In the Charts: New Look, New Ranks for the PC World Top 100
This issue launches significant changes to the Top 100. What you will find in this month's charts, and those in the future, is an easier-to-read format and a simpler product rating system. The latter represents the most radical revision of the charts. Previously, our complex scoring system included a numeric ranking, an overall rating, and a Best Buy award, all to do one thing: signify a product's value based on its price, performance, design, and support. On top of that, we added our popular Star Ratings as a measure of a product's quality. It was, perhaps, too much of a good thing.
As you'll see, this month's charts are organized by product star rating. Still an indicator of product quality, the star rating takes into account design excellence, overall performance, vendor support, and breadth of features--but does not include price. This new approach places the best models, regardless of price, at the top of each chart. You'll still find our PC World Best Buys--fine products that are not necessarily best in class, but that represent especially good values for the dollar.
It all adds up to streamlined charts that help you locate the best products and values more quickly. Moving to this new format helps us achieve another improvement that we think you'll like: more-timely product reviews on our Web site, which include current pricing, additional specifications, product photos, and complete write-ups detailing what's good and bad about newly released products.
The Top 100 Team: Carla Thornton, a freelance writer, and PC World editors Laura Blackwell, Eric Butterfield, Tracey Capen, Rebecca Freed, Melissa J. Perenson, Narasu Rebbapragada, and Alan Stafford contributed to the Top 100 section this month. Ulrike Diehlmann, Julio Giannobile, Elliott Kirschling, Jeff Kuta, Tony K. Leung, Thomas Luong, and William Wang of the PC World Test Center conducted testing on the products reviewed in this section, with logistical support provided by Julian Weatherby.