How we test, review and rate products on Space.com

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At Space.com, our mission is to help you learn more about all things space and science fiction. In addition to keeping you up to date with news, features, and how-to articles, we have an extensive testing and review process for many space-related gadgets, tools, and technology. From cameras and telescopes to help you see the stars, to cutting-edge sci-fi tech like 3D printers, or even the latest space toys and gadgets like Lego kits – we test it all. before recommending it. Whatever we review, we follow the same strict and rigorous guidelines to ensure that the information we give you is factually accurate.

We test all the products in our reviews and buying guides ourselves, using either our team of experts or knowledgeable freelance writers who know their fields in-depth. Our reviews follow strict guidelines that ensure a fair testing process, which ensures that our final recommendation is based on consistent information and invaluable hands-on experience.

Space.com has complete editorial independence, which means that no other entity has control or influence over the reviews we write. We test products thoroughly and then give you our expert opinion on them, explaining the pros and cons to help you make an informed purchase decision. That’s true whether we’re covering a high-end telescope or the latest Star Wars Lego set. As a member of one of the world’s largest online and print publishers, Future Publishing, we have the freedom to tell you what we think of a product or service, whether it’s good or bad. or ugly.

  • Visit our About Us page for more on Space.com

Nikon Z5 memory card slot and handle

Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching Jason Parnell-Brookes puts the Nikon Z5 mirrorless camera through its paces for a full review (Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes)

Our review guarantee

We hold ourselves to the highest standards when it comes to recommending products to our readers, and your trust is of the utmost importance to us. Here is our promise:

  • We never accept payment of any kind for product reviews.
  • We select products for review based on what we think you, our readers, would like to know.
  • We’ll tell you what we think, not what advertisers want you to hear.
  • We highlight the good and the bad. Our expert reviewers love Skywatching technology and services and we want you to love them too. If it’s not good, we’ll help you stay away.
  • If a product doesn’t meet our high standards, we’ll tell you why.
  • We test products in real life, with a minimum acceptable number of test days required before writing our reviews to ensure that each product is thoroughly tested.
  • If you think we’re not keeping our promise, please email the editor and we’ll work to put it right.

Binoculars Celestron Nature DX ED 12x50

(Image credit: Future via Jamie Carter)

Our review rating system

We rate technology and services using a five-star rating system, to keep things recognizable and simple: the more stars, the better.

  • 5 stars – An exceptional product, ticking all the boxes in its field.
  • 4 stars – A great product, but not perfect. It may have a few small issues holding it back or it may be a niche product that isn’t for everyone.
  • 3 stars – Generally good, but by no means exceptional. It does the job, but it doesn’t impress us and probably has some issues.
  • 2 stars – A mediocre product that has serious issues holding it up. There may be some good ideas here, but they’re buried under other issues.
  • 1 star – Abyssal. Awful. Don’t go near anything with this score.

How we test

Space.com reviews a wide range of products ranging from telescopes and cameras to 3D printers and VR headsets. Therefore, our reviews have different formats depending on the type of product tested. No matter what we cover though, there are three main areas we seek to test when writing our reviews: design, functionality, and performance.

  • Design: how it looks, feels and actually uses – we share our thoughts with you as if you were there with the product in your hands.
  • Functionality: Does the product or service work as it should? We’ll tell you what works and what doesn’t.
  • Performance: Our rigorous review process means we share the best features of products, but also let you know the things that let it down, by testing manufacturers’ claims.
  • Recommendations: If it’s worth owning, you’ll be the first to know because we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. Likewise, we will also inform you of the alternatives, whether you want to save money or upgrade to something more professional.

3D prints we created while testing the Elegoo Saturn

(Image credit: future)

Our reviews

Our examiners are specialists, each with expertise in a particular technology or area. Whether it’s Space.com’s core editorial team or our pool of talented freelancers, you can be sure that the products reviewed on our site have been reviewed by experts in the field. Our editors are a wide-ranging and diverse global team of experts who specialize in all things space, including established astronomers, world-class astrophotographers, or experts in one of the other fields we cover .

As a result, our team has near-encyclopedic knowledge of the areas they cover and can provide you with a comprehensive analysis of each product, along with the important context needed to make an informed purchasing decision.

Our Tech Writer, Ian Stokes, tests the HP Reverb G2 VR headset and controllers.

(Image credit: future)

Our Global Editor, Tariq Malik, has worked for Space.com since 2001, ensuring that our news and in-depth reporting on all things space is at the forefront of the industry, and that’s our mission to convey this rigor and passion in our cover review. Our product reviews are covered by two Space.com section editors – Jason Parnell-Brookes, who runs the Cameras and Skywatching section, and Ian Stokes, who covers Tech & Entertainment on the site.

Jason Parnell-Brookes is the channel’s editor for cameras and skywatching, specializing in all photography and optics technologies. Jason is an internationally award-winning photographer, educator and writer, having won gold in the 2018/19 Nikon photo competition and being named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. His photography and writing are regularly featured in several publications on photography and technology including TechRadar, PetaPixel, Digital Camera World and more.

Ian Stokes is our Tech & Entertainment Editor. Prior to joining Space.com in January 2022, Ian ran the Technology section of Top Ten Reviews where he covered everything from laptops and smartphones to 3D printers and VR headsets. He has a degree in biology and a doctorate in chemistry from Keele University and has been looking at all things tech and gaming for almost a decade.

You can find out more about Tariq, Jason, Ian and the rest of the Space team on our About Us page.

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