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CNET Review Rating Scores Analyzed Over One Year (2017)


Our study analyzed 1,325 product reviews by CNET Editors across all categories during the 2007 calendar year.

CNET uses a 10-point rating scale to rate products. Each product is evaluated and given a score for “Design” (30%), “Features” (30%), and “Performance” (40%). CNET then calculates the weighted average to get a products final score.

Please note that value or price is not factored into a CNET rating.

Our study revealed the following:

  • The average and median CNET Editors product rating were both 7.0
  • The most common rating was 7.0 – given to 172 products
  • 96% or products were rated between 5.0 and 8.9 (see chart below)

Each point on CNET’s 10-point scale is given a classification and definition. The table below outlines the CNET rating/meaning and the percentage of reviews that received a rating in that range. Also, note the tabs below the spreadsheet reveal more data.

As noted, CNET Editors only rated 8% of products from 5.0 to 5.9 during 2007, which is what CNET considers “Average”, while 42% were rated 7.0 to 7.9 (Very Good).

CNET Reviews Scale Pie Chart
CNET’s most popular rating was 7.0, followed by 8.0, and then 7.3. The chart below shows the number of reviews given the same rating.

CNET Review Rating Distribution

The highest and lowest rated products both happened to be video games:

Within each category the average rating only slightly varied from the overall average rating (7.0). Storage and Desktops received the highest average ratings, while Video Games and Portable Audio Devices were given lower average ratings.

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A closer look at the brands revealed a slightly greater variation from the overall average rating (7.0). Of the major manufacturers RIM (Blackberry) and Apple achieved the highest average ratings, while Casio and Olympus received the lowest.

CNET Reviews by Brand

Final Thoughts
CNET Editor's RatingAccording to CNET’s review policy a rating of 7.0 is considered “Very Good”. Using CNET’s own guidelines should we conclude that half of all products reviewed by CNET are “Very Good” or better, while the other half are, “Not Very Good”? Or, should we conclude that a rating of 7.0 is really an “Average” item since most products were given this rating?

This was an independent study by The sample size was 1,325 product reviews by CNET Editors in 2007. Duplicate reviews (e.g. same model in different colors) and products reviewed but not given a number rating were elimated.

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