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We spend more than 4,000 hours a year researching, testing and reviewing new products to provide recommendations we’re willing to stake our reputation on.
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Who We Are
Mark Spoonauer, Global Editor-in-Chief
Mark Spoonauer is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy and growth of Tom's Guide. He has covered technology for close to 20 years, focusing on reviews and product coverage. Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed hundreds of smartphones and other gadgets. He speaks at key tech industry events and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, NBC, Fox News, Cheddar and more. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag and served as reviews editor at Mobile Computing. His work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mike Andronico, Editor-in-Chief
Mike Andronico runs the day-to-day at Tom’s Guide, overseeing buying guides, features and news while still occasionally finding time to write about the next big PlayStation rumor. Ever since joining the team in 2013 as a staff writer, Mike has covered everything from laptops to phones, but is especially passionate about gaming and still the best Street Fighter player in the office. When he’s not planning Tom’s Guide’s editorial coverage, Mike can be found streaming on Twitch, writing songs and hanging out with his french bulldog.
Mike Prospero, Managing Editor
Mike Prospero oversees smart home devices (and all things Alexa), the best fitness trackers, the best smartwatches and other wearables, cameras, and drones for Tom's Guide. An avid runner, skier and foodie, he's always looking for the latest gadget that intersects with his hobbies. After receiving his Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University in 2003, Mike worked at Fast Company. Prior to that, he worked at The Times of Trenton and George magazine.
Paul Wagenseil, Senior Editor
Paul Wagenseil handles security and privacy coverage for Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine. He has presented talks and moderated panels at technology conferences, and sometimes shows up on TV explaining information-security issues to viewers. He has also worked as a bartender, a ditch digger, a fry cook and a dishwasher. He graduated from a fancy college with a degree completely unrelated to his present job.
Philip Michaels, Senior Editor
Philip Michaels oversees coverage of smartphones, apps, wireless carriers and all things mobile for Tom’s Guide. He’s been covering Apple since 1999, first at Macworld and now for Tom’s Guide. When not looking over the fine print in assorted cell phone plans, he’s likely ranting and raving about the Oakland Athletics or old movies.
Brian Westover, Senior Editor
Brian Westover is a senior editor at Tom's Guide, covering everything from TVs and Wi-Fi routers to the latest all-in-one PCs. With more than a decade of experience writing about computers and consumer technology, he's just as focused on finding great value as he is in picking apart fancy new features. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he wrote for PC Magazine, and his work can also be found in several other tech publications. Hailing from the Western United States, Brian spent several years living in New York, and still travels back for the occasional falafel. He lives in Utah full time.
Louis Ramirez, Senior Deals Editor
As senior deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. That means price checking against multiple retailers and searching high and low for the best deals to bring readers the best of what’s available online. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.
Contact Louis: Email
Marshall Honorof, Editor
Marshall Honorof is an editor for Tom's Guide, covering all sorts of gaming hardware, including gaming mice, keyboards, headsets and more. He also focuses on security and streaming video. After earning a B.A. in Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University, Marshall started his journalism career at The Escapist. In his off time, you can find Marshall practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.
Henry T. Casey, Editor
Henry is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and Apple. Prior to joining Tom's Guide — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, taking as many photos as his iCloud storage will allow.
Adam Ismail, Editor
Adam Ismail is an editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covers smartphones, cars and retro gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of iPhones and Android-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. Before joining Tom’s Guide, he was an editor and designer at The Star-Ledger, and his writing has appeared in Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie punk show, recording a podcast about a racing game nobody remembers or playing Sega Dreamcast.
Hilda Scott, Deals Writer
Hilda Scott is a Deals Writer at Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, bringing you the best bargains on laptops, gaming gear, smart home gadgets, and wearables. After graduating from Hunter College with a degree in Film and Media Studies, she's written for iTechPost, Examiner.com, Parle Mag, Enstars, and Latin Times. When she's not bringing readers the best deals, she's streaming her favorite shows or attending a live concert or pro wrestling event.
