Customer Reviews: PC Magazine
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on June 25, 2009
I saw this magazine being offered via subscription for the Kindle and thought "meh" .... but tried the 14-day trial anyway. I was surprised to find that the content was actually very well formatted for the Kindle. A lot of blogs aren't including (arguably important) photos in their Kindle subscriptions (I'm looking at you, The Onion), so I figured this would be more of the same.
This is not the case, however, and they have included quite a few photos. Pics are included with reviews as well as with feature articles. Granted, they are limited by the Kindle's limited palette, but it is certainly better than no pictures at all.
I haven't ever subscribed to the print version of PC Mag, but I've picked them up from time to time if they have an interesting cover. I'll be keeping this Kindle subscription, though, and I'm looking forward to future issues. Magazines like this will help make my Kindle more and more useful in my everyday life.
As for the price, I think it is very reasonable. Sure, they are just re-purposing the content they already produced for the print version, but we aren't getting all the advertisements. Would you pay $1.50 more for a magazine if it was completely ad-free? I think I would.
If you are a fan of PC Mag (or other tech magazines), I recommend trying the 14-day free trial. You can't beat free.

UPDATE 05-16-2011: This publication is still not available in the Android Kindle app (which I would really like on my Galaxy Tab)...however, it *IS* available on the nook Android app. What's up with that? Including photos and properly-formatting your content on the Kindle may have made this worthy of a 5-star review back when I wrote this, but now you are falling behind on the Kindle platform.
I'd prefer to have all my content in the Kindle universe, but I think I'll be switching my subscription over to the nook app and dropping this Kindle subscription if you don't start offering the content via Android in the next month.

UPDATE 06-17-2011: And they did it... Checked my Kindle app the other day and there it was, PC Magazine. I also really like the formatting in the Android app. I'm keeping the review at 5 stars.
11 comment| 118 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Since PC Magazine stopped publishing the print version, I was glad to see it available on the Kindle. The content is enjoyable, but I'm running into a problem.

I'm in my 14-day free trial right now, and have found a few problems (at least with the July 2009 edition):

1. The main article (the one that discusses the best utilities) is poorly formatted. The PC Magazine Logo appears at the top of every page. Perhaps it's this half-inch or so of wasted screen space that is pushing the text downward causing the last line to be cut off on every page (but that last line is then repeated at the top of the next page, so it is still readable). This seems to happen no matter what font size I choose.
2. That same main article won't remember my place within the article. It ALWAYS starts over again at the beginning of the article, and won't allow me to bookmark within it.
3. The page turning and responsiveness are very slow...again, only within that main article.

Perhaps this is a Kindle issue...perhaps a PC Magazine issue...I'm not sure. Other articles in the same edition of that magazine seem fine. Pages turn quickly, no logo at the top of each page, etc.

I'm hoping that the next issue will arrive before the end of my 14-day trial. If the problem exists every issue, then it's a deal-breaker for me.

As a side note...PC Magazine, when they stopped publishing the print version, converted my remaining subscription to a digital version using an online reader. It seems strange to me that the content of that version and of the Kindle version was different. The Kindle version contained some content that was missing from the online digital version.

UPDATE: As one of the commenters has noted, the problems stated above do not exist in the August 2009 edition. Looks like I will continue my subscription.
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on September 5, 2010
I downloaded the electronic issue before getting on a long flight. The cover story featured a list of the best free apps available. The problem is, I can't seem find the actual list anywhere. If I'm missing something, I apologize, but if the list is really not there, how can you not have the complete cover story on the electronic version???
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on September 9, 2010
I've been a subscriber for 7 a few months now and my major complaint is that you don't get all of the articles. This month's issue (September) cover story is about the best apps for Smartphones. The introduction is there but when you click on a list
of apps (e.g. best apps for Iphone) nothing happens. No lists. Nothing to tell you to go to the website. This has happened for other articles as well. They need to iron out the bugs.
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on October 16, 2009
Early in 2008, after a year as editor in chief, Lance Ulanoff scuttled the best computer magazine in print making it only available on the web or now Kindle but only after yanking what had been a fairly neutral presentation of technology hard to the left. I had subscribed for 20 years, the change was obvious. But you see, Mr. Ulanoff is on a green crusade to save the whales and stop global warming instead of just producing a good tech magazine. The magazine has become cluttered with needless nonsense and long screeds against any company that dares to make a profit. The transition to an e-publication has resulted in content that is hopelessly political and freed from the constraints of print and paper given to verbal diarrhea. The tone is preachy and condescending. John Dvorak remains the best reason to subscribe but even he as descended from his perch as uber-tech reporter to purveyor of rants and tirades.

