Best 4K Laptops Windows Central 2019

Compared to just a few years ago, many more laptops now include a 4K display option, but Dell's XPS 15 (7590) is our top overall pick. Its 4K OLED display is absolutely gorgeous, it has a dedicated GPU and 9th 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 all-day battery life from the whopping 97Wh battery, altogether making this a laptop you can carry with you everywhere you go.

Best Overall: Dell XPS 15

The XPS 15 has been known for years to have one of the best displays around, and the refreshed 7590 is no different. The 15.6-inch 4K OLED non-touch option hits 400 nits brightness and manages 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction and 100,000:1 contrast ratio. For something a bit less brilliant, Dell also offers a 4K LCD touch display with 500 nits brightness.

The 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor (CPU) is truly a performer with six cores, but you can opt for up to a Core i9-9980HK CPU with eight cores and a clock speed up to 5.0GHz. Add in a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 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 Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A 3.1 (Gen 1), HDMI 2.0, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. A fingerprint reader is built into the power button, and, yes, the webcam has been moved back to above the display for a natural angle. Rounding things out is an enormous 97Wh battery that allows you to get through a workday without needing a charge.

Pros:

  • 4K OLED or 4K LCD touch display
  • Powerful Intel 9th Gen CPU options
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU
  • Premium aluminum chassis
  • Huge 97Wh battery

Cons:

  • Not as versatile as a convertible
  • Less expensive options available

Best Overall

Dell XPS 15 (7590)

Beautiful display options, stellar performance

Dell's XPS 15 is one of the slimmest and lightest 15-inch laptops out there, yet it boasts awesome performance and knockout 4K display options.

Best 14-inch: Lenovo IdeaPad S940

Lenovo's IdeaPad S940 borders on a work of art thanks to an all-metal chassis, angles cut with precision, and a stunning 13.9-inch display available in 4K with HDR400. Brightness hits about 500 nits, making it easy to work in any situation, and color reproduction reaches 100% sRGB and 86% AdobeRGB for true color.

To add to the premium look, Lenovo's Contour Display tech allows the edges of the display to bevel off, resulting in a sort of smartphone look and ultra-thin bezel. The only downside with the 4K display is that the 52Wh battery peaks at about 6.5 hours of life. However, USB-C Rapid Charge will get you topped up quickly.

The thin and light chassis makes it easy to tote with you everywhere you go, yet Lenovo hasn't skimped on audio like you often find with compact devices. Dolby Atmos quad speakers allow for easy media consumption. The keyboard travel is a bit shallow, but it's still comfortable if you type a lot, and the large Precision touchpad makes it easy to use Windows 10 gestures. Ports include one USB-C and two Thunderbolt 3.

Pros:

  • Outstanding 14-inch 4K display
  • Loud Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Compact, premium chassis
  • Display edges curve like modern smartphones
  • Large Precision touchpad

Cons:

  • Battery life could be better
  • No USB-A

Best 14-inch

Lenovo IdeaPad S940

Awesome screen, great speakers, super thin

The IdeaPad S940 brings contoured glass, 4K HDR display, and brilliant Dolby Atmos quad sound to one of the smallest 14-inch Ultrabooks on the market.

Best Gaming: Razer Blade 15 Advanced

For those who love PC gaming at a 4K resolution, the Razer Blade 15 Advanced should not leave you wanting. Depending on the performance hardware you opt for — up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H six-core CPU, and 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM — you'll get access to a couple of different 4K display options.

The first option is 4K touch with a 60Hz refresh rate and 100% AdobeRGB color reproduction, and the other higher-end option is 4K OLED touch with 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, 60Hz refresh rate, and HDR400 certification. If you're a designer or editor, this would no doubt also make a stellar system. Top-firing quad speakers provide loud audio, and you might be tempted to use them instead of a gaming headset.

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 3, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.4.

Pros:

  • 4K OLED display is stunning
  • Outstanding audio
  • Excellent gaming performance
  • Keeps cool
  • Premium build quality

Cons:

  • Keyboard has short travel
  • Very expensive

Best Gaming

Razer Blade 15 Advanced

A gaming laptop that is almost picture-perfect

The Blade 15 Advanced has plenty of configuration options, including stellar performance hardware and 4K OLED HDR touch display with 60Hz refresh rate.

Best Convertible: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Dell's refreshed XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) has ditched the anemic Intel Y-series CPUs for latest 10th Gen Intel Core 10nm CPUs with outstanding performance. You're going to get better battery life, and you can add up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD for tons of speedy storage. The only thing missing is a dedicated GPU and the ability to upgrade hardware after purchase.

The touch display has been reworked with a 16:10 aspect ratio and ultra-thin bezels, giving you more screen real estate, and it's available with a 3840x2400 (UHD+) resolution. If you're interested in Windows Ink, this laptop can be folded around to tablet mode for easier sketching and drawing with an active pen. The 4K display hits 500 nits brightness and HDR400 certification so you can be sure color and contrast are spot on.

