An Independent Voice in a Digital
Lab Director / Editorial Director
(818) 885-5900 mark.brownstein@IndependentTestLabs.Com
The technologists at IndependentTestLabs.com have been providing product reviews,
evaluation, design and documentation assistance for more than two decades. Areas
of expertise include digital and audio technologies, networking, operating systems,
digital storage, content management, computer system design, and application
and utility software products. We have been on the leading edge of computer
technologies since before the birth of the PC.
Our Editorial Director has written seven books on computing and has been an
editor at major computing publications. He has provided content to many of the
major consumer publications, in addition to key vertical publications.
provides a wide range of services. Our Services include:
- Product Reviews for publications. These reviews may range
anywhere from first looks to exhaustive comparative reviews, and anything
- Product Reviews for vendors. These reviews are usually
performed in a manner nearly identical to the comprehensive reviews we provide
to publications. The primary difference is that these reviews are performed
for clients, with the goal of providing an honest, balanced look at how a
product will be evaluated by reviewers, and with solid recommendations for
improving a product, documentation, or other areas so that the user experience
(and reviewer impressions) can be optimized.
- Documentation, packaging assessment, consulting. IndependentTestLabs.Com
can assist vendors in many aspects of product development and planning. We
can assist in all areas of documentation, from manual outlines to evaluation
of user guides; to design, layout and writing of user manuals. We have assisted
vendors in product packaging text and in package design. We have also worked
with vendors in developing product specifications and product design. Let
us help you with your new product, or planning for your next product.
has developed awards that help assure users (and vendors) that a product has
been thoroughly tested and meets our requirements for certification. These awards
- Ready for Market: Products that we consider Ready for Market
must meet a range of qualifications, including performance, documentation,
usability, and other specific requirements set by our editor and lab technicians.
- Ready for Grandma: Although the name of this certificate
sounds tongue-in-cheek, products earning this award must have an extra level
of ease-of-installation and ease-of-use. They must have excellent support
and must come with very clear documentation (or can be easily used without
documentation). Such products should also have an obvious purpose that is
clear and compelling, and should provide a true benefit to the user.
- Ready for IT: Products or technologies we consider Ready
for IT (Information Technology) must meet a range of qualifications and more
extensive testing than is applied to consumer/prosumer products. These products
are designed for implementation in IT departments, and must demonstrate performance,
feature sets, ease of setup and operation, documentation, and available support
options that our editorial team considers essential for this certification.
- StorageReady: StorageReady products have been tested and
shown to perform in real world environments. Again, basic levels of performance,
support, documentation and robustness must be met before this certificate
can be granted.
Technology Tracking / Consulting
intends to keep a close eye on the continuing improvements in electronic technologies.
We have been on the forefront of such technology areas as ISCSI, InfiniBand,
S-ATA, MPEG2,3,4, DivX, USB 1&2, SDLT & LTO tape, 64-bit processing
technologies, Broadband technologies, Wireless networking, Linux and Linux desktops,
and many other technology trends.
Our editors are available for columns, reviews, and features relating to new
technologies, new products, and product trends.
Additionally, our Editorial Director has been moderator and/or panelist at
many industry conferences and may be available for future conferences or special
A Few Current Projects
is currently working on many projects, a few of which are listed here:
- Linux Desktop Reviews: Comparative and/or standalone
reviews of two or more Linux desktops, including Linspire 5.0 and Xandros
Desktop OS Version 3.0. Both products claim ease of use and windows-like
- Digital Camera Update: With the move towards higher resolution
and lower prices continuing to gain speed and consumer share, it's even
more important now to take a brief look at some of the lesser known products
and see how they compare to the industry leaders.
- DVD and CD-RW Recorders: With the rapid price drop of
DVD-R/W drives rapidly approaching the cost of CD-R/W drives, is there any
room for CD-RW? Because the size of a track recorded for DVD is only a fraction
of the size of a CD track, can DVD-RW drives record usable CD-Rs? We're
looking for answers, and hope to have an opinion on the the future of CD-RW
- Ringtone Generators/Convertors: Ringtones are an interesting
'add on' for many cellphones. We're evaluating a few products that can convert
ringtones for use in phones, without forcing the user to pay for each tone
- GSM Cell phones & PDAs: GSM is the most predominant
cell phone technology worldwide. We'll be doing ongoing evaluations of this
- Backup Software: Computer Associates Brightstor ArcServe
Number 9 is the first in our list of Backup products. Also scheduled are
Arkeia (Linux) backup, and NovaStor backup.
- Tape Drives and Libraries: We will be continually reviewing
the LTO, DLT and SDLT, VXA, and other tape technologies.
- Portable Storage Devices:: From the USB or Firewire Hard
drives to Compact Flash and USB flash drives, we're continuing to test and
evaluate a broad range of products.
- ISCSI Project: The ISCSI Project (www.iscsiproject.com)
aims to determine actual performance figures, comparing direct connected
SCSI devices with similar connections over Ethernet and to devices with
FibreChannel interfaces. This is a multi-phase, ongoing project being performed
has designated Configure--Test--Report
Magazine (CTRMAG.COM) as an official site
for its public reports. IndependentTestLabs.Com
will also provide content to LinspireMagazine.com (Linspire
will remain a resource for private testing, documentation, and other services.
For more information please write Mark
Brownstein at IndependentTestLabs.Com,
or call 818 885 5900.