More pixels, please: Rounding up better-than-HD laptops
Portable PCs with resolutions that soar past 1080p, all the way to 4K.
Higher than high definition
It was a big move when even 13-inch (or smaller) laptops started to hit 1,920x1,080 resolutions (usually called Full HD). But now, that's just the price of walking in the door for a premium laptop. New models from Apple, Toshiba, Lenovo, and others soar past 1080p, all the way to 4K. Of course it all started off with the Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (the 15-inch version is pictured above), and the following pages show off other laptops and hybrids with higher resolutions.
The 3,840x2,160-pixel screen is the first true 4K display we've tested on a laptop. It looks amazing, and the system includes a handy app for switching between several presets highlighting different color temperatures and display settings.
The 2014 model makes some big improvements, mainly in its upgraded Nvidia graphics and seriously improved 3,200x1,800-pixel-resolution touch display. The Razer Blade is a beauty. And it is thin. And it's probably the most exciting gaming laptop out there right now.
The touchscreen on the latest Surface is a better-than-HD display, measuring 12 inches diagonally with a 2,160x1,440-pixel resolution. The IPS panel looks clear and bright, has excellent off-axis viewing angles.
As with the original Kirabook, the real highlight on this slim 13-inch ultrabook is the high-resolution screen. At 2,560x1,440 pixels, it's not the highest in this collection, but the Kirabook line gets credit for being one of the first Windows laptops with a better-than-HD screen.
The latest XPS 15 includes a fourth-gen Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce 750M graphics, and a better-than-HD 3,200x1,800-pixel-resolution touchscreen display, all in a very slim ultrabook-like package. This is probably the closest thing we've seen to a Retina MacBook Pro in a 15-inch ultrabook-like PC design, and that's intended as a compliment.
How does the Yoga 2 Pro top the original? The star of the show is an ultrahigh-res 13.3-inch display, with a native resolution of 3,200x1,800 pixels. That's an especially notable improvement, as the original Yoga only had a 1,600x900-pixel display.
The Book 9 Plus is one of our favorite Windows 8 laptops, feels great to use, and comes with what amounts to the new standard in premium Windows ultrabooks: a greater-than-1080p 3,200x1,800-pixel-resolution touchscreen.
The first mainstream laptops with better-than-HD screens were the 13-inch and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models, first introduced in 2012. The 13-inch model (pictured here) started at $1,699, but is now a much more reasonable $1,299. If you don't need such ultra-high resolutions, you can see all the latest laptop reviews here.