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Consumer Reports Fails to Earn MacBook Pro Credibility

MacBook Pro setup
MacBook Pro setup (Image credit: iMore)

Update, January 12, 2017: Consumer Reports now recommends the MacBook Pro.

Consumer Reports has now finished retesting the battery life on Apple 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.With the updated software, the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well, with one model running 18.75 hours on a charge. We tested each model multiple times using the new software, following the same protocol we apply to hundreds of laptops every year.

No specific author is credited with the update, which seems strange. Consumer Reports also seemingly still doesn't recognize the problem with the original article, which led to as many questions about their testing and publishing methodology as it did MacBook Pro battery life.

Also: Can I get a MacBook Pro that runs 18.75 hours? Pretty please?

Update, January 10, 2017: Apple provided me with the following statement on Consumer Reports' test:

"We appreciate the opportunity to work with Consumer Reports over the holidays to understand their battery test results," Apple told iMore. "We learned that when testing battery life on Mac notebooks, Consumer Reports uses a hidden Safari setting for developing web sites which turns off the browser cache. This is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage. Their use of this developer setting also triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab. After we asked Consumer Reports to run the same test using normal user settings, they told us their MacBook Pro systems consistently delivered the expected battery life. We have also fixed the bug uncovered in this test. This is the best pro notebook we've ever made, we respect Consumer Reports and we're glad they decided to revisit their findings on the MacBook Pro."

Update, December 23, 2016: Apple's head of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, posted the following statement on Twitter:

See more

Here's hoping Consumer Reports shares their test method with Apple so the results can be vetted and, if necessary fixes can be made. That's what's best for the consumer.

There's been a lot of discussion around MacBook Pro battery life. For some people it's been fine. For others, problematic. Some reviewers have had a great time. Others have had a bad experience. Apple is sticking to their original estimates, but given the ongoing debate, it's something that needs a deeper look. Sadly, Consumer Reports hasn't done that. If anything, they've only increased confusion.

in a series of three consecutive tests, the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar ran for 16 hours in the first trial, 12.75 hours in the second, and just 3.75 hours in the third. The 13-inch model without the Touch Bar worked for 19.5 hours in one trial but only 4.5 hours in the next. And the numbers for the 15-inch laptop ranged from 18.5 down to 8 hours.

What was the test?

For the battery test, we download a series of 10 web pages sequentially, starting with the battery fully charged, and ending when the laptop shuts down. The web pages are stored on a server in our lab, and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We conduct our battery tests using the computer's default browser—Safari, in the case of the MacBook Pro laptops.

Was it because some tests used Chrome instead of Safari, which previous tests have shown can greatly reduce battery life?

Once our official testing was done, we experimented by conducting the same battery tests using a Chrome browser, rather than Safari. For this exercise, we ran two trials on each of the laptops, and found battery life to be consistently high on all six runs. That's not enough data for us to draw a conclusion, and in any case a test using Chrome wouldn't affect our ratings, since we only use the default browser to calculate our scores for all laptops. But it's something that a MacBook Pro owner might choose to try.

If I were running the tests, that right there would be a red flag. A huge, glowing, neon red flag.

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.

Inconsistent results from battery life tests, for responsible publications, aren't a reason to rush out a headline in time for the holidays. They're a reason to start questioning everything, and to diligently retrace every step along the way, until you can get repeatable, reputable results.

What did Consumer Reports do?

However, with the widely disparate figures we found in the MacBook Pro tests, an average wouldn't reflect anything a consumer would be likely to experience in the real world. For that reason, we are reporting the lowest battery life results, and using those numbers in calculating our final scores. It's the only time frame we can confidently advise a consumer to rely on if he or she is planning use the product without access to an electrical outlet.

As someone who's been using a new MacBook Pro since the event back in October, and seldom with an outlet nearby, I'd laugh at that if I wasn't so busy crying. Then again, I know how to use Activity Monitor... My anecdote isn't data, though, and neither is Consumer Reports'.

Sadly, we now live in a world filled with manufactured controversies and, quite often, fake news. It's fake claims about real sapphire, cancelled watch apps that ship on time, and the perpetual rush not just to find the next "gate" but, in many cases, to create it.

"Bendgate" and "chipgate" showed there was blood in the pageview water, so now the click sharks are circling.

Now, I don't think Consumer Reports is faking news here, but I do think they're after attention more than they are answers. Otherwise, I think they would have taken the time to figure out what happened, why, and presented something truly useful. Sadly, I don't think that's their primary concern anymore. And it's why I stopped reading Consumer Reports years ago. (Yes, even their Samsung Galaxy waterproofing report.)

These days, if I'm interested in battery life tests, I go to AnandTech or Ars Technica, where they show their work, explain their methods, and often take whatever time is required to get real answers before hitting publish. Same for other areas. I look to the experts who don't settle for confusion but demand clarity.

If there is something wrong with the MacBook Pro battery, then I want to know about it. Just saying you got inconsistent results is as valuable as telling me it takes 1, 4, or 12 hours to cook a turkey – not at all. I can get food poisoning or burn a bird on my own, thanks.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

