Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4
Consumers Reports is a reputable source of research. However CR is not always perfect and as we saw in the IPHONE4 sometimes leaves out some standards. In the case of the IPAD2 I would have to say they got it right on all counts (IMHO).
Originally Posted by ndn2007
The majority of responses to this thread are missing the forest due to the trees...
Regardless of what "tech people" think of the quality of the product reviews by Consumer Reports for electronics, there is a large part of the population who buy their products (electronic, washers/dryers, or whatever) based on solely on the CR review.
As a result, the "average consumer" who reads (and depends) on Consumer Reports is going to buy an iPad...
Consumer Reports can be thought of as something akin to the NPR or Ralph Nader of product reviewing. They have their place in the product press, and some useful functions, but that place is not the be-all, end-all, all-you-need-to-know position.
They profess an Olympian "independence," e.g., they don't accept advertising. They buy the products they test rather than get the loaners sent to most computer product reviewers (I don't know if that applies to cars, 'cos that'd require some budget). This, they say, leaves them "unbeholden" to the manufacturers of the products they review.
Their car reviews have always given a lot of weight to the latest nostrums about car safety, even back when most people placed little weight on that factor in their car choices. A recent Audi ad campaign showing drivers performing ridiculous feats in the snow with their AWD's - which admittedly showcases "car safety for the unsafe driver" probably gives them the shudders.
And they're tilted toward the social-responsibility side, so - while I haven't read an ish in several years other than the car issue - I wouldn't be surprised if they factored in the recycleability of components, the carbon footprint of the packaging, etc. - which are factors Jobs always spends Keynote time on in recent years, ever since being targeted by Greenpeace and others - so maybe, not doubting that he's now a sincere advocate of these practices - he's also talking to the CR editors on those points.
Their review standards are "stern" - but also often (IMHO) off many of the practical points of owning/using the product. And sometimes their tech knowledge doesn't seem to be the latest or greatest.
So when I DID subscribe, I used them not as my primary guide (tho' they have lots of useful stats and tips on cars, new and used and rated for points of failure and resale value), rather as a complement to reviews on sites and in publications often filled with ads for the product itself and at least ads for the manufacturer's products, and which, to be be blunt ARE often puff pieces, some of which seemed to designed to encourage said companies to keep placing ads with them.
And I found by putting the two approaches side by side, that products which fare well in both "review philosophies"
tended to reveal many (but not all) of the ones worth considering.
But I wouldn't be surprised to learn that their tech editor uses a hand crank and/or solar powered Linux box running FireFox and OpenOffice in a case made from recycled peanut shells in his own home.