A few months ago there was a topic that came up on reddit that hit home with me for Modders-Inc. The topic was “Do you trust hardware review sites”?
After reading through all the comments I felt that I needed to reply which caused a very heated debate within myself. Do I respond and maybe commit review site suicide or come out with my thoughts on how and why we do the review the way we do on Modders-Inc. I decided that if I did not say something that it would bug me till no end and I wanted to set the record straight for our thoughts. Here is my response within the thread…
“Very interesting reading and I am enlighten by the thoughts and comments about reviewers and review sites. Why? Well I happen to run one of those review sites (a smaller one). We have NEVER been on any of those all expense paid trips, meals or anything else because we have never been asked… lol But I will tell you I have had two trips and meals paid for by large manufactures for case modding stuff.
There is a very fine line that you have to walk when you review products and some of you pointed it out. If you give a good review of the product you must be a fan boy, but if you give a bad review your a hater. If you happen to say something wrong about the product you get hate comments forever. On the other hand if you do a great and in depth review you hear nothing. So how do you know if you are on the right track? The hardest part of doing a review is to be objective and not to be personal about the product. “Oh it’s yellow and I hate yellow, it gets a …”. This happens more than you know.
The best reviews in my option follow these rules:
1) Use the product for an extended period of time. There is NO possible way to do a good review on something when it arrives on Monday, you use it on Tuesday and publish the review on Wednesday.
2) Highlight the features of the products. There are many people out there that want to know what the third button on the left side does and it can be a deciding factor in a purchase. 3) Point out the flaws and explain why it is a flaw. Not just because you do not like it.
4) Let the reader form their own option on the product. Present them with the facts and benchmarks and the rest is up to them.
Scoring… yeah bad idea. There is no way to compare one product to the other as they are supposed to be different. The only true way to score something is if you have a version 1 and a version 2 of the product and here you would be looking to see if they improved the product of did they go backwards. We actually stopped the numbering system many years ago for that reason. We now do awards that represents different levels about the product. Defining that if the product does what is supposed to do.
Here is how we rate them:
“Approved Hardware” This award is used for products that meet the minimum requires of a good product. It might have a good usage to value ratio, but it is something that we would not fully recommend as full time replacement product.
“Recommended Hardware” – This award is used to say that we stated you will be happy with the product in which it was intended to be used as not beyond that.
“Must Have” – This award is used to say that we believe that you will be very happy with the product in which it was intended to be used as and that we highly recommend it.
“Editors Choice” – This award is the highest and we believe that you will be very happy with the product in which it was intended to be used as and that we give it our highest recommendation for it. It can also be used on a product that might be new and “ground breaking”.
This is just my thoughts; right or wrong I stick to them.”
I do stick by my words and will until I am proving wrong, but I think that might be rather hard to convince me. It is not that I am an ass or stuck up, but that I have been doing this hardware review site for many years and found that this is the best possible way to do product reviews. Sure you can go and read some of those sites that hammer out half-ass use the product for one day and write a review but those turns out to nothing more than a very long advertisement for the product.