Reliable product reviews and buying advice from Consumer Reports

  • New Malware Attacks 600 Merchants

    Retailers, restaurants, and other businesses have a new form of malware to fight, called Backoff. This latest form of cybercrime attacks remote-desktop applications that are used by point-of-sale...

  • How safe are lithium-ion batteries?

    You may have read a recent news story about a teenage girl whose Samsung Galaxy S 4 smart phone slipped under her pillow and began to smolder as she slept. She woke to find, as her father told TV...

  • Fitness face-off: Nintendo Wii U vs. Xbox OneFitness face-off: Nintendo Wii U vs. Xbox One

    Sure, your kids (or you!) could camp out on the couch and play video games all day on either of these consoles. But they also offer ways for you (and your kids) to get into better shape. Wii Fit ...

  • Why you might want to visit Walmart for back-to-school deals

    Never one to miss a promotional opportunity, Walmart is kicking off the back-to-school shopping period with a variety of specials savings for both online and in-store customers starting August 1s...

  • 5 reasons to buy a Blu-ray player instead of a Roku or Apple TV5 reasons to buy a Blu-ray player instead of a Roku or Apple TV

    With all the attention on streaming media players such as Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast, you might not realize that Blu-ray players are a great option for streaming. We recently tested 19 new Bl...

  • 5 Sharknado survival tips

    As the nation braces for another Sharknado onslaught Wednesday (Syfy network, 9pm eastern), Consumer Reports would like to remind citizens—particularly those in New York City and environs—to be p...

  • 19 top free apps for college students19 top free apps for college students

    College students will soon be heading back to school—with their mobile devices in hand. We've compiled a list of our favorite free back-to-school apps that can help you score an A in College 101....

  • How to protect your gadgets on vacation

    It's the height of summer-vacation season, and many of us will be toting along an electronics device—or several. After all, how can we possibly survive without our smart phones, tablets, laptops,...

  • 5 questions to ask before you buy a point-and-shoot

    Considering a basic point-and-shoot to capture photos and videos of your summer vacation and other activities? Before you buy one, answer these five questions: 1. Do you need a camera at all? If ...

  • 4 Ultra HD TVs for early adopters4 Ultra HD TVs for early adopters

    Ultra High Definition TVs have four times as many picture elements, or pixels, as a 1080p full HD set. That's the highest resolution of any TV screen yet, 4K, enabling UHD sets to display super-d...

  • 5 laptops for college students that won't break your budget5 laptops for college students that won't break your budget

    College may be the best investment for the future, but it certainly doesn’t come cheap. To help stretch your budget, we combed our computer Ratings to find some of the best laptops in terms of pr...

  • 4K detail looks great on a huge Ultra HD screen, even up close4K detail looks great on a huge Ultra HD screen, even up close

    Ultra HD TVs have the highest resolution of any consumer TV yet, 4K, which means that images have more detail than even 1080p high-def content. The illustration here shows you what we mean. It's ...

  • 6 kick-butt point-and-shoots worth the price6 kick-butt point-and-shoots worth the price

    For taking casual and spur-of-the-moment shots, smart phone cameras are great. But if you want a really good photo of an important event, or in a challenging setting with dim lighting, a smart ph...

  • What you can get for the $120,000 cost of the 105-inch Samsung TV What you can get for the $120,000 cost of the 105-inch Samsung TV

    As Mr. TV—that is, my colleague Jim Willcox—just reported, the 105-inch Samsung UN105S9W UHD TV will be available for preorder soon—for a jaw-dropping $120,000. Once the sticker shock subsided, t...

  • 5 great, cheap headphones for back to school

    You may not be able to do anything about the high cost of tuition, but you don't have to spend a bundle to get a great set of headphones. But with so many models out there, which one should you c...

  • The truth about product registration cards

    When you buy a TV, lamp, or even a mesh chair for your teenager to take to college this fall, what business is it of the manufacturer to ask about your income, education, hobbies, and the car you...

  • First look: Fire Phone puts Amazon in your pocketFirst look: Fire Phone puts Amazon in your pocket

    The Amazon Fire Phone goes on sale this week—July 25—from AT&T, the exclusive provider, but we can offer you a sneak peek based on hands-on experience with a press sample this weekend. Overall, I...

  • All that stands between you and Samsung's monster 105-inch curved UHD TV is $120,000

    If you're a TV buyer with a budget as enormous as your dreams, we have a set for you: the new Samsung UN105S9W, a 105-inch UHD TV with a curved, 21:9 screen and a $120,000 price tag. And it's now...

  • 4 steps to keep your home secure while you’re on vacation

    Most communities across the U.S. will experience a 10 percent to 18 percent jump in home burglaries during the months of June, July, and August, according to FBI statistics. But there are simple ...

