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Category: TouchXPRT 2016

Planning for the next TouchXPRT

We’re in the very early planning stages for the next version of TouchXPRT, and we’d love to hear any suggestions you may have. What do you like or dislike about TouchXPRT? What features do you hope to see in a new version?

For those who are unfamiliar with TouchXPRT, it’s a benchmark for evaluating the performance of Windows 10 devices. TouchXPRT 2016, the most recent version, runs tests based on five everyday scenarios (Beautify Photos, Blend Photos, Convert Videos for Sharing, Create Music Podcast, and Create Slideshow from Photos) and produces results for each of the five scenarios plus an overall score. The benchmark is available two ways: as a Universal Windows App in the Microsoft Store and as a sideload installer package on TouchXPRT.com.

When we begin work on a new version of any benchmark, one of the first steps we take is to assess its workloads to determine whether they will provide value during the years ahead. This step involves evaluating whether to update test content such as photos and videos to more contemporary file resolutions and sizes, and can also involve removing workloads or adding completely new ones. Should we keep the TouchXPRT workloads listed above or investigate other use cases? Should we research potential AI-related workloads? What do you think?

As we did with MobileXPRT 3 and HDXPRT 4 earlier this year, we’re also planning to update the TouchXPRT UI to improve the look of the benchmark and make it easier to use. We’re just at the beginning of this process, so any feedback you send has a chance to really shape the future of the benchmark.

On a related note, TouchXPRT 2016 testers who use the installer package available on TouchXPRT.com may have noticed that the package has a new file name (TX2016.6.52.0_8.19.19.zip). Microsoft requires developers to assign a security certificate to all sideload apps, and the new TouchXPRT file contains a refreshed certificate. We did not change the benchmark in any other way, so scores from this package are comparable to previous TouchXPRT 2016 scores.

Justin

TouchXPRT: a great tool for evaluating Windows performance

From time to time, we remember that some XPRT users have experience with only one or two of the benchmark tools in our portfolio. They might have bookmarked a link to WebXPRT they found in a tech review or copied the HDXPRT installer package from a flash drive in their lab, but are unaware of other members of the XPRT family that could be useful to them. To spread the word on the range of capabilities the XPRTs offer, we occasionally highlight one of the XPRT tools in the blog . Last week, we discussed CrXPRT, a benchmark for evaluating the performance and battery life of Chrome OS devices. Today, we focus on TouchXPRT, our app for evaluating the performance of Windows 10 devices.

While our first benchmark, HDXPRT, is a great tool for assessing how well Windows machines handle media creation tasks using real commercial applications, it’s simply too large to run on most Windows tablets, 2-in-1s, and laptops with limited memory. To test those devices, we developed the latest version of TouchXPRT as a Universal Windows Platform app. As a Windows app, installing TouchXPRT is easy and quick (about 15 minutes). It runs five tests that simulate common photo, video, and music editing tasks; measures how quickly the device completes each of those tasks; and provides an overall score. It takes about 15 minutes to run on most devices. Labs can also automate testing using the command line or a script.

Want to run TouchXPRT?

Download TouchXPRT from the Microsoft Store or from TouchXPRT.com. The TouchXPRT 2016 release notes provide step-by-step instructions. To compare device scores, go to the TouchXPRT 2016 results page, where you’ll find scores from many Windows 10 devices.

Want to dig into the details?

Check out the Exploring TouchXPRT 2016 white paper. In it, we discuss the TouchXPRT development process, its component tests and workloads, and how it calculates individual workload and overall scores. We also provide instructions for automated testing.

BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members also have access to the TouchXPRT source code, so consider joining the community today. There’s no obligation and membership is free for members of any company or organization with an interest in benchmarks.

If you’ve been looking for a Windows performance evaluation tool that’s easy to use and has the flexibility of a UWP app, give TouchXPRT a try and let us know what you think!

Justin

New opportunities for TouchXPRT

Next week’s XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight will feature a unique device: the HP Envy x2 2-in-1. The first device of its kind on the market, the Envy x2 runs Windows 10 on ARM hardware—in this case, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform. ASUS and Lenovo will release similar devices in the coming months. Using the ARM chips found in many flagship phones, these devices aim to power robust operating systems on 2-in-1s and laptops while providing extended battery life and always-on LTE connections.

These new devices bring ample opportunities for benchmarking. Consumers will want to know about potential trade-offs between price, power, and battery life—incentivizing tech reviewers to dive into the details and provide useful data points. But for the new Windows on ARM systems, the usual benchmarks have presented challenges. Many traditional laptop benchmarks just won’t work on the new systems. TouchXPRT, however, works like a charm.

TouchXPRT assesses performance on any Windows device. Since it’s a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app that runs on both x86 and ARM systems, it can evaluate how well a Windows device running on ARM hardware performs compared to traditional laptops and 2-in-1s. It’s easy to install, takes about 15 minutes to run, and you can download it directly from TouchXPRT.com or install it from the Microsoft Store. Labs can also automate testing using the command line or a script.

If you’ve been looking for a Windows performance evaluation tool that’s easy to use and has the flexibility of a UWP app, give TouchXPRT a try. Read more details about TouchXPRT here, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Justin

Getting to know TouchXPRT

Many of our community members first encountered the XPRTs when reading about WebXPRT or MobileXPRT in a device review, using TouchXPRT or HDXPRT in an OEM lab, or using BatteryXPRT or CrXPRT to evaluate devices for bulk purchasing on behalf of a corporation or government agency. They know that specific XPRT provided great value in that context, but may not know about the other members of the XPRT family.

