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Old 11-08-2010, 02:54 PM   #1
Bic
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Consumer Reports rates e-readers

December issue of Consumer Reports rates e-readers (except for Sony, not available at time of review). Kindle rated the highest with score of 72 (68 for WiFi model, 67 for DX) while Nook scores 56, BeBook 50, Alex 49, Kobo 40, Augen 40. Most they say are "underwhelming."
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:48 PM   #2
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I love Consumer Reports but they're really not very good at rating specialized equipment. From Wranglers to DSLRs, Consumer Reports rates things for the average person's needs, not necessarily the average user's needs. An eReader is such a specialized piece of equipment. There are going to be things we do every day that they didn't even test. There's also going to be things that Consumer Reports hammers eReaders on that just aren't that big of a deal to us as users. For washers and dryers or TVs, I trust their advice completely. For this sort of thing? Not so much.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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They did look at various dimensions of the e-readers. The only e-readers they recommend are Kindle & Nook, the others did not receive a recommendation (Sony was not included in the review). The Kindle came out higher on readability (the Kindle 3 does have the newer e-ink compared to the Nook after all),lighter in weight, crisp type face, and navigation; faster page turns and ease of navigation, but lower on supporting more e-book file formats (including library books). They concluded that the Kindle 3 was the "best reader we've ever tested" but the Nook was just "a step behind" in all categories except versatility of file formats.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #4
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I used to think CS was a bible....but its not.

They're #1 rated paint we bought and hated. Ditto battery phones. Ditto a few other products they raved about.

I'm more apt to use my own judgment than rely on CS anymore.

I'm glad they liked the K so much, but many people will buy it on their review and be disappointed...
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post

I'm glad they liked the K so much, but many people will buy it on their review and be disappointed...

Just curious to hear why they would be disappointed, since just about every other major reviewer praises the Kindle 3 too. Since I"m looking to buy a new ereader, I'm eager to hear about your disappointment.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
I used to think CS was a bible....but its not.

They're #1 rated paint we bought and hated. Ditto battery phones. Ditto a few other products they raved about.

I'm more apt to use my own judgment than rely on CS anymore.

I'm glad they liked the K so much, but many people will buy it on their review and be disappointed...
Same here, desertgrandma. Add vacuum cleaners and washers and dryers.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Just curious to hear why they would be disappointed, since just about every other major reviewer praises the Kindle 3 too. Since I"m looking to buy a new ereader, I'm eager to hear about your disappointment.
Me?? Disappointed?? No way. No how. It does exactly what its supposed to do, and a little more.

But anytime you take someones advice without doing more research, there is a chance you can be disappointed it what it won't do.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bic View Post
Just curious to hear why they would be disappointed, since just about every other major reviewer praises the Kindle 3 too. Since I"m looking to buy a new ereader, I'm eager to hear about your disappointment.
I can't speak for desertgrandma, but to me, not including the Sony, especially with their latest models, makes it less informative than it could be. Seems like they could have gotten their hands on one before they published this comparison today, but who knows.

I haven't read the review, so I don't know what else they didn't cover, but maybe what desertgrandma is concerned about is if all people go by is that CS said the Kindle was best, without giving specifics; those people could wish they'd read more details.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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As for the Sony readers, they are being tested by CR, according to the article.

I like CR for guidance on products that I otherwise would be buying largely by crapshoot. For example, I bought KitchenAid appliances when we remodeled our kitchen because our investigation gave them high marks. What crap they turned out to be. And as a company, KitchenAid couldn't care less about how poorly our appliances worked. Their response was always that they would give us a trade-in allowance on another KitchenAid product.

OTOH, as we replaced the appliances and went with CR recommendations, we've been happy. Not that the appliances are perfect but they do work and do work well.

I think one needs to take CR's recommendations in stride and balance them against our own experiences and that of others we know. CR's reports are just more information for the mix.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:25 AM   #10
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I agree with @desertgrandma on this one. I bailed out on CR many years ago when they spread themselves too thin in trying to cover every product known to humanity. I found, in general (and admittedly it has been many years ago now) that their recommendations try to find the 'best buy' without regard to overall functionality and quality for the intended purpose.

They rely too heavily on their perceived 'bang for the buck' by factoring in too much (in my opinion) emphasis on price. If a product is excellent at what it does, but costs more than a competitor a notch below, the lower-performing item will gain a 'best buy' while the top performer will not.

They also try to evaluate an item based on its total functionality and not give adequate credit for excellence in specialized areas that may be of specific interest to a potential buyer. For example, I may prefer the Kindle 3 for it's eInk screen and that's a deal maker for me. You may prefer the Sony for its color LCD and that makes it for you. Both might be 'best buys' for us, but fail CR ratings due to cost.

Read many reviews, especially now with internet available, and find gurus on specialty web sites who know their fields of expertise.
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Old 11-09-2010, 09:23 AM   #11
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I've never agreed with their recommendations on any type of product I actually knew much about...
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