Pros: Good variety, easy to read.
Cons: Too many automobile articles for my tastes.
I've subscribed to Popular Science for a full year, and now is the time I'm getting those notices to renew.
I'm not going to, but it's really not the fault of the magazine.
I work in the news media, and therefore I have access to news ticker. I also subscribe to Time Magazine, and receive their new digital add-on "On". I also read the newspaper every day, and even other periodicals I flip through seem to have sections and articles devoted to the latest and greatest in new technology. My spare time for reading magazines is limited - I can only handle so many. My lifestyle and current interest structure have determined the fate of Popular Science in my household.
For those not familiar, Popular Science is one of the oldest regular periodicals. It chronicles the current trends in new technology, and runs the gamut, getting in household items, automobiles, military equipment, exercise/health items, and computer related technology. Perhaps my favorite part of Popular Science are the sections devoted to the Space program (one of my obsessions), but I check several websites every day for that information. And my other reading trends to cover similar things.
Perhaps my least favorite part of the magazine is the time spent on new automobile technology. I'm not really a car guy, I'd wouldn't own one if I didn't have to. (I'm waiting for *IT* :) to change my life. heh) However, again working in media, I am well aware that automobile companies are advertising powerhouses, and I assume this is why there is so much space devoted to it.
But they really do try to cover just about everything, sports, history, modern conveniences, etc. Even special sections on juiced baseballs, to nature articles, Pop Sci does hit on most bases. Something more interesting about Popular Science that people might not expect is that it covers current events as well. Osprey crashes, Sub surfacing, Space Station errors, etc. Perhaps in an effort to seem more mainstream, the magazine does an excellent job of explaining some of the technical issues relating to these current events.
And at the end of each issue, they look back a tad in history to what was new and exciting (in the pages of PopSci) from 25, 50, 70, 100 and even 125 years ago, which sometimes is great for a laugh, or eerily foretelling.
The writing is fine - Along news magazine lines, though perhaps a bit more detailed. As its name implies, it is far more readable than journals and technical manuals to make the magazine mainstream accessable. This too I appreciate.
The Bottom line is that Popular Science is a fine magazine - I enjoy it, but unfortunately there just isn't room in my magazine basket for it at this time. I certainly recommend it to casual science fans.