Poll of the Day - Do reviews influence your purchasing decisions?

Poll of the Day - Do reviews influence your purchasing decisions?

Summary: It's the end of the week and that means one thing on Hardware 2.0 - Poll of the Day!Today - Do reviews influence your purchasing decisions?

TOPICS: Reviews

It's the end of the week and that means one thing on Hardware 2.0 - Poll of the Day!

This week the media has been dominated by one thing - the launch of Microsoft's Zune media player.  Now, I don't know about you but I've been spending a lot of time reading reviews of this new gadget and I have to admit that I haven't been impressed by what I've been reading.  A large proportion of the reviews that I came across were superficial and not really reviews at all but at best basic "first impressions".  I've held off making any comment on the Zune itself until I get some serious time to play with it.  There's no point.  I think that everyone has had enough "unboxings" (what is it with all those reviews that details the "unboxing" of the products anyway - seems weird to me) and "first impressions" articles to last a lifetime.

What's the best and worst review of the Zune that you came across this week?

Anyway, this brings me to today's poll ...

[poll id=30]

Topic: Reviews

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  • I think Ed Bott found the worst Zune review

    I think my blogging colleague Ed Bott found the worst Zune review (http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1549) - written by Om Malik (http://gigaom.com/2006/11/15/zuned/)

    "It is now 10.09 AM and the box remains unopened. The reviews have soured me on the device already. Is there a point to another review of the device, given that the gigabytes of coverage already devoted to Zune? What do you think? Should I open the device, and give it a shot? I have a new Lenovo laptop sitting next to me, loaned by Lenovo people just for this specific review. (Now that laptop is seriously sweet, despite the WindowsXP!)"
    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • Once upon a time hardware reviews had value...

    ...but that is no longer the case. In fact most hardware reviews today are unscrupulous shilling for the product manufacturer IMO.

    Since websites found they could generate advertising revenue via hardware reviews and that the reviewer could get the wine and dine routine from many mfgs., online hardware reviews have become 100% shilling in my opinion.

    Most of the reviews are glowing adjectives about the product, usually taken directly from the hardware companies Press Release or ad hype - even when it is FALSE. That's right we have shills that don't even test the hardware properly or completely, and then they report the hardware is the best thing since canned beer and that readers just can't live without this hardware even if in reality it is a true POS.

    All you have to do is read the hardware reviews in recent years of Asian mobos for both AMD and Intel CPUs and then go to the mobo companies User's Forum or any hardware forum and you will find boatloads of product defects in the mobos that are not only unacceptable and unreported by the hardware review sites, they are blatant engineering defects that make the hardware non-compliant with industry standards that the mobo maker CLAIMS it's products meet or exceed. Take the fact that many Asian mobos won't even run industry standard PC3200 memory as an example. Take the fact many of these same mobos don't meet AMD's or Intel's VRM specs and can't properly power dual core CPUs despite the makers claims of suitability.

    And it's not just mobo makers shipping crap that hardware reviewers like to hype. See D-Links many defective products that received glowing reviews only to have the FTC file a class action lawsuit against D-Link for defective goods and a bunch of defective models of hardware.

    Yet despite all the documented defects in these products, some even leading to FTC litigation, you always read glowing reviews about these defective products as the manufacturers haul in the gold and manipulate the reviewers to insure positive reviews. You can often tell what websites are getting the biggest bribes by who has the new hardware first. See that gets the hit count up if they have the first review and increased page hit count generates more ad revenue. It's a dirty game of deception.

    In fact there are a number of hardware review sites and other websites that regularly write inflammatory "editorials" just to get their hit count up to increase ad revenues. See sites like THG, Anandtech, Overclockers, etc. for these controversial editorials and big time shilling.

    Heck one high profile website reviewed an Asus A8R-MVP mobo and when it failed to function properly Asus provided a "special" BIOS so the board would at least complete the benchmarking. Asus of course didn't release the mobo with THAT BIOS or make it available so mobos purchased by consumers operated properly. Instead Asus' response was to completely ignore the product defects and pretend they didn't exist.

    The only hardware review site that I know of that had the balls to call Asus on their defective A8R series of mobos was Hexus.com who wrote a scathing report of the many defects in the Asus A8R32 mobo. Despite the fact that Hexus documented the defects, other reviewers had written and many continued to write after-the-facts were documented... glowing, bogus reviews of the A8R32 stating how much better it was than the A8R. A few months before these same reviewers claimed the A8R was supreme and NOW they were admitting it had a boatloads of defects! How could that be when they stated it was the ultimate mobo only months before?. The A8R32 was no better than the A8R in reality- they were both products riddled with defects that Asus never corrected. In fact the A8R32 was basically a marketing scam because the performance was almost identical to the A8R as no graphics cards saturate the PCI-E X-8 BUS.

    The problems with defective mobos wasn't limited to Asus or the ATI chipset mobos. These defects covered the entire Asian mobo performance desktop mobo market with DFI, Sapphire, and others all shipping defective products with both Nvidia and ATI chipset for AMD and Intel CPU boards. As far as I know none of these companies had the integrity to recall these defective mobos and replace them with properly functioning mobos that provided the claimed performance and industry standards compliance the manufacturers claimed in their ads and PR.

    So IMO hardware reviews are not only worthless they are bought and paid, misleading, dishonest, and in many cases outright fraudulent reports that constitute unscrupulous SHILLING for a manufacturer - often of defective goods not suitable for sale.