PC Magazine Announces Top PC Manufacturers & Printers in Annual Survey

Aug 24, 2005, 01:00 ET from Ziff Davis

    NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- According to PC Magazine's 18th annual
 Reader Satisfaction Survey (http://www.pcmag.com/sr), on newsstands September
 6, 2005, more people are turning to the Web to solve problems with their PCs
 and printers, and beginning to turn away from phone support. Despite this
 shift, computer users are happier with their PCs and manufacturers support
 services overall than they were a year ago, though there's still room for
 improvement.
     Ziff Davis Media's PC Magazine surveyed nearly 14,000 subscribers --
 technology influencers, consumers and business professionals -- and asked them
 to describe their experiences with the desktops, notebooks, and printers that
 they use. They rated over 26,000 PCs and over 19,000 printers, including
 products used in the home and at work.  Readers were asked to evaluate the
 following categories in the satisfaction survey: overall satisfaction, product
 reliability, quality and frequency of repairs, initial setup experience,
 hardware and software reliability and technical support including tech support
 professional's ability to communicate and understand the problem.
     "It's good to see companies offering better online support, but there's
 clearly room for improvement in phone-based support," says Michael J. Miller,
 Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine.  "In particular, many readers complained about
 technicians who were hard to understand, or who didn't seem to understand the
 problem."
     According to the survey, overall satisfaction with desktops and notebooks
 -- as well as satisfaction with their reliability is very good but people are
 less satisfied with the quality of technical support and repair services of PC
 manufacturers.
     PC owners are increasingly turning away from the phone and toward the
 Internet for tech support. This year, 69% of computer users used the telephone
 for tech support, down significantly versus a year ago, at 80%, This year,
 computer users are using the Web for support, including online FAQs, knowledge
 bases, download centers, 30% of the time; a year ago people they only used Web
 support 18% of the time.
     Generally, the survey showed that the number of systems needing repair has
 decreased slightly since last year, which can be attributed in part to the
 increased use of Windows XP and the increasing standardization of components.
 
     Desktops
     While nearly all the vendors in the survey received overall ratings from
 customers in the "very good" range, four companies -- Apple, Dell, Sony and
 survey newcomer Alienware -- scored the highest, winning the coveted PC
 Magazine Readers' Choice Award. Apple received the overall highest
 satisfaction rating due, in part, to its integration of its computer systems
 and the fact that Macs attract far fewer viruses than Windows machines. Among
 the major manufacturers of Windows PCs, Dell's desktops received its 14th PC
 Magazine Readers' Choice Award in 15 years, showing improvement in tech
 support versus year ago. Sony earned impressive satisfaction rates for
 desktops and newcomer Alienware scored an impressive overall rating of 8.8 for
 their cutting-edge, gaming machines.
 
     Notebooks
     Apple and Lenovo/IBM scored the highest among notebook users in the
 notebook category -- earning them a PC Magazine Readers' Choice Award.  Apple
 users gave the company an 8.6 rating for satisfaction with tech support and
 8.3 for satisfaction with repairs, both very impressive results. Lenovo/IBM
 scored well in reliability, better than average (8.5) and performed well in
 both the business and home market.
 
     Printers
     PC Magazine evaluated many categories of printers, used in business and at
 home, ranging from monochrome lasers to color ink-jet all-in-one printers. For
 the 14th year in a row, Hewlett-Packard received the PC Magazine Readers'
 Choice award for printers, sharing the award with Canon who won for the third
 straight year. HP received top honors with a significantly better than average
 score overall and on reliability, and with significantly fewer printers than
 average needing repair. Users are impressed with HP's web based support which
 relies on Instant Support Technology, through which an embedded Web server
 gathers data about printers and submits it over the Internet to HP for
 diagnostics.
     Canon's performance can be attributed to its stellar service and
 reliability ratings for color ink jets, color ink jet all-in-ones, and photo
 printers.  Canon's newer models are faring well, as the company receives the
 highest scores of any manufacturer for overall satisfaction and for
 reliability among respondents who have had their printers for a year or less.
 
     Methodology
     The 18th annual reader satisfaction survey covers desktop PCs, notebooks
 and printers. The survey gauges the satisfaction on a variety of measures
 including reliability and service experiences with the products PC Magazine
 subscribers are using and the companies who make these products.  PC Magazine
 conducted the survey from June 14, 2005 to June 28, 2005. Subscribers to PC
 Magazine and pcmag.com were invited through by email and through a link posted
 in the magazine. PC Magazine accepted only one entry per subscriber and only
 subscribers could participate. Equation Research
 (http://www.equationresearch.com) hosted the survey and tabulated the results.
 PC Magazine asked respondents about the desktop, notebooks and printers that
 they currently using at work and home.
 
