03.How we tested
Expert and user panel
We used an expert panel, a user panel and an expert tester to evaluate each laptop.
Our expert tester rated each laptop, looking at:
- Performance across a range of criteria, including benchmarking with the PCMark Vantage software tool and battery performance.
- Hardware security, including password protection, security locks and fingerprint scanners.
- Security software.
- Power consumption – both active and standby modes.
- Ease of transferring files from another computer.
- Monitor visibility under various light levels.
- The manuals and help files.
- Support options (including recovering discs).
The expert panel rated the design of each laptop, looking at:
- Ease of battery removal/insertion.
- Status lights/indicators – type and visibility.
- Removal/insertion of DVD/CD and battery.
- Connectors – placement, labelling and ease of access.
- Ease of opening/closing the laptop.
- Stability of laptop when open.
- Design flaws and advantages.
- Screen visibility/quality.
- Overall style.
The user panel judged the laptops for comfort and usability, looking at:
- The touchpad and keyboard – including comfort, ease of use, responsiveness, position, size and other factors.
- Wrist rest comfort.
- Laptop handling (comfort/grippiness) and weight.
- Screen visability/quality.
- Overall rating.