How can we choose !!!!!!

  brettwier 18:50 09 Jan 2005

I'm new to this site but i kinda feel that the reviews on this site/magazine are only reflective off the companies that advertise within it. I recently bought a camera magazine which gave reviews on every camera out there. No wonder Mesh win so many awards as they are only up against 5 or 6 other companies. Where are the reviews on Dell , sony, hp etc so that people like myself know what to buy these days without having to understand a benchmark score !

  Totally-braindead 19:41 09 Jan 2005

If you were correct, that PCA only reviews the PCs that advertise in it, then they would have reviews of Dell, Sony and HP as they all advertise in PCA at one time or another, Dell advertises every month. They do review them but I don't recall many of them appearing in the PCA charts, not because they're bad computers by any means, I think its just the others that do make it to the charts offer better value.

  bfoc 20:35 09 Jan 2005

The mag can only review machines that are supplied for review! If Dell, Sony or anyone doesn't supply the hardware it cannot be reviewed. If it isn't reviewed it can't make it to any best buy tables.

To that extent suppliers can choose who they want to review their machines, the magazine can't force them to supply equipment!

I am sure that advertising has no influence at all on reviews.

  freaky 20:37 09 Jan 2005

I second Totally-braindead there!

There are a considerable number of other companies shown in the charts, none of whom adverise in PCA !!

In the examples you cite i.e. Dell, Sony and HP, nearly always Dell appear and sometimes HP.

I was not aware that Sony even make PC's !

  spuds 23:07 09 Jan 2005

You will generally find that Which magazine gives independent and unbiased views on computers occasionally. They go out and buy the products, have them tested to various degrees then print their findings. Computer magazines usually really on a source from the manufacturers, so if one manufacturer doesn't want to supply,their product will not be reviewed.

You will also find that most of the reviews given have a report on an actual computer system available, as per the review. If you order one of these computers, and you state it is from a certain magazines review, then the manufacturer usually as an agreement to supply that particular machine containing the same components for the price quoted.

  Forum Editor 00:19 10 Jan 2005

pretty well brettwier - we review machines which are submitted to us by manufacturers, as does almost every other computer magazine. We have no particular bias - we wouldn't gain from it - and in fact we have been known to refuse advertising in the past, when we felt that a supplier wasn't up to the mark.

This whole thing about advertisers is often misunderstood - they need us as much as we need them, or they wouldn't advertise at all. Computer manufacturers want their products to be seen by people who are interested in buying computers, and advertising in magazines is the way to do that - especially if a company doesn't sell via the high street.

We do our best with reviews - all computers are tested against benchmarks because that's the way to do it, there's not much point in saying "we fiddled around with this machine for a few days and thought it was great" is there? What you need to know is how a particular machine performed when compared to a set of known and quantifiable benchmarks. If a computer is bad we say so - regardless of whether its makers advertise with us or not.

  Jim Pollitt 10:12 10 Jan 2005

I want to buy a new computer. The last 3 I have had were from Tiny ( Last one 3.5 years ago )They seemed to offer pretty good specifications at a lower price than most others. Before I buy I looked for reviews on this company and they were terrible. Maybe 90% bad.

I looked around again and all the companies that could give me the specs I want at a price I want seem to get bad reviews. (Mesh, Time )etc.

The difference with those that got good reviews ( Small independents) was up to 600 quid.

Is this because there are folks out there who only write when they get bad service? How do the likes of Tiny, Time, Mesh stay in business and make money if they are so bad...or are we so gullible.

  wags 13:01 10 Jan 2005

Jim Pollitt, you'll find that Mesh consistently get very good reviews for their products in PCA and a vast number of other mags. If you are referring to 'bad comments'regarding after-sales service on this forum, then yes, Mesh have a fair few. But, you'll find there is a silent majority who have nothing but praise for Mesh (including me - with 2 Mesh Pcs).

So, when you say 'Is this because there are folks out there who only write when they get bad service?', the answer is, generally 'yes'.

  Rayuk 18:22 10 Jan 2005

Also the Tiny reviews how recent were they as the brand name is now part of Computerland/Time computers.

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