Laptop computers have always been the portable workhorses of every business professional on the go, whether working on complex files  or  making a presentation. But when the pandemic hit several years ago and  forced many people to work remotely from home, laptop computers became indispensable for communicating and conducting business. Thanks to their portability, the built-in camera, microphones and speakers, laptops were being increasingly used to hold group conferences and individual meetings, as well as to socialize with friends from any room in the house or apartment and from anywhere in the world.

It also quickly became apparent that not all laptops’ audio-visual performances were the same in the newly important area of videoconferencing. Even some laptops with the best cameras, displays and audio equipment were facing performance challenges.

In 2023, our engineers developed a protocol that incorporates three areas of DXOMARK’s testing expertise—camera, display, and audio. Based on DXOMARK’s renowned rigorous protocols that combine laboratory testing with daily-life testing, this initial Laptop protocol focuses on the device’s performance during a video call and when listening to music or watching video.

The numerous uses and specifications for a laptop can make choosing the right one for your needs confusing and overwhelming. There is a lot to consider when buying a laptop. In addition to the operating system, processor, and storage, DXOMARK believes that performance in video calling and multimedia should be a priority consideration.

Laptop Score Structure

Learn more about our Use Cases

Video Call 50%

The video call portion of the score evaluates professional calls in an office or meeting room environment and personal calls in a home environment. Three aspects of the video call are put to the test, related to camera, display and audio.

What is tested :

Video capture image quality 

Face exposure evaluation is the main aspect assessing the ability of the built-in camera to clearly render human faces during a video call (within static as well as dynamic conditions during changing lighting environments.)

Other intrinsic image quality attributes are also evaluated :  


Does the camera reproduce color accurately? A particular focus is on the skin-tone rendering of the subject. Various skin-tone types are evaluated.


Does the camera  preserve small and fine details in the image, particularly on the subject’s facial features, such as visible freckles or a beard, and the background?


How much noise is present in the video, particularly in scarce lighting conditions, where the amount of noise can rapidly increase?


Are there any undesirable and unnatural effects appearing on the image, such as distortion ?

Audio Capture, Playback and Duplex

Voice intelligibility, in capture and playback, is one of the main aspects that we evaluate in the audio experience of video calls. We assess whether the voices in the call from either one person or several people are clearly captured by the laptop’s microphones and then clearly played back via the laptop’s speakers.

Noise reduction in capture is another important aspect that is evaluated to see whether the subject’s voice has been isolated and whether background noise has been removed.

Other intrinsic audio quality attributes are evaluated for both capture and playback.


Looks for good midrange and treble rendition to ensure faithful rendering of voice timbre.


Looks for a good signal-to-noise ratio in the capture part, as well as sharp voice plosives in playback and capture.


Looks for good perceived distance and localizability, which contributes to good intelligibility when multiple people are on the call.


Evaluates the device’s capability to capture and play sound at a satisfying volume.


Evaluates whether capture, duplex, and playback are free of artifacts, such as gating or voice distortions, which would impair the intelligibility of speech.

We also evaluate a feature specific to video calls: full duplex/double-talk capabilities. This is linked to the laptop’s ability to handle bi-directional audio signals, such as when two people speak at the same time during a video call.

Display rendering quality

Screen readability is one of the main aspects that we evaluate in the display experience of video calls. We assess the ease and comfort of viewing the displayed images during a video call indoors, with the focus on:

    • Screen brightness and contrast, which measures the screen’s minimum and maximum brightness levels in an indoor environment;
    • Reflectance, which measures how much of the surrounding light is reflected by the device, therefore affecting the viewing experience.

SDR video performance (because video calls are in SDR):

    • We evaluate the display’s brightness, contrast, as well as the tone mapping, which assesses the rendering of the details from dark tones to highlights, which should be as close as possible to the original subject.

Test scenarios:

    • Two types of calls: Professional calls in an office or meeting rooms and personal calls in a home environment
    • Number of people on the call: One-on-one calls and small group calls
    • Various indoor lighting conditions
    • Various voice and background noise conditions

Music & Video 50%

This portion of the score evaluates two main use cases: watching videos, movies and listening to music on the laptop.

What is tested :

Display rendering of videos  

In video, the focus is on SDR and HDR video performance. HDR is tested when the laptop is compatible. We pay particular attention to the display rendering and verify whether it respects the original artistic intent of the filmmaker.

    • We measure:
      • Brightness and contrast, particularly in indoor and low-light environments
      • Gamma and EOTF, which evaluates the laptop’s capability to render details in dark areas as well as highlights
      • Screen color range, which evaluates the color rendering for SDR and HDR video contents

Audio playback rendering 

Audio playback rendering evaluates videos and movies, with the focus on the fidelity of the sound to the movie’s content, and it evaluates the audio quality of music playback through the laptop speakers.


Evaluates the ability to render the correct frequency response. A good tonal balance will bring an even distribution between bass, mid and high frequencies.


Evaluates the ability to render sharpness of impacts and to convey punch.


Evaluates the ability to render the multichannel scene in an immersive yet realistic way.


Evaluates the perceived loudness in playback.


Evaluates the presence of accidental or unwanted sounds (like distortion or pumping) resulting from a device’s design or tuning.

What we also Test

Leave a Reply