Best 4K laptops Windows Central 2021
Compared to just a few years ago, many more laptops now include a 4K display option, but Dell's XPS 15 is our pick out of the best 4K laptops. Its 4K UHD+ display is gorgeous with its new 16:10 aspect ratio, it has a dedicated GPU for extra power, 11th Gen Intel Core CPU options for outstanding performance, and it's all contained in a slim aluminum chassis that can fit into any setting. You'll get long battery life from the 86Wh battery, altogether making this a laptop you can carry with you everywhere you go.
- Best overall: Dell XPS 15 (9510)
- Best 13-inch: Razer Book 13
- Best 15-inch convertible: Lenovo Yoga 9i 15
- Best gaming: Razer Blade 15
- Best business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) convertible
- Best 14-inch convertible: HP Spectre x360 14
Best overall: Dell XPS 15 (9510)
The XPS 15 has been known for years to have one of the best displays around, and the refreshed 9510 model is no different. The 15.6-inch 4K UHD+ display has a boxier 16:10 aspect ratio with a 3840x2400 resolution, and there's essentially no more bezel, including below the screen. It's equipped with touch, and it has an anti-reflective coating to cut down on glare. It hits 80% AdobeRGB and 76% DCI-P3 color reproduction and manages more than 500 nits brightness for a brilliant picture.
Dell has also added a 3456x2160 (3.5K) OLED display option with touch, anti-reflective coating, and 400 nits brightness. This is a great option if you prefer to have your darks and lights as deep as possible.
The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H processor (CPU) is truly a performer with eight cores, but you can opt for up to a Core i9-11900H CPU with eight cores and a clock speed up to 4.9GHz. Add in a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM, and you have a laptop that can handle some specialized design and editing work.
The slim chassis made up of aluminum and carbon fiber holds onto decent port selection, with two Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2 (Gen 2), an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. A fingerprint reader is built into the power button, and the IR webcam sits above the display for a natural angle and facial recognition. Rounding things out is an enormous 86Wh battery.
- 3.5K OLED and UHD+ touch displays with 16:10 aspect ratio
- Powerful Intel 11th Gen CPU options
- Dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU
- Premium aluminum chassis
- Large 86Wh battery
- Not as versatile as a convertible
- Less expensive options available
Best 13-inch: Razer Book 13
The Razer Book 13 is one of the most exciting Ultrabooks to hit the market in recent years. Razer went to Sharp for its IGZO displays, and the result is a 13.4-inch screen with 3840x2400 (UHD+) resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio. This is essentially the same display you can find in the XPS 13 9310, with excellent color reproduction, tons of brightness, and an anti-reflective coating.
The Book 13 has a generous port selection, with two Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, USB-A 3.2, 3.5mm audio, and a microSD card reader. Top-firing THX speakers pump out quality audio, and the overall aluminum design is impeccable. This is a sharp laptop, with even the keyboard offering per-key RGB lighting.
Get an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB of dual-channel RAM, Iris Xe integrated graphics, and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD to accompany the UHD+ display. This is enough power to handle just about anything, and it's backed up by a 56Wh battery.
- Gorgeous, pristine design
- 11th Gen and Intel Evo certified
- Brilliant IGZO display
- Excellent keyboard and touchpad
- Fantastic THX Spatial Audio
- No LTE
Best 15-inch convertible: Lenovo Yoga 9i 15
The Lenovo Yoga 9i 15 remains mostly unchanged from the Yoga C940, which was previously included in this roundup. It stil has a high-end aluminum design, with a convertible hinge that doubles as a soundbar with Dolby Atmos tuning. The 15.6-inch display is still using a 16:9 aspect ratio, but its 3840x2160 (UHD) resolution really makes it pop. It's a touchscreen with HDR 400 and about 500 nits brightness. What's more, there's an integrated active pen for inking.
This is a laptop built for entertainment, but it can also perform. Add up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU with eight cores, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and a NVIDIA GTX 1650 Ti dedicated GPU with 4GB of VRAM.
The keyboard is comfortable, there's a fingerprint reader for extra security, and a privacy shutter can be used to close off the webcam. Ports include USB-A 3.2, two Thunderbolt 3, and 3.5mm audio. If you're looking for a laptop with movies and TV in mind, this is a great way to go.
