Whenever I look online for information about 4k (also known as UHD) technology in relation to laptops, I see so many people underestimating the laptops themselves. It’s surprising how many people assume that a laptop can’t support a 4k monitor. And in fact, I’ve even talked about it in the past within my article “Can Laptops Output 4k”.
In the past, technology has been something which is somewhat limited by size. The more advanced the technology, the larger it used to be. But over time the electronic industry has learned to downsize considerably, and now everything is much sleeker.
However, the problem still persists that certain types of devices still don’t have the same kind of technology available for them as others. For instance, for many years, televisions were coming with higher resolutions but you couldn’t find the equivalent for smaller devices like computers (much less laptops).
This less optimized past for laptops, plus other past limitations, has led to a modern day misconception about many different areas of a laptop’s build. Which is why the current rumor we mentioned at the beginning of this article exists.
Misconceptions about laptops…
Laptops are seen by many as the less superior, but more portable, version of a desktop computer. Because of this device’s past limitations, people still believe that laptops don’t run as well as PCs, have as good of graphics as PCs, or are as durable as PCs, among other assumptions.
But just as something like the television has evolved from being large and bulky to slim and sleek, the laptop industry has evolved as well. Laptops nowadays, especially high grade ones, can perform just as well as certain PCs can. They’re versatile electronic devices in their own right. Which is why it’s great for laptop fans that UHD technology came out when it did! And if you’d like to know more about the beginnings of this technology, then take a look at the article “When Did 4k Come Out”.
Most of these false beliefs regarding laptops come down to a lack of understanding about laptops work, as well as how 4k technology works. Which is why we’ve written several articles on the topic, talking about how the technology itself works and how that technology plays a role in laptops. If you’re interested then read the following articles… “What Is A 4k Laptop”, “Does 4k Matter On A Laptop”, and “How 4k Works”.
But because of the misconception we just talked about, people often ask…
Can a laptop support a 4k monitor?
The thing about this question is that it’s actually two in one. Because there are two ways you could go about having a laptop supporting a 4k monitor. The first way is by purchasing a laptop that is already outfitted with one, and the other is by buying a laptop and a 4k monitor separately and trying to support the monitor with the laptop.
So keeping that in mind, the real two questions are…
- Can a laptop have a 4k monitor?
- Can a laptop support a separate 4k monitor?
Let’s tackle both of these questions, starting with the first one.
Can A Laptop Be Built With A 4k Display
The answer is yes, a laptop can be built with a 4k display. And actually, these types of devices are becoming more and more commonplace; with many laptop manufacturers entering the fray.
Laptops with 4k displays built into them are typically very high quality, run well, and have all the benefits that come with a regular laptop plus the added one of having fantastic visual quality. Laptops are more than suited to run 4k with minimal issues.
The issues that do exist are that 4k laptops are fairly pricey, although many people agree that they’re worth the money. Additionally, depending on the laptop, you may run into issues like slightly reduced battery life. But these cons are nothing compared to the benefits of having a 4k display built into your device.
Can A Laptop Support A Separate Monitor?
Alternatively though, we have the people who buy a laptop and a 4k monitor separately and try to support the monitor with the laptop. So let’s discuss if this actually works, since that will be the answer to the second question we posed.
Now, rather than a quick yes, the answer to this is a… maybe. You see, it really varies depending on the laptop you have. Laptops can absolutely support a separate 4k monitor but only if it has the appropriate hardware to do so.
And one of the main problems with this scenario is that many laptops which don’t run 4k displays within themselves, don’t have the hardware to do so externally either. Laptops that can support separate 4k monitors do exist, but you’ll have to really make sure their hardware aligns with your needs before you make the purchase.
Having answered that question…
Should you buy a 4k laptop or support a 4k monitor with a separate laptop?
Now that we know both of the previous options are technically possible, it’s time to choose which one is optimal. If you want a 4k monitor, should you buy a laptop with it already installed or purchase one separately? We’re going to answer this question with a pros and cons section for both.
But if you find yourself wanting to know more about the pros of buying a UHD laptop then you can read the article “Is A 4k Laptop Worth It”. Or alternatively, you could check out “Are 4k Laptops Worth It”.
A 4k Monitor and Separate Laptop – Pros and Cons
- You can have two screens, the laptop screen and your monitor.
- You can choose a large 4k monitor which will come with a bigger screen than you’d get with just a laptop.
- Depending on which models you buy for both the devices, it could end up being cheaper than a 4k laptop.
- You have to make the space for a laptop and a separate monitor, which partially ruins the benefit of a compact device like a laptop.
- You have the added trouble of finding a laptop with the capabilities to support a separate screen.
- It’s a more complicated setup than an all in one 4k laptop.
A 4k Laptop – Pros and Cons
- Everything, and all the benefits, are in one device.
- It takes up less space than separate devices.
- It’s easier to set up, as all you have to do is turn on your laptop to get started.
- You only have to concern yourself with buying one product.
- It may be quite pricey
- The built-in laptop screen will be smaller than a monitor would be.
Which one should you choose?
The answer depends entirely on your situation, needs, and budget. But our suggestion is to go with the 4k laptop because it’s the more simple and efficient option between the two choices.
And if you are interested in laptops with a 4k display then check out this link to find a variety of great options you can choose from! No need for a separate monitor!
Plus, you can read our articles “Which Laptops Have 4k Display” and “How Do I Know If My Laptop Is 4k” to learn about various aspects of safely purchasing your UHD laptop.