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MakeUseOf's Hardware Review Policy

MakeUseOf has been a reliable and trusted source for technology tutorials and news since 2006. Since then, we've been harnessing our expertise to test hardware products and let you know if a gadget is worth buying. We promise that our coverage will always remain independent, with honest opinions from our team of experts all around the globe.

Whether it’s the latest smartphone, VR headsets, 3D printer, or smart home products, we endeavor to assign a suitable expert to trial the products for us. If that's not possible, we'll approach the review from a beginner's perspective, and say so in the review. We also give every product a fair shot throughout our review process. We use these rules to ensure we recommend only the best products that suit your needs.

Our Promise

While we receive product samples to review, we don’t allow companies to compromise our independence.

Sponsored posts will always be clearly marked at the top of the article, so you can rest assured you're reading independent content.

We thoroughly test every product we review. It’s important that we use every product in the way our readers would. We spend at least a week using each product to get a good feel for them before sharing our thoughts.

We’re always selective in what we decide to review. If we decide to review something, it’s because we see its value for our audience. That means the scores we assign aren't often terribly low, because if we believed a product was that bad, we wouldn't have agreed to review it in the first place. Occasionally, a product will look good on paper, but fall completely flat in real-world use. If that happens, we promise to be honest. 

If a product is outstanding, we'll tell you that, too. And we may even award it Editor's Choice. But we’ll always ensure you get a rounded view of everything we test.

We’re always trying to improve, and we might not always get it right. If we fall short on our promises laid out here, or you just have a great idea to share for how we could do better, reach out to our Editor-in-Chief Ben Stegner to share your thoughts. He’s always willing to listen to your feedback.

Our Scoring System

Our scoring system runs from zero through ten. You won't frequently see us award the top score, simply because it's rare to find a perfect tech product. It's also uncommon to award very low scores, because we don't want to waste our time testing out a product that's obviously terrible. Here's an overview of what those scores mean:

  • 1-2: Do not buy these products. They’re fundamentally broken, and you'll feel like you've wasted your money.
  • 3-4: This product isn't completely useless, but it didn’t meet our expectations. It may be suitable for some people with specific use cases, so be sure to read our review thoroughly to understand what those flaws are and who it would work for.
  • 5-6: These products aren't inherently bad and should mostly do what the manufacturer claims it does, but they may have some serious flaws. 
  • 7-8: These are solid products that would be a sensible purchase. There may be some drawbacks that prevent it from scoring higher, but they're unlikely to be deal-breakers or prevent it from functioning as expected. 
  • 9-10: These products are the best of the best. They may not be perfect for your particular use case, but they exceed our expectations. 

Our Editor's Choice Review Award Explained

We get to experience a lot of gadgets at MakeUseOf, and while most of them get the job done, it's very rare to find one that truly stuns us. The MakeUseOf Editor's Choice award signifies that a gadget is outstanding.

Any product in any price category can be awarded Editor's Choice. It has to really excite us, bring something highly innovative to the table, or blow the competition out of the water. It might not be flawless (so you should still read the review!), but we heartily recommend it.

Our Reviews Team

MakeUseOf is a global team of writers with many years of experience reviewing consumer tech gadgets. We focus on providing easy-to-read, in-depth, honest reviews from real-world experience.

Everyone on the MakeUseOf team has a core interest, so we try to ensure those people take the reviews for each category they care most about. If that's not possible, they'll provide input so we can ensure a fair testing regime and balanced opinion.