191 Comments
  • Consumer Reports has never been a good resource for anything but topical tech info. There's better at cars and appliances and air conditioners.
  • I had the exact same thought when I read about this. I actually saw it at a different site and immediately had to think back to maybe 15-20 years ago when I had a subscription to CR and I realized they didn't have good methodology for testing anything computer related. I want to say it was a bang-for-buck laptop comparison, and the ones they recommended could be summed up as
    1. Bigger screen
    2. Bigger hard drive
    3. More RAM
    4. Lower price. All that said, Apple needs to get a handle on this battery nonsense. There are too many reports from long-time Mac users for it to be imaginary.
  • Besides the dubious battery life of anywhere from 3.5 hours to 19.5 hours Consumer Reports claims, CR also reports that they got better battery life running Chrome browser (which is a known resource hog) than they got running Safari. That finding makes absolutely no logical sense at all.
  • Bc they weren't paying attention to the background processes: Indexing, iCloud syncing, photoslib etc - as I suspect most aren't, and these may be wrongly allowed to run during battery operations.
    Also, perhaps their "in-house" websites were optimized for Chrome, and run like **** on Safari. Sent from the iMore App
  • Really? You think Consumer Reports loaded up enough photos into their libraries to set spotlight off into a battery mongering state? Or optimized webpages for chrome (how does one do that btw?). Regardless of that lack of facts to back up any of your claims, if spotlight demands 5 times the battery power when running something is seriously wrong. And it should be fixed by Apple. I like all this finger pointing at CR, if they had come back with a recommendation (like they usually do) Rene and the rest of the hypocrites would be saying how great Apple is for being recommended by CR. Suck it up sally's, Apple has something wrong with the notebooks and the users all over the forums and CR agrees.
  • I can see how that was misinterpreted- I don't think the issue is CR. I think it's worth checking if one or many background processes could be causing a battery performance problem for so many people. Do we know if CR was watching Activity Monitor for such CPU usage? If there are processes running that shouldn't during battery power, that's on Apple.
    .
    Typically, low-priority processes (Such as those I listed) can and/or should be suspended until connected to a power source. Perhaps there is one or more that aren't suspending during battery power, therefore draining the battery too quickly. I mentioned indexing or iCloud document syncing or photo syncing etc bc they are not user facing, and could easily drain the battery if let run. I don't see why that is so hard to believe. There have been software bugs before, right?
    .
    I don't know what CR loads onto their computers for testing, but loading photos is high up on the list of things a consumer would do with a computer, therefore doing so would be a good "real-world" test, IMO.
    .
    Sorry I don't know HOW to optimize a web page for safari vs chrome, but they are two different programs, and I know certain types of websites run differently on different browsers. Code does just work with everything. A sentence spoken in Mandarin may translate differently to Russian that to English.
    .
    But we don't know what they did and didn't do, which is why Apple is looking into it. I feel it was irresponsible of CR to publish without talking to Apple about such wildly varying times, but the responsibility of correcting any rogue process causing problems certainly belongs to Apple. And who knows, maybe CR did contact Apple about it first, but didn't respond in the right way. Sent from the iMore App
  • I think they were pretty clear that they ran these tests on all 3 laptops and all of them had wildly varied results. They even stated: "This is a real departure from past MacBooks. Most Apple laptops have scored well in our battery test, typically lasting much longer than the manufacturer has claimed. For instance, a previous 13-inch MacBook Pro model lasted an exceptional 19 hours in Consumer Reports testing." So they appear to be runnng the same tests they always have. To say it was irresponsible of CR to not recommend them is a misunderstanding on your part. They aren't a tech review site that defers to the company to resolve issues. They purchase items as the normal public would and then recommends based on their testing.
  • I get your point about the CR's responsibilities, but if this a software bug, and Apple fixes it, and CR changes their recommendation, it will certainly not make as many headlines as it has in its current state. I just hope CR & Apple have done their due diligence.
    .
    I presume Apple will not really be hurt by this, TBH. Personally, I'm not a fan of this MacBook Pro, not that I'm in the market for an Apple laptop anyhow, so judge the follow considering that. The type of people who would buy it already have to consider the list of complaints from other reviews (dongles, not "pro" enough for the price, etc). If someone was waiting for the MacBook Pro to be updated, they are likely going to get it, regardless of CR's recommendation, and "normal" users seem to lean towards the cheaper MacBooks anyhow. Those who do rely on CR were likely not in the market for said laptops, IMO, but I could be wrong. So this may sway a few people, but I would be curious to know how much this actually hurts Apple.
  • You're right, but Consumer Reports does have some pull and is vocalizing the cries of MB users for the past 2 months. While I agree this might not convince people not to buy it, it certainly is a big red flag for Apple.
  • Could help explain the record setting holiday purchases... ;-)
  • I think there's a bigger distortion field coming from the trolls on iMore like yourself, who can't even capitalize "Apple" or "iMore" correctly…
  • I agree
  • Comsumer Reports hasn’t been reliable (or unbiased) for many decades now. I find it rather humorous that a dinosaur like CR is reviewing a Mac, and that anyone would base a technology decision on Consumer Reports!
  • Anyone else notice that on the internet now "unbiased" means "tells me what I want to hear"?
  • I think you are confusing the terms "unbiased" and "fake news."
  • Exactly. I trust CR because they buy their test units and don't worry about event invites or early prototype demos. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Same with AnandTech or Ars Technica.. only they actually .. you know .. TEST.
  • This Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • CR has been reviewing Macs for a quarter century now. It's funny how you don't like the reviews as soon as they are negative.
  • I think CR has been showing the limitations of their approach for a while now, and they need to get out of computing technology. CR is intentionally ignorant of the details of the thing they're testing. It's a test. You poke it and see what happens. And there's any number of things that approach works well on. If you want to test the durability of a wall, by all means bang a rock on it. You want to calculate a good battery life estimate, though? You're going to have to put more effort into understanding the system than that.
  • Why? Apple advertises it as having 10-hour battery life while browsing the web. If CRs test does that, why should they delve further. Apple isn't living up to their claim. It's not up to CR to figure out why or what component is failing to deliver. Their job is to see if the product lives up to the advertised claim.
  • It's a fairly common opinion that these computers have bad battery life... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Don't let Rene hear you say that, he might blow a gasket. No Apple product could ever be less than what Apple says it is.
  • Obviously neither of you read the article you are commenting on. yet you posted anyway. That's called trolling.
  • I guess it's trolling if one disagrees. I've read from many objective pro Apple sources how battery life is inconsistent when this was NEVER. An issue in previous MBPros. I
  • Actually, i would just call it not bothering :) Either sounds good to me.
  • Ah the diehard apple fans go to. It is "trolling" if one does not agree with what you believe in. Ha nice try.
  • You already know he's fast to write Apple defense articles for anything semi negative that spreads online.
  • No, it's not, iHater. Go cry to your 💩 SurfaceBook that Microsoft promises 16 hours! Ars technica, NotebookCheck, LaptopMac/Tom's all concours that the battery life is correct, and they all got the promised 10 hours. None of the got the 16 hours for the latest and most expensive Surface, and none of them got more from the Surface than from the MBP.
  • If that were true, then Apple would not have removed the "battery remaining" from 10.12.2. Fact is, the remaining battery on the new units is not consistent and cannot be calculated reliably. This is a problem with the unit. Period. Like it or not.
  • Rene is definitely in the back pocket of Apple. Guy just can't be an honest "journalist".
  • That gasket has flown long ago.
  • @rebornaggie2013 So you did a test yourself to find out the cause or just repeating whatever and wherever you got the news from.
