BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper
Beyond reviews, our team aims to provide you with useful, compelling, and fun how-to guides, gift ideas, and deep dives into trendy products consumers like you love. Here are our latest articles.

The best 4k laptop

What is the best 4K laptop?

Laptops have come a long way over the years, and now they feature screens that offer the same performance as full-sized televisions. This is mainly because of the top-tier 4K screen resolution, which manufacturers have started using instead of HD technology. 4K resolution screens can display crisp graphics in a compact form, so you can notice every tiny detail like never before. 

If you want the best 4K laptop on the market today, you may want to consider the Dell XPS 13 Laptop. The laptop comes with a 13-inch, 4K UHD display screen and several add-on features, such as a Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM and the fastest storage available on the market.

What to know before you buy a 4K laptop

What is 4K?

4K refers to a horizontal display resolution with roughly 4,000 pixels. The standard 4K resolution is roughly 3840 x 2160, replacing the previous horizontal standard of 1080p (1080 x 1920). Since people want crystal clear displays for their television and laptop screens, the only way to achieve that resolution is with a greater pixel density.

What are the different kinds of 4K?

When it comes to televisions and gaming systems, 4K is usually 3840 x 2160 pixels or larger. However, 4K is usually 4096 x 2160 or larger in movie projection. Sony has its trademarked version of 4K called CinemaWide, which is 3840 x 1644 or larger. There are also variations on the 4K standard depending on aspect ratio, color depth, encoding and more. 

Why buy a laptop with 4K?

4K laptops offer unparalleled visual clarity and are the new standard for screen resolutions. A 4K laptop screen allows you to see things with greater depth and detail. They’re ideal for people who work with video, graphics and 3D modeling. If you like gaming on your laptop or want to watch 4K movies and television, a 4K laptop is a worthy investment. Even if it doubles as a business laptop, you’ll be glad you spent the extra money on a versatile, portable laptop.

What to look for in a quality 4K laptop


Keep in mind 4K differs from laptop to laptop. Some manufacturers list a computer as a 4K resolution, but it is only 3.5K. For true 4K resolution, ensure that the laptop has a 3840 x 2160 resolution. Some brands market this resolution as 4K UHD to separate it from its movie counterpart. 

Screen size

4K may be more noticeable with bigger screens, but this will cost more. You can find 4K laptop screens between 13.3 and 21 inches. Regardless of the screen size, the 4K resolution will look much better than any other laptop on the market.

Display technology

The two types of display technology are Organic Light Emitting Diode and in-plane switching. While both types offer 4K resolution, OLED tends to have better contrast and response time. They are often more expensive and can suffer from image burn-in. IPS tends to be slightly brighter. 


Although 4K gives you beautiful visuals, it can also drain your laptop’s battery. Battery life is an important factor if you tend to be on the move and don’t always have an outlet nearby. Make sure you check the battery life of a laptop before making your decision.

Additional specifications

If you plan on doing more than just streaming or web surfing, you’ll also need to consider the video card, processor and storage solutions. For more intense work, like video editing, 3D rendering or professional-level gaming, you’ll need a strong graphics card to show the smallest details. 

How much you can expect to spend on a 4K laptop

Less expensive 4K laptops start at around $800. These have limited features, smaller screens, less storage and a less powerful processor. On the other end of the spectrum, high-end 4K laptops can be as much as $2000. These offer bigger displays, OLED technology and other features. 

4K laptop FAQ

What is considered a 4K resolution?

A. For most consumer products, 4K UHD has 3840 x 2160 resolution. For cinematic productions, 4K is 4096 x 2160 resolution. 

Is 4K expensive?

A. In recent years, 4K technology has become more affordable, and you can find it on many devices, from gaming consoles to televisions. However, the bigger the screen size, the more you pay for the 4K technology. 

Is a 4K laptop worth it?

A. If your work involves doing visual or creative arts, such as editing images or movies, then a 4K laptop is absolutely worth the investment. The same can be said for those who want to experience gaming at its peak fidelity on a portable device. However, if you plan on primarily browsing the internet or playing casual games, you may want to opt for a budget-friendly laptop without 4K resolution.

What’s the best 4K laptop to buy?

Top 4K laptop

Dell XPS 13

What you need to know: The XPS 13 packs a powerful punch for its price point. It features an 11th generation processor, NVMe SSD and an energy-efficient, 4K touchscreen display.

What you’ll love: The XPS 13 has a battery pack that promises over eight hours of streaming, making it perfect for long working sessions. You’ll also appreciate the laptop’s sleek and stylish finish.

What you should consider: If you want to upgrade storage, memory and processor, this will add to your total price.

Where to buy: Sold by Dell

Top 4K laptop for the money

HP Spectre x360 15

What you need to know: In terms of price, features and 4K capabilities, you find much better than the HP Spectre x360.

What you’ll love: You can easily fold the Spectre x360 into a tablet for etching or for watching TV.

What you should consider: This laptop is known for heating up during extensive use. It also has a subpar webcam.

Where to buy: Sold by HP

Worth checking out

Alienware m17 R3 Gaming Laptop

What you need to know: If you want to get top-of-the-line specs for your laptop, the Alienware m17 R3 Gaming Laptop is your best option. 

What you’ll love: This laptop boasts 32GB of RAM, 1 terabyte of HDD storage and 512GB of M.2 SSD storage. It also has the RTX 2080, one of the best mobile graphics cards available today.

What you should consider: The Alienware m17 R3 is one of the most expensive 4K laptops on the market.

Where to buy: Sold by Dell

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Leo Herrera-Lim writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: