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Apple's new MacBook Pros fail to receive Consumer Reports' recommended rating for the first time

By midian182 · 9 replies
Dec 23, 2016
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  1. Apple may like to boast about the all-new Touch Bar, but its latest range of MacBooks Pros have just received a more unwelcome first: the three machines failed to achieve “recommended” ratings from Consumer Reports.

    Apple’s latest machines have become the first MacBooks to miss out on the publication’s coveted rating. After evaluating the laptops, the organization concluded that while the displays and performance levels “did very well,” the inconsistent battery life meant it couldn’t recommend them.

    Both consumers and reviewers have complained about the Pros’ suspect battery life, calling it inferior to previous generation models. Apple’s estimate that they will allow 10 hours normal usage is said to be slightly optimistic – some users have reported only being able to use the MacBooks for three to four hours before the battery ran down.

    Consumer Reports found the battery life varied dramatically in the 15-inch MacBook Pro and the two 13-inch laptops. In three consecutive tests, the Touch Bar-sporting smaller device ran for 16 hours, 12.75 hours, and 3.75 hours. The 13-inch model without the Touch bar ran for 19.5 hours in one test, then 4.5 hours in another. The 15-inch Pro's life varied from 18.5 hours to 8 hours.

    The tests used fully charged machines with screen brightness set to 100 nits. A series of ten pre-selected web pages were then downloaded over Wi-Fi using Safari. The trials ran until the laptops shut down. Consumer Reports noted that laptops’ battery life usually varies by less than five percent between tests.

    The machines were tested again after being upgraded to macOS Sierra 10.12.2, but results were the same. Last week, it was reported that Apple had removed the ‘time remaining’ battery life estimate in this newest version of Sierra, claiming it was too hard to produce an estimate in laptops that use Intel’s latest processors.

    Consumer Reports contacted Apple about the tests, but was told “Any customer who has a question about their Mac or its operation should contact AppleCare.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 550   +299

    Does that seem extremely low to anyone else? I thought the 16+ and 18+ hour run times were long but that might go a long way to explaining those results.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    Gee, how upsetting. Why did they fail to receive the consumer reports recommendation? Did Apple forget to give them the usual luxury cars and holidays along with generous kickbacks and now they're feeling betrayed?
  4. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +322

    #1 I don't really care what "Consumer Reports" thinks. I buy what I want - because I want it. I usually read reviews about products long after I've already bought them.

    Then I add my own review.

    A real shame is that epinions was bought out by Ebay and then dissolved. I used to participate and read/write real reviews written by real people. Very good, in-depth content.

    Now all we have is "amazon" and half the reviews are either poorly written or fakes.

    #2 I wouldn't buy a MacBook Pro simply because it feels incomplete.

    The touch bar is nice, but I yearned for a touch screen - which is a feature I never really wanted in my windows 10 laptops, but feel NEEDS to be in a Macbook Pro based solely on my continued use of iOS which has trained me to touch their icons.

    $1700 - $2800 is a ridiculous price for one of these things.

    There are some people who will buy them - using Education budgets - think nothing of it (and then say there isn't enough money in education)

    There are some college kids who will buy them using their student loan money - and think nothing of it - and then pray to Sanders to relieve their debt.

    there are some multimillionaire CEO who will buy them - think nothing of it - and then write them off their taxes as some expense...

    But for the average professional, it's just not enough. And although Apple's memory management eclipses Window's, there are some people who want more RAM.

    A touchscreen and 32GB of RAM need to be in there before I use my business leasing to purchase one.
    killmess and Hexic like this.
  5. Greg S

    Greg S TS Evangelist Posts: 1,607   +443

    Considering I can get 8 hours of battery life out of my msi gs60 laptop when power saving measures are taken with a 4k panel and gtx 970m, I'd be really disappointed that a majorly lower spec'd machine barely gets any more runtime.
  6. " Last week, it was reported that Apple had removed the ‘time remaining’ battery life estimate in this newest version of Sierra, claiming it was too hard to produce an estimate in laptops that use Intel’s latest processors."

    In other words: Apple has a quality control problem with its batteries and the time remaining calculation makes it a little too obvious.
  7. knechod

    knechod TS Rookie

    That is quite an accusation. Any evidence? Citations?
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    None needed. It's standard business practice. Don't tell me you never knew that. And it's not illegal to boot. Don't tell me you never knew that either. If you didn't... hoo boy, have you still got a lot to learn...
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  9. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,016   +1,281

    Apples zeal to make thinner and thinner devices, causes them to compromise the battery life.
    Phones, computers, earpods, ipods...I'll take a thicker case, if it means I can get a full 10-12 hours
    use of a battery, without resorting to tricks like battery savers.
  10. trajan2050

    trajan2050 TS Rookie Posts: 21   +9

    Nothing remotely Pro about this under spec'd overpriced toy for college kids. Cook" s bean counting tenure is now officially in decline.
    Hope they hire a CEO who values Macs and brings them back to the forefront for the many audio visual professionals who depend on them.

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