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Old 07-07-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
MickeyC
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Consumer Reports: No. MobileRead: Yes

The cover of the August issue of Consumer Reports says it reviews top tablets, phones, cameras, laptops and eReaders. But the section devoted to eReaders only discusses the Nook (Simple Touch and Simple Touch with Glolight) plus the Kindle (Paperwhite with special offers and Kindle with special offers). And, although the article describes them, they don't rate them other than to say the Paperwhite is the best.

No mention of Sony, Kobo or any other dedicated ereaders.

Bottom line: You want an ereader, go to MobileRead not Consumer Reports.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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No mention of Sony, Kobo or any other dedicated ereaders.

Bottom line: You want an ereader, go to MobileRead not Consumer Reports.
I'm under the impression that Consumer Reports is American-centric, so I'm not surprised by them ignoring vendors that have greater appeal internationally. (For example: I'm under the impression that Kobo and Sony have a negligible presence in the U.S., so why would Consumer reports put much emphasis upon reviewing them?)
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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Consumer Reports concerns itself with mainstream consumer products that are broadly available in the US. Their primary concern is testing advertising claims and evaluating big-ticket products.

Broadly available ebook readers, these days, means Kindle and Nook.

They are what they are; good at what they do but they don't try to do everything. They don't normally cover niche or specialty products you have to go out of your way to find. And they don't target hobbyist and enthusiast products which is what Mobileread is for.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BWinmill View Post
I'm under the impression that Consumer Reports is American-centric, so I'm not surprised by them ignoring vendors that have greater appeal internationally. (For example: I'm under the impression that Kobo and Sony have a negligible presence in the U.S., so why would Consumer reports put much emphasis upon reviewing them?)
They are.
They only test products *they* can readily buy, preferably at retail.
Right now, Sony and Kobo have near-zero retail presence. And even lower mindshare among the masses.

Amazon and Nook advertise in mass media which puts them within CR's primary zone of interest which is testing advertising claims.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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I'm under the impression that Consumer Reports is American-centric, so I'm not surprised by them ignoring vendors that have greater appeal internationally. (For example: I'm under the impression that Kobo and Sony have a negligible presence in the U.S., so why would Consumer reports put much emphasis upon reviewing them?)
True, CR is somewhat American-centric but they do review lots of non-US made products. For example in this issue they review small and mid-sized SUVs and devote as much space to VWs, Toyotas and KIAs as they do to Jeep, Chevrolet and Buick.

And Sony eReaders are as easy to get in this country as a Kindle.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cassidym View Post
True, CR is somewhat American-centric but they do review lots of non-US made products. For example in this issue they review small and mid-sized SUVs and devote as much space to VWs, Toyotas and KIAs as they do to Jeep, Chevrolet and Buick.

And Sony eReaders are as easy to get in this country as a Kindle.
Oh, they don't much care where the product is made--they have long been notoriously fond of non-american cars--or who sells it. It is availability they go by.
If you have to mail-order the product from upper Mongolia you won't find it at Consumer's Report.
In previous years they *have* covered other brands:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/e...guide.htm?pn=2

Kobo, Ectaco, Bookeen, and Sony have been covered along with Kindle and Nook.

Sony and Kobos are as easy to get as Kindles and Nooks... *if* you know they exist. Most newbie buyers, however, have never heard of Kobo much less Pocketbook, Onyx, Bookeen... Visibility of second tier brands is almost nil outside the ebook-centric websites. Not a good situation but that is where we stand.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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And Sony eReaders are as easy to get in this country as a Kindle.
Are they anymore? I guess I'm not as up on things as I used to be, but I always seem to end up in the Tablet & Reader area when I'm out shopping and I can't remember the last time I saw a Sony available. Where do they sell them these days?



Kobo almost seems to not want to be part of the US market on purpose sometimes.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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True, CR is somewhat American-centric but they do review lots of non-US made products.
Apologies for being ambiguous. I meant that it is geared towards American consumers. For example: they didn't consider Kobo since it has a very small share of the U.S. market, even though it is very popular north of the 49th.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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I feel that Consumer Reports has been out of touch with consumers for quite awhile. The Kobo Aura is the best eReader available right now and it is set to go on sale through the independent bookstores next month. I can't walk through the largest independent in my city without passing a Kobo display. The older Kobos have been readily available for a long time, at least to people who shop in bookstores.

It's more a problem with the press than the market. Reporters always use the word "Kindle" when they mean eReader and most people don't know there is anything else so you're right, you get better help from Mobileread, Teleread, etc. Shoot, even YouTube is a better source for information about eBooks and readers than Consumer Reports.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #10
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I feel that Consumer Reports has been out of touch with consumers for quite awhile. The Kobo Aura is the best eReader available right now and it is set to go on sale through the independent bookstores next month. I can't walk through the largest independent in my city without passing a Kobo display.
Fine. Now go walk through your local Best Buy or other big box consumer electronics retailer, or the electronics departments of Wal-Mart, Target, etc. (ie, the places *normal* people shop; people who like ereading enough to post here regularly definitely don't qualify as normal) and tell us how visible they are.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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I agree that many brands do not have wide availability. If you have to hunt for a dealer, CR will probably not be reviewing them. They make a habit of testing product from normal distribution (no cherry picked samples).

BTW Volkswagen and many foreign brands are now made (have manufacturing lines) here in the USA. Many American Brands are made in Canada or Mexico
Don't fall into the 'buy American' (although Canada and Mexico are in 'North America' ) name trap.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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Are they anymore? I guess I'm not as up on things as I used to be, but I always seem to end up in the Tablet & Reader area when I'm out shopping and I can't remember the last time I saw a Sony available. Where do they sell them these days?



Kobo almost seems to not want to be part of the US market on purpose sometimes.
As near as I can tell they are available at the Sony stores and mall kiosks. Sometimes.
Beyond that, a couple of the larger online vendors like J&R and Newegg.

Kobo you can get through a few indie bookstores. For a while, not even Kobo.com would sell them to the US.

In both cases, you have to know about them and actively go looking for them.
If you're not presold on them...
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:51 PM   #13
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There are several different types of ereaders available at my local Wal-Mart (though not the Kindle now I think) so I guess it does depend on where you go as well as what you are looking for.
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:12 PM   #14
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Shouldn't consumer reports actually try and let the consumers know what's the best in a specific type of product rather than just concentrate on the most high profile or widest spread... the report can always cover supply difficulties and locations and then let people choose whether to follow the most widely distributed item or go a little out of their way for a better item in the same price bracket...
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:35 AM   #15
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Shouldn't consumer reports actually try and let the consumers know what's the best in a specific type of product rather than just concentrate on the most high profile or widest spread...
Let's be honest people. Consumer Reports exists for people who know next to nothing about a product line and want some quick advice on where to start. It's not for people who want to research products for themselves. While enthusiasts might enjoy niche products, Consumer Reports is unlikely to expose the average reader to brands and products they never heard of, no matter how good they may be.
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