If you’re wondering about LazyTechGuys’ reviews, you’ve come to the right place. In short, we take reviews of our stuff seriously. Your time and your money are on the line when you’re deciding whether or not you should purchase a smartphone, a PC peripheral, speakers, games, apps, etc. Basically, anything we believe we can provide insightful detailed knowledge on we will consider review. Our editorial staff consists of discerning, value-conscious techies, and it’s been our mission to provide all the information you need to decide whether the hardware or software is right for you. Whether you quickly glance at our ratings and review summaries, watch our video reviews, read our full reviews in their entirety, or all of the above, I think you’ll find us to be a dependable, entertaining source of honest information about all the stuff that’s out there.
Wait, reviews are just opinions. Right?
Actually, we don’t think so. We make no excuses for our verdicts and believe our reviews stand for themselves. While our reviews, of course, do contain an element of subjectivity to them, we see the process of reviewing products as one that primarily involves the reporting of facts. To an extent, we naturally color these facts based on our own experiences of having spent much time playing with other products and games in the past, but we make every effort to look at everything on its own merits, and we describe each product in the most factual terms possible. To this end, in the rare event that one of our reviews contains a factual inaccuracy, we will correct the inaccuracy and will acknowledge it in an editor’s note that’s appended to the end of the review.
What the stars mean
Perfect – This rare rating refers to a piece of hardware, software, app, or game that is as perfect as it can aspire to be at its time of release. Obviously, the constantly changing standards for technology will probably make whatever it is obsolete some day, but at its time of release, anything with this rating could not have been improved upon in any meaningful way.
Superb - We usually recommend anything in this range. In regards to games, we especially recommend the game to fans of that game’s particular genre. For hardware and apps, this typical rating denotes that it is worth the cost during the time of its release. Anything that earns 4.5 stars is naturally uncommon, and is usually owned by one of the LTG editors for its outstanding quality.
Great - Anything within this range is good overall, and likely worth buying at the time of its release. In regards to games, it comes highly recommended for fans of the particular genre or by those otherwise interested. While its strengths outweigh its weaknesses, a device, app or game that falls in this range tends to have some noticeable faults.
Good - hardware, apps and games that earn 3.5 star ratings have certain good qualities but have a few problems as well. These devices may well be worth paying, but you’re best to wait until they lower in price or approaching them with caution or to have it serve a specific purpose. Anything in this range is usually short of its massive potential.
Above Average - Devices, apps and games that tend to have accrue enough major weaknesses to considerably outweigh their strengths. There’s probably a substantially better, similar game or device out there for you. A device, app or game under this rating typically has some strengths but it barely outweighs its weaknesses. Faults are much more noticeable when compared to other similar hardware, apps or games.
Average - A 2 1/2 star score refers to a that’s “merely average” in the negative sense. Any device, app or game that just doesn’t work as optimally as intended. It’s possible that the development team or engineers didn’t spend enough time (or didn’t have enough time) before the final version was released into production. They simply lack the cohesion and quality that excellent devices or games typically have.
Bad - You probably shouldn’t get too close to anything in this range. Any of its positive qualities most likely serve only to make the rest of it seem even more disappointing.
Terrible - Beware, of anything in this range. It is usually devoid of anything remotely decent or anything that is fully functional or worse, unreliable.
Abysmal - Those rare ratings where something falls in this lowest-of-the-low range. It typically has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Avoid at all costs.
And obviously, anything with no stars isn’t worth exploring or considering. We’re also coming to terms over why we even bothered to review the darn thing.
Our Review Philosophy:
What follows are the guidelines we internally use to prepare LTG editors for their review assignments. LTG editors are expected to know, understand, and abide by the following principles. In turn, we invite you to consider them for yourself to better understand how we approach our content creation process.
We Cater to the Discriminating Techie/Gamer
Our reviews are written with the prospective customer in mind–someone who’s naturally interested in playing a new game, trying out new hardware or toying around with an app/software and has a limited amount of time and money to spend. Our editors approach each review strictly from that perspective. In turn, our reviews are not intended to validate or support the beliefs of fans of the brand, device or game, nor are they intended to provide feedback to developers, engineers or publishers about how a given device or game could have been improved. Our reviews are only designed to tell you to what extent something is worth your while.
We Consider Devices, Apps and Games On Their Own Merits
First and foremost, our reviews are an assessment of one particular thing at a time. We approach each review assignment without assuming anything about the quality of the device, irrespective of prerelease preview coverage, the history of any previous version of its series, any perceptions about the designer’s, developer’s or engineer’s track records, and so forth. That is, every thing we review gets a fair shake, and is treated with the same level of care and attention with which we approach every review assignment.
We Take Time and Originality Into Account
We judge more critically as time goes by, because our expectations as techies are constantly increasing. When we review something, we consider it at the exact point in time at which the evaluation is taking place and compare it to what we believe to be the current standards of quality at that time. In general, LTG does not favor highly derivative hardware or games, which mostly recycle elements from other, previous iterations. Instead, we appreciate original concepts and ideas that are executed well. This also means that each time an excellent device or game is released, it becomes incrementally more difficult for another competing product to be as good in the grand scheme of things.
