Buying music or books online makes a lot of sense, but I'd draw the line at speakers.
Maybe there's no place close enough to go to for an in-store demo--a lot of shops closed their doors--precisely because too many people used their service to audition gear, and then bought online to get a lower price.
Nice, so now there are fewer places to hear speakers before you buy them. So even if you're reasonably happy with what you bought online you never had the luxury of comparing one speaker against another and picking the best of your choices. Good enough is good enough.
Over the past 30 years--16 as a high-end audio salesman and 14 as a paid audio reviewer--I've listened to thousands of speakers. My sales experience gave me a deep understanding of how all sorts of people, not just audiophiles, listen to and buy speakers.
Some buyers need to touch the speaker, get a sense of its build quality, and some buyers, even after reading a review, are surprised by the speaker's size or some other quality. It's one thing to read about a speaker or peruse its specifications, seeing and hearing it for yourself is so much better.
I draw upon those experiences when I review speakers, but I still can't predict how each reader will react to their sound. Everyone hears differently, and preferences are all over the place.
Some customers want lots of bass, some just want to play loud, or quietly, some care most abut stereo imaging. One guy plays dance music, another only opera. But most speaker shoppers can't articulate what they want from a speaker. That's the rub, and why reviews, even ones as well written as mine for CNET and magazines, may not be the best possible guide to the right speaker. … Read more
If you want to start buying groceries online, we have five sites for you to try out. Few of them are designed well and a couple require up to five days to actually get your groceries. When it comes to buying groceries online, the experience is far from perfect. But I think you might find value in some of these options.The wide world of groceries
Amazon's grocery store, while still in beta, is designed well. Finding groceries takes just a few seconds. Adding goods to your shopping cart mimics the familiar Amazon experience. And prices are usually better than at my local supermarket. That said, I did find some better deals at wholesale brick-and-mortar stores, like BJ's and Costco.
Delivery is a major concern for most online grocery shoppers. That's where Amazon really shines. Amazon offers its "Free Super Saver" shipping on most products. You'll get your delivery in five to seven days. You can also get bulk items like paper towels in three to five business days with free shipping. If you want your groceries sooner, you'll be forced to pay for it, but Amazon can accommodate just about any time frame you require.
The Amazon grocery shopping experience is convenient, simple, and affordable. I highly recommend it.
I was generally impressed with AulSuperStore's inventory of groceries. Almost anything you search for will be on the site. But beware that some products I came across were sold out--something I never saw on Amazon. Prices were competitive, but they didn't quite match Amazon's pricing.
Delivery is the biggest issue facing AulSuperStore. You can't expedite shipping. If you're in Upstate New York, New York City, or New Jersey, you'll get your groceries in one day. But if you're in California, don't expect them for at least four days. Such a rigid delivery system will probably turn some people off.
AulSuperStore, while competitive on prices, isn't competitive on anything else. I don't recommend it if you live outside of New York or New Jersey.… Read more
This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.
eBay's first-quarter results were better than expected, and the company argued that it is operating with more discipline and smarter.
For the quarter ended March 31 (statement), the company reported net income of $357.1 million, or 28 cents a share, on revenue of $2.02 billion, down $171.6 million from a year ago due to poor performance in its marketplaces unit. On a non-GAAP basis, eBay reported first-quarter earnings of $499.9 million, or 39 cents a share.
Wall Street was expecting earnings of 33 cents a … Read more
Believe it or not, the way to help us get out of this recession is to shop as often as you can manage. And Amazon just made it even easier for you to do that, if you have a BlackBerry.
The app takes advantage of the BlackBerry's trackball for a quick and simple way to find, discover, and buy products from Amazon.com, as well as from thousands of … Read more
Updated Editors' note: Now that our testing has completed with the online functionality of the DSi Shop experience, we're able to give the DSi a full review.
Just four and a half years after its initial release, the Nintendo DS has sold more than 100 million units worldwide, solidifying itself as the best-selling portable video game console of all time. By comparison, the competing Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) has sold about half as many units.
The Nintendo DSi is the third iteration of the DS, which originally released in November of 2004. In June of 2006, the company refreshed the system in the form of the DS Lite, which dramatically changed the device's overall design and vastly improved screen performance.
Rumors of a second redesign proved to be a reality when Nintendo announced the most recent--and what we believe to be the final--rehash of the system, the Nintendo DSi. This upgrade adds two small-resolution cameras to the portable, slightly larger screens, and an SD card slot. The Game Boy Advance slot found in both previous versions has been removed.
While current DS Lite owners may want to think twice about upgrading, the DSi's innovative media features and online functionality (the DSi Shop) may warrant a purchase. But if you've been holding out on a DS purchase up until now and you don't need backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance cartridges, the DSi is certainly the way go.
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Max from England asked how to get 5.1 surround sound from his iMac into his speaker system. If he has a TOSlink cable already, he … Read more
Nintendo sent us our Nintendo DSi review unit this morning. Follow along all the excitement step by step with our unboxing slide show. Like the previous two DS systems, the packaging is overly simple, very much in the vein of an Apple product.
When we first turned the DSi on, we were greeted with a setup screen followed by a short tutorial that explains … Read more