The level of detail you experience with a 4K screen on your computer is breathtaking.
While the most popular 4K resolution is UHD or 3840 x 2160, many companies also offer other options.
While zeroing down on a product, it is critical to consider multiple aspects like the screen size, brightness, viewing angles, and, imperatively, performance.
In tune with the taste of the audience, the amount of 4K content has also multiplied. A small screen with high pixel density will give you the best picture quality on Netflix or your design project. It is why the choicest 4K laptops use a 13” to 17” screen size.
- Do you really need a 4K Laptop?
- Buying a 4K Laptop: Considerations
- Our Picks: 10 Best 4K UHD Laptops in 2021
- 1. Dell XPS 15 9510 UHD+ 4K Laptop
- 2. Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (3456 x 2234)
- 3. Dell XPS 13 9310 13-inch 4K Laptop
- 4. Razer Book 13 4K Resolution Laptop
- 5. HP Spectre x360 15t 4K UHD AMOLED Laptop
- 6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 WQUXGA 4K Laptop
- 7. Razer Blade 15 Advanced 4K Gaming Laptop
- 8. Dell XPS 17 17-inch 4K Laptop
- 9. GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KD 4K Gaming Laptop
- 10. MSI Creator 15 UHD OLED Laptop
Do you really need a 4K Laptop?
A standard 4K laptop will cost you at least $1300, making it an expensive investment. You may come across cheaper options, but the chances are that the hardware will be compromised.
It makes sense to splurge if you can truly appreciate the improved detail that the high pixel density will provide. If your day-to-day usage pattern centers on internet browsing and going through text, the enhanced clarity will not mean much to you.
However, if you watch multimedia content or work on creative projects like film editing and photography, a 4K screen can be an absolute delight. For instance, a laptop like the MSI Creator 15 UHD lets you focus with an ultra-thin-bezel display, plenty of connections, and stellar cooling.
If you are a gamer considering a 4K laptop, you may have to do with lowered settings and frame rates. For competitive gamers, a 1080p screen tends to provide better refresh rates.
That said, some laptops like the GIGABYTE AERO 15 can serve perfectly well for committed gamers. It comes with a wide color gamut, a dedicated GPU, and a Pantone validated display for an engaging experience.
Buying a 4K Laptop: Considerations
Here are some vital things to consider when scouting for a 4K device:
- Display features: A 4K screen will not serve you well unless the screen also has a high brightness level. Look for at least 300 nits, although 500 nits and more is a fantastic scenario. It is also wise to ensure that the monitor offers good viewing angles. That way, you will not need to adjust your screen frequently while sitting back and enjoying a film.
- Battery backup: Powering a 4K laptop is a battery-hogging affair, which is why most options in the market offer lower battery capacity than their 1080p counterparts. You will also need to double-check the heat dissipation mechanism to guarantee that overheating issues do not interfere with your user experience.
- Dedicated graphics: Typically, you do not need a dedicated GPU with a 4K laptop if you intend to pursue everyday activities like browsing the internet or streaming multimedia. However, if you wish to work on A/V content and run applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, you require a graphics card.
Our Picks: 10 Best 4K UHD Laptops in 2021
4K makes less sense if you want a screen size less than 14”. There is a limit to what the human eye can decipher, especially as small displays, anyhow, offer sharp imagery.
Here are the ten best picks in the market today, many of them suitable not only for audio-visual activities but also for everyday work and travel. The secondary priorities vary, from battery backup to mobility and security.
1. Dell XPS 15 9510 UHD+ 4K Laptop
If you have the budget, then the Dell XPS 15 9510 UHD+ 4K laptop is an excellent choice at $2,099.99. It is a fast-performing, modern device with an Intel Core i7-11800H processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card.
The gorgeous 4K Ultra HD+ display comes with the finesse of Dolby Vision and a 100% Adobe RGB color gamut. You can also enjoy excellent audio with Waves Nx 3D sound.
While working on multimedia content generation or editing, the immersive screen-to-body ratio of 92.9% and color management (Dell PremierColor) are particularly handy.
Dell has thoughtfully made the display ‘Eyesafe’ – with reduced blue light emissions and an anti-reflective coating of 0.65% to enable you to work outdoors.
The computer comes with a full assortment of ports, including a USB Type-C and a display port. This device, lightweight and sleek at 3.99lbs and 0.71″, also offers a fair amount of unplugged usage. You get over eight hours on the 4K model.
2. Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (3456 x 2234)
When you seek splendid visuals and extreme multimedia performance, a MacBook continues to have an edge.
The 2021 Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (3456 x 2234) will cost you $2,499.00, but what it delivers in exchange is exemplary.
You get a beautiful liquid retina XDR display with brightness up to 1600 nits and a six-speaker system with studio-grade sound.
Performance-wise, you can rejoice in up to 64GB of RAM and up to 8TB of storage. If you need to edit heavy-duty multimedia content like a movie, this kind of power will let you run all your applications. Plus, you can quite literally carry your studio with you.
This MacBook Pro offers unbelievable battery backup of up to 21 hours. It is enough to last a workday and night – right in sync with the needs of the modern professional. It is a slim device at 0.66” and weighs 4.7lbs.
3. Dell XPS 13 9310 13-inch 4K Laptop
For a 13” pick, the Dell XPS 13 9310 13-inch 4K laptop is tremendous.
It comes packed with the classic performance of a Dell XPS product: an Intel Core i7-1195G7, 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage.
The UHD+ display is bright and immersive; you get as much as 500 nits of brightness and a screen-to-body ratio of 91.5%.
A 100% sRGB color gamut is well-suited to display a wide range of content accurately. Not only that, the monitor is anti-reflective and gentle on your eyes due to lowered blue light emissions. It is priced at $1,769.99 but does manage to deliver a good bang for your buck.
A significant advantage of this device is its ultra-portable form factor. At 0.58” and 2.64lbs, it is close to the footprint of an 11” laptop. You also get over eight hours of unplugged usage, which is not bad for a 4K laptop.
4. Razer Book 13 4K Resolution Laptop
Combining speed, portability, and visual glory is the Razer Book 13 4K UHD laptop, a smart option for those scouting for a 4K device. The high-res touchscreen uses thin bezels to keep you engrossed in the proceedings.
It gets fueled by an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. This 13.4″ Razer computer will set you back by $1,799.99.
Razer has built this machine sturdily with a CNC aluminum chassis. A vapor chamber cooling mechanism dissipates heat efficiently to keep you working or playing without interruption.
It also offers superior THX Spatial Audio with 7.1 surround sound to complement games that involve immersive sound effects.
Despite the power and the jazz, this Razer Book is quite mobile at 5.41lbs and over 10 hours of battery life. It employs facial recognition with Windows Hello to provide a trustable security solution for workplaces and gaming dens.
5. HP Spectre x360 15t 4K UHD AMOLED Laptop
HP brings you a nifty way to merge brilliant visuals, dependable performance, good battery life, and all-around connectivity.
The HP Spectre x360 15t 4K UHD AMOLED laptop is a great and affordable offering at $1449.99.
You get plenty of power and speed from the latest Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and up to a 2TB SSD. But let us talk about the 4K UHD AMOLED display.
You get 400 nits of brightness and a screen-to-body ratio of 90%. HP has helpfully included a few color space presets that adapt to your present viewing needs. Bang & Olufsen audio and Thunderbolt 4 ports boost your overall user experience by upping the connectivity and multimedia experience.
With HP, you can expect trustable security solutions. This 4.23lbs laptop provides a privacy switch for the webcam and a fixed mute button for the mic. It also has a long-lasting battery that gives you 10.5 hours of use and charges up to 50% in half an hour.
6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 WQUXGA 4K Laptop
ThinkPads have long been renowned for their stability and suitability for work. The 14.0″ Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 WQUXGA 4K laptop continues the legacy with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU while adding a lovely 4K display for multimedia professionals and audio-visual connoisseurs.
The WQUXGA screen provides a brightness of 400 nits and supports both IPS and anti-glare. The UHD+ panel comes with Dolby Vision so that you can count on enhanced clarity. It has TÜV Rheinland certification, too, for low blue-light emissions.
If you tend to work on the go frequently, you stand to benefit from the super-long battery backup of 16.7 hours. This military-grade device offers rapid charging for when you do eventually run out.
It is a well-connected laptop with optional 4G/5G WWAN, Dolby Voice, and far-field mics. As is typical of a ThinkPad, the security is exemplary. With ThinkShield, biometrics (fingerprint reader), and a privacy panel, your work can remain confidential and safe even when you are in shared environments like cafes.
