PC Magazine is no longer printing a hard copy, but because I have a subscription that runs until later this year I received an e-mail informing me I have access to the new digital version of it.
I was a little underwhelmed at first, although it’s slowly getting better as I adjust. Using a Zinio Reader, which you need to download, or a browser version of the program, PC Mag digital seems like the real thing but doesn’t feel like it. It looks how it probably does to the designers creating it on a computer. It’s easy to use, fast, searchable and sharp looking. Is it easy to read? No. You have to get used to it.
My biggest problem with the reader is that you are limited to four magnifications, unlike the Adobe Reader, which has many percantages to choose from. At 100 percent, it’s basically unreadable. You have to put your face about two inches from your computer screen to make anything out, which is very little. At 200 percent it’s readable, but for my preference, it’s a little too big. I want to see more of the page, although I am getting used to focusing on one paragraph, which is what you have to do.
Suffice to say 400 and 800 percent are completely useless and I have no idea why they are in the program. Zinio needs percentages between 100 and 200 percent to make the experience both easier on the eyes and the pysche. It’s hard enough doing extended reading on the web, particularly when you’re reading something you are used to having in your hands.
A Kindle may be a better vehicle although you would lose a lot of color and graphics that a magazine needs. Right now, Zinio is perhaps one of the better technologies for it but it needs to be improved.