If you're buying a premium Windows 10 laptop you have a lot of great choices. Two of the newest to hit the streets are the Surface Book 2 from Microsoft and the refreshed Blade Stealth from Razer with a quad-core processor.
Both are powerful, highly portable and truly desirable. In a battle, though, which one comes out on top? That depends on your personal preferences. But we can help you make a decision.
Surface Book 2 vs. Razer Blade Stealth: Spec comparison
The Surface Book 2 is available in two sizes, with different specs. The Razer Blade Stealth quad-core with either a 12.5-inch touch display at 4K or a 13.5-inch one with QHD+ varying on storage sizes. Rqazer also makes a 14-inch version simply called Razer Blade that is much more powerful. Let's break down the hardware.
|Category||Surface Book 2||Razer Blade Laptops (2017)|
|Display||13.5-inch or 15-inch PixelSense Display||12.5-inch,13.3-inch, or|
14-inch IGZO Screen
16:9 aspect ratio
|Resolution||3000 x 2000|
3840 x 2160 (4K)
|1920 X 1080 (FULL HD), Non-touch|
3200 x 1800 (QHD+), Touch
3840 x 2160 (4K), Touch
|OS||Windows 10||Windows 10|
|CPU||Core i5-7300U (3.2GHz)|
Core i7-8650U (4.2GHz)
|12/13-inch: Core i7-7500U 2.7GHz / 3.5GHz (base/turbo) Dual- Core|
13-inch: Core i7-8550U 1.8GHz / 4.0GHz (base/turbo) Quad-Core
14-inch: Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz / 3.8GHz (base/turbo) Quad-Core
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD||256GB, 512GB, or 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 620|
GTX 1050 (2GB)
GTX 1060 (6GB)
|Intel HD Graphics 620|
GTX 1060 (14-inch)
|Ports||Two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)|
USB Type-C with video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen1) data
Headphone and microphone
Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)
|One Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)|
One HDMI 2.0a
12/13-inch: Two USB 3.0 ports (SuperSpeed)
14-inch: Three USB 3.0 port (SuperSpeed)
Razer Chroma Lighting (Black Models)
|Battery||70WHr (13 inch)|
80WHr (15 inch)
45 W USB-C power adapter
70 WH (14 Inch)
|Weight||Up to 4.20 lbs (1.9 kg)||12/13-inch up to 2.98 lbs (1.33 kg)|
14-inch: Up to 4.3lbs (1.95kg)
|Dimensions||13-inch: 12.3 inches (312 mm) x 9.14 inches (232 mm) x 0.59 to 0.90 inches (15 to 23 mm)|
15-inch: 13.5 inches (343 mm) x 9.87 inches (251 mm) x 0.57 inches to 0.90 inches (15mm to 23 mm)
|12/13-inch 0.52 inches (13.1 mm) x 12.6 in (321 mm) x 8.1 in (206 mm)|
14-inch: 0.70 inches (17.9 mm) x 13.6 in (345 mm) x 9.3 in (235 mm)
|Price||Starts at $1,499 (opens in new tab)||$1,399|
To game or not to game
Razer as a brand targets gamers, and the Blade Stealth is no exception. While it lacks a dedicated GPU, thanks to its Thunderbolt 3 connection you can hook it up to a Razer Core when you get home and turn it into a desktop gaming rig with a full-size graphics card. If you want to run a Blade Stealth with a GTX 1080 Ti, you can. And now that there's a quad-core processor in the laptop you'll get better gaming performance than ever.
Essentially, the Blade Stealth is a laptop you can take out all day to work and get great battery life, then come home and tear it up in Pochinki.
Alternatively, the Surface Book is not a gaming laptop. Its target market is far different: professionals and creatives. The major party piece is that the display detaches from the base, giving you both a premium laptop and a killer Windows 10 tablet with a digital pen. The Surface Book is nothing if not versatile.
While the original model was a little lackluster in terms of graphics power, the new one is anything but. It's nothing spectacular at the lower end, but if you're happy to empty your wallet, the 15-inch model will give you a 6GB GTX 1060 inside. That's not only great for gaming (Razer uses it in its Blade), it'll be plenty powerful enough for VR and Windows Mixed Reality.