I downloaded the October issue to my Kindle as a 14 day free trial. For me the Kindle version is a complete waste of virtual paper. While it is quite readable, it is accompanied by few pictures or illustrations in the product reviews. Knowing what a product actually looks like (e.g. a camera or a mobile phone) can be very important if you are trying to make a buying decision. Also, the articles are not in the same order as they are in the magazine, some articles are left out completely and there is no table of contents for easy navigation. Some folks like the fact that there are no ads but ads are frequently how we learn of new products or trends. They can be informative and sometimes funny so I miss them. Worst of all the Kindle version does not include the Editors Choice list of products. I am dropping the kindle version.

That said, I do subscribe to the magazine on-line. That version is slick and well illustrated. It remains one of the best sources for keeping up with what is new and improved in the world of tech and the online subscription is only $ 14.95 for two years. The web-azine is organized like the old magazine was and has all the features, but inexplicably the Editors Choice list is not hot-linked to reviews of the products. For 62 cents an issue, I will just put up with the proselytizing and lack of objectivity to know what will be on the shelves at Best Buy next month but I still cannot kick back and read it on the train. Darn it Lance, it was much better before you got hold of it.

Addendum February 20, 2012

Now - Four Stars on Fire

Well evidently someone was listening. The editorship of PC Magazine has changed. Dan Costa is at the helm and the change is quite noticeable. While there is still some political bias in the magazine (hey it is produced in New York City, picante sauce isn't all they don't understand), but it is much less obvious. The editors are trying and jolly good for them. The text still contains an occasional typo or irritating snippet of bad grammar but that too has improved. The errant phrase usually arises when someone is trying to be cute or hip not realizing that such things often just come off as "unedumacated" as we in the south say. The organization of the magazine is up to the standards of the old print rag and all the pieces are in place. Jolly good indeed.

BUT the biggest changes are obvious when you view the magazine on a Kindle Fire. WOW, now that is what an e-magazine should look like. Everything is there and in the right order. The pages can be sized for easy reading. The pictures are clear and informative. Best of all it is fun to read on the train! Quibbles are few. The index is not linked to the stories (yet) so you have to page around too much, but there is a great slider that pops up at the bottom of the page allowing easy navigation. PC Magazine always has been the best source of information on personal computers, now it is the one of the best magazine on Kindle Fire. Buy it.
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on March 26, 2010
PC Magazine needs to rethink its kindle edition and hire an editor or two. Too many spelling mistakes, articles missing, and some even cut off in the middle. I even re-downloaded it, thinking something had gone wrong in transmission. Internationally it is useless because Amazon takes out all the graphs, charts and images that make product reviews good. This is not good example of Kindle publishing. May do better on color displays where they can sell tons of advertisement to go with it.
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on October 29, 2009
I'm a new kindle customer from Spain and I must begin saying that I'm having with kindle, I my intention in this review is to help improving this great product.

I just tried the Pc magazine on my kindle from Spain. I used to read it when travelling abroad and is a nice magazine with very nice contents. My bad review is not about the contents is due to the kindle edition for international that comes without images.

First in some articles references a graph of performance, or something like that and the image is missing. This absence makes the article unusable and uncomplete. Maybe this should be fixed with tables or simple test. But I imagine that for the editor some ideas are dificult to transmit only by text and need the use of graphs. But should check this references.

Also to review a computer, a camera or what ever gadget without viewing a photo has no sense. It's important the opinion and comments you find in the article. But at the end you are getting half of the real "picture" of the gadget.

For all this points I don't recommend to get this magazine if you are an international user. I know I'm not probably your target customer, but loved the paper edition.

I must say that I was aware before getting the magazine that there were no images in international customer. And will like to end this review saying that this complain is more to the amazon kindle team than to the PC Magazine people. Please add images, blogs, etc... to international customers.....
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on September 15, 2010
This is the worst magazine in kindle version. There is only few picture included, and the picture is telling the information. Without the picture, this magazine is becoming useless.

Hope the publisher would pay more attention on that.
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on September 30, 2010
Subscribed two days ago (on new Kindle using 3G in The Netherlands) and find the delivered contents very much incomplete! I have compared it (the September version) to the digital version, which I also receive (through Zinio) and it has some 90% (!) of contents missing! Also the October issue was delivered digitally three days ago, while it has not yet arrived on my Kindle.... Sorry, very bad implementation! Canceling subscription now.
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on March 1, 2011
I have read most of the reviews including the pc magazine review which they confirmed there was a lot of missing content. They only appologizied, and made an empty promise to fix the problem by jan 2011. They did not attempt to repay the customers even though the half of the content was missing including the main article of the months issue. Would they accept half of our money with a, "Sorry about that, we will be sure to start paying the full amount by..... hmm how does jan 2012 sound?" I am certain they would not and would demand the missing payment immediatly. A major company that can not afford to give back a dollar and some change for a product they pretty much tore in half and sold to you; does not say very much about there promise to fix the issue. Come 2012 I will recheck into looking into the bug issues they have. I do not trust someone who would sell a torn product to me; thus I see more bugs and complaints to follow.
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