    Yes Ignorance is bliss.
  • Was wondering when we are going to see Apple PR's response to consumer report. Thanks for putting the Apple's response Rene.
  • I work in a lab, and we wouldn't dare publish a report with such a variance in the results until we were absolutely sure we were correct, and understood the reasons behind that variance. This is the 'Samsung' of publishing - rush to get it out before it's ready.
  • Yup, but expected from CR.. AnandTech or Ars Technica articles on battery for rMBP were more complete.
  • It should not be CR's duty to troubleshoot and bug report Apple's product. Their job is to report what they found. They did that.
  • And because of their results disagree wildly with everyone else, and wildly vary within their own report, there is no reason to believe them.
  • 3 tests with no conclusions but that the results are inconsistent is hardly a worthwhile report.
  • Are you saying that if you were testing a car and 1 out of 10 exploded, you would think it best to spend a few months investigating before letting anyone know? If CR completely fabricated their results this would be concerning. If they happened to get a few defective units this may be quickly resolved. Otherwise it's good to know for anyone considering buying a Macbook. It seems that sales won't suffer among readers of this site either way.
  • Exploded? That's your analogy? Perhaps better to say the very same test revealed gas mileage of 5 mpg, 30mpg, and 50mpg. That's a decent analogy. And, if that were the case, because inconsistencies like that just don't usually exist, I'd want to investigate to see if the testing methodology didn't work or that it didn't work well with this machine for some reason. If I couldn't figure it out myself, I'd likely want to contact the car manufacturer because those results just don't make sense. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a bug found in Apple's software that led to these very strange results. I'd also not be surprised to find out there was in issue in the testing software when used with this specific product. Even if it a bug found in Apple's software, perhaps a simple point release addresses it and the product then gets fantastic battery life like some of the tests. It would seem somewhat silly to have the print article giving the product a thumbs down on battery life when it might actually overachieve in that area in two weeks. The point is, when test results within consistent conditions show wildly inconsistent results (in a field that shows very consistent results otherwise), anyone not rushing a story out would vigorously try to figure out why before publishing. If I was writing for CR, I'd get Apple involved right away because the results don't make logical sense. I'd definitely agree with Rene on that part. However, he may be stretching to presume he knows CRs intent. However, fake news, hoax news, and misleading click-bait stories have been my number one concern about the internet that last couple of years and it's danger is completely underestimated by almost everyone. All of us need to ask writers and sites to do their due diligence and write accurate headlines to stem this very dangerous tide.
  • CR doesn't have advertising. iMore does. That should tell you who is click-baiting and who is not. I do not begrudge iMore for ads. We all have to make a living. But to assign that motivation to CR is ridiculous.
  • Except the test is, effectively, a standard script that they ran on the 2015 and previous MBPs, and they passed with flying colors... the same tried and true tests that failed this time. Do you believe they "Samsunged" the previous decade's tests, too? Or is it only this time, when it didn't go so well for Apple?
  • Schiller responded--he is working with CR to understand the meaning of their claim. Remember, Apple cut form corners here and didn't use the proper sized battery .
  • Where was it reported that Apple didn't use a proper sized battery? Also, what is a proper sized battery?
  • "If there is something wrong with the MacBook Pro battery, then I want to know about it. Just saying you got inconsistent results is as valuable as telling me it takes 1, 4, or 12 hours to cook a turkey – not at all. I can get food poisoning or burn a bird on my own, thanks." Wait a minute, you think they (CR) should find out why the computer was burning more juice during their tests and come to some conclusion as to what caused this discrepancy? Are you serious? What if the manufacturer of your turkey put on the label to cook it for 6 hrs and it turned out burned, would you wonder why the oven over cooked it or how the manufacturer got the time wrong?
  • 😂 just believe whatever you read on the label and follow it as gospel truth.
    Don't blame you if you are not a cook. Or one with a very bad nose who can't smell a burnt turkey.
  • The problem lies in that the person that sold you the turkey said it would cook in 6 minutes, yet it stayed raw.
  • "Was is because some tests used Chrome instead of Safari, which previous tests have shown can greatly reduce battery life?" That's not English—fire your copy editor.
  • He is the 'editor' Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I understood it, and I don't speak Swahili. What was it?
  • Contrary to Rene's opinion, I don't think it is CR's responsibility to troubleshoot the battery life problem. CR setup a test that they describe quite clearly and got very unusual results that are partly in line with what users are reporting. Since Apple has effectively made the MacBook a closed non-user serviceable system, it's Apple's responsibility to take it further and find out what's causing the inconsistency—and suddenly removing the battery time display in 10.12.2 makes me VERY suspicious Apple knows something is not right.
  • Bendgate was real and I see you forgot to mention another real one, Antennagate.
    Not all gates are meaningless.
    But good to come to iMore and get the Apple PR response first hand.
  • Bendgate was absolutely not real.
  • I have to disagree with you on that. My first iPhone 6 plus had a problem with the phone locking up. They were going to replace some of the internals when they notice that the phone had bent a few millimeters. They weren't able to fix. They even saw how I carried the phone. I had on a speck case on it, and that case was put inside a horizontal leather case, which I put in my front pocket. So there was no way it should have ever bent. So my phone bent somehow. Of course they replaced it was no questions. Bendgate was real.
  • Bendgate was completely real as it was the cause of the touch disease problem that Apple (finally) admitted to. Posted via the iMore App
  • There was a website called One of the Nine showing way more than just 9 iPhones bending Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Yes, Bendgate was real, but it was an incomplete truth blown out of proportion by Apple haters. The complete truth was that Samsung flagship phones of the same era bent at far lower pressure/stress points than the iPhone 6 series did, yet it was Apple alone that received the bad press. There were extensive tests done with industrial equipment to show that other brands of phones were more bendable than the iPhone.
  • Yes, but all of the other handsets that bent continued to function properly. A flaw in the 6/Plus design meant that the touchscreen did not, a flaw that was rectified in the S revisions.
  • I agree with Rene here. If I were CR and running these tests and came across such inconsistent results then I would try to find out why, if only to decide if my test environment was inconsistent. To just publish without working out the reasons behind the inconsistency is bad reporting. I am not a fan of the latest MacBook Pro (I really don’t agree with a lot of the design decisions that Apple made), but this report stinks of poor reporting that is looking for a headline. As a Brit I don’t really know who Consumer Reports are but, judging from this article, it sounds like their reports get more credence than they deserve.
  • To be honest, it's not their job or function to find out why. The product is on the market. If they are testing once and then calling it a day then I would tend to agree that a retest should be in order. But they ran these tests 3 times per trial and ran multiple trials. It's clear, based on this and 'real world' users accounts that something is drawing far too much energy in some circumstances. What they are isn't for Consumer Reports to figure out, it's apples.
  • You’re right that it isn’t the reviewer’s job to find out why the results vary, but they vary so much that any decent reviewer would investigate further to see if they are doing anything wrong, or if the OS is doing something in the background. That would still be an Apple issue but would be the fault of the OS rather than the laptop, which would be good to know. At the very least they should have been watching Activity Monitor to get an idea of what processes were using the power. Most users of any operating system have seen “rogue" processes use a lot of CPU power and know how to track down the culprit, but it seems as if CR didn’t even try to see why they saw such variances, which is poor reviewing in my opinion (although I understand when you say that isn’t their job). However I still think that this laptop doesn’t deserve to be called a Pro machine. Too many compromises to achieve unnecessary thinness.
