PCWorld (USA)

HOW WE TESTED

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The Pcworld team puts each and every Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test GPU and CPU performanc­e, battery life, and so on. The idea is to push the laptop to its limits and then compare it against others we’ve tested.

Windows laptops

Pcmark 10: Pcmark 10 is how we determine how well the laptop handles general-use tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadshee­ts, and so on. It’s how we simulate everyday use in a specific time frame.

Handbrake: Handbrake is more intensive than Pcmark 10. It measures how long a laptop’s CPU takes to encode a beefy 30GB file. This is more like a stress test.

Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of the CPU cores. It does this by rendering a 2D scene over a short period of time. This benchmark shows us how well the CPU splits the workload.

3Dmark: 3Dmark checks if 3D performanc­e remains consistent over time by running graphic-intensive clips. These benchmarks are used on gaming laptops.

Video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app until the laptop dies. If you’re a regular traveler, you’ll want a battery that can last longer than a full workday.

Ultraporta­bles are known for being travel-friendly machines due to their slender profiles. However, there’s more to them than their minuscule size. If you’re considerin­g buying an ultraporta­ble but don’t know where to start, we’ve assembled an easy-tofollow FAQ section. We’ll go over everything from battery life to specificat­ions.

FAQ What’s an ultraporta­ble?

Simply put, an ultraporta­ble is a laptop that’s compact and lightweigh­t. They usually weigh about 3 pounds and the screen size is 14 inches or smaller. They’re designed for people who take their laptop with them wherever they go. However, as a way to reduce the size of these machines, laptop manufactur­ers often eliminate USB ports and connectors.

How much power do I need?

For everyday use, we recommend a 12th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. That’s zippy enough for spreadshee­t work, checking e-mail, and so on. If you fancy yourself a power user, we’d suggest springing for a 12th-gen Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. There aren’t too many ultraporta­bles out there with discrete graphics, as that would add significan­t heft to a slimmed-down machine.

What about battery life?

When it comes to ultraporta­bles, battery life is one of the more important aspects to consider. Whether you’re traveling for work or personal reasons, you don’t want to be stuck with a dead laptop. We’d recommend a laptop that can last anywhere from 12 to 14 hours on a single charge. That’s more than a full workday.

 ?? ?? Battery life is an important considerat­ion.
Battery life is an important considerat­ion.
 ?? ?? Ultraporta­bles are known as travel-friendly machines due to their slender profiles.
Ultraporta­bles are known as travel-friendly machines due to their slender profiles.

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