We all want the best that money can buy—the best smart phone, tablet, HD TV, you name it. There are so many choices out there accompanied by various price tags. But which is the best option? Enter product reviews. Inevitably, someone has purchased that new tablet that you have your eye on. So why not find out what they thought of it? Product reviews can be a life saver.
Types of Product Reviews
There are two primary types of product reviews—the customer review and the editor review.
The customer review is a sort of product rating given by your fellow man, someone who wanted to try a particular item as much as you do. He or she will give you a (usually) short blurb about the pros and cons of that new HD TV you’ve been eying. Generalized statements are typical, and for the TV example, “Great picture quality” or “Not worth the money; my old TV was better” may be included.
The editor’s review will usually be a more step-by-step, feature-by-feature write-up. That’s because editors are the pros when it comes to the items they’re writing about. They know everything that is important to look for in the product. Given that the review is more focused, it’ll usually be longer. An editor reviewing a tablet, for example, might break his review down into categories (or at least touch on different things, in turn) and expound upon each feature, i.e. screen size, backlighting brightness, product weight, system speed and graphics.
No matter the review type, each product review is almost always accompanied by a star rating system, ranging from 1-5 stars. If you’re too lazy to read the specific comments, or just want a quick confirmation that you’re making a wise choice, check out how many stars, on average, an item has gotten from reviewers. The higher the star rating is the better the product, according to reviewers.
Remember, too, that the amount of stock you put in either type of review—customer or editor—is totally up to you. Some websites show both sorts of reviews and can sometimes be vastly different due to varying perspectives. Figure out what features are most important to you and go from there.
Benefits of Product Reviews
You can learn a lot from reading the opinions of others. Product specifications might claim that the phone you want has accurate voice-dialing capabilities and 18 hours of battery life, but does it really? Check out the following list of product review benefits.
- Product Value/Cost. Yeah, the new iPad may be sleek and flashy to all who behold it. However, you could be trying to follow a budget, and it just barely surpasses what you can afford right now. Maybe Samsung or HP has a lower-priced and similarly equipped tablet to consider which others swear by.
- Features. A good majority of products on the market, especially in the technology sphere, have similar features. You could be looking for something more special, however. For example, lots of HD TVs are similar in image clarity and most come in standard screen sizes. There are a few newer things to play with on your TV now, though. Many TVs are able to browse the internet, having built-in Wi-Fi capabilities and come with special remotes that act as keyboards. Other units, with the rise of services like Netflix, have widget buttons on the remote that will connect the TV directly to your Netflix or Yahoo! accounts with a single push. Look at reviews to find similar information and if consumers liked it!
- Product Lifespan/ Reliability. It seems like we go through cell phones like wildfire now, doesn’t it? Of course, there are plenty of reasons for this—updated technology, clumsiness and breaking phones, changing preferences, etc. However, sometimes our phones just don’t work right—they frequently drop calls, stop being able to make calls while all other functions remain intact, or they don’t hold a battery charge. Product specifications from the manufacturer are meant to tout the greatness of these gadgets, so you won’t find this kind of information from the maker. Check those reviews for an insider opinion!
By now you could be thinking, “Well this is all great, but where am I supposed to find this stuff?” That’s understandable. Several company websites allow buyers to voice opinions on things they bought, but not all. In terms of tech gadgetry, consider the following sites for some insider opinions.
- CNET.com. From the website itself, “We provide you with information, tools, and advice that help you decide what to buy and how to get the most out of your tech.” Though product reviews are certainly not limited to the technology sphere (after all, JCPenney customers can voice their views on a new cardigan sweater on the company website), CNET is dedicated solely to technology. Visitors may type everything from “iPad” to “MP3” to “Antivirus” and find products matching their search with accompanied reviews. This is one of those sites that give customer and editor reviews to best help the buying public. Additionally, CNET not only provides thorough product reviews, but users can also download programs ranging from paid software to freeware.
- Amazon.com. Amazon is one of the biggest retail giants on the web. In addition to buying goods from the website, customers can get product information and reviews from previous buyers. It’s a great source to turn to because the site is so popular. Amazon’s popularity ensures that many items have more than a few reviews to base your decision off of. For example, Amazon’s own Kindle Fire HD has a running total of 2,739 reviews, which is more than adequate!
Product reviews are definitely helpful in making buying decisions. Perspective customers get insight on items that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Before you make your next tech purchase, consider looking to see what others think of the gadget!