PCA Reviews...

  Bodi 09:55 10 Sep 2003

Once upon a time - a long time ago, in a secret location, PCA use to do a top 10 review - now, it is down to 5.

What I would like to know, is how PCA obtain the items for review. Are they sent to them by the manufacturer, or do PCA pick them out at random?

I have just bought a Dell 19" TFT 1901FP screen, with USB, DVI/Analog interface and 600:1 contrast ratio. Came complete with USB, Anolog and DVI cable - the only grumble is that the manual came on CD - which is a fat lot of help if there is no display - BUT I cannot find a review on this TFT Screen, nor does it appear to be advertised (in PCA at least).

Do those items that do not appear in reviews get discarded if they don't measure up to spec?


  Jester2K II 09:59 10 Sep 2003

Also what happens to the items after?

  t.long 10:33 10 Sep 2003

I imagine if it is like the rest of the press manufacturers send them items to review, as well as items for prizes (good publiity, plus no magazine will give a bad review of a prize, unless it is really bad). Then someone at PCA will choose what items are reviewed and go into the magazine. This is the system the idiots at my local paper use.

The website does not have an archive of old reviews which is a shame, and only features the current top five. I guess your only option is to look for a review online, or look through old copies of PCA.

The manual on CD thing - which seems to be for everything now - is a bit silly when you think of it, but most people now have access to more than one computer, ether at home, work or school etc. so its not too big a deal.

  PCA ed 11:26 10 Sep 2003

We have an open dialogue with the suppliers: some of them proactively send us their wares, some of them need chasing.

The big brand names don't figure very often because they don't offer the same feature/£ value that the smaller ones do, so they don't make the charts often. But we review them as stand-alones from time to time.

If it's no good we say so.

After review the products are returned.

And just in case anyone asks 'why don't we review customer service?' it's because one machine is representative of all, whereas customer experiences are unique. Reviews need to be read alongside Consumerwatch and the CW forum.

  Wes Tam ;-) 13:24 10 Sep 2003

"We have an open dialogue with the suppliers: some of them proactively send us their wares, some of them need chasing".

PCA ed is it a constant set of suppliers?

What about the smaller companies, eg Novatech?

  Djohn 14:44 10 Sep 2003

If you mean the reviews on this website, then you can go back quite a bit. Whichever item you choose, you will see 5 on the main page, but if you look to the top right of page, there is a link to take you back much further. j.

  bvw in bristol 16:48 10 Sep 2003
  Bodi 19:58 10 Sep 2003

Thanks for that link - been all over the internet (obviously in the wrong places) looking for a review on this.

PCA ed: Thanks for the clarification. I'm disappointed tho' 'cos I thought you might have a cupboard full of freebies somewhere!

Djohn: Checked the latest magazine and the website. Apparently, according to bvw's link, this didn't come out until June this year.

Anyway, thanks all - was just being curious as usual.


  Silverbeard 06:39 11 Sep 2003


Since an increasing number of PC system buyers are concerned with noise, wouldn't it be a good idea to include a noise check?


  SheffieldSpy 13:54 11 Sep 2003

They do review noise, but only if the manufacturer claims some noise reducing hardware.

  SheffieldSpy 13:57 11 Sep 2003

I have seen reviews were noise has been commented on. For example the Rock Quaddra XS review in PC Plus (I think) indicates that the machine is so quiet at times that your left wondering if the machine is actually working.

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