Find out all about APC’s editorial policies, test practices, how to read the benchmark results, and more.
APC is Australia’s oldest consumer technology magazine – having been consistently in print for over 35 years, since our first issue way back in May 1980 – and we take that heritage and responsibility very seriously. While our focus is obviously on the personal computer – it’s in our name, after all – the very definition of the PC has changed and shifted markedly since the early 1980s. As such, we touch on many other areas of tech, too, from smartphones and apps to peripherals, accessories, online services and beyond. We have two main goals: to track down the best of modern tech and also to help our readers make the most of it.
We’re also an open church in terms of platforms. We know most people aren’t wed to a single brand’s products and use a variety of devices. And, like you, APC’s journalists want to know what’s good in tech – no matter what platform it resides on.
Championing technology doesn’t mean we’re unrelenting yes-men and -women, however, and APC aims to be as objective as possible in all our coverage. That means identifying the best products from multiple perspectives – the best performance, best value and best features and, ideally, the products that offer the best mix of these three.
As a matter of policy, reviews published in APC are not shared with product-makers prior to print. We will contact vendors under certain conditions; for example, if we have a problem testing a product that seems to indicate it may be faulty, or to invite a vendor to clarify how a particular feature works. If an APC reviewer has any potential conflicts of interest involving a brand, the review will always be assigned to another writer.
Despite being a small magazine with limited resources, APC still strives to conduct the most rigorous, objective scientific tests and benchmarks we can so as to make our reviews as unbiased as possible. We use a variety of tools and programs for this, including many freely available benchmark suites for assessing media encoding, general system performance, gaming and battery life.
In most cases, for the benchmark results published in APC, you can assume that higher is better. There are certain tests that deviate from this rule where the opposite is true; in those cases, we’ve flagged the results with a note explaining as such.
We use both tables and graphs for displaying results; the latter are our preference due to their ease-ofreadability, but tables are more compact, so we use these in cases where thoroughness is preferred.