Laptops have a bad reputation for being inefficient counterparts to desktop computers; they’re regarded to be the lesser version of the PC but with the ability to be portable. And that’s part of the reason why people don’t think they can output 4k. In fact, this rumor is so widespread that we’ve even written another article on the subject… “Can A Laptop Support A 4k Monitor”.
But this is just another case of laptops being less valued than desktop computers, and to put this assumption to rest… today we’re going to be talking about whether or not laptops can output 4k, if they can do so efficiently, what the result is, and more.
Without further ado… let’s begin!
What are the basics of 4k technology?
Before we can really get into whether or not a laptop can output 4k displays, let’s briefly discuss the technicalities of the technology itself. Although if you want to go even more in depth then you can read “What Is A 4k Laptop” or “How 4k Works”.
As you may or may not know, 4k is a term used to describe a very video high resolution. It’s named this because the resolution is made better by the increased number of pixels on the screen of a “4k” device compared to a regular one, four times the pixels to be exact.
But that high of a resolution can technically be hard to run for some devices, which is why people tend to think that laptops can’t output that quality. So let’s discuss some of the potential issues that 4k devices could face.
Is 4k technology hard to run?
Depending on the device in question, 4k technology can be hard to run because it’s very demanding on the system it’s being outputted from. This is because the graphics are of the highest quality.
In general, this is why devices that are meant to run 4k technology are often equipped with higher grade hardware than might seem necessary. In the case of computers, or laptops (as we’ll talk about later), this could come in the form of upgraded GPUs and CPUs, etc.
But hard doesn’t mean impossible, and more advances are being made every day to make 4k technology easier on devices. Remember that this technology hasn’t been around for long, as we talked about in “When Did 4k Come Out”.
What are some devices that can run 4K?
Obviously we’re not talking about laptops yet, but instead we’re going to name a few other types of electronic devices that commonly are able to run 4k technology.
Televisions are the most notorious example. Not only are they the first main device that 4k came out on… But they’re also one of the most popular applications of 4k to this day. Overall, they run 4k well with minimal issues.
There are also 4k PC monitors that can be attached to PCs and used as their displays. These are also popular applications, especially among gamers.
Can laptops run 4k?
Now we’re circling back to the main question posed in this article, can a laptop output 4k? And the answer is yes! Contrary to what some people mean, a well made laptop is perfectly capable of outputting 4k graphics.
And not only can a laptop output 4k directly onto its built-in screen! But some laptops can even support a separate 4k monitor if need be. People actually use this strategy a lot! Especially when they can’t afford to upgrade their entire laptop but want to have a 4k display.
What does it take for laptops to be able to output 4k?
Finally, it’s time to elaborate about what I said earlier in terms of what a laptop needs to be able to output 4k. As I said, the laptop build needs to include high quality software in the form of GPUs, CPUs, etc.
But the problems lie when manufacturers try to cut costs by using lower quality software. Because ultimately the laptop won’t be able to run nearly as well. Unfortunately many manufacturers do this in order to have lower price points than other 4k laptops on the market.
But laptops need a solid build in order to transmit the 4k, which is why it’s so important to pick out the right model when you’re shopping for one.
Are there downsides to laptops outputting 4k?
But even with the highest quality builds, there are always cons to every pro. And 4k laptops are no different.
The first downside is that the software installed in the laptop might not be enough to run the graphics and provide an optimal amount of frames per second. Meaning the video could appear to start and stop. This can be annoying and even detrimental if you’re gaming on the laptop.
And the second downside is that the battery on a laptop which is outputting 4k will drain a lot faster than the battery on an HD laptop. This can be easily solved by charging the laptop frequently, but this could be a con to some.
What is the overall conclusion about laptops running 4k?
The general opinion is that laptops absolutely have the capacity to output 4k! Especially if they’re built well and well taken care of. And although there may be downsides to doing this, the pros outweigh the cons in most people’s opinions.
And furthermore, 4k technology is only evolving. So the 4k laptops nowadays run a lot better than they used to and it’ll only go up from here.
Should You Buy A 4k Laptop?
Rather than answer that question for you; we’ll direct you to several articles that will help you make the decision for yourself. Check out “Are 4k Laptops Worth It”, “Is A 4k Laptop Worth It”, and “Does 4k Matter On A Laptop”.
And if those articles do convince you that a 4k laptop would make a good investment, then we have a few articles to help with the purchasing process. Such as “Which Laptops Have 4k Display” and “How Do I Know If My Laptop Is 4k”.