To help keep folks up to date on the full extent of XPRT capabilities, we like to occasionally “reintroduce” each of the XPRTs. This week, we invite you to get to know TouchXPRT.

We developed TouchXPRT 2016 as a Universal Windows Platform app for Windows 10. We wanted to offer a free tool that would provide consumers with objective information about how well a Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile laptop, tablet, or phone handles common media tasks. To do this, TouchXPRT runs five tests that simulate the kinds of photo, video, and music editing tasks people do every day. It measures how quickly the device completes each of those tasks and provides an overall score. To compare device scores, go to TouchXPRT.com and click View Results, where you’ll find scores from many different Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices.

TouchXPRT is easy to install and run, and is a great resource for anyone who wants to evaluate the performance of a Windows 10 device.

If you’d like to run TouchXPRT:

Simply download TouchXPRT from the Microsoft Store. (If that doesn’t work for you, you can also download it directly from TouchXPRT.com.) Installing it should take about 15 minutes, and the TouchXPRT 2016 release notes provide step-by-step instructions.

If you’d like to dig into the details:

Check out the Exploring TouchXPRT 2016 white paper. In it, we discuss the TouchXPRT development process, its component tests and workloads, and how it calculates individual workload and overall scores. We also provide instructions for automated testing.

BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members also have access to the TouchXPRT source code, so consider joining today. There’s no obligation and membership is free for members of any company or organization with an interest in benchmarks.

If you haven’t tried running TouchXPRT before, give it a shot and let us know what you think!

Justin

TouchXPRT’s future

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that we’ve been reviewing each part of the XPRT portfolio. If you missed our discussions of HDXPRT, BatteryXPRT, WebXPRT, and CrXPRT, we encourage you to check them out and send us any thoughts you may have. This week, we continue that series by discussing the state of TouchXPRT and what we see down the road for it in 2017.

We released TouchXPRT 2016, an app for evaluating the performance of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile devices, last February. We built the app by porting TouchXPRT 2014 performance workloads to the new Universal Windows App format, which allows a single app package to run on PCs, phones, tablets, and even consoles.

TouchXPRT 2016 installation is quick and easy, and the test completes in under 15 minutes on most devices. The app runs tests based on five everyday tasks (Beautify Photos, Blend Photos, Convert Videos for Sharing, Create Music Podcast, and Create Slideshow from Photos). It measures how long your device takes to complete each task, produces results for each scenario, and gives you an overall score.

As we think about the path forward for TouchXPRT, we’re aware that many expect 2017 to be a year of significant change in the Windows world, with two updates scheduled for release. Microsoft is slated to release the Windows 10 Creators Update (Build 1704) in April, and a subsequent version of Windows codenamed Redstone 3 may arrive this fall. Many tech observers believe that the Creators Update will introduce new creativity and gaming features, along with a UI upgrade named Project NEON. Major foundational shifts in the OS’s structure are more likely to appear with Redstone 3. At this point, quite a lot is still up in the air, but we’ll be following developments closely.

As we learn more about upcoming changes, we’ll have the opportunity to reevaluate TouchXPRT workloads and determine the best way to incorporate new technologies. Virtual reality, 3D, and 4K are especially exciting, but it’s too soon to know how we might incorporate them in a future version of TouchXPRT.

Because TouchXPRT 2016 continues to run well on a wide range of Windows 10 devices, we think it’s best to keep supporting the current version until we get a better idea of what’s in store for Windows.

If you have any thoughts on the future of Windows performance testing, please let us know!

Bill

Reflecting on 2016

The beginning of a new year is a good time to look back on the previous 12 months and take stock of everything that happened. Here’s a quick recap of a very busy year:

In 2016, the XPRTs travelled quite a bit. Eric went to CES in Las Vegas, Mark attended MWC in Barcelona, and Bill flew out to IDF16 in Shenzhen.

We also sent a team to Seattle for the first XPRT Women Code-A-Thon, an event we’re very proud to have sponsored and co-hosted along with ChickTech, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in tech-related fields. The Code-a-thon also served as inspiration for an eight-part video series entitled Women Coding for Change. The series explains the motivation behind the Code-a-thon and profiles several of the participants. If you haven’t watched the videos, check them out. They’re well worth the time.

Speaking of videos, we also published one about Nebula Wolf, the mini-game workload produced through our first collaboration with the North Carolina State Senior Design Center. That experience was promising enough for us to partner with another student team this past fall, which resulted in a virtual reality app that we hope to share with the community in the near future.

Of course, we also continued work on our suite of benchmark tools and related resources. We released TouchXPRT 2016 to the public, published the Exploring TouchXPRT 2016 white paper, and released the TouchXPRT 2016 source code to community members.

In 2016, we unveiled the XPRT Weekly Tech Spotlight, a new way for device vendors and manufacturers to share verified test results with buyers around the world. We put 46 devices in the spotlight throughout the year and published Back-to-School, Black Friday, and Holiday device showcases.

In the last quarter of 2016, we celebrated our most widely-used benchmark, WebXPRT, passing the 100,000-run milestone. WebXPRT is still going strong and is as useful and relevant as ever!

Finally, we ended the year with the exciting news that we’re moving forward with efforts to develop a machine-learning performance evaluation tool. We look forward to engaging with the community in the coming year as we tackle this challenge!

As always, we’re grateful for everyone who’s helped to make the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community a strong, vibrant, and relevant resource for people all around the world. Here’s to a great 2017!

Justin

Check out the other XPRTs: