Advanced Imaging

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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Tame the Spec Sheet Beast

Pespective
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Larry Adams By Larry Adams
Editor

I want to be an educated consumer. When I buy something, I like to believe that I've done some due diligence and have some idea of the quality and value of the product that I've bought as compared to other products on the market.

The same goes for me in my role at Advanced Imaging magazine. In going through the material collected at the Vision Show West, as well as the dozen or more products I receive daily, it is important that I don't just believe the hype; I don't want to just take as gospel that the product is the best, the first, the all-knowing walk-on-water product that I just have to know about.

I read the fine print, check under the hood and compare the horsepower, so to speak. Often, I find that I'm trying to compare similar products with dissimilar specs. By the 20th or so product, even the best literature begins to resemble a mind-numbing list of numbers and acronyms.

When my eyes blur and my head begins to pound, I move to the press releases that come with most products. Soon, however, even these condensed descriptions begin to read something like this:

"The widget goes 300,000 nerdblurps over a range of 37 hectiles. Utilizing the optional ASPLAP with the latest DING/X Version 2.7, the widget will wirelessly wake you up in the morning with a gentle electric shock."

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