With improvements in design, component power and product finish, we found that too many of the laptops we've been testing recently were walking their way to a four-star write-up. That was a sure-fire sign that we needed to tighten things up. So from now on, screen contrast is to become a more heavily weighted criterion in our notebook review process. In fact, it'll be able to make or break a four-star score.
As of today, all the laptops we test will need screen contrast over 600:1 to get a five-star review. To get four stars, this needs to be at least 300:1. Any model with contrast under 300:1 won't be able to get over three stars in one of our laptop reviews.
In light of this, we've also looked back over some of our recent notebook reviews and adjusted the scores in line with these new criteria. We now only have 24 models with four or five stars, down from a whopping 36 before we toughened things up. Some models have inevitably suffered more than others: for example, the Asus U36SD has dropped directly from five to three stars!
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