     PC Magazine excluded any company for which they did not receive at least
 50 responses, the minimum number necessary to produce statistically reliable
 results.   Only PCs less than four years old were considered. Each company's
 scores for each question were compared against the average of all the
 companies' scores in the same product category. The result is characterized as
 better or worse than average, or significantly better or worse than average,
 based on the statistical testing of the responses to a 95% confidence level.
 
     About PC Magazine
     PC Magazine, the independent guide to technology, delivers comprehensive
 labs-based reviews and the most trusted recommendations for buyers of
 technology products and services. Reaching more than 5.1 million highly
 engaged technology influencers, PC Magazine provides product reviews, first
 looks at emerging technologies and products, and opinionated columns from
 renowned technology pundits. To meet its readers' needs for buying information
 that is as current as it is comprehensive, PC Magazine publishes 22 times a
 year in print and continually on the Web.
 
     About Ziff Davis Media Inc.
     Ziff Davis Media is a leading integrated media company serving the
 technology and videogame markets. The Company is an information services
 provider of technology media including publications, websites, conferences,
 events, eSeminars, eNewsletters, custom publishing, list rentals, research and
 market intelligence. In the United States, the Company publishes 10 magazines
 including PC Magazine, Sync, ExtremeTech, DigitalLife, eWEEK, CIO Insight,
 Baseline, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Computer Gaming World and Official U.S.
 PlayStation Magazine. The Company exports the power of its brands
 internationally, with publications in 40 countries and 20 languages. Ziff
 Davis leverages its content on the Internet with a network of highly-targeted
 technology and gaming sites including PCMag.com, eWEEK.com, ExtremeTech.com
 and 1UP.com. The Company also produces highly-targeted b-to-b and consumer
 technology events including DigitalLife. With its main headquarters and PC
 Magazine Labs based in New York, Ziff Davis Media also has offices and lab
 facilities in the San Francisco and Boston markets. Additional information is
 available at http://www.ziffdavis.com .
 
 

SOURCE Ziff Davis
    NEW YORK, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- According to PC Magazine's 18th annual
 Reader Satisfaction Survey (http://www.pcmag.com/sr), on newsstands September
 6, 2005, more people are turning to the Web to solve problems with their PCs
 and printers, and beginning to turn away from phone support. Despite this
 shift, computer users are happier with their PCs and manufacturers support
 services overall than they were a year ago, though there's still room for
 improvement.
     Ziff Davis Media's PC Magazine surveyed nearly 14,000 subscribers --
 technology influencers, consumers and business professionals -- and asked them
 to describe their experiences with the desktops, notebooks, and printers that
 they use. They rated over 26,000 PCs and over 19,000 printers, including
 products used in the home and at work.  Readers were asked to evaluate the
 following categories in the satisfaction survey: overall satisfaction, product
 reliability, quality and frequency of repairs, initial setup experience,
 hardware and software reliability and technical support including tech support
 professional's ability to communicate and understand the problem.
     "It's good to see companies offering better online support, but there's
 clearly room for improvement in phone-based support," says Michael J. Miller,
 Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine.  "In particular, many readers complained about
 technicians who were hard to understand, or who didn't seem to understand the
 problem."
     According to the survey, overall satisfaction with desktops and notebooks
 -- as well as satisfaction with their reliability is very good but people are
 less satisfied with the quality of technical support and repair services of PC
 manufacturers.
     PC owners are increasingly turning away from the phone and toward the
 Internet for tech support. This year, 69% of computer users used the telephone
 for tech support, down significantly versus a year ago, at 80%, This year,
 computer users are using the Web for support, including online FAQs, knowledge
 bases, download centers, 30% of the time; a year ago people they only used Web
 support 18% of the time.
     Generally, the survey showed that the number of systems needing repair has
 decreased slightly since last year, which can be attributed in part to the
 increased use of Windows XP and the increasing standardization of components.
 
