Noir Review

Can you remember the last review you read? What do you remember of it?

When we go looking for reviews, there’s a very specific piece of information we as consumers are looking for: we want to know if the writer liked the thing in question, and why. We get in, get what we need, and leave with an impression of either positivity or negativity. Beyond that, reviews are forgettable–they’re information for the moment.

If a review is written such that you don’t forget it, though, and instead recall it for days or weeks, that’s not only going to improve your view of the product, it’s also a huge boon to the reviewer. In my attempt to decide whether to buy an iPhone 4, I found just such a review. It’s innocuous and starts off simply, but I drank it in. This review has been on my mind for days.

What sets it apart is the style of writing. The author didn’t just tell me what he thinks. He invited me into his life and shared personal moments and interactions that reflect his thoughts on the iPhone. He showed, rather than told, and it created a lasting impression.

I wonder what other styles we could experiment with, toying with form and function to communicate in startling, inventive, and memorable ways. I’m not generally a big fan of noir, but a review written in this style is as fantastic as the crafty stories that often accompany Woot sales. They catch my attention, surprising me with their originality and creativity.

Is it too thin? Is it too delicate? I’m afraid of holding it. I never used to be.

I go to play with my bunny. When I pick him up, he squirms as if I’ll never let go for all eternity. I try to lower myself to the ground as much as possible before he scratches my arms and jumps out of my hands. He can adjust his body to land on his feet, absorbing most amount of impact in the least damaging areas.

This iPhone cannot. The iPhone 4 is not as drop resistant as a rabbit.

Read more at Gizmodo.

2 thoughts on “Noir Review

  1. I wasn’t a fan of the Giz review. In general, I think Jason Chen tries too hard to be precious, and if I question his voice, then I also question his motives and impressions.

    I LOVE Ars product reviews for the sheer volume of information, and I think they’re pretty clear about what they’re doing with each review. I love Gruber’s reviews too–dude can write, gimmick-free, and still be memorable.


    1. I’ve only recently been turned on to Ars Technica and still need to add them to my RSS feed. Ironically, I’ve largely avoided tech news and sites for years to prevent getting sucked into it. Yet here I am 😛


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