Consumer Reports December 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.
6,65 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
31,99 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min
what’s wrong with recalls

EVERYDAY, WE make certain assumptions about the safety and quality of the products we live with. We hunt for bargains, read reviews, and assume that what we buy and bring into our homes has been tested and proved to meet sensible standards. We know some products will work better or last longer than others, but how often do we consider the ways in which our purchases could result in harm—such as sickness, injury, or even death? If a product or food were reported to have hurt consumers, the manufacturer or government would surely let us know, right? Not so fast. As unsettling as it is, it’s important to know that under our current regulatory system, dangerous items are sometimes put on the market and remain on the shelves. A variety of…

4 min
building a better world, together

Protecting Kids’ Privacy WHAT’S AT STAKE Everyone who uses the web has reason to be concerned about online privacy. But children are especially vulnerable to privacy violations at the hands of online marketers, data brokers, and identity thieves. That’s why a federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, requires that websites and apps get parents’ consent before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK CR was one of the groups that pressed Congress to pass COPPA in 1998, and we worked with the government officials who updated the rules in 2012. We were also part of a coalition that alleged that Google-owned YouTube was collecting information about kids without parental consent and using it to target ads. In April 2018 the coalition filed a complaint with the Federal…

6 min
your feedback

THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for your October issue on cybersecurity! I’ve been trying to find good advice on each of the topics you covered. I’ll now be spending some time going through two MacBooks, two iPhones, and one iPad, and many apps and websites, doing as much cleaning up, sanitizing, and securing of my data as I can. I recently Googled my name and was astounded to see how much of “me” was out there! Fortunately, nothing too private (yet?), but there are too many things I’ve used in the past as “secure” log-in words. Rather than slapped and fined, Google, Amazon, Facebook, et al., should be required to disclose up front, in simple English, what their policies are. —Don Vogt, Santa Barbara, CA THE ARTICLE ON digital privacy asserted…

1 min
ask our experts

TV technology is better than ever—so why are we still being sold sound bars? Though sound quality on TVs—especially on high-end models—has improved in recent years, “many more affordable sets still don’t match the experience that even a decent sound bar can deliver,” says Claudio Ciacci, CR’s TV tester. (Superior sound technology can be expensive, and on some sets, it’s not prioritized.) As a result, the majority of the 200 or so TVs we test get only a Good or Fair rating for sound. We hold sound bars to a higher sound standard than TVs. So a sound bar with a Good rating will deliver richer sound than a TV with a Good sound rating. Our tests reveal that even a low-cost model (such as the Creative bar above) can enhance…

2 min
what we’re testing in our labs …

Travel-Size Humidifiers WE TESTED: 6 models WE TEST FOR: Ease of operating and maintaining a unit, number of gallons emitted daily per square foot, how noisy a unit is, energy efficiency, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 80 Range: 26-87 Works With Any 20-Ounce Water Bottle as the Tank Hunter QLS-03 $30 87 OVERALL SCORE Long Wall-Plug Cord Well at Walgreens Personal Humidifier $30 83 OVERALL SCORE Can Be Charged by USB Crane EE-5950 $30 82 OVERALL SCORE Sound Bars WE TESTED: 26 basic models WE TEST FOR: Sound quality, including tonal accuracy and the ability to reproduce fine sonic detail; how easy a model is to set up and use with a TV; and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 50 Range: 20-65 Best Overall & 2-Year Warranty Yamaha YAS-207BL $230 65 OVERALL SCORE Very Easy to Use With a TV Klipsch RSB-11 $600 60 OVERALL SCORE Bargain Buy Creative Stage 2.1 $90 57 OVERALL SCORE Dishwashers WE TESTED: 76 models WE TEST FOR: How well a model washes a full load of dishes…

3 min
ask our experts

When should I use my oven’s convection function? Many newer ranges and wall ovens offer a convection setting, typically with two modes: baking and roasting. When you turn on either of these modes, one or more fans inside the oven cavity circulate hot air while your food cooks. (Certain ovens also have an extra heating element, often dubbed “true” convection.) Manufacturers claim this helps to heat and brown food more evenly, and can reduce the overall cooking time. But in practice, that’s not always the case. “The success of convection baking in our tests is hit or miss,” says Tara Casaregola, Consumer Reports’ test engineer for ranges and wall ovens. “Some ovens, such as the LG LRG3193ST, do better with convection baking mode turned on, but others do best simply on the…