- HDR display with Dolby Vision
- Soundbar hinge with Dolby Atmos
- Dedicated GPU and Intel H-series CPU
- Premium aluminum build
- Integrated active pen for inking
- No IR camera
- Small touchpad
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- Battery life suffers
Best gaming: Razer Blade 15
For those who love PC gaming at a 4K resolution, the Razer Blade 15 should not leave you wanting. The Blade 15 was refreshed with 11th Gen Intel CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs, as well as some new display options earlier this year.
While FHD and QHD models are available with some impressive specs of their own, it's the 15.6-inch 4K display that we're focusing on here. It's available in touch and non-touch, both with an OLED panel and 60Hz refresh rate. Both come with 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, with the touch model receiving HDR support.
With a 4K display configured, add up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9-11900H CPU, NVIDIA RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. There's also a Studio version available with a NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 GPU for specialized work.
All this is contained in a symmetrical metal chassis with squared edges, available in either black or Mercury White colors. It's one of the best looking laptops out there, and it's built to withstand daily use. The keyboard's travel is a bit short, but the enormous Precision touchpad is ideal when not using an external gaming mouse plugged into one of three USB-A 3.2 ports. Other connectivity includes Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.0, and Ethernet depending on whether you get the Base or Advanced model.
- 4K OLED displays are stunning
- Outstanding audio
- Excellent gaming performance
- Keeps cool
- Premium build quality
- Keyboard has short travel
- Very expensive
Best business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6)
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) saw a considerable refresh in its move from Gen 5, making it again one of the best convertibles on the market. The fact that it's dripping with business-related security and management features helps make it a top pick for anyone who's spending a lot of time in an office or in the field. It's durable, it looks great, and the convertible build adds a ton of versatility.
A move to a 16:10 aspect ratio gives the laptop a more modern look, and it's available with a 3840x2400 (UHD+) resolution. The IPS panel is touch-enabled, it has an anti-reflective coating, Dolby Vision, and low blue light properties. This display is stacked. I measured 100% sRGB, 91% AdobeRGB, and 97% DCI-P3 color reproduction, all stellar results. Brightness climbs to 510 nits, allowing you to work outdoors. There's also an integrated active pen for inking.
Performance hardware includes up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU, 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM, 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. Models come with a fingerprint reader, webcam privacy shutter, optional IR camera, and human presence detection.
- 16:10 UHD+ display option is tops
- Keyboard and wider touchpad are excellent
- Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, 4G/5G
- Human presence detection
- Overall flawless convertible design
- Camera could be 1080p at this price
- No SD card reader
- RAM not upgradeable
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6) convertible
Business features and security in a convertible PC
Sixth-gen updates to the ThinkPad X1 Yoga move it back into place as one of the best convertible PCs on the market. If you want security, durability, and practicality, it should be seriously considered.
Best 14-inch convertible: HP Spectre x360 14
HP's Spectre x360 14 is our top overall pick for best Windows laptop, and for good reason. It takes the gem-cut design we love from the smaller Spectre and tweaks it to fit a 13.5-inch touch OLED display with a tall 3:2 aspect ratio. This sort of mucks up the resolution at 3000x2000, but it's still crisp enough that we're including in the roundup of 4K laptops. The display has an anti-reflective coating, 400 nits brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, and slim bezel. It's also compatible with an active pen with tilt support.
The platform is Intel Evo certified, meaning you can expect snappy performance even on battery power. Add up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU, Iris Xe integrated graphics, 16GB of onboard RAM, and 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD to handle a lot of work. You can expect about seven hours of life from the 66Wh battery with the OLED display.
The touchpad is larger, top-firing audio pumps out clear sound, and the keyboard won't stand in the way of productivity. A fingerprint reader and IR camera add security, plus there's a camera shutter. Ports include two Thunderbolt 4, USB-A 3.1, and a microSD card reader.
- 11th Gen Intel Core CPUs
- Wi-Fi 6 connectivity
- 3K2K display with 3:2 aspect ratio
- Big 66Wh battery
- Quad speakers with great audio
- No LTE
- Slight touchpad looseness
It's a great time to be in the market for a laptop with a 4K display, but Dell's XPS 15 9510 steals the show.
The 4K UHD+ touch display has a 16:10 aspect ratio that eliminates bezel, it has an anti-reflective coating, and it hits more than 500 nits brightness. You can also get it with a 3.5K OLED display for deeper color. It's backed up by a dedicated NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPU and 10th Gen Intel Core CPU options. The compact, light chassis is made from aluminum and carbon fiber, and it's packing a sizable 86Wh battery.
If these laptops aren't quite what you're looking for, head over to our collection of the overall best Windows laptop picks for far more options.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Cale Hunt Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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