Consumer Reports November 2020

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

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2 min
how we fight misinformation

MOST OF US are familiar with “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” a parable about a young shepherd who falsely convinces his neighbors that their sheep are under attack. But you might not know that the tale is roughly 2,600 years old—one of the legendary Aesop’s Fables. And while the primary lesson of the story has been passed on for generations of children, the very fact of its age provides another lesson, too: As long as there has been information, there has been misinformation. Misinformation is the reason Consumer Reports was created 84 years ago, at a time when Americans were being bombarded by complex new technologies and an evolution in deceptive advertising. Product manufacturers that overpromise and questionable radio ads have given way to far more insidious forms of misinformation that…

4 min
building a better world, together

Taking Toxins Out of Food WHAT’S AT STAKE Known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down over time, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances—PFAS, for short—are frequently used in food packaging to prevent grease and water from seeping through. While only a few of the almost 5,000 types of PFAS have been closely studied, many have already been linked to negative health effects, including decreased fertility, weakened immune systems, increased risk of certain cancers, and low birth weight in infants. A new report, based on analyses of samples from across the country, has found that certain packaging used at eateries such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s probably contains these chemicals—even though safer alternatives are available. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK In July the New York state legislature approved a CR-backed bill that would prohibit the sale or distribution…

6 min
your feedback

DECADES AGO when the FDA attempted to set up regulations similar to over-the-counter drugs for supplements, Congress received more letters against regulations for supplements. Now we have what we have: I can grind up pine cones and claim they help your prostate and I can sell them anywhere, any way I choose! —Gloria Gonzalez, Pensacola, FL THERE IS A huge difference between someone taking vitamin C and zinc when one feels a cold coming on, and extreme cases, such as the Colorado woman your article mentions whose husband injected her with cesium chloride for breast cancer. I am in excellent health and have used dietary supplements for decades (vitamins, Omega-3, etc.). But not all supplement manufacturers are equal. As CR points out, dosage sizes can be missing or inaccurate, so one has…

3 min
what we’re testing in our labs …

Leaf Blowers WE TESTED: 46 electric and battery-powered models WE TEST FOR: A model’s ability to sweep large piles of leaves, as well as loosen embedded leaves and debris from grass; noise levels; and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 73 Range: 28-84 Quiet but Powerful Stihl BGA 57 (battery) $200 84 OVERALL SCORE Nice Price for Small Yards Toro 51624 (corded electric) $55 81 OVERALL SCORE Long Warranty (5 Years) Ego LB6504 (battery) $300 80 OVERALL SCORE Frying Pans WE TESTED: 63 models WE TEST FOR: Cooking evenness, handle sturdiness, durability of nonstick coatings (withstanding steel wool), how well uncoated pans sauté, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 66 Range: 42-83 Super Nonstick Pick GreenPan Levels Hard Anodized Stackable (10-inch) $60 78 OVERALL SCORE Even Cooking & Oven-Safe Made In Cookware Stainless Steel (10-inch) $75 73 OVERALL SCORE Hot Bargain Made By Design (Target) Stainless Steel (10-inch) $20 61 OVERALL SCORE Affordable Air Purifiers WE TESTED: 48 models WE TEST FOR: How well models removed dust and smoke…

3 min
can falling leaves damage my car?

Those beautiful autumn leaves can cause problems for your car. In fact, it’s best to avoid parking under trees—especially if you’re not driving much. Leaves find their way into a car’s nooks and crannies, getting caught under wipers, and clogging air intakes and drain holes, such as those around the sunroof. Plus, wet leaves contain tree sap, which is acidic and can damage the finish on a car’s paint, reports John Ibbotson, chief mechanic at the CR Auto Test Center. If you need to clear leaves from your car, do it carefully, picking them off with your hands or by using a leaf blower with light air pressure. (Too much pressure can cause leaves to become lodged in hard-to-reach places.) To unclog sunroof drains, you may be tempted to remove debris…

2 min
cr insights

IN THE KNOW GOOD LAPTOPS FOR LESS THAN $700 BIG STORAGE & RAM FOR YOUR BUCK Asus VivoBook 15-X512DA $599 to $670 60 OVERALL SCORE AMD RYZEN 7 PROCESSOR, 512GB SSD, 12GB RAM FINDING A GOOD bargain laptop is challenging—especially these days because of complications related to the coronavirus pandemic: Retailers have had a hard time keeping laptops on store shelves, says CR senior market analyst Min Kim Bryant. But if you know what specs to look for, you can find an affordable machine with enough computing power to take on everyday tasks like browsing the web, creating office documents, conducting Zoom calls, and streaming video. Just remember that these workhorses aren’t going to be as slim or snazzy as models that cost double the price. Start by evaluating the processor, or the “brain” of any computer. For less…