Everybody wants to know how well their laptop performs, but usually for different reasons. Was that high-end processor you optioned worth the extra money? Can your inexpensive clamshell run the latest, hottest PC games? Is it time to give up on that old laptop for something with a little more capability? A good way to find out is to run a few benchmarks.
Benchmarks put your machine through a set of fixed, predetermined tasks, and then provide scores that can be compared to the results of other PCs. Comparison is the key here, as a benchmark lacking context tells you very little. Indeed, no matter how high the score, if it can’t be contextualized against other PCs (or to a minimum performance requirement), then the benchmark won’t tell you much.