Consumer News Article
by the Tech-edge E-zine staff 1/21/03

2002's Annual Buyers Good, Bad and the Ugly of the Tech World

It’s this time of the year that all sorts of surveys have been done and collated into some interesting and relevant data for prospective buyers. Some of these surveys are from owner feedback, some are reader surveys and probably the most accurate are by professional rating services. We also conducted our own consumer survey and personal experience results to add to the outside data. Tech-edge E-zine is not responsible for the information derived from reader surveys. You should always judge providers on your own experiences.

We took information from all of them, tossed the inconsequential fluff and generated our own Annual Buyers Good, Bad and the Ugly of the Tech World. It included Computers, Accessory hardware like printers, digital cameras, PDA’s, Networking, Customer Support and Warranty, Online Merchants, Walk-in stores, Web Hosting services and ISP’s (Internet - Independent Service Providers).

2002 was again a bad year for much of the Tech industry, only a few market segments had increases in sales while the majority that didn’t further slide down hill were fortunate to recover to at least a flat income. Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy of tech manufacturers and online retailers were up again.

Ratings are in order of best to worst within categories.

Computers, Desktop
Best to Good – Sony, Apple, with Dell and Gateway in a tie.
Worst to even Worse – Compaq, IBM, HP, eMachines, ABS, SysteMax, Computer Show Specials

Computers, Notebook
Best to Good – Apple, IBM, Sony, Gateway, HP (brand), Dell, Toshiba
Worst to even Worse – Compaq, NPower, Acer/NEC




Computers, Processors
Best to Good
AMD Athlon XP 2600+, AMD Athlon XP 2400+, Intel P-4 desktop processor.
Worst to even WorseAMD Athlon XP 2200+, any Intel Mobility P-4 (for over-rated performance) and excessive heat generation)

Computers, Operating System
Best – Apple Mac OS X (10.1.5 and 10.2 Jaguar); for being bullet proof in the real world.
OK – Microsoft XP Professional; still crashes applications and itself, not upgrade friendly for older hardware.
Worst – Linux Desktop (any flavor); you still have to be a nerd to install it, there are still no major applications.

Computers, Technical Support
Best to Good – Apple, IBM, Toshiba, Gateway, Dell*, ABS, HP
Worst to even Worse – eMachines**, MicronPC, Sony, Compaq, SysteMax, NEC/Acer, PC Club***
* Poor telephone tech support. Dell is reported to be only giving 2 weeks of training to new Tech Support staff and has opened a support center in Bangalore India. ** eMachines had improved from the basement position. *** PC Club farms out their phone tech support to a service with the absolute worst reputation.

Best – HP, Epson, Brother
Worst – Lexmark*, Canon, Samsung
* Lexmark had terrible tech support and the most expensive replacement ink cartridges.

Video Cards
Best to Good – ATI Radeon 9700 Pro, ATI Radeon 9700 and 9500, All-in-Wonder Edition,
ATI Mobility Radeon 9000
Good to OK - NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4600, NVIDIA GeForceFX.
Worst - Any NVIDIA GeForce “off-brand” cards (driver problems galore, poor performance)


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