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What are the best 4K or ultra high definition laptops? If you have a 4K laptop, the images displayed will be much better and you will be able to see the difference yourself.
The images displayed will be clearer and sharper even if you watch movies and TV serials on it.
Most people think that it is the 1080p resolution that makes all the difference in picture quality, which is true no doubt, but with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, the 4K panels are usually much brighter.
It is this difference that makes the images more colorful and beautiful in comparison with the 1080p screens.
Today, there are lots of games developed that support this resolution and this has made the manufacturers of premium laptops come up with their versions of 4K laptops. However, not all of these laptops will be able to deliver the same results and provide you with the best viewing experience possible.
Add to that, the fact that there is a huge selection of 4K laptops in the market may confuse you when you want to find the best one to buy. To make it simple for you, here are a few things that you should know about the 4K laptops and 2-in-1 convertibles.
Right at the outset you must know that a good 4K laptop will help you in both video editing and photo editing jobs, apart from playing some games on it. However, it is also good to keep in mind that even the best 4K laptops usually do not come with the best battery life.
This means that you will need to make some compromises while you choose and consider several factors such as the nits of brightness, the percentage of sRGB covered by the panel, the features of the display, as well as the drawbacks of the laptop itself.
The price of these laptops is also one of the most significant factors to consider because, though these laptops are exemplary in terms of the anti-aliasing effect and pixel density, only a few people can take on the bump in price and buy a laptop with a 4K display.
Such laptops are very popular among avid gamers, 3D modelling experts, professional 4K content creators and editors, and users with an extravagant budget.
If you are one of those and are bored with your full HD laptop and have made up your mind to buy a new one with a UHD or 4K display panel, then this article will surely be helpful for you to make your choice.
There is also a buying guide in the end to help you further in your search.
- 4K or Ultra High Definition Laptops – Price (Top Picks)
- The Sense and Sensibility of 4K Feature on Laptops
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for 4K or Ultra High-Definition Laptops
- 5 Best 4K or Ultra High Definition Laptops:
- Things to Look for Before Buying a 4K or UHD Laptop
4K or Ultra High Definition Laptops – Price (Top Picks)
The Sense and Sensibility of 4K Feature on Laptops
In fact, if you compare the visuals on a 4K or UHD display with the images of a HD display, you will see that the former is beyond comparison with the latter.
Ideally, the visuals on a 4K display will have four times as much resolution which ensures richer, sharper and better image reproduction.
In addition to that, the laptops with 4K displays are considered to be the premium laptops that are fancied by professionals because it offers more intense color reproduction.
However, the sense and sensibility of this feature in a laptop is a matter of debate especially for the given fact that it increases the price of the system, often felt to be unnecessary.
Moreover, the fact that the difference in image quality is pretty hard to point out on a 4K and full HD display of smaller size makes people think that it is not a sensible feature to include at all.
However, 4K laptops are already here and are not going to go anywhere soon. In fact, industry experts believe that the time is not far away when the market will be flooded with only 4K, and even 8K laptops.
Therefore, the time is ripe to know the points that make this a worthy feature and investment.
Quality of the 4K displays on laptops are exceptionally high and it is certainly not limited to just providing an extremely high resolution.
These laptops, being premium devices, also excel in other different areas and factors including, and not limited to color gamut, better contrast ratio, as well as brightness.
These laptops are extremely useful to the professional designers and photographers because it covers as much as 100% of the Adobe RGB color space. This helps them to produce some of the most fascinating images.
These special laptops usually come with a complete package overall. This means that in addition to the UHD display, these laptops also come with top of the line specs and hardware components making it a far more lucrative deal in comparison to the full HD laptops.
It is a fact that most of the standalone professional monitors come with 4K resolution support and therefore a 4K laptop will be of great help and utterly useful allowing you to connect with these professional monitors.
