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Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 in review: Mobile gamer with OLED panel

Not only advantages. Razer offers its compact Blade Stealth 13 with an OLED screen in addition to the familiar IPS display. This offers advantages like the extremely fast response times and the great picture, but there are also disadvantages like the PWM flickering as well as the significantly shortened battery life.
Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Brian Burriston (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy), 🇩🇪 🇨🇳 ...

The Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a compact gaming subnotebook in a 13.3-inch format and relies on a combination of Intel's Tiger-Lake U processors and a fast graphics card from Nvidia (GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q). The manufacturer offers two versions, one with a matte Full HD IPS display for 2,000 Euros (~$2,362), which we already tested at the end of last year, and the version with the glossy 1080p OLED touchscreen for 2,250 Euros (~$2,657), which we will take a closer look at today. Since the screens are the only differentiating factor, we will only limit ourselves to the new OLED touchscreen as well as the impact on the battery life in this review. All other info and details about the performance are available in our detailed review of the IPS variant.

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Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 OLED (Blade Stealth Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-1165G7 4 x 2.8 - 4.7 GHz, Tiger Lake UP3
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q - 4096 MB, Memory: 1250 MHz, Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, LPDDR4-4266, Dual-Channel, Onboard
Display
13.30 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, capacitive, ATNA33XC01-0, OLED, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Mainboard
Intel Tiger Lake-UP4 PCH-LP
Storage
Lite-On CA5-8D512, 512 GB 
, 393 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Tiger Lake-U/Y PCH-LP - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 20Gbps, 2 Thunderbolt, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Stereo
Networking
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.1
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15 x 305 x 210 ( = 0.59 x 12.01 x 8.27 in)
Battery
53.1 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p IR
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Quad speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 100W PSU, Razer Synapse, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.472 kg ( = 51.92 oz / 3.25 pounds), Power Supply: 591 g ( = 20.85 oz / 1.3 pounds)
Price
2250 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible competitors in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
83.8 %
09/2021
Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 OLED
i7-1165G7, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
1.5 kg15 mm13.30"1920x1080
85.5 %
10/2020
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1165G7 GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
i7-1165G7, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
1.4 kg15.3 mm13.30"1920x1080
87.8 %
03/2021
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
1.3 kg14.6 mm13.90"3000x2000
85.3 %
05/2021
HP Envy 13-ba1475ng
i7-1165G7, GeForce MX450
1.3 kg17 mm13.30"1920x1080
86.9 %
06/2020
Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5
i7-1065G7, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
1.6 kg23 mm13.50"3000x2000
88 %
05/2021
Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs
1.2 kg14.8 mm13.40"3456x2160

Display - Blade Stealth with OLED touchscreen

We have already reviewed the matte 1080p IPS screen of the Blade Stealth 13 in a previous test. It was by no means a bad panel, but the response times were quite slow, especially for a gaming laptop. The optional OLED touchscreen also offers the Full HD resolution, but relies on a glossy surface due to the additional touchscreen.

As expected, the OLED screen has no problems with slow response times and otherwise impresses with an excellent subjective picture quality. The colors are brilliant, the contrast ratio is extremely high thanks to the perfect black level, and there are no halos due to the technology. However, we can measure the typical OLED PWM flickering at 240 Hz from a brightness of 40% or less, which can lead to problems for sensitive users.

