Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review 2021

Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review 2021
  • Display
  • CPU / graphics
  • SSD / RAM
  • 13.3 “FHD OLED
  • Core i7-1165G7 / Iris Xe Graphics
  • 512 GB PCIe / 16GB DDR4

Razer made a hell of a strong gaming ultrabook debut last year with the Blade Stealth 13. The ultrabook was able to convince with a fast 120 Hz display, decent performance and high mobility not only as an all-rounder, but also as a gaming notebook. This year the upgrade with Intel Tiger Lake and OLED display option will follow. We looked at the differences.

Pros
  • chic, simple design
  • lots of performance for the form factor
  • very good workmanship
  • extremely light and compact
  • stable aluminum housing
  • pleasant key feedback
  • very large touchpad
  • true-color OLED touch display
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4
  • balanced sound
  • easy to maintain
Cons
  • RGB lighting cannot be controlled by keys
  • no variant with AMD processor available
  • RAM firmly soldered
  • no card reader available
  • relative expensive

Design, workmanship, or input devices: In many respects, the Blade Stealth 13 2021 does not differ from the sovereign appearance of its predecessor from last year. If you are interested in these points, I recommend my detailed review of the Blade Stealth 13 2020 to you. With the 2021 version, you can get the ultrabook with an OLED touch display in addition to Intel Tiger Lake in the form of the Intel Core i7-1165G7. In this comparison, we can find out whether there are any other differences and how much more power the new processor can bring to the road.

Table of Contents

Technical data of Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review 2021

NotebookBlade Stealth 13 (2020)Blade Stealth 13 (2021)
Display13.3 inches, Full HD, IPS
(1,920 × 1,080px)
60 Hz, matt
100% sRGB
13.3 inches, Full HD, IPS
(1,920 × 1,080px)
120 Hz, matt
100% sRGB
13.3 inches, UHD, IPS
(3840 × 2160px)
60 Hz, glossy, touch
100% sRGB
13.3 inches, Full HD, IPS
(1,920 × 1,080px)
120 Hz, matt
100% sRGB
13.3 inches, Full HD, OLED
(1,920 × 1,080px)
60 Hz, glossy, touch
100% DCI-P3
processorIntel Core i7-1065G7
4 cores / 8 threads
1.3 GHz / 3.9 GHz Turbo
25 watts
Intel Core i7-1165G7
4 cores / 8 threads
2.8 GHz / 4.7 GHz turbo
28 watts
Graphics solutionGeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
4 GB GDDR6
random access memory16 GB DDR4
3733 MHz
SSD512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD
ConnectivityIntel Wireless-AX 201
802.11a / b / g / n / ac / ax (WiFi 6)
Bluetooth 5.1
connections2x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen1
1x USB Type-C 3.1 Gen2
1x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
1x combo audio
2x USB Type-A 3.1 Gen1
2x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4)
1x combo audio
battery pack53.1 Wh
100 W USB Type-C power adapter
speakerStereo speakers
particularities720p MP webcam
IR sensor (Windows Hello)
operating systemWindows 10 Home 64 bit
Dimensions (WxHxD)30.5 x 21 x 1.5 cm
Weight (including battery)1.41 kg1.41 kg1.48 kg1.41 kg

The differences in detail

Based on the technical table, you can already guess that the differences are to be found in the details. Specifically, Razer has deleted the two display versions with 60 Hz and Full HD or 4K UHD resolution including touch. The version with OLED touch display and full HD resolution is being introduced as a replacement. With a 13.3 ″ display, a UHD resolution did not make sense in my opinion either. The FHD-IPS display is now only available with a refresh rate of 120 Hz.

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With the new 11th generation Intel processor, there is also an innovation in the connections: Thunderbolt 4 is on board. The two new Type-C ports replace the Type-C 3.1 Gen2 and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Like its predecessor, Thunderbolt 4 offers data rates of up to 40Gb / s, but also supports two external 4K displays or an 8K display and offers DMA protection, i.e. protection against hacker attacks via direct memory access.

No version with AMD CPU

Display variants, processor, connections: the update of the 2021 version of the Razer Blade Stealth 13 does not bring any more innovations. With this, Razer makes the compact ultrabook with gaming qualities even more attractive, but I am missing an adequate variant with the current Ryzen 5000 CPU. The following chapter shows why this is so.

Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review

Intel Core i7-1065G7 vs. Intel Core i7-1165G7

With the Razer Stealth 13, we have the first chance to compare Intel’s tenth generation of notebook CPUs, Ice Lake, with the new eleventh generation, Tiger Lake, under otherwise identical conditions. Both the GTX 1650 Ti and the 16 GB RAM are the same in both gaming ultrabooks, which is why benchmarks can only be attributed to the different CPU performance and possibly marginal graphics driver differences.

Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review 2021

So what about in games? There are actually minimal improvements in average frame rates here. The frame rate in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – averaged over the four tested combinations of resolutions and levels of detail – increases from an average of 46.5 FPS to 51.25 FPS. So this is at least an average percentage increase of a good 10%. In The Division 2, the gains averaged 1 to 2 FPS each. In Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the 2020 model even achieved noticeably higher frame rates at 900p / medium details and 1080p / medium details, but not in the other two graphics settings tested. In the Far Cry 5 benchmark, the model with Intel Tiger Lake sometimes had noticeable spikes and stutters,

Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review
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It can therefore be said that the bottom line is that the gaming performance with the new processor hardly or slightly improves, depending on the title.

