What Is 2K? A Basic Definition

2K is a common display resolution. Resolution explains how many pixels a display has in length x width format (the more, the better when choosing a PC monitor). 2K displays are those whose length falls in the 2,000-pixels range.

The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a group of motion picture studios that creates standards for digital cinema, defines Standard DCI 2K resolution as 2048 x 1080. But monitors with this resolution are rare. More often you’ll find 2K monitors with resolutions of 2560 x 1440. However, this resolution is officially considered Quad HD (QHD). As such, many monitors claim their resolution as 2K/QHD.

There are plenty of laptops with 2K screens as well.


Common Monitor Resolutions:

5K5120 x 2880
4K3840 x 2160 (typical monitor resolution)
4096 x 2160 (official cinema resolution)
Ultra HD (UHD)3840 x 2160
Quad HD (QHD) aka Wide Quad HD (WQHD)2560 x 1440
2K2560 x 1440 (typical monitor resolution)
2048 x 1080 (official cinema resolution)
WUXGA 1920 x 1200
Full HD (FHD) aka 1080p aka HD1920 x 1080
HD aka 720p1280 x 720

This article is part of the Tom's Hardware Glossary.

Further reading:

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  • Barty1884
    I don't think 2K really has any relevance in monitor marketing - even when it is mentioned, it's mentioned in conjunction with something else.
    There should only really be
    HD/720p / 921,600 pixels
    FHD/1080p / 2,073,600 pixels
    WQHD / 1440p / 3,686,400
    4K / 3840x2160 / 8,294,400 pixels

    .....and wide-screen variants.

    In that format, pixel count ~doubles per 'step' up, and is fairly clear/straightforward.

    2K is marketing blurb for TVs (where pixel count increased <10%), that has been misappropriated into the monitor space, IMO.
  • marie811
    2K displays are those whose length falls in the 2,000-pixels range. The Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a group of motion picture studios that creates standards for digital cinema, defines Standard DCI 2K resolution as 2048 x 1080.