Consumer Reports February 2019

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

United States
Consumer Reports, Inc.
US$ 4,99
US$ 24
12 Edições

nesta edição

2 minutos
smartphone sticker shock?

You know that clammy, slightly panicky feeling you get when you suddenly can’t find your cell phone? You’ve misplaced it at the supermarket or maybe left it at home, and your stomach drops to your knees. We may feel abashed to admit it, but the reality today is that our phones really are our lifelines. We do our banking, pay for lunch, and flash our plane tickets on them before we board. Every person we’ve made meaningful contact with is stored in them (and nowhere else). Every password-protected app that makes our daily life possible—from shopping to traffic navigation, from streaming services to news—lives there. Not to mention the relentless selfies and emojis from friends and family, which I will admit put a smile on my face on a busy…

4 minutos
building a better world, together

Beating Back Cable Fees WHAT’S AT STAKE Cable companies routinely encourage consumers to lock in promotional rates by signing multiyear contracts. But too often the bills—riddled with extra fees—turn out to vastly exceed the advertised price. For Comcast customers in Massachusetts, there’s finally some relief. The state’s attorney general recently settled a lawsuit against the nation’s largest cable company, having accused it of deceptively failing to disclose the full contract terms in its ads. The suit claimed that fees typically increased monthly bills by 40 percent above the advertised price, and that customers were forced to pay up to $240 to cancel contracts or downgrade to a more affordable package. In settling, Comcast agreed to change its practices and to pay $700,000 in refunds and cancel debts for more than 20,000 customers. HOW CR HAS…

7 minutos
your feedback

Our readers have plenty of opinions about flying, and they shared them in relation to our December 2018 article “Your Airline Travel Survival Guide.” To add your voice, go to I FOUND a good deal of helpful information in your airline guide. Here’s another tip: Many airlines and their seating classes are reviewed by travelers on YouTube. Some videos are very informative and show pictures of the seating, the meals, and the entertainment. —Don Vogt, Santa Barbara, CA THE PAGE 30 airplane graphic is outstanding: attention-getting, informative, helpful, and very attractive. —David Lind, Del Mar, CA YOUR COMPARISONS and ratings of domestic airlines were useful—with Southwest deservedly being at the top of the list. Additional items of comparison that would have been worthwhile include the ability to shop for the lowest fares on the…

3 minutos
what we’re testing in our labs …

Vacuums for Bare Floors WE TESTED: 88 models WE TEST FOR: Strength of airflow, picking up sand from bare floors, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: STICK Median: 77, Range: 32-93 ROBOVAC Median: 81, Range: 53-90 CANISTER Median: 53, Range: 41-75 90 OVERALL SCORE Superior Stick Shark Rocket Complete HV380 (Walmart) $240 90 OVERALL SCORE First-Rate Robotic Samsung Powerbot R7065 $600 74 OVERALL SCORE Lower-Cost Canister Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly Crossover $400 Wireless Routers WE TESTED: 10 models WE TEST FOR: Setup, security, speed of communications from the router (near, midrange, and far) in a typical house with no other wireless interference, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 71 Range: 60-85 85 OVERALL SCORE Best Overall Performance Asus AC3100 (RT-AC88U) $230 77 OVERALL SCORE Wide Reach for Big Homes Eero Pro Tri-Band Mesh Network (3-pack) $500 71 OVERALL SCORE Great Price Netgear AC1750 (R6400) $130 Home Speakers WE TESTED: 37 wireless and Bluetooth models WE TEST FOR: Sound quality, including the ability to reproduce fine sonic detail; ease of use; and versatility of features…

3 minutos
ask our experts

A rearview camera is a handy safety tool on newer cars. But if you have an older model, you don’t need to go without. The simplest solution is to install a small wireless backup camera in the car’s rear license plate area, says Mel Yu, CR’s automotive analyst. These cameras (usually $50 to $199) can connect wirelessly to your smartphone as the rearview camera’s display screen. Be sure to choose one that’s compatible with your phone’s operating system. Some front-facing dash cams—which mount on your dashboard or windshield to record video—are sold as sets with rear cameras. But you’ll probably need to run wires from the rear camera to a screen you mount on the dashboard. Many dash-cam sets have a screen that straps over your existing rearview mirror. In addition to…

5 minutos
cr insights

EXCELLENT ALL-IN-ONE INKJET ✓ Brother MFCJ680DW color printer $120 70 OVERALL SCORE In the Know Solve Your Wireless Printer Problems FEW THINGS ARE more frustrating than clicking “print” only to have nothing happen. And it’s a familiar pain point for some printer owners, according to CR’s annual printers survey. So what’s wrong? This quick troubleshooting guide can help. Do a preliminary diagnosis. To see whether the WiFi signal is indeed the problem, first check that your printer has enough ink and toner—if they’re too low, your machine may stop printing. Then try printing while the printer is connected to your laptop or phone with a cable. If it works while connected, you’ll know the issue is probably a poor WiFi connection, says Rich Sulin, who leads the printer testing at CR. Move your printer. Typically, when you…