  • 'Scottish Captain' on MacRumors posted this; You mean, Apple is working with Consumer Reports to help them understand how they're using the machine wrong. The problem isn't that Apple's power saving features don't work. They work exceptionally well, that's where 16 hours is coming from. The problem is that they work too well and the battery is undersized. The moment you load the machine down, the battery % begins to drop through the floor because the machine quite literally was not designed for that kind of use. The "time remaining" indicator only served to highlight just how fast the % was falling (since it's far more difficult for a user to gauge the remaining time left based solely on a plummeting number), which is why they got rid of it. Apple wanted snazzy specs in a thin package, and this is the end result. If they'd built the laptop properly with sufficient battery capacity, we'd be seeing a laptop that lasts 20-30 hours (!) under light use, and 7-8 hours under heavy use. Then I don't think anyone would be complaining. ~4 hours, however, isn't much, and is pretty inexcusable for what is being sold as a premium device. No matter how much damage control they engage in, and no matter what they say about these devices or the users, it doesn't change the fact that the design is fundamentally flawed and Apple cannot change the laws of physics.
  • going on a week with my new Macbook 13 2016 and absolutely no issues at all ! This is my second Macbook the first is a mid 2014 which is still going strong, the new one is a better machine all around you cant go wrong.
  • Now, I don't think Consumer Reports is faking news here, but I do think they're after attention more than they are answers. I beg to differ. Plenty of users are reporting horrible battery life (c) reddit, macrumors, and other technology forums. I for one is glad that Consumer Report is bringing light to this situation. With that being said, I'm enjoying my 2016 non tb MacBook.
  • But they aren't Facebook Pros like the iMore gang so there's going to be a discrepancy. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Consumer reports is correct on this Sent from the iMore App
  • The relationship between sites like iMore and Apple is disgusting. Rene Ritchie writes this drivel defending Apple so Apple will continue to send him invites to events. Who would actually come to iMore for a serious take on anything? These sites are extensions of Apple's PR machine. iMore praises everything that Apple does, the fanboys flock here so as not to have to deal with the cognitive dissonance of reading something that challenges their beliefs, and iMore makes money off the ad sales. How is this any different than the whole "fake news" debate going on elsewhere? The you-say-nice-things-about-us-and-we'll-help-your-site-sell-ads relationship survives, whereas the sites that did real journalism die.
  • Yep Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • So true.
  • Then go away and don't come back. Bye. Have a good life.
  • An Apple apologists answer for everything...
  • Good point...
  • I have to agree with this, trying too hard at times to agree instead of reporting. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hi, I'm Rene and MacBook Pro is a Consumer Report champion! You should totally buy it! Hi, I'm Rene, those tests conducted by CR are not reliable! You should not trust CR and judge for yourself. **** will freeze before Rene Ritche throw an honest critic. Sent from the iMore App
  • "Sadly, we now live in a world filled with manufactured controversies and, quite often, fake news" Yeah, and this site is part of the problem by blaming the accurate blamers instead of calling Apple out on their questionable decisions lately across the board. i- and Poke- propoganda at its finest
  • While I understand that this is an Apple fan site I can't get behind simply becoming a marketing arm of a company just to keep early access. Sorry but you as a so called journalist are doing your readers a disservice. I don't agree with blowing every issue out of proportion for clicks. But holding a company accountable for issues will only make them better. We remember the whole antennagate issue; that apple fixed because it was an issue. The bend gate issue that this site downplayed. Yet Apple fixed it and has probably the strongest phones in the business now. If we want better from Apple then we must demand for better. We shouldn't simply settle for a 750p on an $700+ device when we know Apple could give us a more beautiful 1080p screen.
  • This has nothing to do with anything you say. A small sample and a data set of only outliers is a problem. CR cannot and should not draw ANY conclusions from it other than that there is a test problem. Yes one should hold Apple accountable for delivering proper product but one should also hold CR accountable for basing their judgement on solid test results.
  • I would have said this is a software issue from the start had the tests from consumer reports been a slight difference between them, theye these tests are definatly not "slight" in any way. But knowing Apple. they stand by what they always say, and always like to put the shadow on other tests just because its not the testing could have been done vastly differently than Apple does it. Add to the fact battery in Macbook/Pro's vary anyway with what user is doing, but NOT by a wide margin like this. Cleanly shouldn't be happening, so perhaps Consumer Reports should of tested better using "other" Macbook Pro's knows to be ok ..... After al not all are affected right? Consumer reports get their stamp of approval, Apple will be happy, and we can go back to work as usual :)
  • In the meantime, my HP Spectre360x ($1149.00 i7 Kaby Lake with 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD HD, and 13.3" HD Screen, with 4 Bang Olufsen speakers) watched a movie and got over 13hrs of screen on time...did I mention it goes from off to full ON in 8 seconds? Sent from the iMore App
  • Was that a special price? Fantastic specs indeed. I have an hp that's 7 years old still working great and a 2012 MBP going strong as well. It's mainly ecosystem and preference at this point. Now a days the performance and quality gap isn't as marked in Apple's favor as it once was. Preference though still reigns supreme. Enjoy that nice sounding HP.
  • Lol Phil Schiller quotes imore saying they are working with consumer report. Looks like imore and Apple PR are working together. Congrats iMore !!!
  • This article reads like it's been put through Google Translate half a dozen times. Was Rene so seething that he neglected to do any proofreading whatsoever? Posted via the iMore App
  • He typed it from an iPad "Pro" Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Looks like this is another reason why Safari should not be used on a Mac.
  • In my view it doesn't matter how they did it. If it is a consistent testing suite, and they can kill the machine in 3.5 hours. Then something is wrong with the machine/software, end of story. They say the variance normally is 5% and here we are talking a factor of 5. A variation in battery life has been reported by others.
    Apple back to the drawing board and try to focus in the inner parts and not just thinness and looks. So rather blaming consumer report put the blame where it belongs.
  • Just because CR think that the tests were consistent doesn’t mean they actually were. The OS often decides to do things in the background that the user has no control over. For example if it is indexing for Spotlight or analysing photos then it could run the battery down extremely quickly. I am also disappointed with the design decisions Apple took to prioritise thinness over everything, but my guess is that this inconsistency of battery life is more likely to be due to overly complex software rather than problematic hardware.
  • Then it's still a true to life test as these same background processes would run for anyone. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • If the problem is intermittent runaway background processes in software that comes with the machine, it's a good test. Most users don't much around looking around at background daemons, and will be frustrated with poor and/or inconsistent battery life. If it's software, then it needs to be fixed, and fast. If it's hardware, well, they have a problem. One thing is for sure, mac focused sites, tech focused sites and Windows focused sites are full of complaints about battery life, and the ever present time remaining indicator was removed by apple, which is telling. I honestly don't care much for benchmarks and unrealistic testing. I want to know how things operate when used the way I used them. Incidentally, I am anrbnnu LONG time Mac user who recently switched to a Surface Pro 4, and that device also has poor and inconsistent battery life.
  • n=6 on 2 machines isn't nearly enough to draw a good conclusion if two of the three results seem to be outliers. I'm with Rene here. If you get those results and the sample is so small you either should increase sample size and repeat the tests to get a meaningful result. Now CRs advice is just a bunch of horsepucky.
