Consumer Reports January 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.
4,71 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
22,64 €(Inkl. MwSt.)
12 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min
a bitter pill to swallow

AS CONSUMERS, we know the difference between products we want and products we need. For luxury or convenience items, it’s easy enough to hold off on a purchase if our budget demands it—but for the things we can’t live without, waiting for a good deal isn’t an option. That’s why it’s so alarming for many Americans to see the prescription drugs they rely on increasing in price every year, with some reaching truly unaffordable heights. U.S. consumers often pay more for medications than people in other industrialized nations—a long-standing national crisis that shows no signs of abating. In some cases, these price hikes force people to forgo medication, miss payment on important bills, or seek out a second job. This month, in our special report, “The Shocking Rise of Rx Drug…

3 Min
building a better world, together

More Truth in Cable Charges WHAT’S AT STAKE Imagine your surprise if you learned in the supermarket checkout line that the cereal you wanted to buy would incur a Cardboard Box Surcharge and a Grain Refinery Fee, adding nearly 25 percent to the purchase price. It sounds absurd, but isn’t very different from what many consumers experience each time they pay their monthly cable bill. That’s because pay-TV companies have increasingly imposed new fees for services once included in the base rates we see quoted in ads. With names such as Broadcast TV Fee and Regional Sports Surcharge, these add-ons often hit even customers who thought they’d locked into long-term “fixed-rate” contracts. These tactics camouflage price increases and stymie consumer efforts to comparison shop and maintain household budgets. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK To determine…

7 Min
your feedback

YOUR ARTICLE SHOWS how the bottled water industry has fooled people into thinking that these bottles contain something healthier than they get out of their taps. Bottled water is the biggest hoax ever foisted on consumers. There are cases, of course, in which bottled water is essential, e.g., natural disasters and situations like in Flint, Mich., where the water quality has been bad or dangerous. But in the vast majority of cases, it’s a waste of money and an affront to the environment—especially when it is bottled on a Pacific island and shipped abroad. Thanks for helping us see what is the right thing to do. —Charlie Bouchard, St. Louis TO ME, THIS bottled water thing is about the craziest fad in my lifetime. Except in cases like Flint, Mich., there should…

1 Min
my coffee-bean grinder has tons of settings. how do i use them?

IT’S TRUE THAT some grinders have up to 60 settings. They exist to create different-sized grounds tailored to the type of coffee you’re making. In our labs, CR engineer Ginny Lui tests every grinder for three settings. Coarse (usually the higher settings) is best for a cold-brew machine and a French press because they have a longer steeping process that needs bigger grounds. Medium-sized grounds are best for your everyday hot cup of drip joe; the Breville above has a medium setting that's rated Excellent. Fine grounds (usually the lower settings) are best for espresso. But extra settings don’t automatically mean better results. Our top performer, the Oxo, does a great job with just 15.…

2 Min
what we’re testing in our labs …

Frying Pans WE TESTED: 13 uncoated pans WE TEST FOR: How well a pan turns out evenly browned pancakes on a gas range, how evenly it can saute food, handle sturdiness, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 61 Range: 46-78 Cream of the Culinary Crop Brooklyn Copper Saute $480 78 OVERALL SCORE Lifetime Warranty Mauviel 6544.26 M250C Copper $250 73 OVERALL SCORE Works with Induction, Too All-Clad c4 Copper C4110 $200 76 OVERALL SCORE Coffee Grinders WE TESTED: 8 models WE TEST FOR: How well a model grinds coffee beans into coarse, medium, and fine grounds; clarity of controls; ease of cleaning; and operating noise. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 65 Range: 47-76 Great All-Around Grinder Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder $100 76 OVERALL SCORE Best for Drip Brew Breville the Smart Grinder Pro BCG820 $200 69 OVERALL SCORE Quietest Grind Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder 560.04 $100 60 OVERALL SCORE True Wireless Earbuds WE TESTED: 28 stereo models WE TEST FOR: Sound quality, including tonal accuracy, clarity, and more. We also assess each model…

3 Min
is hand sanitizer just as good as washing with soap and water?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your first choice should always be to wash hands with soap and water. It does a better job of getting rid of dirt; harmful chemicals, such as pesticides; and certain types of germs, such as the highly contagious norovirus, Cryptosporidium (which causes diarrhea and vomiting), and the potentially deadly infection C. difficile. A recent study also found that hand-washing may be better than sanitizer at eliminating flu virus (though the study didn’t account for rubbing sanitizer in, which improves its performance). When you wash your hands, scrub for at least 20 seconds, making sure to wash the fronts and backs, under your nails, between fingers, and under jewelry. Water temperature doesn’t matter, and plain old soap will do. But if you can’t get…