When adding options for electronics, should the option be for a specific model?

For example, http://www.slant.co/topics/103/viewpoints/4/~what-is-the-best-laptop-for-programmers~lenovo-thinkpad

should that be a specific thinkpad model?

No, something can be generally suitable for the question at hand. You could say that all Thinkpads are the best Developer machine and that would be a perfectly acceptable answer.

The problem is then you’re being very generic/vague with the pros/cons. What if one particular model has a defect? Or one has brilliant battery life?

In the context of that question you’d have to be specific at least to the degree of model; a manufacturer’s likely to have low spec netbooks through to high performance gaming machines - too vast a range to be appropriate. Were the question Who makes the most reliable / performant / best value machines?manufacturer alone would be acceptable.

Some form of pooling / tagging may be useful? e.g. For each option given tag the manufacturer, then you can see that 4 of the top 5 were Lenovos; so though Dell took the top spot that option was an anomaly for that manufacturer.

Another way would be to have reusable viewpoints or template-viewpoints (i.e. viewpoint categories / metrics); then there’s less admin to having multiple models and you can more easily compare the available options (e.g. when viewing filter options for just those machines which have Large Monitor, Lightweight, Multiple Cores and Large Memory). This starts to approach an Amazon/Ebay like meta-data filter though (for which there’s already specialist sites: e.g. http://www.engadget.com/reviews/laptops/).

Those options add complexity / cognitive overhead though.

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