391
cd/m²
393
cd/m²
396
cd/m²
389
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
389
cd/m²
389
cd/m²
390
cd/m²
390
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
ATNA33XC01-0
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 396 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 390.2 cd/m² Minimum: 5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 97 %
Center on Battery: 386 cd/m²
Contrast: 9625:1 (Black: 0.04 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.3 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.5, calibrated: 2.5
ΔE Greyscale 1.3 | 0.64-98 Ø5.7
97.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
100% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
100% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.2
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Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 OLED
ATNA33XC01-0, OLED, 1920x1080, 13.30
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1165G7 GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
Sharp LQ133M1JW46, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.30
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021
TIANMA XM, IPS, 3000x2000, 13.90
HP Envy 13-ba1475ng
CMN139D, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.30
Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5
Panasonic MEI96A2, IPS, 3000x2000, 13.50
Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED
Samsung 134XK01, OLED, 3456x2160, 13.40
Display
-23%
-24%
-22%
-25%
0%
Display P3 Coverage
100
66.01
-34%
64.91
-35%
66.43
-34%
63.54
-36%
99.67
0%
sRGB Coverage
100
97.38
-3%
94.42
-6%
97.61
-2%
95.05
-5%
100
0%
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
97.5
67.05
-31%
66.34
-32%
67.53
-31%
65.65
-33%
97.68
0%
Response Times
-1288%
-835%
2739%
-1286%
23%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
3.6 ?(1.6, 2)
57.6 ?(26, 31.6)
-1500%
37.6 ?(17.6, 20)
-944%
66 ?(30.4, 35.6)
-1733%
57 ?(28, 29)
-1483%
2.2 ?(1.2, 1)
39%
Response Time Black / White *
3.2 ?(2, 1.2)
37.6 ?(20.4, 17.2)
-1075%
26.4 ?(11.6, 14.8)
-725%
28.8 ?(11.6, 17.2)
-800%
38 ?(22, 16)
-1088%
2.2 ?(1, 1.2)
31%
PWM Frequency
240 ?(40)
26040 ?(40)
10750%
240.4 ?(51)
0%
Screen
-99%
-73%
-87%
-68%
-29%
Brightness middle
385
356.8
-7%
502
30%
423
10%
391
2%
384
0%
Brightness
390
336
-14%
474
22%
405
4%
367
-6%
387
-1%
Brightness Distribution
97
88
-9%
89
-8%
83
-14%
86
-11%
97
0%
Black Level *
0.04
0.34
-750%
0.33
-725%
0.23
-475%
0.19
-375%
Contrast
9625
1049
-89%
1521
-84%
1839
-81%
2058
-79%
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
2.3
1.63
29%
1.35
41%
3.2
-39%
3.07
-33%
4.56
-98%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
6.8
5.03
26%
3.67
46%
5.8
15%
4.74
30%
7.27
-7%
Colorchecker dE 2000 calibrated *
2.5
1.08
57%
1.2
52%
1
60%
1.52
39%
4.52
-81%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
1.3
3
-131%
1.7
-31%
4.7
-262%
3.6
-177%
1.5
-15%
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.23 99%
2.24 98%
1.99 111%
2.29 96%
2.26 97%
CCT
6507 100%
6434 101%
6440 101%
6362 102%
6330 103%
6219 105%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
61.1
61.9
61
87.1
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.6
94.3
97.5
95
100
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-470% / -252%
-311% / -171%
877% / 491%
-460% / -233%
-2% / -10%

* ... smaller is better

The brightness of around 390 cd/m² is slightly better than the IPS model. We use the professional CalMAN software for the analysis and the Blade Stealth 13 is already equipped with a corresponding color profile at the factory and a subsequent calibration by the user is not necessary. Some colors show a higher DeltaE-2000 deviation than 3 (compared to the P3 reference), but there is no visible color cast in the grayscale.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Grayscale calibrated
CalMAN Saturation calibrated
CalMAN Saturation calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated
CalMAN ColorChecker calibrated

With our own calibration (X-Rite i1 Pro 2), we can improve the deviations in the grayscale levels slightly, but the color accuracy even gets minimally worse overall. Despite the full P3 coverage, the panel is therefore not optimally suited for editing pictures/videos, although that is certainly not the focus in a gaming laptop.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
3.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 1.2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 3 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (23.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
3.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 1.6 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 2 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (37.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 240 Hz ≤ 40 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 240 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 40 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 240 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 21033 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

The viewing angle stability of the OLED touchscreen is very good, even though slight discoloration occurs depending on the angle, but that is typical for OLED panels. The glossy surface makes outdoor use much more difficult than with the matte IPS panel. Furthermore, the brightness is not high enough to compensate for the reflections. Thus, comfortable use is only possible on cloudy days.