Finally, it comes to the user experience. Ideally, the 4K displays will always offer a much better, smoother, and beautiful viewing experience, irrespective of the fact that the size of the screen is small or large. It is all due to the superior and high bit 4K panels.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for 4K or Ultra High-Definition Laptops
For the basic purposes, you will need a laptop with a 4K and Ultra HD display with at least an Intel Core i5 or a better processor. An Intel i3 may also do but it should belong to the Kaby lake family.
A minimum of 4 GB of RAM, 1 TB of HDD with 7200 rpm or an SSD with 500 MB free space for installation, and a GeForce GTX 980 M or higher graphics card with at least Maxwell or Pascal GPU architecture.
However, the system requirement is fairly high since the 4K and Ultra HD screen will be a battery drainer as well as need a lot of power to operate smoothly without any lags or screen tears.
You will therefore need to have a laptop with a decent set of specs which is more powerful than the minimum system requirements. Compare the two sets of system requirements below and go with the recommended set.
Minimum system requirements: 8th generation Intel Hexa-Core i7 or higher| 16 GB of RAM | 512 GB SSD | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti or better graphics card | 15.6 inches screen | 6 hours of battery life or more
Recommended system requirements: 9th generation Intel Quad Core i7 or higher Intel Core i9 processor| 32 GB of RAM | 1 TB SSD or larger combo storage | Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 or higher | 15.6 inches screen or larger | 8 hours of battery life or more
5 Best 4K or Ultra High Definition Laptops:
1. Alienware M17 R3 – Best Overall
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- Screen: 17.3 inches
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe M.2 SSD
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i9 10980HK
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
- The system comes with a large screen for better viewing.
- There are lots of ports in the system that allow more connectivity.
- The SSD storage is huge and is fast.
- The laptop is heavier, weighing more than 6 pounds.
- The screen is not very vibrant.
- The battery life could have been better.
This laptop is good for gaming as well as for professional work because the features and hardware components of this system is of high class and high in performance.
The 10th generation Intel Core i9 processor operates at 5.3 GHz with the Turbo Boost 2.0 technology to support the powerful GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8 GB GDDR6 graphics. It also helps in displaying these images on the large UHD screen at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
The features of the display include 500 nit brightness, 25ms, Tobii Eye Tracking Display technology, and 100% Adobe RGB color gamut that makes the screen deliver clear and better images.
The operating system of this laptop is Windows 10 Pro which comes with useful features such as the 64-bit architecture. The operation of the operating system is adequately supported by the 8 cores and 16 MB cache of the processor.
The DDR4 memory of the system is adequate enough and its 2666 MHz bandwidth makes it good enough to support the functionality of the system. Add to that, the 2x 512 GB PCIe M.2 SSD storage also enhances the speed of the system.
The Alienware m-series keyboard, the ports, the audio system with four-way woofer/Tweeter stereo speakers, the chassis which is constructed from magnesium alloy comes with an advanced Cryo-Tech cooling technology and hyper-efficient voltage regulation feature makes this system durable and highly useful in all aspects.
The ports, slots, and connectivity options of this system include one DC power-in port, one RJ-45 Killer Ethernet E3100 10/100/1000 Mbps/2.5 Gbps port, two USB 3.1 Type A Gen 1 port, one USB 3.1 Type A Gen 1 port with PowerShare technology, one Alienware Graphics Amplifier port, one HDMI 2.0 b with HDCP 2.2 support output port, one 1.4 Mini-DisplayPort output port, and one 0.125” audio out ports that supports an inline microphone headset.
There is also one wedge-shaped lock slot, one micro SD 5.1 and UHD-II HD312 card reader slot in this system.
2. Dell XPS 9500 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: With a little lower memory, smaller screen and an Intel i7 CPU this is the runner up in this list of 4K or Ultra High-Definition laptops. However, the innovative thermal solution, the better sound effects, the touch support of the screen, and a 62% larger trackpad does not reduce its performance at all.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i7 10750H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
- The trackpad is very large and responsive.
- The advanced thermal design keeps the system cool.
- The speakers with Waves Nx audio technology produce 3D surround sound.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- The laptop is quite heavy, weighing almost 9 pounds.
- There is no numeric keypad in the system.
