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Review of "Computeractive"

published 16/04/2001 | simondh
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 11
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Pro Quality of content and reviews, colour snapshots, simple layout, variety of topics and price
Cons Personally, the cover disc doesn't do much for me!
very helpful
Quality of journalism
Quality of features
Value for money
Quantity of advertising

"The Tangled Web Unwoven..."

It seems that nowadays there are loads of different computer magazines littering the shelves of the local newsagent. They all seem to be the size of the Argos catalogue, coated in cover discs and filled with leaflets that are likely to hit the floor before you even reach the till. Is that really the kind of magazine we're after? I think not. And I think that a couple of publishers are finally catching on...

Computeractive is published by VNU Business Publications and has a regular price of just over a quid (£1.20). It is packed with advice in simple to understand terms with little or no jargon. It was marketed as a magazine for the non-techie on its launch and has maintained that image.

The magazine is usually fairly thin - or should I say, the size of an average non-computer related magazine - but don't let this make you think it lacks content. The lack of adverts is a credit to the publisher.... if you've ever tried to find useful content in PC Shopper, then I guess you'll know what I mean.

Anyway, the main topic I really wanted to write about is actually the computer active Web Guide which is currently in the newsagents. It really is a good read. I know there are a lot of Web Guides on sale at the moment, in book shops as well as newsagents, but this one is different... this one has loads, 4000 to be exact, of sites mentioned. Each is individually reviewed, rated, summarised and of course categorised.

Categories of sites include Cinema, Reference, Music, Education & Training, Sport, Shopping, Computers, Lifestyle and Weird & Humourous. Each category is also subdivided into many others - well how else could you make sense of 4000 website reviews?! For example, the Health & Fitness category has a subcategory of Online Pharmacies, containing three reviews... personally I wasn't even aware that such a thing existed.

The reviews themselves are a couple of paragraphs for each site and include a full-colour snapshot. Each site is also awarded a star-rating (1 to 5) and there is a sentence to sum up the site at the end of each review. These are people who really know how to write a short review!

The Web Guide also contains content like you'd find in the usual magazine... items on choosing an ISP, hosting a website, buying shares online and how to spice up your e-mails... hmm... must read that one later. There is also a cover disc (of course) and a whole host of workshop features and articles. The cover disc has some fairly useful looking programs, but personally, I've learned that if they are useful they normally have a limited life as a trial version. But they make good drink mats on my desk.

Basically then, its a jam-packed magazine. How they managed to fit it all in and still keep it at half the thickness of the Argos catalogue we'll never know.

The price is £4.99 which sounds a bit on the pricey side, but if you're prepared to invest a fiver then you will be rewarded well.

As the Web Guide is published quarterly, you can choose to subscribe for a year at £17 and save yourself a bit of dosh (15% off the cover price), and of course, have it delivered direct to your door.

You can also check out Computeractive online at:

or if you know you want to subscribe to the Web Guide:

Its a simple as that. Happy reading. Happy surfing.


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Comments on this review

  • jennystevenson published 06/08/2001
    Certainly works for me after being fed up of gobbledygook (or however you spell it) and being swamped by bulky Computer Buyer mags. Top op, cheers. Jenny :)
  • jefferson published 20/05/2001
    Brilliant review, thanks!
  • kleft published 13/05/2001
    I'm converted!! I bought a copy many moons ago and found it useful then totally forgot about the whole thing, but your op triggered something in this half-dead brain of mine again. My sub is on its way computeractiv. good op.
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Product Information : Computeractive

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Listed on Ciao since: 27/06/2000