2016 didn’t end well for Apple’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar devices. Though they flew off shelves when released in November, Apple’s new laptops (especially the 15-inch version) received a lot of battery life complaints. On December 22, Consumer Reports unleashed an anti-Christmas gift for Apple.
“Apple launched a new series of MacBook Pro laptops this fall, and Consumer Reports‘ labs have just finished evaluating them. The laptops did very well in measures of display quality and performance, but in terms of battery life, we found that the models varied dramatically from one trial to another.”
The article added that tests revealed as little as 3.5 hours of battery life and, as a result, the new MacBook Pro series is the first not to receive recommended ratings from Consumer Reports. However, some called foul play on Consumer Reports‘ “test.” Rene Ritchie from iMore is just one of them.
“Those results make very little sense and I’d take apart my chain, link by link, until I found out what was going on. I’d check and re-check my tests, I’d watch the systems like a hawk, and I’d do everything possible to find what was causing the variance. I’d even — gasp — try testing different machines and something other than web pages to see if that revealed more information,” Ritchie pointed out when referring to the strangely varied results Consumer Reports claimed to test.
An opinion piece on the Inquisitr also questioned Consumer Report‘s test, even referring to it as “fake news.” Fake or not, the magazine has now reversed its “ruling” and can now recommend the new MacBook Pros after Apple released a software fix.
“Consumer Reports has now finished retesting the battery life on Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops, and our results show that a software update released by Apple on January 9 fixed problems we’d encountered in earlier testing.”
As the article notes, with the updated software, the three MacBook Pros that were tested all ran well. One model even ran 18.75 hours on a charge. Still, some of the commenters after the article think it was Consumer Reports who had it wrong in the first place, not Apple.
“Really? You claim this was a bug fix from Apple. And indeed there is a slight, obscure bug that caused this to happen. But, you had the Developer settings wrong to begin with. If you had the settings right, the results would have been correct, rather than really wrong to begin with,” says Eric Welch.
“I think it is irresponsible of you not to mention anywhere in this article that the ‘problem’ you encountered would not have impacted the average user, but was only apparent in a highly specific configuration. In fact you make it sound like the average consumer needs the fix and that because of your testing you helped uncover something necessary for the average consumer,” claims Shawn Livingston.
Indeed, most users of the new MacBook Pro have indicated that although the battery life isn’t as great as Apple made it out to be, it’s not a deal breaker either. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch versions of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar have received excellent reviews. In particular, Laptop Mag gave Apple’s 15-inch Pro four-and-a-half stars, claiming that if one is willing to pay a premium for it, the Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro is the best version of Apple’s high-end notebook yet.
Do you own one of the new MacBook Pros with the Touch Bar? Tell us how much you like or dislike your device in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Daryl Deino]