Is the MacBook Pro 4k? Read To Find Out

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All recently manufactured MacBook come with a retina display. Retina displays are intended to display text and images with such clarity. 

Apple’s Retina display differs. The difference is dependent on the size of the displayed item, and the angle from which the user views the screen. The apple retina display is almost indistinguishable from the 4K display. 

The similarities between the two and the inability of the untrained human eyes to tell them apart have caused people to probe into the two resolutions and their presence or absence in the MacBook. 

So, let’s answer the question. 

Is the MacBook Pro 4k? 

The MacBook Pro does not have a 4k display. The only Apple product that has a 4k display now is the 21.5″ MacBook. 

No MacBook comes with a 4k display for many different reasons. Top on the list of reasons is its effects on the gadgets battery life. 

Understanding What 4k Is 

4k is a resolution comparable to 1080p and 720p. It has a horizontal resolution of around 4000 pixels. As a result, it is the maximum resolution that a monitor or television can display. 

A 3840 x 2160 is what TVs and monitors labeled 4K UHD, or simply UHD, have. The resolution of complete 4K is 4096 x 2304. Both have a 16:9 aspect ratio. Hz is another unit of measurement. The refresh rate of the display is measured in hertz (Hz). The greater the number of Hz, the smoother the video appears on the screen. 

The human eye cannot tell the difference between 4K UHD and complete 4K, but it can tell the difference in refresh rate (Hz). When watching a 4K video at 60 frames per second on a display with 24Hz, it will appear choppy compared to a display with 60Hz.

Why Does The MacBook Pro Not Have A 4k Display? 

For a good reason, Apple has never included a 4k display in a MacBook. Apple does not include a 4k screen in the MacBook Pro for three reasons. 

It would affect battery life:

Apple squeezes every drop of juice out of the battery to make it as efficient as possible.

This process is not easy, given that the battery must power the display, the CPU, the trackpad, the SSD hard drive, the USB/Thunderbolt 3 ports, the keyboard, and the speakers, ensuring that each component has enough power to perform at its peak. That is not child’s play. 

If you added a 4K display to the mix, the power it would require would significantly reduce the overall battery life, cutting it in half. 

This reduction would mean that your 12-hour battery would only last about 5 hours. That is not acceptable by today’s standards. Given the constraints that lithium-ion batteries currently present, a 4K display in a MacBook is unlikely until batteries undergo a complete revolution in maintaining power.

The retina display is similar to the 4k:

Apple places great value on your viewing experience when you use their products. This need to give you a solid experience is why they focus on PPI.

PPI, which is the acronym for “pixels per inch,” is the number of pixels that can fit into one square inch 

The retina display was Apple’s idea to give what 4k or any other resolution can give without its overall effect on the battery’s life. So, the retina display is a method that Apple uses to produce a brilliant resolution for the MacBook. 

The retina display is not 4k, but it is almost impossible to tell them apart with human eyes. 

To maintain their product’s thinness and lightness:

Everyone who has used or is using an Apple device is familiar with the lightness and thinness of the product. They take great pride in manufacturing thin/light gadgets that are also solid. 

A 16 inch MacBook is approximately one-quarter of the width of your iPhone. Their producers fashion them in a way that enables their thinness and a powerful display. 

Altering the display it has would mean altering the lightness the gadget is known for in one way or the other. 

Can I Watch A 4k Video On My MacBook Pro? 

Yes, you can watch a 3k video on a MacBook Pro. What happens is, when you’re streaming a 4k video, your MacBook will adjust the video’s resolution to fit the resolution of your screen. The aspect ratio of the video stays intact throughout your stream. 

For example, if you’re streaming on any movie platform a 4k video, your Macbook would display the movie in the resolution that works for itself. The MacBook Pro can not display a resolution that it hasn’t been programmed to display. It can’t give what it doesn’t have. 

A 4K video looks fantastic on display with a resolution of 3840 x  2160 pixels or approximately 8.3 million pixels. The MacBook’s resolution may not be 4k, but it is good enough. 

