Razer just can’t quit video games. The Blade Stealth was its exit strategy—or so I thought. Released in 2016, the Stealth was Razer’s debut Ultrabook, and brought the larger Blade’s sleek, MacBook-like aesthetics and build quality to people who just check their email and type up memos, or whatever. I fell in love.

But with each new iteration, Razer’s strayed further and further from the ideals of that initial Stealth. The 2018 Blade Stealth ditched the vaunted $999 price point for a more premium experience. And for 2020? Razer’s billing the latest Stealth as the “first gaming Ultrabook.” With its discrete graphics card and 13-inch, 300Hz display, it’s basically a very small gaming laptop.

Very small.

Razer Blade Stealth Models & Features

There are three Razer Blade Stealth models for 2020. They differ only in terms of the display, not the internals. All three feature the same Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, the same Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

All you need to decide is whether to spring for a high-end display. The base model lists for $1,700 from Amazon and features a standard 13-inch, Full HD (1920×1080) display clocked at 60Hz. Our review unit is the next model up ($1,800 on Amazon), which provides a 120Hz display for smoother gameplay. The top-tier model ($1,999 on Amazon) features a 4K touch panel at 60Hz. There’s not much of a price difference among the three, nor will the average user see much of a difference among the displays.

Honestly, in this case the cheapest option might be your best bet. Both the 4K and 120Hz displays will put a dent in the Blade Stealth’s battery life, and for little reason. The 4K resolution is almost overkill for a display this small. While I love a 120Hz (or higher) monitor for my desktop machine, the GTX 1650 Ti won’t be hitting those frame rates often in-game. It makes day-to-day use feel a bit smoother, but not substantially so. We’ll discuss further, as we received the 120Hz unit for review.

Design

Razer’s knack for miniaturization shouldn’t surprise me by now, and yet it still does. The 2020 Blade Stealth isn’t quite as small as its predecessor, but it’s close, at 11.9 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches. That 0.6-inch height is particularly impressive, just slightly thicker than the 2018 model—except now there’s a dedicated graphics card inside.

Razer Blade Stealth (2020) IDG / Hayden Dingman

It shouldn’t be possible, and yet I hold the proof in my hands as I write this. It’s quite a feat—especially for travel. I struggle to imagine the person who would want a gaming laptop but absolutely can’t stomach the idea of a 14-inch or 15-inch machine. That said, I spent years on the road hauling oversized gaming laptops like so many cinderblocks. The prospect of tossing the Blade Stealth in any old bag and forgetting it’s there is compelling.

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