Do the technorati really serve end users?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by DRTigerlilly, May 17, 2018.

  1. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Someone posted a video from Windows Weekly today discussing Flickergate, and it really set me off.

    I found the commentary flippant and infuriating.

    A recurrent/increasing problem I've had with the technorati, and why I love the little community that we have here, is that ultimately I feel they don't serve end users.

    The companies release devices with lovely specs, the reviewers/technorati/tech blogs play with them for a couple weeks, salivate over the tech specs, but ultimately don't use devices long enough or extensively enough or in scenarios that end users will, for the issues that end users encounter to arise, yet we use these reviews to inform our purchasing decisions.

    Do we need to hold them to a higher standard? How do we do this?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  2. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    You make an excellent point, as usual :newpalm:. I'm just not sure how to hold them to account. There are occasionally reviews of smartphones with titles like: Living with the [insert model name here], 6 months later" and I often find them useful when shopping for a new (or used) device; more of those would be nice, and I don't think I've ever seen such a review for a computer. There's one place where you can find this kind of information about both newly activated devices and updates on the experience, months later: Amazon customer reviews. The best customer reviews are as competent as the "professional" reviews - though they may lack the bench-test data - and the good ones are also very focused on the user experience. I find them invaluable in shopping for new devices and I generally won't bite on a significant new purchase - again, including used or refurb versions - without finding enough of them to glean what the ownership experience is like. They are the best way to save you the hassle of buying such enticing models as HP and Dell consumer offerings, the darlings of all the "technorati" as you label them, but they are nightmares for at least 25% of the people who buy them, based on reviews in Amazon (others too, but nowhere else do you find the volume they have). And I don't buy the cliche that "consumer reviews are misleading because only unhappy owners post them." It just isn't true; as I suggest, on models like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre X360 the majority love their devices, but still large minorities have well documented gripes and warnings to prospective buyers.

    Oh, and, the product forums on TPCR are pretty good sources of info too :thumbsup:
     
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  3. dellaster

    dellaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I listened to the audio last night and I see what you mean. Leo, and Paul a little bit, especially hit one of my pet peeves by wondering why people wouldn't just take them into the store if it was that bad and get an exchange. Yeah, right, it's currently only 250 miles one way for me, over a few rather high mountain passes to the Denver area, if something happened to my Surface. So you have to deal with the telephone person and good luck with that. It sounds like that's pretty hit-or-miss. Hopefully my Surface Book stays healthy!

    The technorati provincial, entitled attitude always burns me.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  4. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Yup and this particular issue bothered me because unless you had a warranty enforce Microsoft was like not our problem... People DID bring them into stores.

    Thurrott, in particular, behaved as if he'd never heard of it, I personally reached out to influencers and blogs including him, including ZDNet(Foley) ... Tweeted, emailed, made comments on his blog... And even that Foley made jokes about people filling her email etc with complaints...

    The only tech journalist that investigated was Woody Leonard from Computer World, he wrote FIVE articles about the issue... the rest of the tech media remained silent.

    Then when Foley laughed about users putting their devices in freezers " Does that even work?" tittering ... How is his woman in tech?
    Yes, the putting it in freezers is not a good idea because it can cause further/ worst damage... but as Leo pointed out depending on what the issue was yes it would work at least rudimentarily because of causing contacts to contract etc...

    Yes it may seem downright silly but users were desperate

    There was another tech journalist who I reached out to who was like "oh it happened to me and I just replaced it" end of...completely oblivious and uncaring to the plight of the many stories of users who were denied and made to pay for out of warranty replacements.
    Microsoft specifically told users to wait for a software/firmware fix to remedy the issue, while people's warranties expired, and then told them to pay for replacements.

    My ire in particular right now is with Microsoft and its devices and journalists have remained silent about other issues that have plagued the line... The dying pens (as in non-functional, not out of power) the dying type covers, the badly designed power supply, the glued together unrepairable mess that is the Surface, jittering/offset pens etc

    The same journalist above claims users don't care that the devices are unrepairable... Which I believe is true right up until the point that they NEED a repair

    The Surface is nice and shiny and sleek... But it really boggled my mind when I compared the weight to the more modular designs on the other OEM'S and realized that the designs only weight about an ounce and a half more... Yet journalists will say oh that's just the price you pay for the engineering that goes into the Surface.. what engineering???