     Desktops
     While nearly all the vendors in the survey received overall ratings from
 customers in the "very good" range, four companies -- Apple, Dell, Sony and
 survey newcomer Alienware -- scored the highest, winning the coveted PC
 Magazine Readers' Choice Award. Apple received the overall highest
 satisfaction rating due, in part, to its integration of its computer systems
 and the fact that Macs attract far fewer viruses than Windows machines. Among
 the major manufacturers of Windows PCs, Dell's desktops received its 14th PC
 Magazine Readers' Choice Award in 15 years, showing improvement in tech
 support versus year ago. Sony earned impressive satisfaction rates for
 desktops and newcomer Alienware scored an impressive overall rating of 8.8 for
 their cutting-edge, gaming machines.
 
     Notebooks
     Apple and Lenovo/IBM scored the highest among notebook users in the
 notebook category -- earning them a PC Magazine Readers' Choice Award.  Apple
 users gave the company an 8.6 rating for satisfaction with tech support and
 8.3 for satisfaction with repairs, both very impressive results. Lenovo/IBM
 scored well in reliability, better than average (8.5) and performed well in
 both the business and home market.
 
     Printers
     PC Magazine evaluated many categories of printers, used in business and at
 home, ranging from monochrome lasers to color ink-jet all-in-one printers. For
 the 14th year in a row, Hewlett-Packard received the PC Magazine Readers'
 Choice award for printers, sharing the award with Canon who won for the third
 straight year. HP received top honors with a significantly better than average
 score overall and on reliability, and with significantly fewer printers than
 average needing repair. Users are impressed with HP's web based support which
 relies on Instant Support Technology, through which an embedded Web server
 gathers data about printers and submits it over the Internet to HP for
 diagnostics.
     Canon's performance can be attributed to its stellar service and
 reliability ratings for color ink jets, color ink jet all-in-ones, and photo
 printers.  Canon's newer models are faring well, as the company receives the
 highest scores of any manufacturer for overall satisfaction and for
 reliability among respondents who have had their printers for a year or less.
 
     Methodology
     The 18th annual reader satisfaction survey covers desktop PCs, notebooks
 and printers. The survey gauges the satisfaction on a variety of measures
 including reliability and service experiences with the products PC Magazine
 subscribers are using and the companies who make these products.  PC Magazine
 conducted the survey from June 14, 2005 to June 28, 2005. Subscribers to PC
 Magazine and pcmag.com were invited through by email and through a link posted
 in the magazine. PC Magazine accepted only one entry per subscriber and only
 subscribers could participate. Equation Research
 (http://www.equationresearch.com) hosted the survey and tabulated the results.
 PC Magazine asked respondents about the desktop, notebooks and printers that
 they currently using at work and home.
 
     PC Magazine excluded any company for which they did not receive at least
 50 responses, the minimum number necessary to produce statistically reliable
 results.   Only PCs less than four years old were considered. Each company's
 scores for each question were compared against the average of all the
 companies' scores in the same product category. The result is characterized as
 better or worse than average, or significantly better or worse than average,
 based on the statistical testing of the responses to a 95% confidence level.
 
     About PC Magazine
     PC Magazine, the independent guide to technology, delivers comprehensive
 labs-based reviews and the most trusted recommendations for buyers of
 technology products and services. Reaching more than 5.1 million highly
 engaged technology influencers, PC Magazine provides product reviews, first
 looks at emerging technologies and products, and opinionated columns from
 renowned technology pundits. To meet its readers' needs for buying information
 that is as current as it is comprehensive, PC Magazine publishes 22 times a
 year in print and continually on the Web.
 
     About Ziff Davis Media Inc.
     Ziff Davis Media is a leading integrated media company serving the
 technology and videogame markets. The Company is an information services
 provider of technology media including publications, websites, conferences,
 events, eSeminars, eNewsletters, custom publishing, list rentals, research and
 market intelligence. In the United States, the Company publishes 10 magazines
 including PC Magazine, Sync, ExtremeTech, DigitalLife, eWEEK, CIO Insight,
 Baseline, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Computer Gaming World and Official U.S.
 PlayStation Magazine. The Company exports the power of its brands
 internationally, with publications in 40 countries and 20 languages. Ziff
 Davis leverages its content on the Internet with a network of highly-targeted
 technology and gaming sites including PCMag.com, eWEEK.com, ExtremeTech.com
 and 1UP.com. The Company also produces highly-targeted b-to-b and consumer
 technology events including DigitalLife. With its main headquarters and PC
 Magazine Labs based in New York, Ziff Davis Media also has offices and lab
 facilities in the San Francisco and Boston markets. Additional information is
 available at http://www.ziffdavis.com .
 
 SOURCE  Ziff Davis

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