You may have enjoyed streaming your favorite movies and television series on a 1080p screen all this while. But if you have not explored 3840 × 2160 or 4K still, you are missing out. Generally, 4K panels are much brighter and more colorful than typical FHD displays. Top-of-the-rung manufacturers like Dell, Razer, and ASUS now produce several lines of 4K devices, from full-purpose laptops and convertibles to gaming platforms and creation-friendly devices.
Should you buy a 4K laptop?
Ask yourself this: do you value excellent visual output, vibrant colors, and realistic detailing? If yes, 4K can promise you much more than its HD or FHD counterparts. The viewing experience is more vivid and meticulous – two things that matter immensely to gamers and multimedia connoisseurs. Many creative professionals like photographers, architects, video game developers, and content editors also opt for this resolution as they need to see more in the available real estate.
Lately, we are witnessing an upswing in 4K content. Major streaming platforms, YouTubers, and prominent gaming companies are creating content that supports 4K. You stand to miss out on a horde of good stuff if you don’t have a machine that supports this resolution. If you are someone who enjoys staying in tune with the latest trending content, this can be a monumental loss.
While zeroing down on a purchase, you should remember that 4K laptops usually don’t have the best battery life. The most you can expect is 9-10 hours. Some companies like Dell offer quick charging to compensate for the poor backup. While unplugged usage is likely low, many 4K laptops provide portability perks like Thunderbolt 4 connections, light form factors, and fingerprint/face-based security.
It is also wise to consider sound output by going for features like Waves Nx 3D audio, noise reduction, and ergonomic designs that promote improved acoustics.
Best 4K Laptops 2022
We have put together a list of some of the best 4K laptops you will find currently – at least until 8K becomes a thing. Some prioritize performance, while others focus more on flexibility and affordability. Choosing a 4K device is an expensive step; you will be investing at least $1000. It doesn’t make sense to spend so much if high-quality A/V doesn’t matter to you or multimedia endeavors don’t take up much of your day. Check the available connections and customization options – especially for display and storage – before sealing the deal.
Best Overall: Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320
- Dazzling display with high brightness
- Portable and well-connected design
- Efficient cooling
- Quick-charging battery
- Low refresh rate
- Internal storage is a bit low
- Touch function row can take some getting-used-to
Check out the 13.4” Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 for a complete, absorbing 4K experience. This $1,999.00 laptop neatly combines performance (Intel Core i7-1260P, 32GB RAM) with a captivating display (up to 4K+ with optional OLED, 500 nits).
The low refresh rate of 60Hz can be rather a disappointment, as can the internal storage of 512GB. However, Dell pleasantly ups the ante on the connectivity front with Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4 ports. The portability situation is also excellent, thanks to the lightweight chassis of 2.71lbs and 0.60″. The express-charging battery powers up to 80% charge in under an hour. Dell brings an optimized keyboard to the forefront, offering a backlit touch function row and large keycaps.
Sustainable performance is also high on Dell’s list of must-haves. You are unlikely to experience heat-related trouble as the two fans employ better airflow and realize four different modes of operation, depending on the need of the hour.
Best Gaming: Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
Razer lives up to its legacy of par-brilliant gameplay machines with the Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop. This $3,999.99 device runs on an Intel 14-Core i9 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics. This machine is power-packed with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD to ensure you can play the latest AAA titles. Vapor chamber cooling does a neat job of maintaining optimal performance.
A glorious 4K UHD display with a rapid refresh rate of 144Hz guarantees an absorbing time in the arena. The display front offers plentiful options for customization. You can opt for a refresh rate of 360Hz – think about the edge that can give you during transitions and games that depend on split-second decisions (hint: most of them!). Or, you can go with a 240Hz QHD display. It needs to be said: The 4K monitor is vivid enough for most endeavors.
Razer has equipped this behemoth with a Thunderbolt 4 connection.
Best Budget: ASUS VivoBook 16X Laptop
Anyone looking to acquire a 4K device on a budget will love the ASUS VivoBook 16X laptop at $1,199.99. In a lightweight, stylish chassis, it packs a stellar 4K OLED monitor with 550 nits of brightness and a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. It also boasts a lightning-fast 0.2ms response time and Vesa Certified HDR. The slim bezels let you dive into the proceedings on-screen with low ambient interference.
