Since it debuted a few years ago, I’ve eagerly awaited the arrival of these product-packed issues of Wired. Tested, reviewed and rated are pretty much every gadget imaginable in every category imaginable (much of it very newly-released, too). Again, exclusively for Cool Tools readers, Wired‘s editor in chief Chris Anderson has graciously provided a pdf of the Fall issue. What you get: 125 pages of solid content broken into specific sections and spreads, everything from A/V to office to kitchen to automotive to garden to gaming equipment and accessories. This means: flatscreens, laptops, lawnmowers, headphones, pocketcams, DV cams, blenders, cell phones, wine openers, strollers, and more, ranging from cheap to relatively affordable to the ‘yeah right.’ Items are rated on 10-pt. scale with “Editor’s Picks” and specs-comparison “Scorecards” for the quick take away. Of course, the highs and lows for each and every product are detailed, warts and all, from the most minor annoyance to the biggest bonehead oversight. As a consumer, I value and crave the details. I read a ton of reviews prior to any purchase, especially those on Amazon and Epinions. There’s still something about glossy photos and thorough, thoughtful editing that makes a ‘professional’ guide like this virtually irreplaceable. File under: porn for consumers.
[DISCLOSURE: I contributed one short review to Fall Test; otherwise, I had absolutely no hand in its creation -- SL]