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How LAPTOP Reviews Mobile Tech Products

What our ratings mean to you.

by Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief on January 21, 2010

Our Testing Methodology

Each year, LAPTOP reviews hundreds of mobile technology products, including notebooks, smart phones, software, and solid state disks. Each product is thoroughly evaluated based on its ability to perform in situations a typical user would encounter.

When evaluating high-tech devices such as notebook computers, we use a combination of industry-standard benchmark suites and custom test methods/software we've developed in our lab. For further information on notebook testing methods click here.

What LAPTOP's Ratings Mean

After LAPTOP completes its lab testing, a product is turned over to a writer who spends a significant amount of time using the device, software, or service. The writer and LAPTOP's editors determine a rating based on design, ease of use, features, performance, and overall value. We also take into consideration the target audience of a product and what it is trying to accomplish, and how it stacks up compared to the competition. Each product is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with half-star ratings possible.

The ratings should be interpreted as follows:





Not recommended




Highly Recommended


LAPTOP Editors' Choice Award

laptopec100This prestigious award is meant to recognize products that are the very best in their categories at the time they are reviewed, and only those products that have received a rating of 4 stars and above are eligible. LAPTOP's editors carefully consider each product's individual merits and its value relative to the competitive landscape before deciding whether to bestow this award.

LAPTOP Tested Logo

testedlogo100The LAPTOP Tested Logo is a stamp of approval from LAPTOP's editors for any product that has received a rating of at least 3 stars. It is designed to communicate to potential buyers that a given notebook, smart phone, piece of software, or other product has undergone LAPTOP's testing and is recommended. This logo may be found on product packaging or on manufacturers' Websites.

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