This ASUS machine gets powered by an efficient Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. The purchase comes with a one-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – a bonus for creators and other professionals.
Working on this VivoBook is comfortable, thanks to the ergonomic, backlit keyboard. True to the essence of a VivoBook, this device is ultra-portable at 3.70lbs and 0.78”. It also adheres to the MIL-STD 810H military-grade construction, which means you can rest assured while traveling. We love AI noise-canceling for creating a low-noise environment during voice/video calls.
Best Performance: Dell XPS 15 9520 Laptop
Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H (24MB Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 14 cores) | Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050, 4GB GDDR6 | Display: 15.6", FHD+ 1920x1200, 60Hz, Non-Touch, Anti-Glare, 500 nit, InfinityEdge | Memory: 16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR5, 4800 MHz, dual-channel | Hard Drive: 512 GB, M.2, PCIe NVMe, SSD | Weight: 4.22 lbs. (1.92 kg)
- Excellent performance
- Multiple display options, including
- Portable and secure
- Average battery backup
- Heavier than some competitors
Performance and Dell frequently go together, and the Dell XPS 15 9520 laptop is no exception. This $2,399.00 device is a haven for multimedia professionals. The XPS edition brings special features like free studio drivers, Waves Nx 3D Audio, and a full SD card slot. An Intel Core i7-12700H fuels this machine, supported by NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage.
The UHD+ display is a treat, providing 500 nits of brightness and a 92.9% screen-to-body ratio. You can opt for 100% Adobe RGB to make colors scintillating. The screen also uses the Eyesafe technology to lower blue light emissions.
Dell has designed this laptop to suit travel-oriented lifestyles. Two Thunderbolt 4 connections, Killer Wi-Fi 6, and four performance modes speak for themselves. Also, the chassis is light and thin at 4.06lbs and 0.73″. Facial recognition and a fingerprint reader keep your work secure as you go about your day.
Battery backup can be lower than you expect. You can get up to 13 hours on the FHD+ model, but the 4K+ model lasts for around nine.
For Creators: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 Laptop
- Brilliant performance for creative tasks
- Secondary touchscreen for multitasking
- User-friendly, ergonomic design
- Heavy build
- Cooling can be somewhat noisy
Here is the perfect offering for creative professionals like artists and A/V editors: the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 laptop. This beauty of a machine offers an OLED 4K touch screen with an active pen and a detachable palm rest. It excels on the performance front with an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics.
The secondary 14” 4K screen ups your productivity significantly by simplifying multitasking. It is pricey at $2,999.99, but ASUS does make it worth your while. You even get a three-month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud – a blessing for creators!
ZrenBooks have always liked to keep things flexible. This one uses an ergonomic lift design to better your overall work experience. It also bodes well for audio output and heat management. Facial recognition via Windows Hello can help you access things safely and quickly when you work on the run.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 is your best friend if you want an all-rounder 4K machine for work and play, supporting Wi-Fi 6 and customized performance modes. Go for the Dell XPS 15 9520 if you need a performance upswing for memory-hoarding pursuits.
The Razer Blade 15 is a fine choice for gamers, amalgamating high refresh rates, optimized cooling, and plenty of muscle. Finally, an ASUS VivoBook or ZenBook are excellent choices if you heavily depend on portability. ASUS has designed them to adapt to the user’s demands, and they dish out attractive bonuses like free cloud subscriptions and detachable parts. A VivoBook is also a good choice if you seek a budget-friendly 4K laptop.
Ultimately, picking a 4K laptop is likely to be a satisfying task for anyone who cares about aesthetics and engaging visuals. The difference from HD/FHD to 4K can be phenomenal – more so if you are a gamer or watch scores of movies with advanced visual elements. A 4K computer is almost mandatory for anyone who works with visuals professionally or on campus. You need to see the detail to create compelling content, and 4K – and eventually 8K – lets you push the envelope.