You Loved the Manual. Now Buy the Product!

You Loved the Manual. Now Buy the Product!

Over on Kevin Kelley’s Cool Tools, I came across a post about how he downloads the manual before purchasing the product as a kind of preemptive RTFM. It makes tons of sense. How many times have you purchased what you thought was a good (if expensive) fit for your needs to discover major limitations that are not pointed out on the packaging? By reading the manual first, you can discover the true specifications before you buy. I LIKE IT!


  1. Shawn Levasseur 12 years ago

    I’ve asked to open packaging to read a manual before purchasing electronic devices a few times. Saved me from quite a few bad purchases.

  2. Rad Basa 12 years ago

    I’ve been doing the same for a good 10 years now. You learn a whole lot about the product from reading the manual than from the specifications and features list, or even a review. Beyond the capabilities of the product, you get a decent idea of its user-interface quirks.

  3. Wendy 12 years ago

    As someone who writes manuals for a living, I cannot praise this post enough.

  4. yojimbo 12 years ago

    You mean, there are people who DON’T do that?

    It’s steered me away from some real duds.

    Here’s a minor case in point… I ended up purchasing a Sony voice recorder over an Olympus model because of this big discovery: while both can use rechargeable batteries, the Olympus manual explicitly said NOT to connect to a computer via USB while connected to AC power at the same time. I assume the way it was designed, it would try to power itself from both sources at once (?), so it sounded all too easy to fry something important. That scared me off.

    The Sony’s been working great for years.