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HOW THE RATINGS WORK

The product ratings in the Computer Buying Guide were compiled by National Software Testing Laboratories Inc. (NSTL), a computer-testing lab that is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, publishers of BUSINESS WEEK. Every product receives an ''overall'' ranking based on the product's performance, usability, and features. The higher the number the better, and there is no perfect score.

NSTL uses a variety of criteria--such as how well a computer runs a particular software program or carries out multimedia tasks--to determine performance. For usability, the lab evaluates ease-of-use factors, while the features comparisons take into account both standard and extra components. Scores for two products in the same category may be the same, even if the products contain faster or slower components, indicating that their overall performance is the same.



Updated June 14, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1996, Bloomberg L.P.
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