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  Product launches, don’t you just hate them? 
  Jun 08, 2004, 07:30am EDT 
By: Sander Sassen

It is frustrating, not necessarily so for us, but to you, our readers, it must be. We look at new products such as Nvidia’s GeForce 6800 Ultra months before it actually makes it out to retail stores. Some of the products we look at are even so far away that our initial evaluation is worthless, as by the time the product comes to market it is different from the product we evaluated. I’m sure you realize that we are used by the manufacturers just like we use them to bring you these articles describing their latest and greatest. It however is as much a balancing act as it is a game of politics; they don’t want to give us too much information but depend on us to get the word out on the street and the more we buy into their marketing propaganda the more they love it. We on the other hand try to evaluate these products as thoroughly as we can in the short time we’re usually allowed to spend with the products. We’re looking to see if the promises made are delivered upon, and if not, we debunk ‘m.

It wouldn’t be the first time if you decide to send me a flaming email stating that my article reads like a piece of company propaganda, that I must be getting kickbacks or even am on the company payroll if I, for example, declare a product that isn’t even on the shelves yet the ‘world’s fastest 3D accelerator’. The company that sent us the product however has accomplished its goals, it has let a large number of potential customers look at what it has in store for their new product. That that product is still a few months away from actual retail availability they usually don’t bother to mention. The press releases that state ‘New ATi graphics accelerator available in retail stores as of today’ are far and few in between. Usually they make frequent use of the word ‘introduces’ or ‘launches’, so the press release title would read ‘ATi introduces the world’s fastest 3D accelerator’. Both ‘introduces’ or ‘launches’ don’t indicate any immediate availability giving the manufacturers time to ship products, whilst making sure the customer knows they got something new and better they just introduced.

However the product launches we hate most are the ones dubbed ‘paper launches’ this is when a manufacturer launches a new product or technology it doesn’t even have samples of and which is months away from actual sampling. We seen this happen in the past and we will undoubtedly see it again in the future. To us, but more so to you, these product launches are simply worthless, it is a company ego-trip at best, boasting their new technology. At the end of the day we don’t have anything substantial to report on, as we can’t test anything. All that we can do is go by the documentation provided and see if there’s anything iffy about it. Only when we have an actual working sample in our hands we can begin to evaluate whether the product lives up to the expectations. So yes, product launches and early product reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when the product is not even out on the shelves yet. Once it is, you can rest assured we’ll revisit our initial evaluation and redo all the benchmarks to determine if the final product still performs as good as the sample we tested and report on our findings.

Keep the above in mind when you read reviews of products which aren’t even available in retail stores yet and pass judgement on our, or someone else's, evaluation. We do our best to bring you an evaluation of these products but are more or less restricted by the information and samples provide by the manufacturers of these products. We however do go the extra mile to make sure our readers are best informed about the pros and the cons and whether or not to spend their money on this latest piece of technology.

Sander Sassen.


 Last Post 
Brian Popp 9 replies Jun 12, 2004, 10:23pm EDT


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