While the BlackBerry Z10, launched in January, was the first smart phone to run on the company's revamped operating system. But its most radical aspect was the absence of a physical keyboard—this from a brand that inspired the term "BlackBerry Thumb," the medical condition caused by repeated tapping of the tiny buttons on mobile devices. Now the BlackBerry Q10 gives longtime 'Berry' loyalists a phone that boasts both the new OS and a physical keyboard—a very good one, too, I found.
A major problem with using Windows 8's touch-screen interface on a traditional computer has been having to reach across a keyboard to touch the display. Today, I was able to see firsthand a touch-screen laptop design that may solve this problem in the form of the 15.6-inch Acer Aspire R7.
"How do we make the most of this amazing device and do it in safe, sustainable manner going forward?" asked Sree Sreenivasan (Chief Digital Officer at Columbia University and faculty member of Columbia's School of Journalism), who moderated a panel discussion hosted by Consumer Reports at Columbia University last night: "Consumer Trade-offs in a Mobile Culture: Privacy, Payments and Social Media."
Wi-Fi can be so tempting, making it easy for you to do just about anything online when you're away from home. But you should be thinking before clicking, because most public Wi-Fi could make your private information a bit too, well, public.
It pays to be careful about which apps you download to your smart phone. More than 5 million smart phone users experienced symptoms of malicious software on their phones in the past year, our latest survey projects. Even a nonmalicious app can be intrusive, asking for permissions to perform various actions, such as access your contact list or location, that may not be essential.
The digital phone services used by millions of consumers today are likely to quit when the lights go out, as homeowners found to their dismay in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy last fall. These services, which use a technology called VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), rely on a modem to send phone traffic over the Internet, and that modem needs power. A backup battery can keep the modem and a corded phone operational during a blackout, but don't assume your telecom provider has included one with the modem they provide.
There are just about as many types of smart-phone users as there are phones. Understanding the kind of user you are will help you figure out how to strike the right balance between protecting yourself and getting the most out of your phone. For our privacy report, "Keep your phone safe," we narrowed the types down to three broad categories:
Think video streaming, from services such as Amazon and Netflix, is killing physical discs? Not quite yet, according to the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), which reports that Blu-ray sales were 28.5 percent higher in the first quarter of this year than a year ago.
Consumers' home PCs were no safer than they were last year, our annual State of the Net survey found. Heavy spam afflicted 43 percent of those surveyed. We've used our survey to extrapolate the number of consumers affected nationally.
Many smart phone users don't adequately secure their phones, according to our latest survey. If that group includes you, here are three simple steps you can take to protect your privacy as well as the information on your phone if it's lost or stolen:
Smart phones are fast replacing home computers for many daily online activities. But 39 percent of the more than 100 million American adult smart phone owners failed to take even minimal security measures to protect their phone, the latest Consumer Reports State of the Net survey found. The survey projects that at least 7.1 million phones were irreparably damaged, lost, or stolen and not recovered last year.
Would you pay $13,500 to be the first one on your block with a 55-inch OLED TV with a curved screen? Bases on an announcement this week from LG Electronics, which is now taking orders in Korea for the set, that's what you can expect to pay when its 55EA9800 curved OLED TV arrives here in the U.S. later this year. At CES, Samsung also showed an OLED TV with a curved screen, but the company hasn't yet announced pricing and availability.
In our latest reader survey of computer technical support, Apple bested its own scores from last year's survey and walloped other brand-name computer manufacturers.
Six months ago today—on October 29, 2012—Sandy slammed into the mid-Atlantic region. A new Consumer Reports survey documents the deep disruption and devastation Sandy wrought, along with highlighting the steps that helped victims cope in its aftermath.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: