Items tagged with Consumer Reports

Several complaints have been leveled against Apple's iPhone XS and XS Max smartphones since launch. One of the major complaints from users was allegedly poor WiFi and cellular signal quality; something recent tests refute. Other complaints have focused on charging with the smartphones not recognizing the charger for some users.  In addition, testing by Tom's Guide found that the battery life on the iPhone XS was shorter than that of Phone X that preceded it. New testing from Consumer Reports has found the opposite to be true. The publication has tested the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and found that both devices outperformed Apple's claim for battery life per charge compared to the iPhone... Read more...
Just over a year ago, Consumer Reports caused a huge rift in the consumer electronics realm when it withheld is vaunted "recommended" rating from Microsoft's Surface family of products. The publication based its decision on a survey from 90,000 of its readers and found Surface products to be “significantly less reliable than most other brands”. At the time, the Surface Laptop, Surface Pro and Surface Book were affected by the demotion. When the Surface Book 2 launched, it too was cast off with the lepers.  Surface Book 2 What a difference a year makes. The Surface family has been re-evaluated and the publication has concluded that the products can now legitimately... Read more...
Consumer Reports has found that millions of smart TVs are vulnerable to hacking, and according to the publication, the exploits are often easy to find and execute. TVs vulnerable to these hacks include Samsung and TCL smart TVs along with other brands that use the Roku platform. Streaming devices are also vulnerable with the example cited being the Roku Ultra. Consumer Reports (CR) wrote, "We found that a relatively unsophisticated hacker could change channels, play offensive content, or crank up the volume, which might be deeply unsettling to someone who didn’t understand what was happening. This could be done over the web, from thousands of miles away." Consumer Reports Smart TV... Read more...
The iPhone X might be the flagship of Apple's smartphone family, but that doesn't mean that it comes out on top in Consumer Reports' latest round of testing. In fact, the iPhone X ranked behind two current generation flagship smartphones from Samsung and two of its newer iPhone siblings. First, let's start off with the iPhone X's positives, which include its gorgeous 5.8-inch OLED display (which is manufactured by Samsung). It was praised for its deep black tones and minimal clarity degradation when viewing the display from off angles. Although the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were also deemed to have excellent displays, the iPhone X was shown to have a "significant difference" in quality (in its... Read more...
Consumer Reports (CR) has really gotten under the Microsoft's with its claims that the Surface line of devices is unreliable. CR has already stated that it will not award the coveted "Recommended" status to the new Surface Book 2 and Microsoft is still rankled by the decision. Microsoft has stepped up again and is offering up some new data on its Surface range and is stating that fewer than 1 in 100,000 new Surface devices have reliability issues. The row between the Redmond, Washington software giant and the publication started earlier this year after a CR survey of 90,000 subscribers found that 25% of Microsoft laptops and tablets gave owners problems by the end of the second year of ownership.... Read more...
Microsoft and Consumer Reports (CR) have no love for each other of late with CR putting a blanket decision in withdraw recommendations for Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets. The original Surface Book from Microsoft received the "Recommended" rating from CR, only to see it retracted after the publication claimed that its surveys showed that there were issues in as many as 25% of all Surface Book laptops. With that blanket decision to not issue any "Recommended" ratings to Microsoft devices, this means that new Surface Book 2 won't receive the rating no matter how good it is. CR spokesperson James McQueen wrote, "We will evaluate the performance of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 once we... Read more...
Yesterday, Consumer Reports (CR) stepped in and repealed the recommended rating that it had given the Microsoft Surface line of laptops and tablets. CR says that the ratings were pulled after it received tens of thousands of responses from its subscribers about poor reliability of the Surface devices. As a result of the complaints CR has now stated that Microsoft's Surface products are "significantly less reliable than most other brands". Microsoft isn't having any of that and has come back with a post from Surface chief Panos Panay, who is standing behind the same products that CR has found to be unreliable. Panay writes, "While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings.... Read more...
  Microsoft’s Surface family of hardware products have generally been lauded by the press for their seemingly high-quality designs, first-party status, and for getting most of the details right with regards to ergonomics and functionality (often times, later being copied by third-party manufacturers). Publications like Consumer Reports have also given Surface laptops and tablets recommended ratings based on their own in-house testing. However, Consumer Reports is now walking back its recommended rating after receiving tens of thousands of responses from its subscribers. In particular, the publication says that the predicted reliability of the Surface Book and the recently introduced Surface... Read more...
After plenty of back and forth between Apple and Consumer Reports, the latter party is now willing to recommend the 2016 MacBook Pro family of notebooks. The whole mess started in December, when the publication made headlines by failing to recommend the new MacBook Pros for the first time in the product’s history. It attributed the decision to inconsistent battery life across all three MacBook Pro models. Apple and Consumer Reports decided to put their heads together to find the source of the battery life inconsistencies, and it was determined that a bug in the developer setting that the publication was using -- to disable Safari cache -- was causing the problems. Apple has since fixed the bug... Read more...
Well well well; it looks as though Apple and Consumer Reports have come to at least some kind of agreement as to what went wrong with the former’s testing of the 2016 family of MacBook Pro notebooks. It all started in late December when the testing lab said it could no longer recommend the MacBook Pro due to extreme fluctuations in the battery life of the notebooks. “For instance, in a series of three consecutive tests, the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar ran for 16 hours in the first trial, 12.75 hours in the second, and just 3.75 hours in the third,” wrote Consumer Reports at the time. “The 13-inch model without the Touch Bar worked for 19.5 hours in one trial but only 4.5 hours in the next.... Read more...
It seems as though the hits keep coming for Apple with regards to its 2016 MacBook Pro notebooks. The notebooks were announced in October, and customers began taking delivery shortly afterwards. It didn’t take long for customers to start complaining about poor battery life, which shouldn’t be too surprising given the fact that Apple dramatically reduced the battery capacity of the new notebooks while not making a similar reduction in overall power consumption. Consumer Reports’ backed up user complaints of wildly fluctuating battery life with its own testing, and for the first time ever failed to give the MacBook Pro range a “Recommended” rating. Needless to say, some ardent Apple fans weren’t... Read more...
Apple is a company that rarely likes to admit to faults with its products. The company is often dragged kicking and screaming to public disclosures, and even when it does fess up, it often states that the issues affect a “small number” of users. However, even Apple couldn’t ignore the clout of Consumer Reports, which holds a lot of sway over consumer buying decisions. The MacBook Pro has won Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” rating ever since it was first introduced, but that winning streak ended yesterday. The publication stated that incredibly inconsistent battery performance with the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar meant that... Read more...
It seems as though Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro refresh just can’t catch a break these days. When the notebooks were first unveiled in October, Apple fans complained about the lack of Kaby Lake, the 16GB RAM limit, lack of legacy ports like HDMI and USB 3.0, high price tag and the reduction in battery capacity in order to satisfy a never-ending quest for thinness. It appears that the last bullet-point was the tipping point for Consumer Reports’ decision to no longer recommend the MacBook Pro. In fact, this is the first time that the organization has denied Apple’s MacBook Pro a “Recommended” rating. After hearing various reports online and numerous customer complaints regarding MacBook Pro battery... Read more...
In early June, Samsung launched the Galaxy S7 Active on AT&T. The smartphone, which is a ruggedized version of the standard Galaxy S7, features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a massive 4000 mAh battery. But the real reason to purchase a Galaxy S7 Active is for its “go anywhere” attitude, rubberized body that withstands drops and shocks, and its IP68 dust and water resistance. Unfortunately for Samsung (and for customers that have already bought the Galaxy S7 Active), the smartphone doesn’t actually live up to its IP68 rating in real world testing according to Consumer Reports. Under the IP68 spec, the Galaxy S7 Active should be able to easily... Read more...
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