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8806 posts

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  # 1301144 9-May-2015 13:09
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Fred99: I actually doubt that the so-called "reviewer" had even seen the device, let alone used it.  I suspect that I may have been beta tester - so there you are NexStar - my feedback is above.

I actyually use the products I post reviews. And no I won't post reviews with twenty charts showing how this laptop has this many lumens on the screen because who cares about this in real life. I write what I want to know: does it work? Does it come with crap? Does it "feel" fast even if the 3D benchmark everyone is drooling about tells me it's 20% slower than the crappy Chinese knock-off?

Also if I use something and it is crap or doesn't work... Then I don't bother writing about.

I didn't expect different - my comment was not in any way intended to be critical of your reviews.

But I will say that while the example you give (how many lumens on screen) might not matter to most people, it will matter quite a lot for some.
A good example of this perhaps was the original iMac 27".  The screen was (far) too bright for serious graphic work - and couldn't be turned down to a reasonable level.   A big problem for anybody home-printing, because as the screen was too bright, they'd adjust the photos to look good on screen, then blame the printer or run around in circles looking for other reasons why they were producing dark prints.  The issue was partially "fixable" by using the MacOS "Shades" application.
Teardown showed the probable reason why they made them so bright - they cut back the number of (CCFL at the time) back-lights, presumably to either save a few $$ or to keep the outline of the device "sleek", and increased brightness to disguise the uneven illumination across the (otherwise good) screen resulting from that inadequate back-light placement.
Does this matter to most people?  Probably not.  But if it did matter (a lot - and to many people apparently), then actually getting unbiased information was almost impossible, as most reviews only commented about how great the screen looked - how terrific it was to have an IPS panel in a consumer device, how great 27" of real estate is for graphics etc -  and almost anybody daring to suggest that this might not quite be the case was at risk of being seriously flamed.

Should a review include this information (some objective measurement of screen performance)?  Now that "colour accuracy" of screens in consumer devices is being touted as significant "feature", then perhaps it should be given a closer look, even if in most end-user cases it won't matter.

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  # 1302624 12-May-2015 11:15
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Short answer - blame those who have introduced and promoted RoHS (reduction of hazardous substances directive) and dodgy chips and poor quality capacitors from China.
Even if you solder genuine components with that new RoHS compliant stuff reliability is lower IMHO.

FYI: RoHS does not apply to strategic, military or space applications where reliability of hardware can't be compromised. Or put it this way - where you and me are not the customers. RoHs is everywhere in mass market devices which manufacturers want you and me to buy more (as they are cheap) and more frequently (as they will brake soon). It almost seems they are designed to not last long enough...

Lead is hazard to environment when you dump your old device. RoHS was introduced to reduce content of the lead used in soldering components to the PCB or wires to the plug inside your HDMI cable. But has the directive achieved the goal?
Hard to tell with the lack of stats but we all know that devices are broken more frequently and are no longer as reliable as they used to be. 

I had dismantled / fixed / resoldered too many to feel the difference.

Viscosity of old soldering stuff in old devices is better then the new one. Melting temperature is much lower. 
Old devices are more robust and withstand vibrations and temperature changes, where the soldered bits in new devices brake easily (e.g. cables, graphic chips in laptops, etc)
Not to mention that cheap capacitors from China are bulged in 2 year old PCs or Power supplies, whereabouts capacitors made in Japan 10 years ago are still working as new.

Old devices have their own drawbacks with the soldered bits (e.g. lead whiskers growing with age) but it is not as big problem as the new unreliable RoHS compliant devices.


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  # 1303036 12-May-2015 18:40
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I've been thinking about this recently.

Put simply, price is a major driver in our world, there's no denying it.
But when it dictates our buying behaviour above all else, there are going to be issues.

When I worked in the bike industry there was a bike brand that was notorious and loved at the same time. First up, the world champ rode it - and he dominated.
Instantly, all the racers, all the wannabes, all the noobs - they all wanted one.
What's more, it wasn't priced at the top of the market like you'd expect. Normally, you could dictate a high price for the ride of the world champ... however, quite the opposite was true. It was available as one of the cheapest framesets / complete bikes in the market. Sure, the manufacturer had never made a decent full suspension bike to most peoples knowledge, but who cared? It was ridden by a fast Aussie bloke who acted like slaying the best riders in the world was 'no thang'.
What wasn't to like?
They broke.
A lot.
The bearings, the shock cradle, you name it... However, it was light, low (bottom bracket height), looked good and it was CHEAP!

Sadly, many people ended up with broken rides. The importer was stuck with a bike that kept on breaking, but then... the manufacturer went out of business.
Who'd have thought that putting the cheapest frameset into the market in pursuit of marketshare wasn't a great idea?

This meant everyone was stuck.
A lot of kids who could only 'just' afford their ride couldn't afford to have their bike fixed or frame replaced - this hurt the sport.
Ultimately, the world kept on turning, and a lot of the bigger bike companies took a step back and stopped chasing the bottom dollar.
However, this didn't stop my mates from sourcing no-name framesets out of Taiwan.. it also didn't stop their carbon road forks from snapping on high speed descents down the Port Hills either...
Remember, money dictates and people want the best (perceived) value at all times.

I see the same thing happening a lot in the tech world.
The TV with the most apps, the best Hz rating, the lowest price.
Well guess what sportsfans... It's seldom the best TV. It looks good on the wall in the store, on the websites etc... but it doesn't mean people get a good picture! And that's the point really.
Media players that tout networking, file format compatibility, inputs, outputs - the whole deal! What's more... it costs less than anyone else's unit!
Well, there's a LOT of boxes out there that claim to be the be-all-and-end-all, but despite everyone's own bias... this mythical box doesn't actually exist. Especially not for $40, like we'd hope.

Anyway, that's my rant.


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  # 1303285 13-May-2015 08:02
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Perhaps spend more time researching what you are buying and don't buy cheap cr*p. You only have yourself to blame TBH.

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  # 1303289 13-May-2015 08:17
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never trust "reviews" who only gives the good news and not the bad news. 

Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.

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