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How we test


These are our labs.

We know – you expected a table full of oscilloscopes, spectrometers and white labcoats. But your living room isn’t a sparkling research facility, and hard specs don’t determine which gadget is best for you any more than the Nutrition Facts label determines which breakfast cereal you pour in your bowl each morning.

So we test electronics in the real world. Laptops and tablets get toted around in backpacks, used on tray tables at 30,000 feet in the air, and propped up to play Netflix in bed. TVs get set up in bright living rooms and in pitch-dark basements, have their remotes accidentally slathered in buffalo wing sauce on game day, and their menu systems critiqued by crying kids that can’t manage to pull up Dora the Explorer. Cell phones get put in pockets with keys, used to buy movie tickets in a pinch on a Friday night, and, occasionally, dropped. Because that’s life.

We benchmark devices wherever possible to make objective measurements between similar devices, but we know they don’t tell the whole story. Digital Trends editors put in the real-life testing to make sure that our reviews do.

For a closer look at the rigorous tests we put each type of device through, check out our specific testing procedures for these categories: