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  • 3 Post By someoneinwa
  1. someoneinwa's Avatar
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       #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.
    sashlon, vertigoOne and Stiv X like this.
  2. anilraj's Avatar
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    #2  
    + liked it.
  3. stephen_az's Avatar
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    #3  
    Criticizing a Kindle or Nook for steering to their content library is like criticizing a bookstore for selling books. Both devices have their origins as readers even if they have now moved far beyond just that use. Personally, I don't view it as being indicative of a real Apple bias though but more a demonstration that CR has always been the last place I would look for information about a technology product. As much as I have always found it to be a useful publication for all sorts of other products, I have always found their tech offerings to be (at best) comedy.
  4. vertigoOne's Avatar
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    #4  
    I have noticed many hypocritical comparisons on a lot of the tech blogs as well. I was a regular reader of engadget up until their nexus 10 review. The Verge is about all I can stand to read lately.
  5. ohgood's Avatar
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    #5  
    CR found great computing hardware (it is), fell in love (they are) and you knock them for it ?

    They likey use good color lightbulbs in their offices, tires on their cars, and shampoo in their showers. Liking a product doesn't make anyone a paid shill.
    awwwww how sweeeeeet. thanks !
  6. vertigoOne's Avatar
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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
    CR found great computing hardware (it is), fell in love (they are) and you knock them for it ?

    They likey use good color lightbulbs in their offices, tires on their cars, and shampoo in their showers. Liking a product doesn't make anyone a paid shill.
    It is that undetermined motivation to promote a specific product which gets in the way of the facts when reviewing a competing product that he is knocking them for. Everyone has the right to enjoy and promote whichever product they personally prefer, but that emotion should be set aside when reviewing a competing product and the facts should be left to stand on their own. If a journalist is incapable of this then they need to let somebody without that bias perform the review.
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  7. ohgood's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by beestee View Post
    It is that undetermined motivation to promote a specific product which gets in the way of the facts when reviewing a competing product that he is knocking them for. Everyone has the right to enjoy and promote whichever product they personally prefer, but that emotion should be set aside when reviewing a competing product and the facts should be left to stand on their own. If a journalist is incapable of this then they need to let somebody without that bias perform the review.
    Ok, zero bias:

    Apple zoolaptop has the same specs as Dell zoolaptop. Apple comes with osx. Dell comes with windows blue.
    Dell is $100 cheaper (or $100 more). End of file.

    There's the comparison, who's going to buy that review in magazine/online form ?
    awwwww how sweeeeeet. thanks !
  8. erasure25's Avatar
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    #8  
    And lets not forget all the dissing that goes on when these biased articles point out that WP/ Surface are a tiny percentage of the market when the same is also true of OSX (very apparent on a global scale).
  9. vertigoOne's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
    Ok, zero bias:

    Apple zoolaptop has the same specs as Dell zoolaptop. Apple comes with osx. Dell comes with windows blue.
    Dell is $100 cheaper (or $100 more). End of file.

    There's the comparison, who's going to buy that review in magazine/online form ?
    This reasoning assumes that a factual review is always bland and dry. I read a lot of reviews, and find those that are able to avoid comparisons are more appealing. Also, comparisons do not always have to be heavily seasoned with opinion to make the point stand out; See Anandtech.
  10. someoneinwa's Avatar
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       #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by ohgood View Post
    CR found great computing hardware (it is), fell in love (they are) and you knock them for it ?

    They likey use good color lightbulbs in their offices, tires on their cars, and shampoo in their showers. Liking a product doesn't make anyone a paid shill.
    I did claim CR was a "paid shill." Please don't exaggerate my criticism. I wouldn't even call them fanboys. I was pointing out their clearly stated (I used quotes) preference for Apple and then noted again how things like size of photos used and one-sided criticisms were (comments made about competitor products that could be, but were not, applied to Apple products). These are editing decisions that, I believe, reflect poorly on the magazine. You can still like Apple products but still fairly point out their flaws like they do with competitors and not use PR language like "the tablet that does it all, and well." I expect better of CR.
  11. ohgood's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by someoneinwa View Post
    I did claim CR was a "paid shill." Please don't exaggerate my criticism. I wouldn't even call them fanboys. I was pointing out their clearly stated (I used quotes) preference for Apple and then noted again how things like size of photos used and one-sided criticisms were (comments made about competitor products that could be, but were not, applied to Apple products). These are editing decisions that, I believe, reflect poorly on the magazine. You can still like Apple products but still fairly point out their flaws like they do with competitors and not use PR language like "the tablet that does it all, and well." I expect better of CR.
    Your first sentance, I'm not sure if "did" was a typo for "didn't" or not.

    I never stated you called any names. If it was assumed I was inferring so, that is incorrect.

    "The tablet that does it all, and well." appears to be a summary or over simplification of their tests used for that moment.
    awwwww how sweeeeeet. thanks !
  12. jaimeastin's Avatar
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    #12  
    I am sick of this journalism that is rampart in all tech media... They are all biased consumer fanboys/girls. they don't even try to be biased and honest... They are sheep.

    Why is it that me, the people where I work, and the general public all like windows 8, my surface, intrigued by my windows phone? No I am a programmer and sys admin in a corporate environment and I am a student again...

    They just praise apple... Shoot, I like apple... I am just more honest. I have a mac, I had an iPad until I got my surface, have an iPod, and had a few iPhones. The iPad was the best tablet until the surface. The iPad left a lot to be desired.

    It seems like every media outlet is Trying to kill Microsoft like they will win and get a prize from apple or google.

    I am boycotting all of these medias lime consu.er reports. This is not journalism... They are biased like all others... People just make everything a club... "I have an ipad, so it must be the best! I don't like this because the same gesture does not work like on my iPad... Blah blah blah". They don't even try to see, try, or be honest and point out the facts...
  13. brianLTE's Avatar
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    #13  
    As I agree CR can be annoying with reviews but they did also not recommend iPhone 4 due to the antenna issue. So there's hope out there.

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