For Razer's first true Ultrabook, the company hit it out of the park. The design, hardware, and performance all put the Razer Book 13 on par with the very best the category has to offer, doing all the right things.
- Gorgeous design
- 11th Gen Intel and EVO certified hardware flies
- Brilliant IGZO display
- Better keyboard
- Better speakers with THX Spatial Audio
- Plenty of ports including Thunderbolt
- More expensive entry level
- No pen support
The Surface Laptop 3 13.5 has an attractive entry-level price but it's also due for a refresh with older Intel CPUs inside. It's a stunning laptop that oozes charm but is equally lacking in some areas.
- Stunning design
- More affordable
- Strong battery life
- Decent audio quality
- 3:2 display with pen support
- Older CPU
- Lesser port selection
- No anti-reflective display
The Razer Book 13 is one of the best Windows laptops you can buy right now, and while the Surface Laptop 3 is a very good laptop with much to desire, it's hard to recommend it right now over Razer's latest and greatest.
Razer Book 13 vs Surface Laptop 3: Tech Specs
|Razer Book 13||Dell XPS 13|
|Processor||28W 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7|
28W 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7
|RAM||8 or 16GB|
|8 or 16GB DDR4|
|Storage||Up to 512GB PCIe M.2 (upgradeable to 2TB)||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD (replaceable)|
Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) Non-Touch
Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) Touch
UHD+ (3840 x 2400) Touch
Gorilla Glass 6
|13.5-inch PixelSense 2256 x 1504, 400 nits (touch and inking)|
|Graphics||Intel Iris Xe||Intel Iris Plus|
|Ports||1x microSD card reader|
1x HDMI 2.0 port
2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) (power, 4 lanes of PCI Express)
1x USB-A 3.2
|Biometrics||Windows Hello (face)||Windows Hello (face)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6 Intel Wireless AX 201 (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)|
|Dimensions||0.60" x 11.6" x 7.8" (15.15mm x 295.6mm x 198mm)||12.1" x 8.8" x .57" (308 mm x 223 mm x 14.5 mm)|
|Weight||2.95 to 3.11lbs (1.34 to 1.4kg)||2.79-2.84 lbs|
The best Ultrabook
For its first attempt at a regular Ultrabook, Razer absolutely nailed it. The Razer Book 13 isn't just good compared to Razer's other laptops; it's arguably the best Ultrabook money can buy right now. And that includes Dell's all-conquering XPS 13.
The Razer Book 13 is a little powerhouse of an Ultrabook, with an 11th Gen 28W Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU and fast LPDDR4X memory, and the internals certainly have an edge over the Surface Laptop 3. The Intel Xe graphics you get on the Razer Book 13 are also an improvement over the old Iris Plus, and while neither are for gaming, Razer edges ahead again.
The Razer Book 13 is also more attractive for folks who need things like an HDMI output or a Thunderbolt connection, neither of which the Surface Laptop 3 has. The battery life is even pretty good.
The Book 13 also has an RGB keyboard, which is fantastic to type on, and superb speakers with THX Spatial Audio. Razer doesn't tend to cut corners, and it's clear to see in the Book 13. It has everything the company would put in its gaming laptops, but without the dedicated graphics.
Surface Laptop 3 lacking in some areas
The Surface Laptop 3 immediately falls behind on hardware thanks to its length of time on the market. While hardly underpowered, it's still using 10th Gen Intel chips compared to the 28W 11th Gen you find in the Razer Book 13.
On the one hand, the Surface Laptop 3 has more affordable options, but on the other, it's still fairly expensive for older hardware. Paired with the lack of ports and the fact that further connectivity is hidden behind the first-party Surface Connect and not Thunderbolt, it becomes even harder to recommend.
If you're already a long-time Surface user, the Surface Laptop 3 is definitely more attractive than to someone coming in fresh. If you have accessories like a Surface Dock, Pen, or Dial already in your arsenal, you're much better equipped to get the best experience. For anyone else, it would be extra spend to get something as simple as an HDMI output, which you already get on the Razer Book 13.
Razer Book 13 the one to beat
If you are considering one of these two laptops then the Razer Book 13 is the one to get. It ticks all the main boxes, you don't have to worry about needing dongles or first-party docks to connect up the rest of your home office and it's an incredible piece of hardware. Sure, there is no pen support, but you do get touch and clamshell laptops are hardly the best to use for inking anyway.
The new best Ultrabook
The Razer Book 13 is a tremendous first-gen Ultrabook that does everything right, especially when it comes to hardware and performance.
Surface Laptop 3 harder to recommend
Unless you're already a longer-term Surface user with accessories in place or you're trying to spend as little as possible, it's harder to recommend the Surface Laptop 3. While the Razer Book 13 is an absolute hit, there are compromises to be made with the Surface Laptop 3, not least that it's a generation behind on its CPU and graphics.
Harder to Recommend
The Surface Laptop 3 13.5 is still a brilliant laptop, but it's a little older and as such falls behind the current top dogs like the Razer Book 13.
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.
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