Is PCAdvisor biased in reviews?

  Nixx 11:59 09 Jan 2005

I was just reading the test on inkjet photo printers in issue 115 and the HP unit won hands down because of it's 'printing costs' Apart from the errors in the test result comparison chart, which make it look better than it's rivals, it's extra initial outlay means the second placed unit could print 100 A4 photos before any test comparisons were considered. No credence was given to the fact that the second placed unit prints text documents cheaper, but then no-one prints them these days do they? So can we have a proper review as I'm in the market for one of these units and my present HP printer is a frustrating pile of junk that has a queue of people waiting to administer its last rites

  Forum Editor 12:33 09 Jan 2005

and I'm not the person to provide you with a definitive answer, but I think you've made a few errors yourself Nixx, and perhaps you'll allow me to address a couple of tiny points.

1. I invite you to tell me why PC Advisor would conceivably want to be "biased in reviews"

2. Text files are printed by the million nowdays but this comparison review was on dedicated photo printers (note the word 'photo' there Nixx), and so naturally the main point of the review was to compare image-printing.

3. You don't say what the 'errors' in the test comparison chart are - perhaps you'll point them out?

We think we've provided you with a 'proper' review Nixx - the HP machine was streets ahead of the competition when it came to printing photos, and we think that's what purchasers of photo-printers are primarily interested in. That, plus the fact that the HP machine printed colour files cheaper than any of the other machines.......Oh yes, and the image quality was better than any of the others too.

  bremner 17:39 09 Jan 2005

You have to remember that all reviews be they in PCA or Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear are subjective and depend as much on the reviewer as that being reviewed.

One mans oil is anothers water. It is never good advice to rely on one review but always to take a cross section.

PCA reviewers are I am sure unbiased, honest and truthful in what they report.

Otherwise they would I am sure soon be exposed and that is in no ones interest - least of all PCA's

  Cook2 17:54 09 Jan 2005

click here enter the printer model and read the reviews. This is just one place I picked at random.

  Stuartli 17:54 14 Jan 2005

Perhaps you should work out the difference between "its" and "it's" before commenting on errors...:-)

No reviewer worth his/her salt would write a biased review - a pattern of such reviews would be quickly spotted and said reviewer(s) quickly sent packing.

Readers and manufacturers are entitled to an honest and straightforward review of a product and, over a period, the soundness or otherwise of a reviewer's work soon becomes apparent.

Just remember that no two reviewers will have quite the same opinion of a product but that applies to every aspect of life.

Otherwise we'd all be driving either a Trabant or an S-Class.

  Stuartli 17:57 14 Jan 2005

Everyone I know with an HP printer (from an 890C upwards) has nothing but praise for them - the only drawback they've found is that overall it's best to use genuine HP cartridges.

  fourjays 20:33 14 Jan 2005

I don't think PCA reviews are overly biased. As Bremmer said, the problem with all reviewers is that they report what THEY think. It is impossible to have a reviewer that can report completely unbiased I think, as people are always influenced by their own opinions. Sometimes I do feel that PCA leans to support the current market trend, and sometimes I think they do miss out some vital factors in their reviews, but overall I find their reviews are as unbiased as is physically possible.

On a personal note, I find nothing wrong with HP printers other than their ink cartirdges are very expensive in comparison to others.

  Stuartli 09:38 15 Jan 2005 what THEY think.....

Surely that's the whole idea...:-))

Would you prefer that they reported what someone else had written or stated?

  Forum Editor 09:49 15 Jan 2005

our comparative reviews are not entirely subjective - we use benchmarks, so we can compare a hardware product (like a printer) with other similar machines. We print the same files from all the printers using the same computer, and then compare the results. It's pretty easy to test for image quality, colour saturation,print speed etc., and thus arrive at a fairly conclusive (and unbiased) result.

Certainly a reviewer may make judgments about build quality, appearance, and so on, but assessing these factors is pretty straightforward, and not something that is likely to be wildly contentious.

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