Suddenly, the Surface Book can do it all — but only in the larger model, which has a really high price.
Surface Book 2 vs. Razer Blade Stealth: Bottom line
Both of these laptops have an element of versatility. The Surface Book 2 can now give you everything you want for work and play, albeit at a premium. It's finally a laptop that can game and do VR as well as being a Surface with inking and a detachable display.
By contrast the Blade Stealth is still just an Ultrabook. The display is attached at all times, it has no pen, and it also has no dedicated graphics of any kind.
The power of Razer Core
But thanks to the power of Thunderbolt 3 on the Blade Stealth you can spend less on the laptop and get yourself a Razer Core external GPU (eGPU) which will transform it into a high-powered desktop machine when you're at home. For instance, you can use a full NVIDIA GTX 1080Ti with the Razer Blade Stealth for outstanding power, while the Surface Book 2 simply cannot.
The Blade Stealth also has a little edge on price. At $200 more than the base model Surface Book 2 you're getting a quad-core eighth-generation processor, 16GB of RAM and an NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) with twice the storage as the Surface Book 2. The 15-inch models with the GTX 1060 start at $2,499, which is a lot of money, but it about evens out when you take into account the price of a Razer Core and a GTX 1060 graphics card on top of a Blade Stealth.
The main difference between the two: You can have a Surface Book 2 that takes all that graphics power with you, no Razer Blade Stealth has that option. If you're not so interested in the graphics power or the Surface-specifics, like a pen and detachable display, the Blade Stealth is an exciting proposition compared to the cheaper Surface Book 2. You get more than $200 worth of extra hardware inside.
Razer also has the very popular 14-inch Razer Blade with a 4K display (see our review), which has a 45W quad-core processor and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 on board. That's also a beastly laptop that should easily rival the Surface Book 2 at 15-inches and best the 13-inch model as well.
Ultimately, the decision on what to get comes down to how you're going to use it. Surface Book 2 can be that one machine that does it all, and you can take it all with you. The Blade Stealth just leaves some it all at home.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. 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 steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
An odd comparison to me. The Stealth is just an Ultrabook, and as such is comparable to the Surface Laptop or any other similar clamshell. (The Surface Laptop wins for its 3:2 display, keyboard, touchpad, pen, and first-party support, while the Stealth has its lighter weight and size and... the GPU dock (which will be a parlor trick to many). The Blade is the machine that should really be compared to the Book I feel. The same contrasts between the two products apply, but at least they are in roughly the same weight and performance class.
Agreed. Comparing these two doesn't make any sense.
They do belong in same category when it comes to CPU's (both U series instead of HQ as in the Blade). Blade would school the Surface Book in overall performance. The Stealth only schools it when connected to the Core. But in raw CPU power and SSD speeds, it still beats the Surface Book 2.
It's a hard toss up. The Surface Book 2 has a better graphics card so you can actually game on the go, but if you come home and are stationary, the Razer Blade stealth supports and external Graphics amplifier that'll use up to the newest graphics cards. So I'd say if you travel alot stick to the Surface Book 2.
I find both frustrating close to my ideal machine, but neither get there. I've been holding out on my overdue upgrade for a 13 inch touchscreen laptop with 1050+ graphics and TB3. MS were one port away from taking my money. Based on what's out there, I think I'm more likely to now shun both and get an HP spectre with the HP external GPU box, which is cheaper than both these options and lets me put a SSD in the eGPU cage.
Lots of mistakes about a screen resolution of the Surface Book 2 15" during the last several days.
It is 3240x2160, not 3840x2160.
You beat me to it...
Can someone explain to me whether the external gpu may become bottlenecked by the Razer Blade Stealth GPU? I am looking to buy one but haven't much knowledge.
If you already have a Razer Core with a 1070 or 1080, buy the Razer Blade. I have a desktop PC that I use with the Razer Core and travel with (Intel Skull Canyon NUC), so having the Razer Blade would allow me to work on the plane instead of only being able to work when I'm plugged in. I would love to have a surface book, but without thunderbolt, all its gimmicks just don't do it for me as my Surface Pro 3 still works just fine for portable tablet use as well as pen usage scenarios.
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