Laptop Evaluation Criteria: New Serious Insights Criteria Makes How We Evaluate Business Computers More Transparent

Laptop Evaluation Criteria: New Serious Insights Criteria Makes How We Evaluate Business Computers More Transparent

Laptop Evaluation Criteria

Serious Insights business computer evaluation criteria attempt to offer narratives that incorporate several consistent themes. Rather than individual features, we group features into experience categories. Each feature in a business computer evaluation criteria category contributes to the associated experience.

As stated in many previous reviews, Serious Insights sees no need to include widely available benchmarking data on CPU/GPU performance, network performance, or any I/O measurements, like storage read and write. Buyers looking to compare computers at that level need to seek those benchmarks elsewhere (PC Magazine publishes their laptop testing approach here, for instance). 

We intend to evaluate computers against use and experience to determine how well suited a device is to a use case. Our Hybrid use case represents in-office, remote, or mixed. The Mobile use case focuses on frequent travelers and their need to trade-off between performance and size. The Creative use case focuses on creatives in graphics or video who require significantly more compute than other business users.

How to Evaluate a Business Laptop with people looking at a laptop.

Our evaluations will center on general business use, not on development—and we will lean toward mobile devices rather than desktops. Because desktops can be configured with a variety of peripherals, the computer itself matters less than the overall designed experience. Serious Insights will primarily evaluate devices that offer integrated experiences—however, we will continue to evaluate individual components, like keyboards, headphones, and hubs, for our readers.

To make our approach more transparent, we have developed a set of criteria that will be applied to future reviews of PCs, Apple computers/tablets, and Chromebooks. These criteria fall into the following categories.

  • Performance
  • Display
  • Input
  • Security
  • Collaboration
  • Connectivity
  • Look and feel

The table below further details the categories. Each component of a category will be rated on a 1-5 scale. These will be a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures. For instance, a front-facing camera will be evaluated on its specifications and on its performance. For instance, a 1080p camera with poor low-light support and no IR sensors will rate lower than a 720p camera with good low-light support and Microsoft “Hello” capable sensors.

Some of the features pointed out as missing or subpar in a review may be available as options or upgrades. We will evaluate only features available on review units. We will, however, point out options that manufacturers make available through customized purchases or complementary configurations.

We will continue to write qualitative evaluations that offer insights into the scores assigned to each device.

We hope that this new evaluation provides readers with a more consistent comparison between products. We will develop an infographic view of the criteria to complement our narrative reviews.

Serious Insights is proud of our reviews. We have reviewed computing hardware for over 30 years. Every computer we evaluate is used for several weeks. We often take them on trips to see how they perform in the wild. We do not evaluate any product based on a press release or specification sheet, and we typically do not write news about a product (unless we cover it as a business strategy). Trust that we have touched every review item we write about. Companies interested in a review can reach out to us here.

If you have questions or suggestions, please let us know.

Laptop Evaluation Criteria List

Display

Size

Touch

Display quality

Low blue light

Screen to body ratio

Aspect ratio

Color gamut

HDR support

Input

Keyboard*

Trackpad

Pointer

Pen

Performance

CPU

GPU

Battery life

Max memory

Cooling

Security

Fingerprint

Facial recognition

Encryption

Ruggedness

Privacy screen

Camera privacy shutter/switch

Physical security slot

Proprietary security features

Collaboration

Special keys

Microphone

Camera

Audio

Connectivity

Wi-Fi

Bluetooth

Cellular (LTE/5G)

Wired Ethernet

Ports

Aesthetics

Case design

Power supply design

Weight

Size

Software

Performance management

Computer vision

Noise suppression

Sustainability

Packaging

Build materials


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Daniel W. Rasmus

Daniel W. Rasmus, Founder and Principal Analyst of Serious Insights, is an internationally recognized speaker on the future of work and education. He is the author of several books, including Listening to the Future and Management by Design.

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