The thin chassis is beautiful and includes a fingerprint reader, second-gen MagLev keyboard, and large Precision touchpad. Port selection is sort of limited due to the size of the laptop, but you still get two Thunderbolt 3 (each with 4x lanes of PCIe), a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Pros:

  • 4K WLED touch display with HDR400
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 10th Gen Intel Core CPU options
  • Slim aluminum chassis
  • Comfortable keyboard and Precision Touchpad

Cons:

  • No DIY upgrades
  • Limited port selection

Best Convertible

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)

This 2-in-1 has all the right specs to make it awesome

The new XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) brings Intel's 10th Gen Core CPUs, a 4K 16:10 display, and a gorgeous woven glass fiber design to make an ultimate 2-in-1 PC.

Best Budget: Chuwi LapBook Plus

The other 4K laptops in this roundup start at an elevated price, putting them out of reach of many people who are just looking for a casual device for everyday use. Enter Chuwi's LapBook Plus, a budget Ultrabook with 15.6-inch 4K non-touch display. It might not have the same HDR support or specialized color profile as some other options, but it still hits a respectable 93% sRGB and 72% AdobeRGB color reproduction. The bezel is relatively thin, and you get about 350 nits brightness to help with working in well-lit areas.

The unibody aluminum design gives it a bit of MacBook look, continued over to the spacious backlit keyboard with large keys and an enormous Precision touchpad that promotes productivity. For ports, you get USB-A 3.0, USB-A 2.0, Micro HDMI, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It would be nice to see USB-C here, but it's hard to complain at this price.

As for performance, don't expect much from the LapBook Plus. The focus is on display and design here, and the Intel Atom CPU is only going to be good for casual productivity work and some TV or movie watching. The camera and speakers also leave something to be desired, but you'll likely forget all about it once you fire up the display and count all the money you saved.

Pros:

  • 4K display with excellent color
  • Enormous Precision touchpad
  • Hard to find a 4K laptop for a lower price
  • Backlit keyboard with number pad
  • Unibody aluminum design

Cons:

  • Performance is lacking
  • USB-C port would be welcome
  • Camera and speakers are average

Best Budget

Chuwi LapBook Plus

Beautiful laptop pulled down by poor performance

Chuwi's LapBook Plus is a beautiful piece of hardware and the 4K display doesn't get much better at this price. Just don't expect stellar performance.

Best Design: HP Spectre x360 13t

HP's Spectre x360 13t comes at you with a gorgeous gem-cut design, bringing sharp, precise angles to a laptop that was already a looker. The angles aren't just for looks, as the USB-C port and power button are offset on the back edge to prevent accidental presses when in convertible mode and a better angle for your charger that doesn't get in the way of an external mouse.

The 13.3-inch touch 4K WLED display is gorgeous and can be used with an included N-Trig active pen for Windows Ink. The bezel along the top and bottom is a bit thick, but at least you have some space to hold onto when using the laptop in tablet mode.

The chiclet keyboard is crisp and comfortable and makes perfect use of all space available, and the touchpad is large. Unfortunately, it's using Synaptics drivers, which do not compare to Precision. You should be able to get about seven or eight hours from the battery, and there are extra security features like an IR camera and fingerprint reader for Windows Hello to help keep your data safe.

Pros:

  • Handsome, elegant gem-cut design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Pen included for inking
  • A lot of laptop for the price
  • 4K WLED touch display

Cons:

  • Using Synaptics touchpad drivers
  • Thick top and bottom bezel

Best Design

HP Spectre x360 13t

Both bling and real value

The Spectre x360 demonstrates HP can do jaw-dropping hardware and design. Expect performance, excellent features, elegant aesthetics, and 4K display.

Best Business: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo has refreshed its ThinkPad X1 Carbon, now in its seventh generation, with a fiber weave on the lid and the same ThinkPad durability. There's now a 14-inch 4K display option available with HDR400 certification, 500 nits brightness, and excellent color and contrast.

Security features like a fingerprint reader, optional IR camera, ThinkShutter webcam cover, dTPM 2.0 chip, and FIDO authentication are all here (as we'd expect from a ThinkPad), and there's generous port selection to connect any accessories. You get two Thunderbolt 3, two USB-A 3.1, HDMI 1.4, an Ethernet network extension adapter port, 3.5mm audio jack, and WWAN slot for optional LTE-A connectivity.

The keyboard is about as comfortable as they come, and a TrackPoint system with red pointing nub and physical buttons makes an appearance. For performance hardware, get up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8665U vPro CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe SSD.

Pros:

  • 14-inch 4K display with HDR400
  • Plenty of security features
  • Durable magnesium and carbon fiber chassis
  • Generous port selection
  • Comfortable ThinkPad keyboard

Cons:

  • Still using 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs
  • Prices climb quickly

Best Business

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 7)

A thin, durable Ultrabook that gets work done

The seventh-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available with a 4K HDR400 display, plenty of security features, and the durability you expect from a ThinkPad.

Bottom line

It's a great time to be in the market for a laptop with 4K display, but Dell's XPS 15 7590 steals the show.

Two 4K display options — OLED non-touch with 400 nits brightness and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction or LCD touch with 500 nits brightness — are available to better fit your exact needs, and it has the performance hardware required for some specialized work.

It's all wrapped up in a compact, light chassis made from aluminum and carbon fiber, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. An enormous 97Wh battery keeps going through a day, and there are plenty of ports for connecting your accessories when you sit down to crush your workload.

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 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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