7. Razer Blade 15 Advanced 4K Gaming Laptop
Gamers can rejoice in yet another spectacular offering from the family: the Razer Blade 15 Advanced 4K gaming laptop.
The 4K OLED monitor is brilliant, but this 4.4lbs laptop also boasts top-notch performance.
Thanks to an Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, you can speed through not only on the arena but also ace your designing or movie projects.
For heat dissipation, Razer uses vapor chamber cooling. It is a quieter but very effective method to keep the innards going strong despite full-throttle gaming.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card is noteworthy for the competitive edge it delivers to pro gamers. For instance, DLSS AI Acceleration improves the frame rates while NVIDIA Reflex optimizes the latency.
Razer has included delightful features like a Chroma RGB keyboard, a UHS-III SD card slot, and THX Spatial Audio. The keyboard supports anti-ghosting, so you are all sorted even when pressing keys in a frenzy.
8. Dell XPS 17 17-inch 4K Laptop
This one is for the ultimate large-screen 4K experience.
The Dell XPS 17 17-inch 4K laptop will cost you a steep $2799.99, so the acquisition makes sense only if you genuinely require incredible power and high-res imagery (read: professional editing, film-making, etc.).
This XPS device has an Intel Core i9-11900H at its core, along with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. That is enough and more power for all kinds of design projects.
The UHD+ monitor has a lot more to it. An anti-reflective coating allows you to work in outdoor settings. An NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card dazzles you with ray tracing and images enhanced by artificial intelligence. The brightness – a tremendous 500 nits – and a 100% Adobe RGB color gamut make everything vivid.
Here is another charming bonus: for a 17” device, it is quite portable at 0.77” and 4.87lbs.
9. GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KD 4K Gaming Laptop
Here is a fabulous option on a budget: the 15.6″ GIGABYTE AERO 15 OLED KD 4K gaming laptop, costing $1,305.00.
This stunner has a beautiful AMOLED display with a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. It is also X-Rite Certified, with each device individually calibrated at the factory.
It is intended as a gaming laptop but will also suit multimedia professionals perfectly. This computer offers Pantone validation for color.
Fortunately, the performance front complements the display well. You can experience the efficiency of an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
This configuration is apt for running multimedia editing applications and AAA games. An NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card delivers to you the spectacle of ray tracing and perfect special effects during gameplay.
On the downside, it is a rather bulky device at 8.58lbs, although the profile remains slim at 0.78”.
10. MSI Creator 15 UHD OLED Laptop
If you have used an MSI laptop before, you will be familiar with the reliability and performance it brings to the table.
The MSI Creator 15 UHD OLED 4K laptop, priced at $1,849.00, is an option worth exploring if you are looking for a UHD OLED 4K display.
This 15.6″ device offers a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut along with an ultra-thin bezel to minimize any external interference.
Thunderbolt 4 connections let you access your designing paraphernalia without eating up the inbuilt memory.
This laptop gets powered by an Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. It houses an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, thereby befitting both gamers and creative professionals.
MSI is committed to keeping things sustainable, employing a powerful “Cooler Boost Trinity+” mechanism to keep things cool amidst intensive tasks.
MSI also gets brownie points for designing a portable laptop: it weighs 5.39lbs and measures 0.78”.
Purchasing a 4K laptop is a big decision. It involves a large sum of money and, if you have not considered things enough, it may not suit your lifestyle or requirements. When compared to an FHD model, 4K tends to deliver poorer battery life and lower portability.
Nonetheless, deciding to bring home a 4K laptop can be jaw-dropping for anyone who appreciates crystal-clear imagery.
Assessing the display in full is an intelligent way to filter through the available 4K options. For example, the Dell XPS 15 9510 gives you low blue light emissions, lots of screen real estate, and Dolby Vision.
It goes a long way in reducing eye strain and letting you complete projects without developing a headache.
Laptops like the 2021 Apple MacBook Pro prioritize performance and unplugged usage, proving that a 4K screen resolution does not equate to being bogged down by operational or sustenance issues.
Some 4K laptops also suit versatile purposes like being a work platform or a travel companion. If you get the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9, you can be comfortable at work because of the full suite of security solutions.
4K computers have ushered in a mini-revolution in how we perceive things and pushed the boundaries of what is possible to visualize on a laptop display. Thanks to 4K, it is a glorious world out there.