This new laptop with a UHD screen also comes with a touchscreen feature that adds to both, viewing pleasure as well as easy navigation.
The 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor also makes the system fast and more reliable in processing complex data and information.
The system also comes with a lot of SSD storage that not only provides a huge storage space for your files and videos, but also boots up the system quickly and allows easy access to those stored files in the drive.
The edge to edge display provides a lot of screen space and allows you to enjoy the picture at a better aspect ratio of 16:10. These images look even more better, clearer, sharper with 922k more pixels.
The laptop comes with VESA certified Display HDR 400, 94% DCI-P3 color gamut, 100% Adobe RGB, and Dolby Vision.
All the features and technologies of the display of this laptop enables it to deliver more than 16 million exceptionally vivid colors. This ensures that the images are 40 times brighter.
The display of this laptop is made even better and tougher with the Corning Gorilla Glass 6 which is durable, damage resistant, and makes it look more elegant but does not allow any flex in its display.
Finally, the integrated Eye Safe Display technology will reduce the effects of the harmful blue light.
Apart from the display, the touchpad is also unique and 62% larger. Right from the keyboard to the audio system every element in this laptop is carefully thought of and included in its design. Check out Dell XPS 9500 Laptop Review.
3. Razer Blade RZ09 – Innovative Cooling System
Bottom Line: You can work on this thin and light 4K or Ultra High-Definition laptop all day long as it will not heat up easily even under pressure or extended use due to its innovative cooling system that comes with better fans for more air flow, heat exchangers, vapor chambers and also hot spot reduction feature.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Hexa-Core i7 8750H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
- The trackpad of the system is quite large and is quite responsive.
- The bright and high-resolution screen covers 100% of Adobe RGB color space.
- This thin and light laptop comes with a backlit keyboard for convenient use.
- Palm rejection feature of the trackpad does not work as well as it should.
- The secondary function keys of the keyboard are not illuminated.
- The location of the question mark key is wrong.
This device is made of aluminum instead of plastic which makes it durable, thin and light as well. It comes with a very small bezel that allows maximum viewing space and a backlit keyboard that allows easy and comfortable typing.
The system is ultra-fast and powerful, though it is considered to be the smallest gaming laptop of the world. With a perfect balance of portability and power, this compact laptop comes with a lot of useful features.
The 4K touchscreen is large enough and comes with 100% sRGB or Adobe RGB support. This makes it a perfect laptop for the gamers, professional content creators, and others.
This Ultra High Definition 4K touch screen delivers images at 60 Hz to 144 Hz refresh rate which ensures a seamless viewing experience with its edge-to-edge display with 4.9 mm bezels and proper color calibration.
The system also remains cool enough due to its innovative vapor chamber cooling system that comes with Gaming Mode Power Boost technology.
Using the more advanced Razer Synapse 3 control system of the laptop you will be able to take full control of the device as well as be able to customize the lighting to improve its performance.
Add to that, the large, highly responsive, precise, and clickable glass touchpad will allow you to operate the system with extreme precision.
The good thing about Razer Blade is that it comes with no bloatware. This means that you will get only what you want in the system and no junk and unnecessary software.
You will get an adequate number and types of ports in this laptop to connect it to different external devices and peripherals. It includes an HDMI 2.0 port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, one USB 3.1 port, a mini DisplayPort 1.4, and a Kensington lock on the right side of the laptop.
On the other side of the CNC aluminum chassis you will get a power port, two USB 3.1 ports, and a headphone/microphone combo port. Check out Razer Blade RZ09 Review.
4. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 – Unique Dual Screen Design
Bottom Line: This 4K or Ultra High-Definition laptop will surely draw your attention towards it due to its unique dual screen design. Apart from the fairly large UHD nano edge primary glossy touchscreen, this device comes with a secondary 4K 14-inch matte touchscreen that will optimize multitasking efforts.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Quad Core i7 9750H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
- This laptop is pretty fast in performance.
- Both the primary and the secondary screen of the laptop are quite responsive.
- The keyboard is good and pretty comfortable to type on.