It looks a little different from the synthetic benchmarks CineBench and Adobe Photoshop. While the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 ( test ) with the Ryzen 7 4800HS is clearly ahead in CineBench Multicore, the Blade Stealth 13 2021 can at least gain 10% compared to its predecessor in the CB R15 Multicore benchmark. The Blade Stealth 13 can even place itself in front of the ROG Zephyrus G14 in the photo benchmark. With 705 (Intel Core i7-1165G7) to 1701 points (Ryzen 7 4800HS), it becomes clear in CineBench that an AMD processor would have been the better alternative to the Intel CPU, especially when working with creative and multi-core applications.

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Incidentally, the SSD’s performance is also faster than its predecessor and is therefore on a good to very good level overall.

Better temperature, same noise behavior

In addition to the small increase in performance, the new generation also has a slightly better temperature behavior under load. Both in the stress test and during gaming, the CPU’s average temperatures of 62 and 65 ° C are significantly below the level of the predecessor with 77 and 76 ° C. Throttling did not occur in the test. Despite the same cooling system, Tiger Lake brings improvements in terms of temperature behavior.

photo benchmark 1

Unfortunately, the same cooling system also means that nothing has changed in terms of noise development under load. The gaming ultrabook is not loud, but there is a marginally audible whistle. This can be annoying at times, but it can easily be hidden with the help of a gaming headset ( purchase advisor ).

With the predecessor it was possible to gamble in battery mode. This is not the case with most sophisticated gaming notebooks, but it is still the case with the successor to the first gaming ultrabook. Far Cry 5 can be played smoothly in medium details. With CS: GO, however, there is a slight delay creeping in without a wired power supply, which unfortunately makes competitive gaming feel uncomfortable. However, this was already the case with the predecessor.

OLED display for graphic designers and creative people

We come to the second big innovation, the OLED display. Razer has understood that users of the Blade Stealth 13 do not necessarily need 4K resolution on a 13 ″ screen for image or video editing, but also for occasional media consumption. Much more important for accurate work, however, is a display that can display content precisely and realistically. In these disciplines, the new variant with an OLED panel is clearly superior to the previously exclusively available IPS options.

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You get the best black levels and contrasts as well as the highest color coverage and fidelity with an OLED panel. Specifically, the display scores with very good color coverage (96% AdobeRGB), high color fidelity (Delta E 1.56), perfect illumination with a maximum of 4% deviation at the highest brightness, a pinpoint gamma (2.2) and a very high one Contrast. All of this is typical for OLED displays, which are precisely why they are very suitable for professional image and video editing.

Incidentally, the panel is already pretty well-matched ex-works, but the color display becomes a bit more homogeneous after calibration, at the expense of color fidelity (0.92 to 1.56). You can see all values ​​in the screenshots from our measurement with the Spyder 5 X. You can download the calibrated profile here.

Thanks to the high maximum brightness of approx. 450 cd / m² and touch support, the Blade Stealth 13 can also be used on the go without any problems, if you are exposed to a lot of ambient light and there is no space for an external mouse, for example.

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So is the OLED panel generally the better choice? No, gamers should still use the IPS panel with a 120 Hz refresh rate. However, if you want to use the Blade Stealth 13 for work and generally as a mobile all-round solution, you would be better off with the version with an OLED panel, as it is superior to the IPS panel in every respect, apart from the refresh rate.

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Unchanged upgrade options

The Razer Blade Stealth 13 2020 did not necessarily go down in history for extensive upgrade options. Although there were no free slots inside, the SSD, battery and WiFi module can still be exchanged. The RAM, however, was firmly soldered. There are no changes to the successor in this regard, which is neither surprising nor bad. The device is trimmed for maximum mobility and thus the option for unused upgrade space inside is simply not applicable.

you can also Read: Lenovo Chromebook S345 Review

Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021

Conclusion: Razer Blade Stealth 13 Review (2021)

Let’s summarize: The Blade Stealth 13 does many things just as well as its predecessor. In terms of design, workmanship and input devices, everything remains the same and therefore at the highest level. The 11th generation Intel processor is new. The bottom line is that Tiger Lake provides a bit more performance in games and applications, but this is hardly noticeable compared to the predecessor. The new Intel platform provides two fast and universally usable Thunderbolt 4 ports.

While the CPU performance doesn’t make horrific jumps, the tried and tested cooling system can handle the new Intel Core i7 better under load, which is reflected in lower temperatures. In terms of noise development, however, nothing has changed. The notebook remains quiet, but still suffers from a marginal whistling sound under high load.

Razer Blade Stealth 13 display

The biggest change is coming with the OLED touch display. The display variants no longer contain a 4K UHD option, but the OLED panel offers excellent contrast, rich black and very good color coverage. With the Full HD resolution, it still remains at 13.3 ″ with a high point density. This makes the Blade Stealth 13 the perfect work tool for photographers and creatives who work a lot on the go and still want to play a game. Do you have a lot of gaming in everyday life? Then the Razer Blade Stalth 13 with 120 Hz display is the device of your choice.

Despite all the praise, there are still upgrades for the next generation that I would like to see on the plus side. These include two points from which content creators should benefit even more: Current AMD processors and an SD card reader.

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