  • What 'Sex Tape' gets wrong about the cloud

    The premise of the new Cameron Diaz-Jason Segel film "Sex Tape" (opening July 18) is simple enough: A couple wants to amp up their romance, so they decide to shoot video of their bedroom antics o...

  • Are you responsible for purchases your kids make without your permission?

    The federal government’s recent lawsuit against Amazon, in which it’s trying to recover mobile app charges that were made by children without their parents’ consent, may have you wondering how re...

  • Best computer discount programs for studentsBest computer discount programs for students

    Being a student can be expensive, but it can also get you deals on computers and other electronics. Some discount programs are just for college students; others include K-12 students too. These p...

  • Hurricane warning: Don't let your home insurer blow you over

    With the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season under way, now’s a good time to get ready to weather the big wind that home insurers blow to knock down victims’ damage claims.  In the business of home in...

  • Airplane Wi-Fi expands but gets a lukewarm reception

    Your odds of flying on a plane with Internet access keep getting better. A rising number of domestic flights—close to half, according to a New York Times report—offer Wi-Fi service onboard. The n...

  • Are curved TVs any better than flat TVs?

    After years of pushing ever-flatter, thinner TVs, manufacturers are throwing buyers a curve—literally, with curved-screen sets. This year Samsung has curved Ultra HD TVs (the HU9000 series) and c...

  • 5 best laptops and tablets for back to school5 best laptops and tablets for back to school

    Students need a lot more than pencils and notebooks in today’s classrooms: The way they learn has changed radically since computers and the Internet arrived. As an educator and tech advocate, Vic...

  • Talking Tech with Consumer Reports: Camera lenses

    Getting an SLR or mirrorless SLR-like camera is a sign that you're getting serious about photography. Most of these cameras come with a flexible kit lens that is good for general-purpose shooting...

  • How to cut your exposure to cell-phone radiation

    Q. Is it true that cell phones emit dangerous levels of radiation? A. Possibly. Cell phones expose you to radio­frequency electromagnetic energy, a form of “non-ionizing” radiation (similar to wh...

  • Amazon allowed kids to make millions in app charges

    The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon for millions of dollars in mobile app charges that the agency said were made by children without their parents’ consent. It said Amazon continued to c...

  • Has your child gone on an Amazon in-app shopping spree?

    Games for kids in the Amazon Appstore look innocent enough, and many are even free—but some parents have been getting bill shock when they see hefty credit-card charges for in-app purchases they ...

Consumer Reports -- Latest product reviews and buying advice
  • Blu-ray players

    Blu-ray players give you lots of entertainment options. They'll play high-definition Blu-ray discs (including 3D movies, in some cases), regular DVDs, and CDs. And a growing number of players stream video from Internet sites such as Netflix, giving you access to the world of on-demand entertainment. With prices now starting as low as $100 or so, it's no surprise that Blu-ray players are pushing standard DVD players to the sidelines. It makes sense to consider a DVD player only if you have an older, standard-definition TV and don't expect to upgrade soon. (We no longer test standard DVD players, but you can get buying advice here.)

  • Security software

    Failing to protect your computer from online threats can shorten your machine's life and lead to the theft or corruption of data, including sensitive personal information. But you don't have to spend a lot on security software. We found that free programs are fine for most people.

  • E-book readers

    E-book readers are portable devices, usually with display screens optimized to show the electronic text of digital books. These electronic book readers are typically larger than cell phones and smaller than most tablet computers. Tablets with e-book apps, Web browsers and more robust processors typically offer more versatile than e-readers.

  • Tabletop humidifiersHumidifiers

    Who needs a humidifier? Anyone who has uncomfortably dry or itchy eyes, throat or skin, or whose asthma is a problem indoors during the heating season. In addition to the health benefits, a humidifier can also reduce static electricity, peeling wallpaper, and cracks in paint and furniture.

  • FoilElectric razors

    Electric shavers are popular on men's gift lists for several reasons: They let you shave without the muss and fuss of lather and water, a real plus when you're traveling or if you like an afternoon touch-up at the office. And unlike blade razors, they avoid nicks, since the blades don't touch your skin.

  • Computer monitors

    Like TV screens, computer monitors are continuing to go wider and bigger. The squarish 17-inch monitors are now almost obsolete, replaced by widescreen models. Their larger size allows for easier side-by-side page viewing or more spreadsheet columns with less scrolling.

  • Dishwashers

    When you're shopping for a dishwasher, there are a number of factors to consider. Besides determining how much you're able to spend, you'll need to decide how many and which options you want and really need, check the quietness and energy efficiency of the different dishwashers, and look at other aspects, including cycle time.

  • Top-freezer refrigeratorsRefrigerators

    Now is a great time to buy a new refrigerator as more brands pile on high-end features such as LED temperature displays and "theater lighting" for less. Our tests also show that even relatively basic, $500 refrigerators now offer glass shelves with rims to catch spills and enough storage in the door to hold gallon milk jugs.

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