    They by their swallowing whatever manufacturer put out encourage consumers to accept less than they should, and of course, this extends to other OEM's as well...

    The enclosed batteries in smartphones and laptops
    The removal of headphone jack's on smartphones for alternatives that in actual use are not superior
    And the list goes on and on

    They are basically shiny tech pushers...






    Sent from my m8 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  5. dellaster

    dellaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @DRTigerlilly — "Flickergate" was a planned topic and the title of the podcast yet it seemed that only Mary Jo read the website with all the problems ahead of time... And she didn't understand most of it! Whatever happened to journalistic research?

    I jest, of course. Real journalism has been dead for decades. And, with rare exceptions, I'm not sure it ever really existed in the tech arena. :rolleyes:
     
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  6. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    I just remembered another journalist who was only interested if the latest ("ooh shiny the precious!") devices were affected

    Not even that, b/c she sounded shocked at the video of the device actually flickering..."oh I had no idea it was that bad"....
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  7. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I find that posts in forums like these are really the only opinions I trust now.

    Case in point, my current daily driver is the Galaxy Book 12 because of all the opinions on this site. If you look at the mainstream reviews, it gets a very lukewarm rating... and none of those reviewers bother to go in depth (if they even do so at all) about how great the EMR action is.

    I don't know what the solution is to "hold them to a higher standard". Knowing a journalist, in this digital age, they are paid per click, and volume/time unfortunately overrules completely thorough research.

    My ideal dream is that hardware companies find sites like these, seek out long standing members who have intelligent posts, and give them hardware to review or to get user feedback on.
     
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  8. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...My ideal dream is that hardware companies find sites like these, seek out long standing members who have intelligent posts, and give them hardware to review or to get user feedback on...>>

    ...Interesting story: That actually happened to me several years ago. I forget exactly how it started, but I was contacted by HP and asked if I would test-drive their TX2000 convertible tablet. (This was in the same general timeframe as the Dell Latitude XT, probably about 2008?) Of course I was happy to do that and, in due course, a shiny new Pavilion TX2054 (I think it was) showed up. Interestingly, it had an N-trig digitizer with the early Wacom-like passive pen. I proceeded to use the tablet for a few weeks and then returned it to HP with my comments (which I seem to remember were somewhat critical of a few aspects of their design). That was it, and I never heard from HP again. I don't know if they didn't like my comments or whether the HP person that was doing this left the company or whether they lost track of me when GottaBeMobile suddenly became a cell phone site overnight.

    HOWEVER, IMO, you can't really comment on hardware unless you use it for an extended period of time; months at a minimum. That pretty much means that you have to own it, which is my approach. Using successive generations of the same product lets you develop even deeper insights, but 1) it's expensive, and 2) it takes time so it's very hard to provide useful commentary in a timeframe that's useful for early adopters who are already chomping at the bit to buy the latest "shiny object."
     
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  9. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    One thing is that this standard might actually be a bit unrealistic...not that I'm defending poor tech journalism, but how many communities can you really find like ours?

    Even the most in-depth discussions on Reddit or Anandtech comments, won't reveal the same nuanced info as the decades of experience and passion we have here for that wonderful thing called a "stylus". :) (probably bordering on mental disorder lol)

    The only comparable communities I can think of are other forums, like AVS Forum for TVs/home theatre and Overclock for desktop PC builds. Some of the finest, most insightful posts I've read for those specific areas of hardware—and almost impossible to expect from a career journalist.

    But maybe we should be approaching this whole issue from the other angle:

    What can we do to help "the masses" appreciate the subtleties of tablet technology and the blissfulness of well-tuned, smoothly running pen-enabled productivity? ;)

    To which I'm kinda stumped actually, anyone have any good suggestions?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
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  10. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...To which I'm kinda stumped actually...>>

    ...I think you're stumped because there really isn't a good way to "push" forums like ours onto the masses. For one thing, think about the level of basic understanding someone needs to simply start digesting some of our forums; I would say that our forums are geared to folks with a better than average understanding of computer hardware, operating systems and apps. About the only thing I think we might be able to do is to place some banner ads on other sites that are likely to have user traffic that is similar to ours such as CNET, NeoWin, Windows Central or Tom's Hardware .

    Beyond that, I don't have any other suggestions (that I think would be practical)…
     
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