  • I have never put any faith in consumer reports myself personally, I firmly believe they are paid to review products both ways to help and destroy sales. I have never had any issues with any apple product especially the Macbook line which I am using to type this comment. I own many product that consumer reports trashes that perform very well and lasted years.
  • Whether or not you agree with the methodology of CR tests - and the fact they did not fine grain of sand them to figure out "Why?" they got the results they did - the fact is that, running a fairly lightweight test that might marginally test graphics and processor (and certainly nothing that should be a challenge for a device with the 'Pro' moniker), there was inconsistency in the Apple products they had. John and Janet Q. Public, professional computer users buying an expensive device in order to do their CAD, video and audio editing or graphic design work need to know their new MacBooks aren't going to just crap out on them when relying on battery (especially now that Apple stripped out 'time remaining' from the toolbar), while working on a project. And they don't care why it happens - nor do they necessarily have the benefit of swapping it out with another one to see if that unit is faulty, especially when Apple is busy denying it's an issue (or Macolytes are busy justifying the failures at Apple are the testers or users fault) - they just want the thing to work consistently. Don't shoot the messenger.
  • Well there's that too, of course. Part of that has to do with Apple's apparent lack of interest in Mac computers these days, exacerbated by Cook and Ive's lack of direction in the OS. Jobs was no engineer or software programmer, but he knew what he wanted the product to do. Beyond changing the shape and colour of some icons and the font, little has been done to the OS or it's basic included software. And Ive has committed the cardinal sin of industrial design - making the product actually less useful and hard to operate, in favour of pretty bells and whistles. Of course, for anything to do with touchscreens, Apple wants to direct users to the iPad Pro - another underwhelming device with an underdeveloped OS and base software. It remains an OS whose prime function is to be a content delivery device to the ITunes / App Store - while relying entirely on 3rd Party content developers to make the iPad useful - including replacing the built-in apps. But hardly 'Pro' in any sense of the word when compared to full-featured programs running on a 'real' computer with an array of ports, as often required by users. It's not enough to stick a faster processor in or add a pretty control strip or change up the colour of the case - especially when the selling point - the 'mobile' part of a mobile device (be it notebook, tablet or phone) - has no consistent guarantee it will work as expected. And whether Rene likes it or not, that's what CR's test underlined in this regard.
  • What CAD software are you using that handles touch interface? In my industry everyone is either Vectorworks or AutoCAD, neither do a good job with touch from what I've seen. Joe
  • That's good to know even though I mostly use Vectorworks, which is more prevalent in entertainment lighting than AutoCAD. More entertainment scenic designers use AutoCAD, it seems. AutoCAD did not jump on touchscreen soon enough when I was checking out Surface Pros. Joe
  • It's amazing to see all the Apple lovers defend the MacBook. Check out the user comments on Apple forums and you will see how many people suffer from bad battery. It's great that CR called out Apple on it. Just like they did with Honda years ago and Honda had to redo the design by tweaking the Civic to not to be so cheap. Congrats CR on making it happen! Let's see how Apple responds..... You are charging it wrong? You are using it wrong? LOL
  • Accusing a site of clickbait is great. Really. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Haha, the irony of the whole thing is hysterical..
  • A HARD TRUTH. Let's face it and start working for a fix instead of denying it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Does Rene not see how much of a parody he is becoming. Unless the Apple Product is wonderful then the opinion doesn't count. I've got a new MacBook Pro and to put it bluntly it is very disappointing. It keeps having graphics issues and the battery is rubbish. It will be going back to Apple for a refund in the New Year. I would love to know where Rene gets his Apple Products from as none of them EVER seem to have any issues... Rene's biggest aim is to make sure he has an invite to the Apple Keynote each year like a puppy dog. He is almost on Apple's payroll. He has lost all objectivity because Apple can do no wrong. It disappoints me that he does this - but I guess on iMore he can do what he wants and hopefully the readers will realise how one sided this site is and gradually remove readership. What does annoy me is how he now uses the same tactic on shows like Macbreak Weekly. He has ruined Macbreak Weekly for me - as everyone gives an honest opinion on the panel and then they get to Rene who thinks everything is wonderful ! Macbreak Weekly was so much better before Rene joined and I really wish he would leave.. Just look at Paul Thurrott on Windows Weekly - he is a Microsoft guy and gets invited to MS Keynotes etc. But if he thinks MS is making a mistake he will say it, and won't hold back when saying it either. He shows a balanced opinion and I think everyone respects him for it. Rene - we want an honest balanced opinion.. Grow some balls for christ sake !
  • Oh ****. Another sample with n = 1. I think your ranting is as statistically relevant as the CR results. You have a bad experience with some product and blame a random journalist that reports on the product. Oh and the payroll thing is a real hoot. You might be on Microsofts payroll - can you disprove that? Oh and speak for yourself when asking Rene for a balanced opinion. I'm quite satisfied by his reporting and I can form my own opinion thank you very much.
  • Rene's sample size is hardly just one. I couldn't tell you how many times I've heard him make completely ignorant comments when it comes to what is going on in the world outside of Apple on TWiT. He very clearly only knows and cares about Apple products. It's hard to judge a product when you have nothing to compare it against. Everything, by default, is therefore awesome. I'm with CR on this one. Even one sample of pitifully bad battery life is a likely indicator of some kind of a problem. Especially when coupled with anectodal evidence of hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers. If you got 2 MPG on a tank of gas while doing normal driving you'd think there was something wrong with a car, even if it was just a single tank. That kind of performance is well outside of expectations of normal.
  • I have to say I have come not to trust many of iMore's reviews for this reason. I do think this is a great site for learning how to use your hardware or do things with your Apple Products but I find the reviews a bit skewed to say the least. I don't think that CR was out for publicity or anything, they simply reported what they found. I agree with some others that it is not CR's job to figure out why battery life is inconsistent, that job is Apple's. If Apple was serious about working with CR, they would send some engineers over to look at the tests and figure out the problem and why they are getting these results instead of sending their marketing chief. They ran through several cycles of testing and reported their results. They are also hardly the only place where these issues are being reported. IMHO there is no such thing as "you're using it wrong".
  • Besides the dubious battery life of anywhere from 3.5 hours to 19.5 hours Consumer Reports claims, CR also reports that they got better battery life running Chrome browser (which is a known resource hog) than they got running Safari. That finding makes absolutely no logical sense at all!
  • "Apple working with Consumer Reports to pin down inconsistent MacBook Pro battery test results" Obviously it's a problem , Apple is not disputing it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Sure. Stock up on aluminium foil too.
  • Good Lord you are as defensive as Rene. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Consumer Reports stopped being accurate many years ago. Their billing practices border on criminal. Hey CR do a study on your business, and billing. Bet you would not recommend yourself. It is sad, because at one time they used to be a quality, and accurate magazine. Today you should never use it as a guide when buying. Sent from the iMore App
  • CR is like watching a bunch of illiterate people try to review books. It's good for a laugh. This has been true going back to the Palm days. That said, anything that gives Apple a kick in the **** to improve and actually respond is a good thing. So congrats to CR for somehow staying relevant.
  • Oh I was waiting for this article, and it didn't disappoint!
  • Yup Imore attacks gently any Apple criticism and the fanboys lineup nose to ****.
  • Of course Apple releases a product in the future and CR gives it great reviews, Rene will cite or quote them. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • You learnt something about correct testing methodology?
  • Sorry, but there is DEFINITELY a battery problem with these new MacBooks and it has been reported by many all over the internet. Apple seems to not want to take it seriously, and also did a very stupid thing by claiming they will just remove the battery meter so people won't realize there is a problem. This author seems to want to point the finger at CR yet Apple is just as negligent in looking into the problem, so if it takes an article like this, to get Apple's attention, then it was a good thing. Apples first solution was just laughable so now I think they deserve to have their cage...rattled!
  • Sure. Everybody reports battery problems. Did you ever hear of surviver bias? Maybe you should take that into account next time you are regurgitating nonsense. Nobody with a good battery is bothering to yell that on the internet, right?
    What data do you have on Apple being stupid by removing an inaccurate indication of residual battery life? What good was it in the first place? As a matter of fact I never used it. I use the percentage to decide if I need to recharge. You can laugh at their solution but you simply do not know how much of a problem calculating time remaining was in the first place. How much drain would it be on the battery to do it? How much gain is earned by NOT giving users an inaccurate estimate in the first place?
  • Seems like you are completely missing the point and the reason why cr denied the approval.
  • OK they say did six runs and they are basing their advice on that? The odds that they are wrong are almost 100%! The mind boggles...
  • Whenever I have to apologize to my wife, I head on over to iMore for inspiration.
  • Lol..I need to remember that the next time I have to apologize to my wife.....which is probably going to be really soon.....
  • This is Rene at his absolute best explaining the difference between thorough and sloppy reporting. Excellent work!
  • Not sure if serious.
  • Looks like you caught the "tongue in cheek" comment too! ;)
  • So when Consumer Reports gives Apple a "must buy!" recommendation, their results are not second guessed at iMore. But when CR does not give this rating, the Apple fans at iMore go ecstatic, coming up with excuses and second guessing the testing? That's how I see it. As a follower of the site and an Apple user, too, I hate to say that, but that's what it feels like. You must admit Apple made some major mistakes by alienating the pro crowd with their latest MacBook Pros. Let's be realistic and talk about how Apple can turn this around instead of coming up with excuses for them. I'm sure this post will get plenty of thumbs down, but if speaking the truth means I'm unpopular, I'm used to it, and it won't bother me in the slightest. For arguments sake, Let's admit both CR and Apple have made mistakes, learn, and move on. In other words, let's not alienate the many users who are having battery issues, including myself, by completely blowing off this rating. If anything, use it to help improve Apple products for all.
  • Consumer Reports is a non-profit organization who has consistently ranked Apple products at the top of their ratings across the board. This might be the second time in their history that they have stated that they can't recommend an Apple product. The first being the iPhone 4 due to the antenna issue. It is NOT CR's responsibility to find out WHY the battery life is inconsistent. That is Apple's job. Ask yourselves honestly if Consumer Reports is "looking for attention", or if they honestly reviewed the product and came back with the results they put forth?
  • While I am firmly in the camp that CR has long outlived its usefulness, if one's only riposte is "You're using it wrong" then Apple has failed. It is ironic how when longtime Mac users and geeks complained about the Macbook Pro the response was "Apple isn't making Macs for geeks any more". But now that someone is doing a pretty mainstream test of a Macbook Pro in a way that a typical non-geek would pull it out of a box and use it, the response is "You're not geek enough to figure this thing out. This is not Apple's fault. You're using it wrong." Pretty pathetic and I'm not sure who is looking for more clicks, CR or the tech writers doing a **** poor job of responding to CR. Joe
  • I enjoy reading my CR each month. Usually they are "down the middle" straight shooters. I do not own a MBP nor plan on buying one; I read the article because I find Rene usually "glows" over each Apple product like it is the next best thing. I get it. He writes for an Apple-based tech blog, but can we get some objectivity for the most part instead of the middle school teen boy when seeing a girl in a bra for the first time? That's all we respectfully ask. Thanks.
  • This article misses its mark. The problem isn't CR. Apple sells the MacBook Pro as capable of up to 10 hours of web browsing. They clearly are not delivering this promise consistently. Part it if might be the weasel words "up to". But CR has always recommended Apple laptops in the past, using their test procedures. It's also how they test other laptops. If this is the first Apple laptop to fail these tests, no matter what the test is, doesn't it suggest there's some problem with the hardware and software integration, not with CR's technique. As long as they are testing consistently with a known data set, isn't that enough to judge when something is wrong? It is not their job to troubleshoot Apple's products for them. And just because the author enjoys spending his time playing Apple Beta Tester, does not mean a consumer magazine should. They are not testing a beta product. They are testing a product being offered to consumers for money. They have every expectation that the performance would be up to what the manufacturer specifies and would be consistent. But I guess Renee got people to click on the article to hear his outrage at CR. So mission accomplished, even if it doesn't seem to be a reasonable conclusion on his part.
  • It's important to stay "on message". Stray noise messes up the echo chamber.
  • This is biased. I don't need to figure out an algorythm to understand that my $2500 dollar laptop is barely giving me 3 hours of Safari use. I love Apple as much as any other reporter on this website; but there's something clearly wrong if you fail to see Apple's flaws. This is my money I'm blowing here, I have the right to complain if my iPhone's back bends, as much as I have the right to complain if this beautiful computer isn't delivering up to expectations. This article is poor, tunnel-visioned, and arrogant. If Apple keeps this up, their revenue will continue to decrease.
  • Agree. I thought the title was odd too. Should it not have been;
    MacBook Pro Fails to Earn Consumer Reports Credibility
  • Nah...! For "many people" it's Apple's money, you're just keeping it warm for them. Otherwise they would have to pay taxes on it now. ;-P
  • The headline should read The MacBook Pro Fails to Live Up to Advertised Battery Life. It's advertised as suitable for up to 10-hours of browsing the web. But apparently it fails to do that. Then the suck-ups at iMore, rather than considering that not everyone gets their results, lambasts a publication that has consistently recommended all prior Apple laptops based upon their testing, but didn't on this one because they found the performance to be erratic. Don't blame others for Apple's failings.
  • It's rich for CR for posting the story for attention. They have no ads. iMore has ads. iMore needs eyeball to view ads. CR needs subscribers. So I'd say iMore is more subject to manipulation an audience for attention than CR. I don't begrudge iMore for having ads. I turned off my Ad Blocker because I think websites that don't abuse ads (iMore doesn't) deserve to make a living. But to accuse another site for being attention grabbers when your site sells ads and the site you are slamming does not is a ridiculous accusation.
  • So iMore is the bad guy because it has ads, like most news websites? Ok…
  • I was actually supporting iMore here, not Apple, but this clearly shows how much you don't read and just sh*tpost
  • Will do
  • Well, I do not know the least thing about hardware testing. I did upgrade from a 2012 Retina MBP to the current one, and, besides the charger and the keyboard noise, I truly like it. Battery life is poor though. My 2012 model (same clock speed, same size SSD, same 16 GB RAM) sitting at 860 battery cycles runs twice as long all the time. And I did try using them for exactly the same things side by side. And: even doing almost nothing (just having Mail and Fantastical open) the new one dies in under 5 hours, even after turning iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox and Spotlight off. I honestly think it would not get close to 10 hours in standby. And, FWIW, Chrome might be known as a battery hog, but from what I see the actual version of Safari is worse. Browsing in Safari I barely get 4 hours out of this machine. There is definitely something wrong with it.
  • It's really sad how you make excuses on behalf of Apple. I was a Samsung loyalist for years and I didn't make any excuses for them when they screwed up the Note 7. I held them accountable by using my hard-earned money elsewhere. There's tons and tons of pages on Apple's forums of people concerned with the new Macbook Pro's battery life. Why are you scoffing at them? Are those consumers in the wrong too? Good god, I love my iPhone 7 Plus and I think it's the best phone on the market right now, but I cannot stand articles like this one on this website. The forums here have much more useful information than these articles, and that's really sad.
