Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports September 2017

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 Union
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$7.01(Incl. tax)
$33.75(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
a prescription for better health

IF YOU’RE READING THIS, it’s more likely than not that you regularly take a prescribed medication—more than half of all Americans do, according to CR’s latest research. The average American takes four prescriptions plus a helping of over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements. The result: Americans take more pills today than at any other time in recent history, and far more than in any other country. While advancements in medicine have made many of these drugs critical to our health, the parallel rise of questionable supplements, unnecessary prescriptions, and dangerous drug interactions has created a perfect storm of preventable harms. Almost 1.3.million people went to U.S. emergency rooms because of adverse drugs e.ects in 2014, and about 124,000 people died as a result, according to estimates based on data from the Centers…

4 min.
building a better world, together

Join with us to make a safer, fairer, healthier marketplace Empowering Consumers in a Digital World JESSICA RICH SPENT more than two and a half decades battling deceptive and fraudulent business practices at the Federal Trade Commission, most recently as the agency’s director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. She left the FTC in February, and now brings her expertise to Consumer Reports as vice president of consumer policy and mobilization. CR’s editors spoke with her recently about what she learned while fighting to protect consumer interests from within government, and where she sees fresh opportunities for Consumer Reports to continue to empower consumers in a world where their personal data is an increasingly tempting target. Q. How did you get into public service? I’m a Washington, D.C., native— my father was a reporter…

7 min.
driving home the safety discussion

Readers’ comments about our content, in email & social media TODAY’S CARS ALLOW drivers to control the interior lighting, windshield wiper speeds, and interior and defrosting temperatures. Why not a setting to vary the loudness of turn-signal clickers so that those with hearing deficiencies won’t wander down the road with their signals flashing? Not that I would ever do anything like that. —Steve Longo, Laguna Beach, CA I HAVE ANOTHER REASON to buy a vehicle like the Subaru Forester: In addition to ease of getting in and out of the driver’s seat and good visibility, the higher floor level of the luggage area allows me to slide grocery bags in and out without bending or putting much pressure on my back. —Michael Mase, Portland, OR THE DECISION to take the keys, the vehicle,…

6 min.
home sweet home office

The latest ratings from our labs MICROSOFT SURFACE STUDIO $3,000 _ OVERALL SCORE GOOGLE HOME $130 _ OVERALL SCORE FOR A GROWING number of Americans, home is where the office is. A 2016 survey by the Society for Human Resource Manage ment found that 60 percent of employers provide telecommuting as a benefit, a threefold increase since 1996, and a recent PwC study revealed that almost 70 percent of U.S. workers think that in the future work will be done remotely and not in a traditional office. Contrary to the suspicions of skeptical bosses, studies find that employees who work at home at least part of the time tend to be more engaged, more productive, and less stressed out. And though some people are content to toil on a laptop squeezed onto the kitchen…

1 min.
assistants that never take a water- cooler break

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant can schedule appointments and tackle other tasks without your ever having to lift a finger. LIKE ANY ASSISTANT worth his or her salt, the digital helpers created by Amazon, Apple, and Google can update your calendar, order you a car service, and even adjust the lighting in your home office. All you have to do is voice the right command within earshot of Amazon’s Echo speaker, the Google Home speaker, or a smartphone with the right app. Here are a few commands to get you started: ‘Okay, Google, tell me about my day.’ When Google Assistant hears this command, it gives you a rundown of the weather forecast, events in your calendar, commute times, and news headlines. Alexa and Siri can provide that info, too—when…

2 min.
office equipment that shows you mean business

With its precision performance and ergonomic elan, the original Logitech MX Master earned a 2015 International Design Excellence Award. And much like that device, the new $100 Logitech MX Master 2S snugly supports your hand and wrist, wirelessly links to three devices, and offers a wide range of customizable features. Instead of reaching for the volume button on your keyboard, for instance, you just assign the mouse’s scroll wheel to perform that task. A MORE AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE If you don’t mind that it has a cord, the $70 Razer DeathAdder Chroma is plenty comfortable and has a gaming-level sensor for accurate tracking. Available in Windows- and Mac-compatible versions, the German- engineered $170 Das Keyboard 4 Professional has well-defined, fullsized keys that are easy to depress and make a satisfying, old-school click. But…