Kate B is right I've seen the FE commenting on it in a thread when someone asked about all the hardware they must have lying about and the FE said it didn't happen and that anything they got for review had to be returned. Shame really as they could have used them as prizes.
I can just imagine down in the bowels of PCA towers in a small basement full of the latest kit with guys in white lab coats stripping the machines down to there component parts and examining them under microscopes.
Must be a great job testing all the latest pc kit out.
Actually, reviewing kit is a massive pain, admin-wise. The manufacturers often get you to sign forms, you have to arrange for stuff to be delivered to give you enough time to test the thing and get it written in time for your deadline, then you have to get it sent back and there's usually a tussle about paying for the courier ... it's all good if there's an assistant tasked with that stuff but often there's not.
When I used to work for a notorious PC manufacturer based in Burnley one of my jobs was the management of demo machines.
Some where built specifically for one magazine (you know the type where a magazine reviews 5 Media Centre PCs costing £750 etc) these machines would be out & back in around a fortnight. The machine would then be striped down and the components used for the next review machine.
Other PCs would be sent out to a say PCW, it would be returned, tidied up & sent to Computer Shopper. These PCs tended to get quite badly beaten in transit and testing.
And yes, more than once we had PCs come back with coffee swilling around in the innards.
Having said that, it's nothing compared to the state customers machines arrived in, we had a PC once where the customer had simply written our address on the case in permanent marker and sent it with no packaging at all, then he complained when he got the PC back with the writing still on the case! Another time we got a laptop for an insurance repair that had been dropped 1500 feet out of a helicopter, after a new case, screen, motherboard, hard drive, DVD drive & RAM it was as good as new!
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