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Author Topic: Hardware Reviews Discussion - CG Development  (Read 1347 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: July 19, 2004, 06:04:29 PM »

What elements would you like to see in a hardware review?  We want to relaunch that section but we'd like the reviews to be tighter focused to what YOU want to see in a hardware review.  What is important?  Here are a few to get you started...

Price?
Durability? (Subjective over a short timeline, but important I think)
Ergonomics? (works for controllers, would be a more 'placement of controls' for things like speakers)
Game Test? (You'd think we'd test it with a game, but some stuff doesn't apply like the Pelican switchbox)
Power Management? (Again, doesn't always apply)

We might also add 'editors slant' or somesuch that'll allow a 5% +/- to the review based on how we feel about it.  Some stuff just doesn't get the score that it should or gets a higher score and shouldn't, this might help.  

What are your ideas? smile
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Ron Burke
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stiffler
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2004, 06:13:42 PM »

Ergonomics, but that will be subjective as well.  Just look at the original Xbox controller vs the newer design.  Most love one and hate the other.

Basically the review should tell me why I need it and what it will do for me.  Price and good (value) and durability are also nice to know.

Obviously a game test would mention what (if it is a controller or something) the peripheral is used with to test it.

I really liked the hardware reviews and found them quite helpful.  There is so much on the market it quickly becomes an invaluable resource.

I don't think you are going to be able to settle on a structured review format for hardware.  As you said, there are too many kinds of peripherals.  Each would probably be best judged on its own merits.  That said, your categories look good to me.
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Balshazaar
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 06:33:11 PM »

Battery life, in the case of wireless controllers and such.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 09:15:00 PM »

Battery Life was more addressed in "Power Management".  The idea being to bring to light that some controllers say 100 hours and some are 50.
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Ron Burke
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Nth Power
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2004, 08:31:49 PM »

Maybe functionality (or some word like it) which would answer questions like "Does the item work how it was presented?" and the ease of use and setup.  Ergonomics could fit into this.

Features could tell what additions (or lack of) the product brings to the table.  

Price and durability would be nice to see.  I always wonder if something will stand up to a stress test, but I'm afraid to try.
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2004, 10:02:20 PM »

I guess I'd honestly have to say that hardware reviews don't interest me at all.  Good luck relaunching it, I just wanted to speak for the silent minority(?).
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DarkEL
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2004, 03:12:09 PM »

Randomness of thought here but we could always go a different way with the reviews and rather than try and rate it on different sections, we could do something like:

Section 1. What is it?
quick high-level paragraph or two about the product

Section 2. Breakdown
another short couple paragraphs telling the main features of the product, install time, how we tested , etc

Section 3. The good
What we liked about the product

Section 4. The Bad
what we didn't like

Section 5. Overall Value
and finally our tilt as to whether or not it's worth the money.

So really there's only one rating on the whole product - which is taking everything into consideration - is it worth the moolah.
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stiffler
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2004, 05:22:31 PM »

Quote from: "DarkEL"
Randomness of thought here but we could always go a different way with the reviews and rather than try and rate it on different sections, we could do something like:


I liked that, EL.  I think the categories KD listed could be integrated on an "as needed" basis into your proposed review structure.

The reason I think your idea works better is because of the myriad of different peripherals out there.  I am interested in whether something works and is well constructed.  Price is also subjective if we are talking about the greatest controller ever made.

When reading hardware reviews for something like a controller I am interested in the two factors I mentioned above: function and durability.  Honestly I won't know if I am going to buy until I've held it.  However with something like the Pelican System Selector Pro it is a lot easier to determine, via the review, whether is functions as advertised.

Thus I think a more free-form process is more appropriate.  That said, similar items like controllers should follow the same general outline, while a switch box could go in a different direction.
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