We Do Not Inflate Our Scores
As the quality of hardware, software and gaming experiences naturally improves over time, we do not simply rate new things higher, even if they’re technically better. Instead, we adjust our expectations and continually recalibrate our rating scale accordingly. What this means in practice is that a high score awarded today by LTG is worth more than if we awarded the same score yesterday. In other words, a game that earns a high score today is probably superior in overall quality to a game that earned the same score on our scale several years ago. The same holds true for hardware and software.
We Rate Hardware, Apps and Games According to the Current Standards of Their Platforms and Genres
Every platform is different, especially in terms of its technical features. However, we believe high-quality experiences from hardware and software are possible on all platforms that we cover. So we try to review things against the standards of their respective platforms by implicitly comparing them to other products on that same platform. This is especially true with games, especially other games in that genre. As a result, our ratings on different platforms are not intended to be directly compared to one another. However, relative comparisons do apply. So for any device that scores poorly is a poor device by any standards, while a device that scores extremely high is an outstanding device by any standards. The same holds true for games.
And Since We’re Also Longtime Gamers…
We Acknowledge That New Games Do Not Exist In a Vacuum
Each game we review exists in a competitive environment. That is, a game always has direct or indirect competition from other, possibly very similar games, which causes the game in question to be held to a higher standard. In other words, while technical merits are generally particular to a specific gaming platform, we believe that certain collective, universal standards also exist. LTG editors are expected to be familiar with current games on all platforms, in order to maintain an acute sense of global standards for gaming at all times.
We Consider Multiplatform Games Comparatively But Also for Each Platform
Games come out for multiple platforms all the time. When LTG reviews a game that’s on multiple platforms, you’ll often see references to other versions of the same game on a different platform. We do this to give context to our reviews for the sake of game players with access to or interest in multiple game systems. LTG reserves the right to reuse review text for multiplatform games, especially if the game has the same exact features on different platforms.
Among Other Things…
We Own Up To Our Errors
We have the highest standards when it comes to the accuracy and validity of our reviews, and will never knowingly make factual assertions that are not completely correct. However, in the event that the facts stated in one of our reviews are refuted, we swiftly investigate the claims. Consequently, we reserve the right to amend our reviews after they are published. Any time we substantively modify the facts of a review, we will acknowledge the changes in an editor’s note at the end of the review.
The People Who Write LTG’s Reviews Are All Different
We do our best to make each of our reviews live up to our standards and fit well in the context of all our other reviews. However, we take pride in the diversity and collective expertise of our editorial staff. Each individual who writes for LTG offers a different perspective and writing style, and we encourage each editor to bring his or her own experiences to bear with each new assignment. We only assign reviews to individuals that are naturally interested in the device or game. For example, we will never assign someone to review a sports game if he or she isn’t personally interested in and knowledgeable about the real-world sport the game is simulating. The same way we wouldn’t allow an editor, who knows nothing about consumer audio, to review headphones. But it’s not just about personal preferences, either. LTG’s reviews all go through a rigorous screening process by our reviews team, so you can rest assured that we collectively stand behind and support the statements made in each new review we publish.
The Bottom Line
In regards to hardware and software, we believe electronics are meant to be easy, fun to use, highly valued and ultimately used to enrich our everyday lives. Our reviews seek to find out what is worth buying and works best for your type of lifestyle. We realize there is only so much you can document about the product we try to provide information from an objective point of view.
In regards to games, our philosophy is that if we succeed at reviewing each game on its own merits, against the standards of the point in time at which it was evaluated, then overall consistency of our ratings should naturally result. Ultimately, we believe that each of our reviews should be useful and engaging to you as a prospective player.
Frequently Asked Questions About LTG Reviews
When it comes to games, do you always finish games before reviewing them?
The straight answer is no, not necessarily. The main reason is that not all games are capable of being finished, which would make a policy of finishing all games before reviewing them impossible to enforce. For example, sports games and massively multiplayer online role-playing games have no definite conclusion. Likewise, many multiplayer-focused games cannot be finished but must be played extensively before they can be honestly evaluated. Our rule is that we play games extensively before committing to our full reviews. On average, this translates into at least 10 hours’ worth of play, though some games demand much more than that, and some require less.
How can you possibly assign a star rating? Shouldn’t your reviews speak for themselves?
Along with our review summaries, our ratings provide our audience with an at-a-glance assessment of a product’s relative quality. Some people have neither the time nor the inclination to read our full reviews, and we respect that. Also, some people want a shorter assessment, which is why our review summaries tend to contain all the key points of the evaluation. We take great caution in administering our ratings, because we know a rating scale needs to be relatively consistent to be valuable.
I have more questions.
We are always looking for ways to improve our reviews, because we know they are important to you. Please contact us at comments (at) lazytechguys.com if you have any further questions about our standards or policies with respect to our reviews.
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