Once upon a time, 4K Ultra HD resolution was only available for TV screens. Now you can enjoy an ultra-sharp, vivid display on your laptop . While they offer jaw-dropping displays, 4K laptops aren’t perfect. Battery life isn’t the best, and the camera placement is awkward due to the narrower bezels.
To help you get the best value for money, we’ve created a list of our top picks. Our favorite 4K laptops, like Dell’s XPS 13, feature stunning displays without sacrificing battery life or performance.
Dell Dell XPS 13
The XPS 13 is our favorite full-size laptop, so it’s no surprise that its 4K selection tops our list of favorite 4K laptops. The latest version surpasses anything we’ve seen before, though, moves the camera back to where it should be, has fewer bezels and chassis, and offers some of the best internal hardware you can get in a 13-inch form factor (although there are some other options here).
In our review, we looked at a 4K model with Intel’s 10th Gen 6-core Core i7-10710U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 1tb of solid-state storage, which delivers top-notch performance, but also has a range of options , with fewer hardware choices, but greater value can be achieved. Regardless of which you choose, though, the 4K touchscreen looks great, even in bright offices and outdoors, as it’s only 366 zeroes of brightness. It has good contrast, supports a wide color range (though not as wide as the others on our list), and has better color accuracy than most laptops in its stand.
The only caveat is that 4K screens do have higher battery requirements, so you do have to sacrifice a bit of XPS 13 life to upgrade to 4K.
Dell Dell XPS 15
Larger and more powerful, but slightly less portable than its siblings, the XPS 15 takes the top spot on our list of the best 15-inch laptops, and the 4K configuration is one of our favorites. 1080p is cheaper and has better battery life, but if you want a 4K experience, the XPS 15 is one of the best options.
The latest version no longer suffers from the poor webcam placement on the bottom display bezel, which is a welcome change. With powerful Intel 9th Gen Core i7 and i9 cpus, 32GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 1650 graphics chip, it has solid performance for entry-level gaming and strong performance for creative applications. The optional OLED 4K screen means you’re getting one of the best displays on the market when it comes to inky black contrast, wide and accurate colors and incredible brightness.
While the XPS 15 isn’t quite as slick as some newer XPS laptops, it still looks and works great and is one of our favorite 4K laptops.
HP HP Spectre x360 15
Laptops that convert into tablets, often referred to as 2-in-1s, often miss out on being a great laptop by trying to be a jack of all trades. But that’s not the case with the HP Spectre x360 15, which packs some very powerful hardware into a relatively lightweight chassis for a great laptop that also has some tablet functionality.
The quad-core Intel Core i7-9750H processor pairs perfectly with the built-in Nvidia GTX 1650 to deliver great gaming performance—even at 4K resolution—while the overall system power and fast solid-state storage make everything feel Fast and responsive. It even looks great on the outside, with a unique blue color scheme paired with gold that eschews the tacky label but certainly stands out from the black and silver alternatives.
The display itself looks beautiful, and while it lags some competitors in contrast, its wide color gamut support is top-notch, and its color accuracy is second only to the XPS 15. Like the XPS 15, the latest version also includes the option of a 4K OLED screen to match its speed for great display performance.
The Spectre x360 15 is a bit heavier than we’d like for a tablet, but aside from that little quibble, it’s a great 4K laptop for just about everyone.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2
If style is your last concern, or you want a 4K laptop in a system that doesn’t yell “Look at me,” the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 might be what you need. It packs powerful hardware into a durable, sturdy chassis, eschews the meta-features of modern design, and has a wonderful keyboard.
While the X1 Extreme maintains the rigidity and sturdiness of previous generations, the latest version of the thinkpad is still slimming down, with smoother lines and a body than previous thinkpads. Those fine-tuned bezels help contain a high-contrast 4K panel (IPS and OLED options) that offer high contrast, great color, and great brightness.
It’s slightly behind when it comes to battery life, lasting just under 6 hours on our video loop test, but this machine is more designed for work than play. The latest 2nd-gen version is playable, though, thanks to its powerful 9th-gen array of quad- and six-core Intel CPUs, and an optional Nvidia GTX 1650, allowing it to play esports games at decent frame rates . even at 4k.
Asus Asus ZenBook Pro 15
The ZenBook Pro 15 is the only laptop on this list to technically have two displays, and it’s a one-of-a-kind product with its own quirks and flaws.
While like most other ZenBooks we’ve tested, this one has a very unique design, it introduces a screen pad, which is an LCD touchscreen rather than a traditional touchpad. The keys aren’t great, but we liked the touchpad’s functionality because it supports Windows 10 gestures and can be used for dedicated apps like the calculator and music player. It’s definitely more useful than Apple’s Touch Bar.
The laptop’s 4K screen isn’t the best, with mediocre contrast and a bit of a disappointing color accuracy, but at just 335bps, it’s not bad, and we found it to be good for productivity and viewing photos. Still, if you want a better-looking panel that doesn’t cost too much, there are always new OLED options.
While it falls short in terms of visuals, the ZenBook 15 makes up for what it lacks in raw performance. Our review system used the powerful Intel Core i9-8950HK, which dominated all productivity benchmarks, and it played well, delivering 1080p in Rocket League, Battlefield 1, and Civilization VI playable frame rate.
Razer Razer Blade
Razer makes a few different gaming laptops, some bigger and more powerful than others, but our favorite remains the standard Blade for its mix of features, affordability, and serious gaming power. 4K is the most power-hungry of all options, so Razer isn’t just asking for a higher price, it’s asking for a more powerful graphics chip. The weakest you can pick is the Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q, although the 2080 Max-Q will offer better frame rates and turn on the option of a 4K OLED panel, which is absolutely gorgeous.
Whether you opt for LED or OLED, the Razer Blade is a great gaming machine with all the hardware you need, great aesthetics, solid build quality, and even if you don’t push too hard. Has decent battery life. We lasted over 6 hours in our 1080p video loop test. Don’t expect too long if you’re watching an Ultra HD movie, but it’s still pretty impressive for such a powerful machine.
The Razer Blade isn’t cheap, but it’s the only 4K laptop on this list that can play games like a true gaming laptop, and if you need it to do something more productive between games It also provides all the functions of a working machine.