June 25, 2023, Paris, France: DXOMARK, the international leader in quality evaluation of professional and consumer electronics, enters the laptop industry today with its first laptop quality scoring and ranking. As experts in Camera, Display, and Audio evaluation, DXOMARK’s engineering teams have built a testing suite based on two use cases: Video call and Music & Video. These scores, which incorporate camera, audio, and display performances, provide valuable insights into a laptop’s quality and will help consumers find the device that fits their requirements.
“More than 10 years after our branching out into the smartphone market, it was only natural to bring our knowledge and expertise to laptops, which are instrumental in both professional and personal lives. There is a lot, today, that can be done to improve the user experience, and we hope that our laptop protocol will have a positive and durable impact on the industry.”
Frédéric Guichard, CEO of DXOMARK
The reasoning behind DXOMARK’s Laptop protocol
DXOMARK has 20 years of experience in testing image quality, and it has diversified its areas of expertise throughout the years, notably adding an Audio protocol in 2019 and a Display protocol in 2020, as well expanding the types of devices it evaluates. The Laptop protocol is a natural extension of DXOMARK’s diversification.
The focus on laptops was notably prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which drastically increased the reliance on videoconferencing and laptop usage for both professional and personal purposes. The use of collaborative software such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams has almost doubled between 2018 and 20221, but the quality of the laptops still leaves most users unsatisfied.
Besides being an essential tool for remote work, laptops are increasingly being used for music and video consumption. A YouGov x DXOMARK study showed that 76% of respondents used their laptops for Web browsing (the quality of which depends heavily on the quality of the connection) and 59% for office tasks (word processing, emailing, etc.). These usages were followed by the 2 “multimedia” uses, which are video / movie streaming at 44% and music listening at 35%. But here as well, there were many discrepancies among the devices, whether in audio quality or display capabilities.
The main elements of the protocol
To evaluate a laptop’s performance when video conferencing and consuming music and video content, DXOMARK has chosen to focus on three core elements of its expertise: Camera, Audio, and Display.
On top of the overall laptop score, two use cases will help guide buyers in their purchasing decisions.
In the Video call use case, all three domains are taken into account, as they all have an impact on the user experience. Video calls rely on the camera, audio and display systems of the laptop to work together seamlessly, so that a correctly exposed and focused image is properly displayed, while the speaker’s voice is intelligible and coherent.
For the second use case, Music & Video, the focus will be solely on display and audio playback, which are the functionalities of a laptop that play a role when watching videos or listening to music. This part of display testing focuses on correct reproduction of colors and tones for both SDR and HDR video contents, while the audio playback testing will make sure that users can clearly hear dialogue or recognize the music instruments in a piece of music, no matter the background noise.
Following the signature DXOMARK methodology, the laptop protocol will rely on a combination of lab measurements and perceptual analyses, in both labs and real-life scenes. This complementary and comprehensive way of testing allows for repeatable and reliable results, while being user-centric and tested in real-life situations.