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More pixels, please: Rounding up better-than-HD laptops

Portable PCs with resolutions that soar past 1080p, all the way to 4K.

Dan Ackerman
1 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

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.

2 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Toshiba Satellite P50t

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.

3 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Blade 14 (2014)

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.

4 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

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.

5 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Toshiba Kirabook (2014)

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.

6 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell XPS 15

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.

7 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

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.

8 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

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.

9 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

It all started with the Retina MacBook Pro

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.

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