New gaming products get released every single day, but not all of those products are worth a purchase. Here at ProSettings.net, our goal is to inform our readers as much as possible when it comes to gear. In light of that, we have reviewed well over 150 gaming products, and new reviews get added all the time. In this article, we’ll explain our thought process when it comes to reviews.
Our focus is you, the gamer. We are not interested in just listing a spec sheet, writing out some marketing slides and calling it a day, nor do we want to flood you with sparsely explained graphs and charts that can sometimes make it even harder to see the forest for the trees. We try to write our reviews in a way that makes them understandable for everyone, regardless of their knowledge level when it comes to gaming gear.
Highlighting the product
We choose to highlight the product. We do of course make comparisons to other products when useful (such as when the product being reviewed is the successor to an already existing product, or a product is an obvious direct contender to another product) but we try to avoid making our reviews almost entirely comparison-based. After all, if you don’t have any experience with the product it’s being compared to, the review would be nearly worthless for you, and our goal is for everyone to be able to take something away from our reviews.
We aim to list what makes a product special or noteworthy, whether that’s in a good way or a bad way, but we try to view products in the right context. We of course test and talk about all the basics, but when a product is almost entirely focused on MMO games, for example, it makes little sense to go on and on about its performance as an FPS product.
It’s also important to stay realistic when reviewing. We’re not comparing a $90 gaming keyboard’s stabilizers to hand-lubed stabilizers in a $400 custom mechanical keyboard, for example. A $150 budget gaming monitor won’t hold a candle to a $1000 1440p 360Hz gaming monitor, but that doesn’t mean that the budget monitor can’t be outstanding in its field.
We are all aware of the fact that reviews are, at least in part, subjective, so we try to supplement our reviews with objective data and observances without becoming too much like a scientific paper with only charts and data.
How we decide what to review
It’s impossible to review every single piece of gear out there, unless you have dozens of staff members who are all dedicated to reviewing. We choose to go for quality over quantity, so whether we review a product or not gets decided on a case-by-case basis by our staff.
Some factors that are important to us are: relevance of the brand in the professional scene, specs, the technology behind the product, and so on. We don’t have an official list with a bunch of checkboxes to complete, but we do try to only review products with a certain potential.
Of course not everything is focused purely on performance: an RGB light strip, for example, will not elevate your game, but it might elevate your gaming room, so we also do more lighthearted reviews.
We receive the vast majority of the products that we review from the manufacturer for free. This does not influence the opinion of our reviewers in any way. Products are tested and reviews are written by the reviewer(s) independently and checked for language and spelling by an editor afterwards, but they are never pre-approved by the manufacturer or anyone outside of the ProSettings.net staff.
We are aware of the fact that manufacturers sometimes send pre-checked products to reviewers to ensure that reviewers get a flawless copy, but sadly there is nothing that we can do about this as it’s impossible to confirm whether a product has been pre-checked or not. We routinely get products with QC errors or small flaws in them though, so most manufacturers seem to send random production copies our way.
When a product has very obvious flaws that seem to come down to a faulty unit, we might reach out to the manufacturer and ask for a replacement unit.
Rating and judging products
We have a scoring system in place to give a product an overall score, but we don’t give each individual component a score because we believe that a lot of what makes a certain piece of gear ‘good’ is subjective. It might be that the shape of a certain mouse doesn’t sit well with our reviewer while it seems like it’s molded to the hand of one of our readers, so we believe in letting our readers decide for themselves when it comes to how much importance they place on certain aspects of a product.
We don’t have an official ‘ratings guide’, but our ratings can loosely be interpreted as follows:
- 1 star: this product isn’t worth your time or money. There are much better alternatives out there.
- 2 stars: this product is heavily flawed in many ways, but it might be something for you if you can live with those flaws. We would not recommend the product in general, unless you know specifically what you’re looking for and you know you can live with its shortcomings.
- 3 stars: this product is middle-of-the-road in many ways: it’s not groundbreaking and probably has a couple of (smaller) flaws or one big flaw, but it’s a solid product. With products like this, it’s important to decide whether or not those shortcomings are important to you.
- 4 stars: this product is extremely solid. Any flaws or shortcomings that the product has aren’t going to be a deal breaker for most people, and the vast majority of people can use this product just fine. This product is at least ‘very decent’ in all categories that can be objectively judged.
- 5 stars: this product is up there with the best of the best in its category at the time of writing the review. This doesn’t mean that the product is “perfect” or that it cannot be surpassed, but rather that the product has little to no objective downsides.
Products can also get half a star, landing them in between categories. Again: these ratings are not science, so we recommend readers to read the full review in order to make up their own mind about the product. We also wholeheartedly recommend readers to read reviews by other people as well, as it’s always important to see multiple angles before deciding on an important purchase.
Please note that we don’t update or edit reviews unless there’s a firmware update or something like that. As such, older reviews that are years old might contain outdated references, or you might see a 75 gram mouse being called ‘super lightweight’, for instance. That’s because, back then, it was the case. The technology market is a fast-moving one, and a product that was considered to be cutting edge five years ago definitely won’t be put into that same category today.
We currently have two ‘awards’ that we give out, namely the Staff’s Choice award and the Pro’s Choice award. The Pro’s Choice award is only given to products that have appeared in the top 5 most used products of any of our analyzed games and have stayed there for more than 30 days. A product with this award is one that is/was actively being used by multiple professional gamers.
The Staff’s Choice award is given out by our staff. Products that get the staff’s choice award are products that are either highly innovative or quite simply finished to very high standards. They’re products that our staff would happily use in their own setup because of their overall quality.
Limitations of reviewing
We try to account for everything when we review products, but there’s one noteworthy aspect of a product that a reviewer simply cannot test: durability. We can (and do) check the build quality of the products that we review, but given the fact that our reviewers only spend a couple of weeks with the product it’s simply impossible to tell how it holds up after months of heavy usage. This is a limitation that every reviewer runs into.
Another reality of product reviews is that not every product is the same. Products can have QC issues, for example, meaning that the product that you bought might have faulty clicks whereas the product that was reviewed has great clicks. This does not mean that the reviewer was lying or misinformed; these things vary between copies. If you receive a faulty copy, always make sure to contact the store where you purchased it.
Ask us anything
We aim to answer every single comment. If you have a question about a product, just shoot us a comment and receive a reply from our reviewer. You can always reach out to us on Discord. We are always trying to help, and we will give you our honest opinions and try our best to help you get the product that matches your needs exactly. Keep it civil, however. Rude or derogatory comments will be removed.