Computer reviews

Consumer Reports is the only place to find unbiased, independent computer reviews. Is it best to get a laptop computer or a desktop computer? How portable do you need your computer to be? Our reviews will guide you.

Our computer experts at the Consumer Reports National Testing and Research Center have evaluated more than 150 computers at our on-site computer-testing labs. Our reviews of computers will provide you with recommended computer models based on price, performance, and features. You can also subscribe to our computer Ratings, where you will find the exact numerical score our computer experts have assigned to each of the 10 tested review criteria: operating system, ergonomics, portability, performance, versatility, display, battery life, weight, thin and light, and touchscreen.

In addition, we provide computer reliability Ratings for such major brands as Microsoft, Apple, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Samsung, Acer, Gateway, and many more. Our computer review pages also provide Ratings of manufacturer and in-store tech support. We even provide advice on whether you even need a new computer, or if you can just beef up your current machine.

After reading the reviews, you can compare models, review our list of computer features and specifications, read user reviews, and submit your own computer review.

See more on computer reviews.

Also look at our computer buying guide, which shows you which computer features are important and gives you the pros and cons of each type of computer. Prefer a visual explanation? We have that too in our buying guide video. We also list what types of computers are available in all the major brands.

Read the computer reviews below and compare the Ratings of each computer model before you shop.

Computer reviews

Dell XPS 8700

Type: Desktop computers
Summary: A full-size desktop computer tested with Windows 8, an Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz processor, 8GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive, 1024MB AMD Radeon HD 7570 graphics, a DVD burner, and no speakers.
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Dell Inspiron i3847-8924BK

Type: Desktop computers
Summary: A full-size desktop computer tested with Windows 8.1, an Intel Core i7-4790 3.6GHz processor, 16GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4600 graphics, a DVD burner, and no speakers.
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HP Pavilion x360 11-k061nr

Type: Laptops
Summary: An 11.6-inch convertible laptop tested with Windows 8.1, an Intel Pentium N3700 1.6GHz processor, 4GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics graphics, a touchscreen, and a 500GB hard drive.
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HP Chromebook 14-x013dx

Type: Chromebooks
Summary: A 14-inch Chromebook tested with Chrome OS 39.0, an Nvidia Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 2.1GHz processor, 2GB of memory, Nvidia Integrated graphics and a 16GB eMMC drive.
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Asus PT2001-04

Type: Desktop computers
Summary: An all-in-one desktop computer with a 19.5-inch touchscreen tested with Windows 8.1, an Intel Core i5-4200U 1.6GHz processor, 8GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4400 graphics, and 2-piece speakers.
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Electronics & Computers News

What's behind our computer Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 162 models in computers to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score reflects all the Ratings factors. Displayed scores are rounded; models are listed in order of precise score, out of a total of 100. Scores are comparable between the 10- to 15-inch detachable laptops, 11- to 15-inch convertible laptops, 11-inch laptops, and 13-inch laptops. They are also comparable between the 14-inch laptops and 15 to 16-inch laptops. Scores for the 17 to 18-inch models are not comparable to other size categories.
  • OS
    The operating system that was installed on the computer at the time it was tested. The operating system is the software that controls the basic operation of the computer. Common examples are Windows and Mac OS. The operating system determines the "look and feel" of the PC.
  • Ergonomics
    Represents the quality of the keyboard and pointing device, and accessibility of features.
  • Portability
    Based on battery life and weight including the keyboard dock for detachable laptops.
  • Performance
    Based on performance while running productivity applications, multimedia applications, web browsing, and 3D games.
  • Versatility
    Includes hardware such as memory-card slots and AV connections, software such as security programs and productivity applications, and tech support and warranty provisions.
  • Display
    Covers display size, clarity, color, contrast, brightness, and glare. There are some differences in scoring detachable laptops such as importance of screen size and glare which could lead to a slight difference when the detachable is scored as a tablet.
  • Touchscreen
    Display that is sensitive to finger contact, letting you select and move screen objects, launch programs, choose from menus, scroll through photo libraries, and the like. Most touchscreens have "multi-touch", letting you use more than one finger to resize and rotate objects.
  • Battery life
    The time to takes to deplete a fully charged battery while the laptop loads a sequence of web pages over Wi-Fi. Bluetooth and 3G/4G are disabled and the screen is set to a specific brightness that's usable indoors or outdoors.
  • Weight
    The weight of the laptop as you would carry it around, including the battery and keyboard dock of detachable laptops, but without the power adapter.
  • Thin & light
    Based on weight and depth. Laptops designated "Thin & light" have to meet both criteria of being thinner and lighter than the average laptop in their size category. This includes laptops that may be labeled "Ultrabook," "Sleekbook," "Thin & light," and "Ultrathin," among other terms.
  • 2-in-1
    Laptop is able to convert by folding, rotating, or spinning into a tablet form factor or the screen detaches from the keyboard so you carry it as a tablet. "C" denotes convertible, "D" denotes detachable and "-" denotes a standard laptop.

Electronics & Computers reviews

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Tablet reviews
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