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Old 07-08-2013, 08:37 AM   #16
fjtorres
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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.
You're not wrong.

More precisely, though, Consumer Reports is concerned about protecting mainstream consumers from bad products or vendors and towards safe buys.
The research the typical CR subscriber is interested in is more likely to be length of warranty or the likelihood the product dies two weeks after the warranty ends.

With technology products they are going to be more concerned with reliability, stability, and customer service and support than they are going to be with features. Out-of-box experience counts for a lot with them. And they look poorly upon products that don't work exactly as advertised from day one or that require constant updating to fix bugs. And any updates had better be automatic.

That means that for ebook readers they will always favor Kindles over pretty much everything. Pocketbook and Onyx might have a zillion advanced features but Kindles you just turn on, buy a book and start reading. Simplicity above all else. Hacking a Sony or a Nook? (What, and void the warranty? No way.) Scrounge across the internet for Apps, TTF fonts, or dictionaries for a Pocketbook? Nope; they judge the product based on what the manufacturer gives you. Discovering tips and tricks from a russian website? Too risky. They might brick the device.

They recommend *safe* choices.
(For cars, year after year they recommended Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics; safe and bland and economical. Exciting or fun to drive never factors in. Even on the rare occasions they test sports or luxury cars the recommended model is invariably the more practical and reliable one.)

The typical CR subscriber will buy a product and use it until it breaks and not even think of upgrading as long as the old one works. Buying a new reader every year? You don't need them; their job is to save you money, not help you... spend it.

CR fills a very important and necessary role; they are honest, blunt, and no-nonsense and strictly focused on consumer safety. But their reports are not for techies, hobbyists, or enthusiasts.

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #17
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I doubt that CR would be allowed to mention hacking any product since it voids the warrenty and might be illegal.

CR only tests products that they can buy, they won't test something that is shipped to them by the manufacturer.

The only time I have seen a Sony, it was in a Sony Store. I have never seen a Kobo. I don't shop at an independent bookstore, I don't even know where there is one near me. I know the Kobo Aura is being hyped on NPR, Kobo is sponsoring spots, and that it is available at independent booktstores. That doesn't tell me much. Why would I go looking there when I know I can go to Amazon and get a Paperwhite easily or walk into a Barnes and Noble, most people know where there is one in my area, and get a Nook? And how many independent bookstores are there in smaller towns?

The smaller brands are unknown to most folks for a reason. Lack of marketing, probably due to funds, and lack of availability. And why bother with them when you can pick up a device that works well and is backed by a national chain when all you want to do is read? Very few people are looking for whiz bang features on an e-reader. Most want the thing to run on easily, connect to the internet to make book buying easy, and to be able to read easily.

The folks who post here are more likely to want the dictionaries, highlighting, note taking, PDF reading, and all the bells and whistles. Some of us (raises hand) could care less because we are reading for pleasure.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:12 AM   #18
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The first paragraph of the Consumer Reports e-Reader article in the August issue clearly stated:

"From among our recommended models, we've selected the lowest-priced Nook and Kindle readers with a built-in light, along with a lower-priced, non-lit sibling."

The December 2012 issue had detailed ratings of 10 recommended E-book readers, including Sony and Kobo. The article indicated that it included:

"Recommended models only from 25 tested."

So ... Consumer Reports tested 25 E-book readers. The 10 recommended readers were detailed in December. It further culled the list for the August issue based on the criteria indicated above.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:37 AM   #19
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Consumer Reports is about Quality, Reliability (and to some points, Safety) of mainstream products.

Things that can be measured or observed: Quantitative.

Best is a qualitative answer unless it has numbers to back it up

(They do use expert panels for opinions on results the products that produce end products like Brewed COFFEE. These tend to compliment the other, measured results.)
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by MartyTX View Post
The first paragraph of the Consumer Reports e-Reader article in the August issue clearly stated:

"From among our recommended models, we've selected the lowest-priced Nook and Kindle readers with a built-in light, along with a lower-priced, non-lit sibling."