Viewing angle stability
Viewing angle stability
In the sun (with reflection)
In the sun (with reflection)
In the sun (without reflection)
In the sun (without reflection)

Battery life - Significantly less endurance with OLED

Nothing has changed in terms of battery capacity (53.1 Wh), but the OLED touchscreen requires significantly more power than the IPS panel. As with all devices with OLED panels, it also depends on the content; bright content simply requires more power than dark content due to the technology. While the IPS model of the Blade Stealth 13 lasted 9 hours in our Wi-Fi test (at 150 cd/m²), for example, the OLED model now only lasts just under 4.5 hours. At full brightness, it is even only 3.5 hours. This could be a knockout criterion for such a compact notebook, which is also suitable for mobile use.

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2021
i7-1165G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 56 Wh
629 min ∼100% +144%
HP Envy 13-ba1475ng
i7-1165G7, GeForce MX450, 51 Wh
624 min ∼99% +142%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (258 - 1223, n=117, last 2 years)
579 min ∼92% +124%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1165G7 GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
i7-1165G7, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q, 53.1 Wh
541 min ∼86% +110%
Microsoft Surface Book 3 13.5
i7-1065G7, GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, 69 Wh
396 min ∼63% +53%
Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED
i7-1185G7, Iris Xe G7 96EUs, 52 Wh
391 min ∼62% +52%
Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 OLED
i7-1165G7, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q, 53.1 Wh
258 min ∼41%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 93)
4h 18min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 max Brightness (Edge 93)
3h 35min

Pros

+ slim metal case
+ 2x Thunderbolt 4
+ high performance
+ great picture quality and fast response times

Cons

- OLED with PWM flickering
- significantly reduced battery life
- reflective display surface
- RAM is not expandable

Verdict - OLED convinces in gaming, but limits mobility

In review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 OLED. Test device provided by Intel Germany.
In review: Razer Blade Stealth 13 OLED. Test device provided by Intel Germany.

Basically, not much has changed in the Razer Blade Stealth 13, of course, because it is still one of the fastest 13-inch notebooks on the market with the GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q. The only difference between the two available configurations is the display. If you want the OLED touchscreen, you have to pay 250 Euros (~$295) more.

In return, you get the better subjective picture quality with brilliant colors and the extremely high contrast ratio. The response times are also much better; the standard IPS panel still had problems here. The additional touchscreen can also be an advantage depending on the application.

Great picture quality and fast response times: For gaming, the optional OLED screen is great, but it also has a massive impact on the battery life of the compact 13-inch laptop.

However, there are also drawbacks like PWM flickering and the reflective screen surface. Moreover, the Blade Stealth 13 is a very compact and mobile laptop, where the battery life can definitely play an important role. However, the OLED screen requires considerably more power and the runtime is halved in our practical WLAN test. This difference should definitely be considered in the purchase decision.

Price and availability

The Razer Blade Stealth 13 with the OLED touchscreen is available at Cyberport for €2,250 Euro (~$2,657) immediately available; the base model with the matte IPS panel costs 2,000 Euro. ($2,362)

Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 OLED - 09/20/2021 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
89 / 98 → 90%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
88%
Connectivity
63 / 75 → 84%
Weight
69 / 20-75 → 90%
Battery
59%
Display
89%
Games Performance
82 / 78 → 100%
Application Performance
92 / 85 → 100%
Temperature
87%
Noise
83%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
38 / 85 → 45%
Average
76%
84%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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Andreas Osthoff
Editor of the original article: Andreas Osthoff - Managing Editor Business Laptops - 1344 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
I grew up with modern consumer electronics and my first computer was a Commodore C64, which encouraged my interest in building my own systems. I started working as a review editor for Notebookcheck during my dual studies at Siemens. Currently, I am mainly responsible for dealing with business laptops and mobile workstations. It’s a great experience to be able to review the latest devices and technologies and then compare them with each other.
Ninh Duy
Translator: Ninh Duy - Editorial Assistant - 208125 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2008
My main responsibility as an editorial assistant is maintaining the Library section, which aggregates reviews from other publications and channels. In addition, my daily breakfast is Notebookcheck's long list of new content, which I comb through to select the most interesting topics for translation from English to French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch."
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Razer Blade Stealth 13 2021 in review: Mobile gamer with OLED panel
Andreas Osthoff, 2021-09-21 (Update: 2021-09-21)