I’m frustrated and confused today. And, feeling sorry for many VARs in the mobile printing game. As part of our planning for an upcoming 4-inch rugged mobile label printers product review, I had calls with 11 companies that manufacturer such printers. The first part of the call was to learn as much as possible to ensure our tests were fair and valuable to readers. Secondly, I asked if they would like to send their latest and greatest printer to be a part of the review. What I found was that the majority of manufacturers think that their latest printers aren’t the greatest in the field.
After all the calls, three agreed to send a printer for testing. The others chose to pass for one of two reasons: they either didn’t have a product that fit our category (understandable) or they were fearful that their current printer wouldn’t fare well in certain comparisons. Oh, to be one of their VARs! Imagine selling a product that the manufacturer knows isn’t competitive.
With our product reviews, we don’t pick outright winners because what matters to one VAR might not matter to another. Rather, we let the editorial and test results speak for themselves and allow readers draw their own conclusions. With our upcoming May issue, one conclusion readers can draw is that the three printers included in the testing are at least better than those that chose to not participate. After all, the manufacturers said a whole lot about their faith in their own products by passing on this product review opportunity.