| | 01-03-2013, 03:28 PM #1
An open letter to Consumer Reports:
I've subscribed to Consumer Reports for about 20 years and find every issue has some useful information, but I stopped believing years ago that they are as objective as they continually claim they are. The staff at CR is clearly in love with Apple and while they wouldn't just be blatant about it, their subtle design and editing choices make the preferences very clear.
Some recent examples:
In the January and February 2013 issues: Both issues feature a giant size picture of the latest iMac model, far larger than the image shown of any other device accompanied by text that is gushing with praise. The January issue has a discussion of how they "invariably recommend" Apple because of its test scores and better service. No where in the discussion is a mention of the number of apps available for Macs, which is ALWAYS discussed when it comes to phones tablets. Also, there is absolutely no mention of price, which for Consumer Reports is a very telling omission. Price frequently is a consideration in their reviews of other products, but not when it comes to Apple. In the article's discussion of reliability of PC's and Mac's they note that Apple laptops are comparable to PC's and Apple desktops are better. They even present a chart that shows Apple on top of other manufacturers needing fewer repairs. Yet if you read the tiny print under the chart you would see the measurement is essentially meaningless. Based on their survey size, the numerical difference between the score of Apple and EVERY other manufacturer other than Dell is not meaningful.
In the February issue, a discussion on tablets dismisses the Surface RT as "bulky." They must have used the Surface table top version and not the tablet. The chart that accompanies the tablet discussion lists the Surface at a weighty 1.5 pounds, the EXACT same weight as the chart lists for the top scoring iPad 4. 1.5 pounds on an Apple product apparently isn't bulky. In this article, we see the return of the importance of the number of apps that was missing in discussion of the iMac. The article, which also discusses the non-bulky 1.3 pound Asus Vivo RT, makes no mention of Win RT including Office. The Surface keyboards are praised, but only in tiny text accompanying a chart. The article discusses the iPads, the Kindles and Nooks, and the Galaxy models. The iPad with its lack of memory card or USB connections is praised as being the "tablet that does it all, and well" My God! The Kindle and Nook are dinged for trying to "steer you towards its content library" as if Apple doesn't do the same thing.
It is perfectly fine to love Apple and everything it makes and to buy a new one every time a new model is released. Apple is a great American company and was founded and led by a true visionary. I don't criticize Apple owners for their choices. I also don't expect Consumer Reports to be as objective as they like to claim they are. What I want is just a bit of editing in their technology stories. Start holding Apple to the same standards and language when discussing the design choices the company has made. And please, CR, don't forget that you evaluate most products on price.