Consumers agree that prices will rise, quality of service will drop
Customer rights group Consumer Reports has run a survey evaluating the public's opinion of the Time Warner Cable and Comcast merger, and the results strongly disapprove of the combined company. According to the survey, 56 percent of respondents oppose the merger, with 11 percent in favor. The remaining 33 percent had no strong opinion one way or another. However, most respondents still feel that the merger will have negative effects on consumers.
Cites touchscreen, built-in GPS issues among concerns
Consumer protection magazine Consumer Reports has now advised readers to "hold off" on buying Google's Nexus 7 tablet, citing significant reported issues with the device's touch screen and built-in GPS. While praising the device generally, the magazine said it would urge caution to its readers until the issues are resolved.
Regional carriers take top honors
Consumer Reports has released its annual satisfaction survey, which ranks AT&T at the bottom of the list once again. Respondents maintained similar ratings for the carrier, which showed the worst scores of all four major US carriers in last year's survey. Verizon also showed consistency, holding its position as the best-rated major carrier.
T-Mobile G2x best shooter, no match for cameras
In its August issue, Consumer Reports has orchestrated a rare test of 45 smartphones with a focus on their integrated cameras. It finds that the eight-megapixel camera in the T-Mobile G2X was the very best, with very good still images and the best in terms of video quality. The story also includes ratings for stand-alone cameras and camcorders as well as advice on taking good photos.
Nook touch trumps Kindle in Consumer Reports
Barnes & Noble scored a symbolic win on Friday as the new touchscreen Nook topped the Amazon Kindle in Consumer Reports' new e-reader ratings [sub. required]. The new Nook reached 78 points to the Kindle 3G's 77 owing to the simpler, much more focused design. Many features were equal, and the Nook just edge Amazon's reader in format support.
Consumer Reports has Apple top new notebook charts
Consumer Reports' refreshed notebook rankings [sub. required] gave Apple the top spot in virtually all notebook rankings. As of late May, the updated MacBook Pros led the 15-inch category with 76 to 78 points versus Dell's XPS 15 at 73 points, while the 17-inch models just edged ahead of the HP dv7 (79 points) with 80 and 81 points. All of the 13-inch models placed second at 70 to 72 points, but they were only topped by Apple's own 13-inch MacBook Air, which leapt ahead at 76 points.
Consumer Reports insists white iPhone 4 same size
Consumer Reports on Monday disputed claims that the white iPhone 4 was thicker than its black counterpart. Using calipers, the buying advice magazine claimed both color iPhones were about 0.37 inches. It went so far as to try three cases and said all three fit properly.
ATT at back of Consumer Reports call, data results
AT&T is at the back of the rankings for carrier service quality in the US, Consumer Reports said in its latest paper issue. Having already been near the back in the 2009 study, its overall score this year was just 60, well back from T-Mobile's 69. It ranked as "worse" in every category except for text messaging, where it was still below average.
Android tops Consumer Reports ranks of US carriers
The iPhone 4's disputed antenna has given Android a virtual sweep of the top phone rankings at Consumer Reports, the magazine's latest ratings showed today [sub. required]. A decision to avoid recommending the iPhone 4 has made Android-based Samsung Captivate the highest recommended smartphone on AT&T, leaving the iPhone 3GS in second place. The top phones on each network ran Google's platform, including the Droid X at Verizon, the Samsung Vibrant at T-Mobile and the HTC Evo 4G at Sprint.
Consumer Reports says iPhone policy a step back
Consumer Reports today chastised Apple for the decision to end its iPhone case program at the end of the month. Resorting to contact with AppleCare is "less consumer-friendly" as it forces customers to do more work to address signal drop problems and limits their choices to just Apple's Bumper case. The magazine reiterated that it still won't recommend the iPhone 4 as free cases don't address the root cause of the signal issue, an external antenna that isn't insulated accidentally bridging antennas and stifling reception.
CR says free iPhone 4 cases don't go far enough
Consumer Reports has already shot down Apple's offer of free iPhone 4 cases to solve the phone's reception issues. The testing magazine still declined to give a recommendation as it didn't believe the program reached far enough. It was a "good first step" but wasn't universal and had a set expiry date, CR said.
Editorial on CR and iPhone 4 before the event
(Editorial) In the run-up to Apple's press conference, all the talk in the Apple world recently has revolved around Consumer Reports deciding that it couldn’t recommend the iPhone 4 because of its alleged antenna flaw that is causing some consumers to lose reception when they cover the antenna lines of the side of the device. According to Consumer Reports, it was able to recreate the problem in its testing, and has said that it doesn’t believe the issue has anything to do with poor signal quality and the way in which iOS calculates signal strength, as Apple has said over the past couple weeks.
Consumer Reports tests point to hardware flaw
Following a Consumer Reports' article recommending against the iPhone 4, Apple has quietly purged its discussion forums of numerous threads relating to the report. Moderators apparently removed at least five similar threads, however the content was cached by Bing and the broken links can still be found on Google.
Customers impressed by service, checkout
Apple has achieved the top spot in yet another Consumer Reports ranking, with the company's retail outlets considered the best place to buy a cellphone. Despite the lack of selection and relatively high price of the iPhone, respondents to the survey gave Apple Stores an average score of 86 out of 100.
iPhone hurts service, but customers stay
AT&T is once again trailing other major US carriers in its quality of service rankings, Consumer Reports has found in its latest survey (live soon; subscription required). Readers scored the network just 66 points for its performance in numerous cities, just below the declining Sprint's 67 and significantly lower than T-Mobile's 70 or Verizon's leading 75 points. Most of the criticism was leveled against AT&T's voice service, which has been widely described as unreliable as the sheer load of iPhone customers has oversaturated the 3G network.
Consumer Reports on Macs
A recent Consumer Reports issue compared a variety of computer systems, giving high ranks to Apple in several categories. MacBooks received top honors in the 13-inch category, the 14-inch to 16-inch range and the 17-inch lineup. The 15-inch MacBook Pro established the highest score, with 75 out of 100, while the Toshiba Satellite was given a score of 64. Dell and HP devices also established a number of the higher ranks.
BlackJack II tops CR list
BlackJack II tops Consumer Reports rankings
Consumer Reports has published ratings of new smartphones, cellphones and US wireless carriers in their January 2009 issue, giving the highest honors in the smarthphone category to the Samsung BlackJack II. The second highest rated phone was the T-Mobile Wing, followed by the Motorola Q9C, T-Mobile Shadow and BlackBerry Pearl Flip. Just two point behind the Flip, at 61, was the iPhone 3G and T-Mobile G1, tied at 61. The latest round of Consumer Reports ratings did not include the BlackBerry Bold or Storm, however, nor the Samsung Omnia or any version of the HTC Pro handset.
Buyer's guide available
Just in time for Black Friday shoppers, Consumer Reports has released its guide to recommended electronics gifts, with Apple receiving several nods from the list. The independent non-profit organization tests and rates products, and has set up a web page grouping ratings for HDTVs, digital cameras, blu-ray disk players and more. Each section highlights best values and highest rated performers and links to full reviews of the products.
Apple tops tech support
Apple recently topped Consumer Reports' list of hardware manufacturers technical support services in a recent study. Consumer Reports says that while the industry standard solve-rate for technical issues sits at around 60-percent, while Apple's phone support yielded an 80-percent solve-rate, and the company's Genius bars accounted for a 90-percent solve-rate. The statistics were discovered through a survey of over 10,000 desktop and laptop computers.