  • Bummer...was looking forward on buying it..
  • I totally agree with this article as it pertains to Consumer Reports and that they should not put out a heading / report like that without actually putting in enough work to make a solid conclusion on the battery life and what's actually causing the drain. As far as not recommending the new MacBook Pro though, that's a conclusion I do get behind for many reasons. I upgraded my mid-2012 spec'd out 15" MBP pro to the a new 2016 spec'd out 15" MBP w/ Touch Bar, and I find it to be a super disappointing upgrade. I'm actually happier using the 2012. Four years, and they can't get me.. the dude who always loves shiny new gadgety objects, excited. It seems slower (compared to my old one) battery life doesn't seem as good (normal work usage.. browsing web, lots of hangouts/slack/skype calls, office, etc.) Removal of Mag Safe is soo annoying. I've almost knocked it off the table 5 times now tripping on the cord (which needs to be plugged in a lot... because battery life) Removal of ports and living the DongleLife is not beneficial to me. Would be much happier w/ hdmi out (needed when giving presentations hooked up to projectors, etc.) In all the apps / tasks / programs I use routinely, Touch Bar adds no value. And even after trying really hard to make use of it.. it's just a weird user behavior. Going from typing to touch bar - tapping is just forced and not that natural. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a gimmick as they really did put a lot of thought and care into it, I just think it's a feature that the "average person" using a MacBook won't really find useful. That said, it's not even the advanced features of Touch Bar that I have a gripe with though, it's actually that it's made the BASIC features more annoying. For things like volume up / down, screen brightness up/down and escape, it just feels like more steps (and it's harder to locate the buttons... especially depending on what angle you're sitting at). Just feels like I'm working harder to use it. What I like about the new machine: Color - the space grey is nice changed up from the silver Touch ID - like having it there Little bit thinner/lighter - 15" is a big machine despite the improvements on weight/size though, so kinda not that big a deal really (if you're buying that machine you're already committed to lugging around a beast). As a company, since the new MBP has come out and we've had employees needing to upgrade their MacBooks, we've had as many people choose to buy the older MBP over the new one as have chosen to buy the new one. I think that says everything. I don't think I've ever seen that happen before. Everybody I work with always wants the latest and greatest. Exception: New MBP. Just feels like Apple went out of their way to tick off a user like me. Now, I get that - I'm probably not part of Apple's growth segment here, so the changes made won't matter to first time owners who don't have a frame of reference. And that's fine if that's the route Apple chose to go here. It just means I won't be shy about saying that their previous product FOR ME was better than their new one.
  • I actually love the new MBP and iPhone 7 Plus. Not even being tempted into upgrading saved me a ton of money for Christmas shopping.
  • You don't get to take 'hot takes' questioning the integrity of other organizations. Consumer Reports has a long and storied history of standing up for consumers. You are a store with a blog, one that toes the Apple company party line more than Apple employees would.
    "What Apple's tweaked is how battery life is displayed. The percentage readout remains, but the time remaining indicator has been removed. It's irksome, but, for now at least, for the best. It's not only almost impossible to accurately predict the time remaining on a system whose load can vary greatly from one minute to the next, the API seemed especially… drunk? lately. Mine would go to 14 hours, back to 7 hours, then to 12 hours, and otherwise being useless for a while now." These are signs that there are continued battery problems, not signs that the battery meter itself is problematic. They shot the messenger and you applauded.
  • I ordered a 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro fully loaded, but this is the first time that I recanted on a new Apple product. In fact, I've been purchasing Apple products since 1983, and for the most part, I'm still an Apple fanboy. This year is the first time which I ordered all new gear at nearly the same time; Apple Watch Ceramic w/two leather bands, iPhone7 Plus, and the MBP. However, as I watched the Apple event for the MacBook Pro, I had a bad feeling that was reaffirmed when the camera panned across the audience. The facial expressions on the attendees matched that is my own. After a few weeks, I concluded the MacBook Pro fell markedly short of my expectations, and I was fortunate enough to be able to cancel the BTO before it went into build.
  • I confess that I haven't read all the comments. However, I have read a considerable number of both these and similar on other sites on this particular subject. I am getting more and more of the opinion that unless you have actually bought the product and have had some experience of it, then it is probably in your interest and that of the reader to hold any inflammatory comments until you have a provable position. In the meantime, thank you René for an interesting and informative opinion on whether CR is credible. Looking at it from the other side of the Atlantic I am of the opinion that, as other sites have done, if this is the standard of commentary then I'd recommend removing the option to comment.
  • It is not the job of Consumer Reports to do extended troubleshooting to find the root cause of the problem--NOR SHOULD IT BE. They are just reporting the fact, mimicking what Joe user may experience. Let's the experts debate this and find the problem. Meanwhile, don't buy this iteration of the MBP, which is quite the lemon--and not for this reason. Wait until all these major issues have been resolved, or even better, wait until the next iteration. Or switch to a manufacturer who still is interested in making cutting-edge, high-performance laptops at a reasonable price.
  • TONS of tech blogs have been reporting on this issue since the release of the 2016MPB w/ touchbar. Are you just hearing about it now? This whole article is so blatantly biased. Firstly, the test results you are calling into question highlight exactly what consumers have been experiencing. Secondly, as others have already mentioned in another comment, it is not the job of Consumer Reports to debug Apple's power management kexts. But, sure, the NPO, Consumer Reports is just out bullying poor little Apple. These MBPs are garbage and the basic 2016 Macbook is bad comedy. I was one click away from purchasing a customized MPB until a friend linked me to a (months old at this point) article on their power shortcomings. Anyone doing anything but masturbating (literally and the way you do in this article) on these machines should steer clear until Apple gets it under control.
  • Many years ago I learned NOT to put a lot of faith in CR reviews of any electronics. Many of their reviewers are out of touch with reality, have unrealistic expectations, or just simply do not understand the products they are reviewing. Buying a washing machine? Yes, check out the CR reviews. Buying anything with electronic? Pass them by.
  • @Steve Adams, dude, you been commenting on almost EVERY single post of people that likes apple products! and also down-voting them... wow, is surprising how people complains these days! Yes, we got your point, you were about to buy two MBP and read the reviews and stopped; cool, good for you! honestly, you look like some crazy preacher forcing people to believe in what you believe... seriously?
  • Any ¡d¡ot (at CR) should have known their tests were seriously flawed (either that, or their digital timer was). No battery-powered consumer computer is going to get 13 to 19 hours of USE. None. So right there, you would think somebody would have said WTF??? That being said, there are clearly issues with Apple's current MBP w/TB line. Every "user-review" I've read has stated that they rarely get over 4 to 6 hours (depending on use). There could be any number of reasons for this, of course. But I'm not willing to shell-out $3,000 to find out who is exaggerating.
  • Talk about clickbait. How can you possibly post an incendiary title like this, and then say "well I'm not saying its fake news, but thanks for the CPM Exposure"
  • One trouble i have is, its one thing to note that their tests showed what it showed, but it another to over-defend it and not work with a company thats willing to investigate whats different that they did. It was almost like "This is what we do, period". I am seeing great battery life consistently on my 13" 2016 MacBook pro with touchbar.
  • By great I mean 10+ hours (surfing, video, Chats, Video editing 1080p). Screen Brightness 3/4th way up, No other issues encountered. Bought in Nov 2016. Sorry, need to be precise on these things..I know.
  • The 2016 macbook pro is a joke overall: no usb A ports, no SDCard port, no magsafe anymore, no miniDisplay port. I am not and will never be a fan of dongles. FFS even for connecting your iphone to the new mbp you need a dongle! Simply Pathetic!!
  • Isn't there a USB-C to Lightning cable, though?
  • Yes but it doesn’t come with either the MBP or the iPhone, so you need to buy a separate item to connect them, which is very un-Apple. Apple should really have included a USB-A to USB-C dongle with the MBP, for connecting any USB-A device, including the iPhone.
  • Let's see, here are my use cases. I currently use a 2013 15" MBPr. I rarely connect to an external monitor though there is one on my desk. I have a mini SD card installed in the slot using one of those cool adapters but the last time I checked there was almost nothing on it. Mater fact I used it last to play around with the new FS Apple is developing. I use iCloud to backup my iPhone and other than the one time load the music on it I don't connect it to my Mac. OK I will give you the Magsafe for power, that has saved my Mac several times but I have things like this are just around the corner. https://9to5mac.com/2016/11/03/kickstarter-snapnator-magsafe-alternative... Now the price point that's a completely different story. I want one but not yet willing to pay for one just to get the thinner unit and the touchbar. I'll wait for the first spec upgrade in a year or so. My 2013 still has lots of life in it.
  • Yea, I returned mine as it did not have a floppy disk!
  • Don't let the door hit you in the *** . . .
  • I agree with CR. I just received a new MBP and the battery lasts a whopping 4.5 hours. Its a clone of my late 2013 MBP which runs 8 hours without a charge. Bottom line: I can't believe that I am returning a Mac!
  • Or, you can be patient and wait for the issues to be resolved which is actually a software issue (not hardware) that will be in the next macOS Sierra update (10.12.3). But if you insist on returning a Mac you'll wish you had back in a couple of weeks go ahead.
  • The update fixes a very specific bug and will likely not improve the OP's 4.5 hours of battery life. ....unless all they did was browse the web in Safari in Developer Mode with a specific setting turned on.... ...in which case yes, they should wait for the fix. Otherwise, a new machine should AT LEAST match the old machine in battery life for the same use case. If it's not, and you're not ok with that, vote with your wallet.
  • Why are you so sure that it is a software bug? the battery at least 25% less capacity to compare to the old mac
  • Computers are anything but simple systems. Smaller battery?, yes
    More efficient CPU? yes
    Better optimized less power hungry software?, Maybe.
    Other factors you or I certainly haven't considered? Undoubtedly.
  • As an Apple fanboy, I used to think that Bendgate was a manufactured controversy as well. Until *my* phone bent. Then I actually investigated the matter and the metal around the volume/mute button holes was simply not thick enough.
  • As opposed to just believing other people that said the metal was not thick enough there.
  • I was not aware that people still relied on CR for computer reviews.
  • So what CR have inadvertently done is fixed a bug that would have annoyed the proverbials out of anyone trying to build a website in Safari. Doesn't excuse their use of non "consumer" usage being tested though, natch, but Rene really ought to change the title of the article to reflect that the fault didn't lie completely at CR's door and that Apple were also to blame.
  • It was only a matter of time before we saw the trolls and Rene-haters get burned on this.
  • Glad that this was a software / testing issue rather than a hardware issue. Although that was always going to be the case with the sort of wildly inconsistent battery life results that CR reported.
  • And yet Rene hasn't altered the article to point out that despite CR using techniques that the vast majority of users will not use, it was a software bug that caused the issue. I'm not suggesting that imore should issue an apology or retraction, but they should at least change the article heading to highlight that the odd results were primarily caused by a bug with the MBP and only partially (if at all) with their testing methods.
  • Very true, but unlikely to get corrected...
  • There are errors on both sides but I would argue that the fault is still more with CR than Apple. An obscure bug in a little used part of a very complex piece of software is forgivable. But a reviewer getting such wildly inconsistent results and not investigating whether it is related to the way that they are testing is less forgivable. Especially when a quick look at Activity Monitor would have revealed the culprit to be an app that they had configured in a non-standard way (albeit for good reasons).
  • Consumer Reports used the settings they did for consistency. So that the results of this test were comparable to results from other machines. What I want to see is the same exact test ran again but with the bug fix in place.
  • What other machine has Safari web browser? Had they run FireFox, or Chrome on all systems it would be Apples to Apples (no pun intended... Ok, maybe a little intended).
  • Can you imagine the furore here if they'd used the supposed resource-hog Chrome though?
  • Other Macs?
  • Thanks CR for bringing to light the issues affecting a number of Macbook Pro users. Glad it's being sorted out and hopefully will make a difference. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • bugs....
  • This is how they test *all* Apple laptops.
    The MacBook Pro laptops tested had the problem with the test. Blame the bug or the laptop, but not the typical test.
  • Yep. That simple. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I'm not blaming the bug or the laptop, but CR for their big show without asking Apple what could be wrong. Obvious results like they got should have trigger a "what the h... is going on here... Those laptops couldn't be that bad.. Let's talk with Apple before blowing this out of proportion!"... But noooo... they got theirs clicks all right!
  • I don't use Consumer Reports, so it wouldn't affect my judgement on a new computer. I always cast my net as wide as possible, read them at time of release, and again after two to three months. Journalists need to buy early or ask for review units, but as a consumer I tend to hold fire, especially when there are big changes to a product. Sent from the iMore App
  • Paid off Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Apple said: "Consumer Reports uses a hidden Safari setting for developing web sites which turns off the browser cache. This is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage." I think CR is trying to get white paws by making us believe that Safari's bug was causing the battery issue. The real issue is that CR should NOT have disabled Safari's default settings to do their tests. Indeed one of the best feature of Safari is its performing cache, which by design is there to prevent battery degradation. Apple was not faulty, CR was. And they should have publicly presented their excuses to Apple! A little humility goes a long way. CR is banned for me.
  • Yep, turning off the browser cache means more disk writing, more network polling, and more processing in general. This is going to have a considerable effect on battery life when using Safari for a prolonged period of time
  • Great thread. From some of the points in the article and the title it seems that CR just wanted page views. And given the drivel here and large response that iMore is geared the same way. Sent from the iMore App
  • But I will continue to use iMore to let me know when there's a beta update and any Pokémon news. ;-) Sent from the iMore App
  • hehe... don't enable wi-fi and bluetooth, nor open any apps at all, then u may be get 15. hours but even that's pushing.
  • Apple has a note on their website about the settings they used to get the battery life they stated: "Testing conducted by Apple in October 2016 using pre-production 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5–based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM (wireless web test, iTunes film playback test and standby test). Testing conducted by Apple in October 2016 using pre-production 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5–based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with a 512GB SSD and 8GB of RAM (wireless web test and iTunes film playback test) and pre-production 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5–based 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM (standby test). The wireless web test measures battery life by wirelessly browsing 25 popular websites with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The iTunes film playback test measures battery life by playing back HD 1080p content with display brightness set to 12 clicks from bottom or 75%. The standby test measures battery life by allowing a system, connected to a wireless network and signed in to an iCloud account, to enter standby mode with Safari and Mail applications launched and all system settings left at default."
  • Consumer Reports is not a place for computer reviews. They should stick to tissues and toilet paper.
  • The original CR piece was pure click bait. Now they are trying to blame a bug on their incompetent testing.
    Pathetic.