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Help and advice for beginners If you don't classify yourself as being particularly expert or experienced and you have a question or problem that you need help with in the area of improving images, this is the board to get the assistance you seek.

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Old 22-09-06
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Re: Which PC

Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I'm surprised by that. I know some of the guys on PC Pro and they are good journalists. Reviewing can be very subjective, so preferences may show through, but in the end I think PC Pro do an above average job. I think their PC-related articles are better than their camera reviews though.

I used to feel the same way, I even had a subscription for a couple of years and rated them very highly. But then I began noticing that their testing of products had a strong bias slant.

A couple of examples come to mind...

About a year ago, they tested the Epson R1800 and couldn't find a fault with it. They couldn't rate it highly enough. Then, a couple of months ago, they test it again but this time they use a test method specifically weighted against Epson. In short, they had a method of checking print cost by constantly removing and replacing each of the eight ink cartridges - and then they cite multiple cases of clogging. Funny how clogging was not an issue in their first test. They quote running costs much higher for the Epson than for the HP because of this method of testing (as everyone knows, each time you replace an ink cartridge in an Epson it goes through a charge and uses more ink) - but in real world tests (which they don't seem to be interested in), the Epson is much cheaper to run than what they suggest. They suggest that the R1800 wastes as much as ink as it uses (they quote 55% efficiency), which is utter nonsense. If you dig deep enough, it becomes clear that the testing was "compared with" (i.e., "done by") by a third party who's website indicates that they are nothing more than HP shills (Spencer Labs). And, true enough, HP wins the new test while the impression of the Epson is that you shouldn't touch it with a 10ft barge pole.

Just recently PC Pro they did the colour laser printer test. I don't know if they did this test themselves or if they got someone else to do it again but their testing omits certain key points - such as running costs. As such, their "winners" are printers from HP and Lexmark that have some of the highest running costs (comparable to inkjets, even) around. Moreover, they dismiss Epson for "lack of features" by putting a 200 Epson in the same review as 300 HPs and Lexmarks. If that isn't biased, what is?

Also, again, just like the R1800 test, PC Pro's view of Epson has changed. When they first reviewed the Aculaser C1100 they couldn't find a fault with it - particularly where quality of output was concerned. Now, all of a sudden, the new review cites it as having poor quality, badly produced skin tones, etc etc.

It seems that, a few months ago, PC Pro suddenly gained an anti-Epson/pro-HP stance and any reviews they do today contradict what they reviewed yesterday. As such, I no longer trust their reviews - which is good, for me, because if I'd allowed myself to be influenced by them, I would have bought one of their highly rated HP or Lexmark colour laser printers (which, as seen on the forum, a lot of people did) recently instead of the Samsung they dismissed and would have had a printer with 40% higher running costs, instead of the cheap-runner that I've got.

My advice - so long as this article on photo-capable PCs doesn't include a PC from HP, it's probably fairly sound.

Apologies for the rant. I don't usually go on like this as I feel people are perfectly capable of coming to their own conclusions about a source of reviews/lab-tests just as I have done. Fortunately for us all, PC Pro isn't the only source around, and there are many invaluable websites (such as this one) that can be trusted.
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Old 22-09-06
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Re: Which PC

Thanks for that - very interesting. Wish I had time to discuss some more

I'll certainly be coming back to this subject though!

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