Find out what to look for in a laptop – from the pros and cons of hybrids to the most important technical specs – so you can buy with confidence.

typing on a laptop keyboard.

Laptops come in so many sizes, configurations and levels of performance. Here’s how we help you find the right computer for your needs.

We've tested 35 laptops.

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Overall score breakdown

Our overall score is comprised of four subscores.

Design and use (35%) is a broad assessment that covers:

  • ease of use and quality of the keyboard and touchpad (and touchscreen, if applicable)
  • build quality, balance and comfort in your lap
  • heat generated, and noise from the fan
  • physical connectivity including USB and HDMI ports, SD slots and whether adapters are provided
  • audio quality.

Performance (25%) measures speed during both CPU and graphical processing tasks using the benchmarking tool Geekbench 5. We also test storage speeds (both reading and writing) and WiFi speed.

Battery life (20%) measures how long the battery lasts while playing an HD-quality video on loop, with screen brightness at 100% and WiFi connected.

Display (20%) includes colour accuracy, brightness and contrast, angles of view and surface reflections.

As part of our test, we also check how much of the claimed storage space is actually available to the user, time how long it takes the battery to recharge, and measure weights and dimensions.

Why we test tablets

The line between laptop and tablet is blurrier than ever, now that many laptops have fold-back or detachable screens. To capture the crossover, we include a few high end tablets in the laptops test. We always test a tablet with its official keyboard case.

19june laptops cta

Laptops buying guide

Know what to look for when you're shopping for laptops.

Read the guide