeForce GTX 1650) Aftershock Forge 15 Aftershock Forge 15 Pro Razer Blade 15 (9th Gen)
  Razer Blade Stealth 13 (GeForce GTX 1650) Aftershock Forge 15 Aftershock Forge 15 Pro Razer Blade 15 (9th Gen)
Launch SRP
  • From S$2899.9
  • From S$2080
  • From S$3839
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.30GHz, 8MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
System Memory
  • 16GB LPDDR4 3,773MHz dual-channel onboard memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 120Hz AHVA display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz AHVA display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 240Hz IPS display
Storage
  • 512GB PCIe SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Samsung PM981 PCIe 256GB M.2 SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Intel Wireless-AX 201 (2x2, 160MHz, up to 2.4Gbps)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Intel Wireless-AX200
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • 4 x speakers + smart amp
  • 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x USB-C 3.1 (Gen 2)
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 2.0 port
  • 1x USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Type A)
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.3 over USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
  • 1x Mini Display 1.2 port
  • 1x HDMI 2.0 output port (with HDCP)
  • 1x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone)
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
  • 1x USB 2.0 port
  • 1x USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port
  • 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port (Type A)
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.3 over USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C)
  • 1x Mini Display 1.2 port
  • 1x HDMI 2.0 output port (with HDCP)
  • 1x 2-in-1 Audio Jack (Headphone / Microphone)
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN port
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
Battery Type
  • 53.1 Wh lithium-ion
  • 47Wh
  • 47Wh
  • 80Wh
Dimensions
  • 304.6 x 210 x 15.3mm
  • 361 x 258 x 24.9mm
  • 361 x 258 x 27.9mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.8mm
Weight
  • 1.42kg
  • 2.2 kg
  • 2.2 kg
  • 2.15kg

I ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • AS SSD
  • 3DMark
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

How good is it for work?

PCMark 10 Extended evaluates systems based on workloads that can be categorized into four distinct groups, comprising Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming. This includes tests such as app start-up times, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, and rendering and visualization tasks. Finally, gaming performance is evaluated using the Fire Strike benchmark. 

Unsurprisingly, the Blade Stealth 13 can't really go up against the laptops with more powerful graphics cards, especially since PCMark 10 Extended includes a gaming benchmark. A look at the score breakdown shows the Blade Stealth 13 pulling level in the Essentials benchmark, but it starts to lag in the more demanding test segments. However, it holds its own against the Aftershock Forge 15, so the weaker Ice Lake chip doesn't seem to affect it too much in day-to-day tasks.

Overall, the Blade Stealth 13 was around 31 per cent slower than the bigger Blade 15.

 

What's the storage performance like?

The Blade Stealth 13 uses a Lite-On 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. It puts up a pretty good showing overall, with the exception of the higher queue depth workloads. 

 

How fast is it in games?

Razer's gaming ultrabook actually pushes out frame rates in the playable range in select games at High settings, and I think it's a decent result that could probably be vastly improved by dropping the graphics presets even further. And if you intend to play less demanding esports titles like CS:GO or Overwatch, the laptop should provide a pretty decent experience.

I wasn't able to get the laptop to run 3DMark Fire Strike however, so the numbers for that are missing in the graph. That aside, the Aftershock Forge 15 with the Core i7-9750H and GeForce GTX 1650 was around 10 to 20 per cent faster on average.

That's not an insignificant difference, but it's still not large enough to make opting for the larger and heavier laptop an obvious choice. I think the Blade Stealth 13 offers passable gaming performance for its size and form factor, and it could be quite an interesting choice for someone who wants a super portable gaming machine. 

8.0
  • Design 9
  • Features 8.5
  • Performance 6.5
  • Value 7
  • Mobility 8
The Good
First 13.3-inch laptop with gaming-grade graphics
Excellent build quality and attractive design
Bright and vibrant display
Large, responsive trackpad
The Bad
Mediocre battery life
Non-standard keyboard
No per-key RGB customisations
Pricey