4K (UHD) Vs 1080p (HD) – Is 4k Laptop Worth it?

As technology improves we will see more innovation in the laptop space. One new feature is the 4K UHD display now in many laptops on the market. But is 4k worth it? This article will be looking at the differences between 4k and 1080p displays (FHD Vs UHD laptop), and which is the best suitable for your needs.

4K Vs 1080p Laptop

To understand whether a 4k is the best choice, we first need to understand what 4k means. To cut a long story short, a 4K laptop has more pixels and a higher video resolution than a 1080p laptop, which should give a higher-quality image.

Pixels – 4K laptops have a total of 8,294,400 pixels, whereas a 1080p laptop has a total of 2,073,600 pixels.  This means that 4K laptops have 4X the amount of pixels than 1080p laptops.

Video resolution – 4K laptops have a video resolution of 3840 x 2160, whereas 1080p laptops have a video resolution of 1920 x 1080.

4K Laptop Pros

Editing – If you’re an editor or like to create content, then a 4K laptop will be best for you. Having a 4K laptop allows you to take advantage of the newest editing software on the market. 4K laptops have great displays, but editing with 4K software allows you to create your own masterpiece.

Sharpness & Color Accuracy – Simply put, the more pixels, the sharper the image and videos will be. If you want the clearest image, then 4K is the best option. This type of display gives accurate saturation, contrast, and colors.

4K Laptop Cons

Cost – With all other things being equal, a 4K laptop will cost more than a 1080p laptop. It will come down to your personal situation and whether you think a UHD laptop is worth it.

Battery Drain – A 4K laptop has a higher battery consumption to keep the pixels running on your display. Those who want a 4K laptop will usually get less battery life compared to laptops with a weaker display.

1080p Laptop Pros

Higher Battery Life – As we have just mentioned above, 1080p laptops have a superior battery life. With 25% of pixels to keep running, the laptop will use less energy, although this isn’t the only factor in battery life.

More Affordable – 1080p laptops are more suitable for people on a budget. It will typically cost you a few hundred to upgrade from a 1080p to a 4K laptop. Only you know if this difference is worth it.  

Good Enough – 1080p is good enough for the majority of needs. We forget that 1080p is still Full HD. That would have been a dream just a few years ago. If you don’t need a laptop for visual editing or for your design job, then a 1080p should be more than enough for your needs.

1080p Laptop Cons

Worse Color Display – It’s no secret that a 4K laptop has a better color accuracy than other resolution displays.  A 1080p laptop will have good accuracy, gamut, contrast, and saturation, but it won’t be the best. Some FHD laptops are better than others in this department, so make sure to do your research if this is important to you.

Limited Editing Capabilities – Although 1080p gives a decent level of pixels, it will not be enough if you are a professional visual editor that needs to create the best of the best. You will be capped at 1920 x 1080 pixels. A 4K display gives the chances to edit to a higher resolution and image quality.

Gaming on a 4K Laptop

To use a 4K laptop for gaming you will need a more powerful machine that has a high refresh rate and a powerful graphics card. If not, you may experience some display stutter, which gives the opposite result to what you wanted to achieve. I recommend using a 1080p display for gaming as it gives a high-quality image that runs smoothly. You will want a high refresh rate and better FPS, which is not commonly found on 4k laptops.

In fact, competitive gamers will tend to use a 1080p low resolution laptop with 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rate – this allows for a smoother performance and means there is no risk of stuttering during an important moment.

Is a 4K Laptop Worth it?

This will come down to your personal needs. 4K laptops are worth it for those who value display sharpness and want to use 4K editing software. As such, 4K laptops are good for designers, editors, and those who want to stream movies.

The benefits of a 4K laptop are clear to see. But you have to be prepared to pay extra for the extra pixels. If you don’t need the very best laptop sharpness, then 4K laptops probably aren’t worth it. 1080p laptops are more than good enough for a high-quality image and video display. 1080 laptops will also last longer when you don’t have a direct power source, making them better for working on-the-go.

It is also worth mentioning that you may not even be able to tell the difference on a small screen. On a 60” inch TV screen sure, but on a 13” laptop display you may not be able to notice much difference. If you want to take advantage of a small 4K laptop, you will have to sit closer to the screen to feel the full benefits. Basically, if you’re sitting 3 feet from your laptop, you will likely not be able to see any difference in display quality.

TLDR – If you’re going to be sitting close to the screen editing visuals, a 4K laptop will be worth it. If not, it may be a good idea to save your money and get a 1080p laptop instead.