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Is the Razer Book 13 good for gaming?

Razer Book 13 2020 Review
Razer Book 13 2020 Review (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Razer Book 13

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Is the Razer Book 13 good for gaming?

Best answer: On its own, the Razer Book 13 is definitely not for gamers, but with the addition of an eGPU like the Razer Core X, it definitely can be. Alternatively, pick up the Razer Blade Stealth for a true gaming laptop.Top Ultrabook: Razer Book 13 (From $1,200 at Razer)eGPU: Razer Core X (From $300 at Razer)Better gaming: Razer Blade Steath (From $1,800 at Razer)

A Razer laptop not for gamers

The Razer Book 13 is the company's first laptop not targeted at gamers. It takes much of what's great about the Blade line, such as design and high-end hardware, and repositions it for the Ultrabook buyer.

From a gamer's perspective, the big lacking feature is powerful graphics. The 11th Gen Intel Core i7 comes with Intel's latest Xe integrated graphics, but you'll be wanting something more for serious gaming. Older titles, lighter games like League of Legends, and casual games should do fine, but you're going to be pretty limited.

Razer already has a 13-inch laptop for gamers in the Razer Blade Stealth. It's very close when compared to the Razer Book in most cases, such as CPU, storage, RAM, and even the design and construction. But for gaming, it has two key features that set it apart. The first is the NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated graphics, which is remarkable in a 13-inch laptop. It's powerful enough for 1080p gaming and offers much more for gaming than Intel Xe.

The second feature is the 120Hz display option. The display on the Razer Book 13 is superb, and there's also a high-resolution option, but gamers will always appreciate the chance to have higher refresh rates for higher frame rate gaming.

An eGPU can add the power you seek

Razer Core X

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Razer Book 13 is not, itself, designed for gaming. But it has a powerful enough CPU, enough RAM, and fast storage, as well as a Thunderbolt 4 connector. With this, you can connect the internals of the Razer Book 13 to an eGPU packed with a desktop graphics card.

And that means you can game. In fact, it turns your laptop into a full desktop gaming rig.

Razer has its own, the Razer Core X, and there's now even a Mercury version to match the styling of the Razer Book 13. You also have a couple of options when it comes to spec. The basic Razer Core X has a 650W power supply with 100W power delivery to charge the laptop. The Chroma edition increases the power supply to 700W, adds RGB, and perhaps more importantly for desktop use, additional I/O, including USB ports and Ethernet.

The downside is price, as an eGPU and a graphics card to go inside it doesn't come cheap. But the Razer Book at least offers you the flexibility to use one if you so choose.

Razer Book 13 (opens in new tab)

The Razer Book 13 isn't the one to buy if you're into gaming, but thanks to Thunderbolt 4 and an eGPU, you can add that extra power if you so wish.

Razer Core X (opens in new tab)

Hooking up over Thunderbolt 3 or 4 allows you to add the power of a full desktop graphics card to your laptop for some full-on PC gaming.

Razer Blade Stealth (opens in new tab)

An alternative to the Razer Book 13 if you're into gaming is the Razer Blade Steath. It's very similar in many ways but with the bonus of dedicated NVIDIA graphics and a high refresh rate display.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.