The December 2012 issue had detailed ratings of 10 recommended E-book readers, including Sony and Kobo. The article indicated that it included:

"Recommended models only from 25 tested."

So ... Consumer Reports tested 25 E-book readers. The 10 recommended readers were detailed in December. It further culled the list for the August issue based on the criteria indicated above.
This.

I have an online subscription to CR, which doesn't follow the format of the print magazine, so I'm not sure exactly what the August issue said. But it is true that - 6 months ago - they tested 20-something e-ink readers, including Sony and Bookeen, and presented their normal extensive review. The mention of e-readers in the August issue doesn't look like an actual review of e-readers (they don't usually review the same item more than once a year), but just a reference to e-readers for people reading a review of tablets.

Although MR is probably still a better place to go for reviews...
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:51 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
(For cars, year after year they recommended Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics; safe and bland and economical. Exciting or fun to drive never factors in. Even on the rare occasions they test sports or luxury cars the recommended model is invariably the more practical and reliable one.)
Interestingly, the highest rated auto ever by CR is the Tesla S. It recently received a score of 99/100 -- an unheard of score previously. The review (including the video review) was more positive about the Tesla than CR has ever been about Honda or Toyota.

Gotta get me one of those Teslas!
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:40 AM   #22
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Interestingly, the highest rated auto ever by CR is the Tesla S. It recently received a score of 99/100 -- an unheard of score previously. The review (including the video review) was more positive about the Tesla than CR has ever been about Honda or Toyota.

Gotta get me one of those Teslas!
Brian Cooley of CNET points out that Tesla broke the mold. A new car company with a new car that works great.
The cars look good, also (Tesla HQ is just a mile up the street. Local bias here )
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:47 AM   #23
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Brian Cooley of CNET points out that Tesla broke the mold. A new car company with a new car that works great.
The cars look good, also (Tesla HQ is just a mile up the street. Local bias here )
Tesla should make a small commuter car and call it the Tesla Pigeon
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by theducks View Post
Brian Cooley of CNET points out that Tesla broke the mold. A new car company with a new car that works great.
The cars look good, also (Tesla HQ is just a mile up the street. Local bias here )
Then it is doomed... the bigger companies will strangle it somehow.

The only e-readers I've ever seen for sale in stores around here in NJ are Kindles and Nooks. I've never physically seen a Kobo reader to date. I bought my eBookman, my Aluratek Libre, my Pandigital Novel, and all of my Sonys online, sight unseen except for pictures.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #25
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When any mainstream consumer asks me what E-ink e-reader they should buy my answer is the same as CR's, the PaperWhite. As noted by FJ above, it is the safe choice. Built-in light, good build quality, best selection, most accessory choices? Check, check, check, and check.

I am a fan of past Sony hardware but my personal Kindle experience is better overall.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:09 PM   #26
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Best Buy and Wal-Mart have both carried alternate brands of E-readers at various times. I know Best Buy is currently selling Kobo readers.

Consumer Reports is a group that I trust less than I once did. They have always tended to be much better with washing machines and vacuum cleaners than they are with cars or computers. And even with washing machines, their political bias now makes me question their reporting.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:24 PM   #27
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And even with washing machines, their political bias now makes me question their reporting.
At the risk of walking into territory best covered in other subforums...

Political bias? Can you elaborate?
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #28
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.. Oups, wrong topic.

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:50 PM   #29
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Consumer Reports has always been a disaster when it comes to electronic gadgets. I remember when the first computer they recommended was the Atari 600XL. It could not even be connected to a cassette recorder.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #30
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Interestingly, the highest rated auto ever by CR is the Tesla S. It recently received a score of 99/100 -- an unheard of score previously. The review (including the video review) was more positive about the Tesla than CR has ever been about Honda or Toyota.

Gotta get me one of those Teslas!
I can tell you they are a lot of fun.
But the two-seater is heck to get into for taller folk.

They Tesla S is very much a unique creature unto itself; it is without question best-in-class simply because it is a class of one.

"What is it?" Here's Winding Road's take:
http://www.windingroad.com/articles/...tesla-model-s/
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