Surface: The difference between the users and the critic reviews.
Am I missing something?
Let's not get into how we should not be using the App environment as a metric in a review score. That is like expecting a device to have perfect reception at all times, without considering the network, then subsequently docking it in a review. The process will stand that IF reviews are well received, which would generate sales, then App devs will make applications for the marketplace, not the other way round.
I think the Apps or even the full ecosystem should be considered in a review. When you buy a Surface tablet you are locked into the MS App Store. There is no side loading on this device the only way you can get software is through the store.
Also in general when people are buying iOS devices, Android devices, or even Windows RT devices they are buying into the ecosystems as much as they are the hardware especially when its a closed ecosystem like Apples and Microsofts.
I agree with you that the more positive reviews, press and word of mouth on the device and the OS the more likely we will see more applications in the marketplace.
Even with the ecosystem, hardware and OS launching at the same i still think it has to be mentioned in the review because its part of the full product. when you buy the product you are buying into the ecosystem also.
I hear what you are saying about the apps.
Well this has been a disappointing revelation, I think I had been lazy /naïve and figured the aggregation of critic reviews would be a good metric. My recollection is the user reviews are usually a lot closer to the critics for other products on the site, but a difference of 16% makes me wonder.
I guess we have to give things time as the product has only just been released.
However, I would have expected statistically the more reviews from critics and users the more likely the scores would be similar.
As they say the customer is always right so maybe if the difference continues the critic's may need to consider how they are reviewing.
Disappointing as I was all set to purchase a Surface, now I guess I will have to wait and perhaps not follow critic reviews so blindly in future.
No you are right, from a specification perspective it is what I need and I had not thought of eBay. I guess the one advantage of it not having built in 3G there is less likelihood (none in my case) of getting it on a telecommunications plan.
While I am looking closely at the Surface my original reason for starting the discussion was the difference in the two scores and how this does not seem to be typical to other products on the site.
Most users are buying something because they want it and expect it to be good. your not going to spend a 5 to 6 hundred bucks on a device you don't want or think is going suck right out of the gate.
The media on the other hand may not have any investment in the device as they may get a loaner from the manufacturer or the company they work for may be paying for the device. Also they may have so many devices pass through their hands they have a different perspective than the users and they also may tailor their comments to a larger more generic public then the end users.
Personally i think your are right its odd to see such a large divide between the two scores. i think a lot of the users are positive on the device and the OS because of the potential we see in it. i know i had a hard time figuring out what score i would give the device.
I appreciate the specific comments on the Surface as I am considering getting one.
The reason for my post though and I am glad you noticed the gap between the critic and user groups too was whether the gap was typical. It is just so large, I have looked around the site and it certainly does not seem to be typical.
Do you frequently see such a big gap?
Most of the gdgt crowd are NOT the typical consumer. They research before they buy, and they generally know the trade offs and what they are getting into. Add in the need to validate your purchase decision and the small chance of negative consequences for posting a positive review, and it is easy to see why the user reviews are almost always higher than the critics reviews.
However, imagine that your reviews are read by Uncle Bob or Aunt Sue. They believe in you, look for your byline, and tend to look to your reviews when they make purchase decisions. They might not call you if they have questions, and they maybe don't read every word of your review. It might make for awkward holiday dinners if they show up with their RT tablet, and want you to get that 10 year old copy of Calendar Maker Super Duper for Windows to run on their tablet. You might take off a point here, and a half-point there just to be sure there are no misunderstandings.
I think you dehumanize others far too easily . . .
Windows 8, WP8, the Surface, and Microsoft Store have an uphill battle to prove themselves against a consumer base that vilifies their every effort initially, before accepting it as innovative by the end. I just don't want this slew of products to go the way of the Zune, a beautiful and superior piece of hardware that was allowed to be swallowed by bad customer group-think. The hardware was better than the iPod in every way, but it could never get a foothold on the market that it deserved. It seems that Microsoft has learned from that, and numbers are showing that W8 is already getting a foothold on the market, serving as the battering ram for the other products to then showcase their worth.
Like others have said, listen to the User Reviews. They are the people that paid their hard-earned money on the device, and have the most to lose by purchasing it. If they are happy, then the product is probably a safe bet, no matter what the critics say. The ridiculous spread on the review scores only cements my suspicions that professional reviewers are not as useful (or non-biased) as we give them credit for.
Users are most likely going into it knowing these things, so they are less likely to be concerned about the app selection and a few RT glitches, at least initially. They have made an emotional as well as financial investment in the product, so they're more likely to see it in a favorable light unless they're really frustrated with it. Also, the fact that they're early adopters means they've probably made peace with the inevitable 1.0 issues. And they also don't play with an endless stream of gadgets every day -- try doing anything as a job and the mystique dies pretty quickly.
I'm someone who is often more interested in buying a product if it's getting dinged for things that I think are overhyped. I bought a Surface last week, and I really like it, despite the issues the reviews have pointed out. That doesn't mean the reviewers are wrong, just that my desire for novelty and interest in exploring the latest thing was more important to me. But it's also an "extra" device for me, so I'm not trying to rely on it for anything. I think it's smart to consider both critic reviews and user reviews before making a decision on any kind of device.