The Which? Best Buy award is given to
products with high total test scores that perform consistently well in
our rigorous lab tests and excel in all key areas.
We award the Energy Saver logo to
products that our testing shows are very energy efficient, meaning
they'll cost you less to run.
The Which? Don't Buy logo alerts you
to the products that performed extremely poorly in one or more key
areas of our tests.
Ease of use
Includes ease of setup, everyday use, keyboard and touchpad accuracy and comfort and use on the lap
Screen quality under mid-lighting conditions
Sound quality from built-in speakers
Comprises weight and dimensions
How much use you can get from one charge of the battery for different tasks.
Ultrabooks and ultraportable
The laptop's ideal use. Ultrabooks are a phrase coined by Intel for super thin and light laptops that meet certain specifications it sets. Ultraportables might not meet Intel's exact criteria but are still slim and light - a good choice to take on the move.
The laptop's ideal use. Chromebooks are a budget laptop for people who spend the majority of their time online. They run Chrome OS, with limited hard drive storage space,
The laptop's ideal use. Desktop replacements have bigger screens and keyboards and high specifications.
The laptop's ideal use. Entry level models are cheaper with lower specifications - a good choice for novices or students on a budget.
The laptop's ideal use. Family laptops are all-rounders with good sized screens and specifications sufficient to handle everyday tasks.
The laptop's ideal use. Multimedia laptops have good screens and handle graphically demanding tasks well - great for watching films. Some even have Blu-ray drives for watching in high definition.
A laptop computer that folds into a tablet. The screen swivels around and folds back down, turning the machine into a rectangular tablet.
The laptop's short term memory, where it holds all the information about the tasks it's carrying out. The more memory a laptop has, the more quickly it can handle tasks. Go for as much memory as you can afford to make sure your laptop's well set up for a few years. You can pick up reasonably priced laptops with 4GB of Ram: a decent amount for today's machines.
This tells you the size of the hard drive, which stores all your files such as programs, photos and videos. If you plan to store lots of big files, such as videos, opt for plenty of storage. A full length film could take up over 1GB of storage space. If this is going to be your main desktop computer, aim for a bigger hard drive - 500GB say.
The operating system the laptop was running during testing
Whether the display is matte or glossy
Find models with a touchscreen
This is our measured weight of the laptop with the battery but without the power supply
We check the availability of Best Buys at major high-street retailers and online. With other models, we show their availability at online retailers (many of these products will also be available in larger high-street chains or at independent retailers).