Contact Hilda: Email
Kate Kozuch, Staff Writer
Kate Kozuch is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide covering social media, streaming, and everything smart-home related. When she’s not stalking Twitter trends and playing with light bulbs, you can find her at comedy shows or telling people about the latest podcast she’s obsessed with, even though they didn’t ask. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Kate: Twitter
Richard Priday, Staff Writer
Richard is Tom’s Guide’s London-based staff writer. He writes news stories and reviews primarily focusing on smartphones and video games, but loves cutting edge tech of any kind. He has also written for WIRED and The Register since graduating with an MA in Journalism from the University of Sheffield, but before that he built custom gaming PCs and worked as a tour guide in a castle. These days, if he’s not at his desk, you’ll likely find him working his way through a never-ending list of recommended Netflix shows and video games, or making a nice cup of tea.
Kelly Woo, Staff Writer
Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.
Matthew Murray, Head of Testing
As head of testing for Tom’s Guide’s parent company, Future Media, Matthew helps coordinate and conduct product testing for all of the company's editorial brands, including Tom's Hardware, AnandTech, Laptop, TechRadar, PC Gamer, and, of course, Tom's Guide. Prior to his stint at Future, Matthew worked at publications as diverse as PCMag.com, ExtremeTech.com, Computer Shopper, Stage Directions magazine, and TheaterMania.com, and before that he worked in IT and helpdesk roles. He has also edited seven books, and for more than 16 years was the chief New York theater critic for TalkinBroadway.com.
Madeline Ricchiuto, Lab Tester
Madeline Ricchiuto is a lab tester at Future, testing products for Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware, and Laptop Magazine. Prior to working at Future, Madeline was the Head Games Writer and Editor at Bleeding Cool and a QA tester with LiquidSky Software. She’s also written for various publications including CG Magazine, Marvel Entertainment, Diver Magazine, and the Examiner.
Kenneth Butler, Social Media Editor
Kenneth uses social media and video to share the Tom’s Guide team’s collective knowledge with hundreds of thousands of fans and followers. That includes covering PR events on Instagram, shooting close-up video of great backpacks, and arming readers with Tom’s Guide’s limitless advice and know-how. In the past, he’s worked as a fact checker, staff writer and production director. His off-hour hobbies include early morning runs, writing about pop culture, and an unending quest to try every flavor of Oreo.
How We Test and Rate Products
To help make complex tech-buying decisions easier for our readers, we test and review hundreds of different gadgets, software and services each year, ranging from smartphones, laptops and wearables to TVs, audio and the best antivirus suites. Here's how we rate products.
How We Test
Our editorial team rates products with two questions in mind: Is this a good choice for readers, and if so, who should buy it? We'll tell you whether an alternative is better or worse, and in what ways. We also find out what owners of these products are saying, such as by analyzing user reviews, to further inform your next purchase.
Our reviewers spend quality time using each product to determine how well it works for its target market. We'll go jogging with a fitness tracker, play the latest titles on a gaming keyboard or browse the web with several tabs open on a Chromebook.
We also run a bevy of benchmarks and real-world tests, many of which we've developed in-house. For instance, our smartphone, tablet and laptop battery test surfs the web over 4G or Wi-Fi, just as you would if you were using these devices at home.
What Our Ratings Mean
On Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, all products are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, where higher is better. Products may also receive an Editors’ Choice award, which marks them as best-in-class. The ratings are as follows; anything rated 2 or below is not recommended:
5 stars = Practically perfect
4 stars = Totally worth it
3 stars = Worth considering
2.5 stars = Meh
2 stars = Not worth the money
1 stars = Laughably bad
Best Picks and Use-Case Recommendations
Our Best Picks lists don't just name our top overall picks, but also make specific, tailored recommendations for different scenarios. For example, we pick TVs in different sizes and price ranges, and look at drones both for beginners and fliers who want high-quality aerial photography. Ultimately, we judge products based on what they're trying to accomplish as well as how well they reach their target audience, thus giving shoppers a complete picture of not only whether a product is good or great but whether it's good or great for them.
No outside party determines what products we review or the content of our reviews. Tom's Guide and Laptop accept advertising and enable visitors to purchase the items we evaluate through the use of buy buttons. However, these revenue relationships are handled by the Purch ad-sales and e-commerce teams, and neither they nor advertisers are permitted to influence our coverage.
We accept several forms of advertising, including occasional sponsored content (aka "native advertising"). Paid placements are clearly identified so that our readers can easily tell the difference between a paid promotion and our objective advice.
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