What is the fundamental distinction between the 4k and the retina display in the MacBook Pro? Say you’re watching an actor. 

The 4K display shows a close-up shot of the actor’s face. It allows you to see every single detail from that lone pimple to their face pores. The scenery is breathtaking, but close-up shots of people conversing reveal far too much.

Can You Use An External 4K Monitor For Your MacBook Pro? 

Using Thunderbolt 3, you can connect an external 4K monitor, such as the Pro Display XDR, to the 15″ or 16″ MacBook Pro. 

The built-in Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 16-inch MacBook Pro allow you to connect two Pro Display XDR displays.

What 4k Monitors Can You Use For Your MacBook Pro 

You must consider two crucial factors before you purchase a 4k monitor. Let’s check them out.

  • The image quality and color accuracy must match the laptop’s display. 
  • The monitor must have USB-C connectivity. 

The best MacBook Pro monitors should provide the same benefits as the laptops themselves. They should be simple to use, flexible, dependable, and of high quality.  Here are a few examples of monitors:

Dell ultrasharp U2720Q:

Dell’s 27-inch 4K screen is an excellent choice for working in any physical environment. It boasts excellent attention to detail, plenty of space, and excellent connectivity. The average brightness levels are lower than those of the MacBook Pro’s screen, but it’s still a great buy.


Resolution: 3840×2160 

Connectivity: USB Type-C x2, USB Type-A x3, Display Port, HDMI

Size: 27 inches


90W USB-C charging

Detailed 4K display with a wide color gamut

90W USB-C charging

Good USB connectivity


No Thunderbolt 3 hub

The design is boring. 

View sonic VP2458:

The ViewSonic 24-inch monitor is an excellent value for photographers and designers on a tight budget. Full 1920×1080 resolutions, 100% sRGB color gamut coverage, and a Delta E of less than 2. Because there is no USB-C, you will need to budget for an adapter.


Resolution: 1920×1080 

Connections: HDMI, DisplayPort,USB-B, VGA, USB-A x2, 

Size: 23.8 inches



Good color accuracy for the price

Significant ergonomic adjustments for working comfortably


Not very bright

It needs the right cables.

Benq PD2705Q:

The Benq PD2705Q is an extremely well-specced monitor. USB-C allows for a single-cable connection to your MacBook Pro, and the four USB ports allow you to use it as an accessory hub. The color quality is excellent, with full sRGB and Rec.709 coverage.


Resolution: 2560×1440 

Connections: USB-A x4, USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort, 

Size: 27 inches


MacBook-specific color mode

Excellent connectivity

Good ergonomics


-Some may want higher resolution

Philips 243B1JH:

The Philips 243B1JH is a 24-inch screen with a single USB-C cable. It includes a built-in webcam and a great connection hub for connecting other accessories. The only drawbacks are that it does not have a high resolution and is not very bright.


Resolution: 1920×1080 

Connections: 2x USB-C, 4X USB A, DisplayPort, ethernet, HDMI, 


Excellent hub features

Good quality screen


Not very high resolution


portable monitors are ideal for road warriors: this folds down into a thin package weighing only 800g (and comes with a nice protective sleeve), and when you’re ready to work, set it up next to your MacBook Pro for a dual-screen workspace. It connects to the MacBook Pro via USB-C for power and video, making it extremely simple to use.

Because of its size, the 15.6-inch screen is an excellent match for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The only real drawback is that if you are doing a lot of work at home, we’d recommend something more extensive and more ergonomic.


Resolution: 1920×1080 

Connections: USB-C/DisplayPort

Size: 15.6 inches 


Portable and light

A single USB-C cable for connectivity


Fifteen inches is too small, especially if you’re not traveling all the time. 


Everyone knows that Apple makes its end user’s experience their main priority. This prioritizing gears them towards making quality products

For example, the MacBook has an excellent display despite the limitations of a 4K screen. Apple would keep making MacBook laptops with the retina display until they can fit a 4k display into their light and sleek casing without reducing the battery life. 

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