- The laptop is a bit heavy, weighing more than 5 pounds.
- There is no optical drive included in the system.
- The system can be charged only with the 230-watt power adapter and not through USB C.
The 15.6-inch 4K UHD touch screen comes with a Nano Edge bezel that provides better and more viewing space. The innovative Screen Pad adds to the convenience in using the laptop.
This secondary screen pad provides you with an endless number of ways in which you can use this device to optimize its performance as well as your multitasking experience. According to your need, you can split the windows and apps or extend the screen on both displays.
The quad core processor comes with 12 MB cache and can perform at a high speed of 4.5 GHz. This adds to the performance level and power of the Nvidia GeForce graphics card.
The system also comes with a detachable palm rest, an active stylus pen, a fast SSD storage, and a DDR4 memory that operates at 2666 MHz, all of which enhances the level of performance as well as the speed of the laptop.
There is an IR camera built in the system that allows facial recognition and a safer sign in with Windows Hello.
The exclusive ergo-lift design of the keyboard allows comfortable typing with better position.
The system will also stay cool under heavy workload due to the advanced design of the cooling system for optimal performance.
You can expect an enhanced audio performance as well as more comprehensive connectivity options from the laptop that comes with Bluetooth, Gigabit Plus wi-fi 6 of 802.11ax standard, an HDMI port, and USB Type C with Thunderbolt ports. Check out Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 Review.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This is one of the best 4K or Ultra High-Definition laptops in this list that will offer you a fairly high value for money. The DDR4 RAM and the SSD are both fairly large that will ensure a faster boot up which will further enhance the performance of the six cores of the 8th generation Intel i7 processor notably.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB Solid State Drive
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Hexa-Core i7 8850H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti
- The design of this laptop makes it look great and pretty portable.
- The laptop is incredibly fast in performance.
- The keyboard is great for typing.
- The laptop becomes hot quite quickly under heavy workload.
- There are no drivers included in the system design.
- The fingerprint reader and face ID for Windows Hello does not work efficiently.
This 4K UHD laptop comes with HDR support delivering images at 3840 x 2160 pixels. This touchscreen is quite responsive.
The 8th generation Intel Core processor of the system with its 9 MB cache provides adequate support to the graphics card.
The processor operates at a base clock frequency of 2.60 GHz, which is high enough, but if you want more, you can even enhance it up to 4.30 GHz using the unique Intel Turbo Boost technology.
The screen of this laptop comes with an IPS panel, multi-touch ability, anti-reflective and anti-smudge feature allowing you to look at it for long hours without straining your eyes.
It delivers images at 400-nits brightness and the Dolby Vision feature provides 100% Adobe 8+2 color depth in the images.
The DDR4 memory has a bandwidth of 2666 MHz and the Solid-State Drive provides a lot of storage and speed to the performance of the system with its PCIe NVME M.2 OPAL 2.0 feature.
The system operates with no trackpad rattle under pressure and the well-designed keyboard allows easy, fast, and comfortable typing. The keyboard is backlit and comes with an integrated fingerprint reader.
There is also an infrared camera built in the laptop that allows facial recognition through Windows Hello
There are adequate connectivity options for your peripherals and external devices. The system supports Intel 9560 802.11ac as well as Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
Other ports and slots of this laptop include two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports with one of it always on, two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader slot, one HDMI 2.0 port, and an audio/microphone combo jack.
Things to Look for Before Buying a 4K or UHD Laptop
When you shop for laptops with a 4K or UHD display, you should take some time to go through and make a thorough analysis of all the features and specs that you should give special attention to.
In this guide, you will find all those specs which will help you to choose the right 4K laptop for your needs.
However, before you start, you should first understand what exactly a 4K display can offer based on the different use cases. This will help you to understand the suitability of it for you.
The cost of 4K laptops will be much more than standard laptops. Period. The reason behind that is the hardware specs should also be good enough to match with the productivity and efficiency of these high-end displays.
The screen sizes
If the screen size of your laptop is smaller, you will get less of its effect. You will not be able to differentiate the image quality of it from a full HD screen. Therefore, it is ideal to buy a 4K laptop with a 15-inch screen, bigger the better.
Frame rate per second
The 4K laptop must be able to deliver images at a higher frame rate per second. This feature of the display will enable you to make the most out of the graphics card installed in it. Otherwise, the results produced will not be better than a Full HD laptop.
With better frame rates, the system will be more responsive and produce faster results when you play multiplayer games.
Therefore, if you do decide to buy one of the best 4K laptops, pay more attention to the frame rate per second and the input lag, apart from the resolution.
Ideally, the frame rate per second should be high and the refresh rate should be not less than 60 Hz for lowest latency and seamless image reproduction.
The 4K laptops will be very useful for creative work but for that the display should deliver pictures with maximum clarity.
Accuracy is the key in professional creative works such as video and photo editing, graphic design, and more.
A higher level of clarity means you will be able to see the images with all its minute details and in its natural colors.
A 4K display will consume a lot of battery life in comparison to any standard displays. Add to that, if the laptop comes with a high-end graphics card and processor such as an Intel Core i7 or i9, the power consumption will be much more.
For this reason, you should always look for 4K laptops that come with a decent battery life, in excess of 8 or 10 hours.
Processor and graphics card
The performance level of the 4K display will depend on the performance of the hardware components of the system itself.
First, you should focus on the processor. It should be powerful enough and belong to the latest generation.
It must be able to operate at a higher base clock frequency so that it can process the data and produce better results in quick time. Ideally, anything belonging to the 7th generation and i5 family, higher the better, is recommended.
As for the graphics card, which also needs to be powerful, it is not mandatory to have a dedicated one, but it is good to have one of the latest HD graphics card series integrated in the 4K laptop.
If you are on a budget, buy a laptop with low specs but make sure that you can upgrade it later to make the best out of your 4K laptop.
You will probably be watching a lot of movies on your 4K laptop, as most people do, and even play a lot of 4K games, both of which are already available in plenty nowadays.
This means that you will need a lot of internal storage space in your 4K laptop. Though a 512 GB storage is common and fine, looking a bit harder for 1 TB space will be a more prudent move. Look for the upgradability option as well.
Also, make sure that it is an SSD storage because that will ensure faster booting and accessibility, low power consumption, less chances of failure since there are no moving parts inside it, and, most importantly, less generation of heat.
All these will extend the life of the system on the whole.
Finally, the operating system must also be a reliable one installed in your 4K laptop as that will also play an important role in its performance. It should support 4K files.
However, irrespective of the type of operating system you want in your system, you must make sure that it optimizes your configuration of the device.
This will, in turn, ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible and will not slow down your expensive and high-end 4K laptop.
Are the 4K laptops worth buying?
Yes, it is, especially if you are a video editor or a professional gamer. The 4K screens come with higher resolution which makes sense because it automatically translates the pictures into much clearer and sharper images with better graphics output. These images will ensure a more immersive viewing experience than a standard 1080p display.
Why do the 4K laptops come with different screen types?
The 4K screen types can be different even if the resolution remains the same. This is because different companies come with different features such as IPS panels, LED backlit panels, or both. These are for the mid-range 4K laptops. The premium ones may however come with OLED or AMOLED screens that provides the best viewing angles and 100% Adobe sRGB color gamut.
Why are 4K laptops better for gaming?
Usually, most of the 4K laptops are considered to be good for gaming and supports some high-end games. This is because most of these laptops come with a powerful processing power. The powerful graphics cards incorporated in the built make the 4K laptops make it capable to produce images at a low latency HDR mode and a better refresh rate and which are sharper.
Why are 4K laptops with larger screens more popular?
This is because a 4K display of larger size will enable you to make the best use of the potential. A 13-inch 4K laptop with a 4K display is only good for video editing jobs in which the quality of the display is of more importance rather than your personal viewing experience. Therefore, a larger 4K display is important from a visual standpoint because it offers a 178-degrees widescreen viewing angle.