Consumer Reports changes mind, recommends MacBook Pros

UPDATE: CR changed its mind after feedback from Apple and new software

UPDATE 13/1/2017: After previously saying it could not recommend Apple's new MacBook Pros, Consumer Reports (CR) changed its mind.

Apple, after its own review, said that Consumer Report's testing used a setting that was "not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage."

The company did however release a software tweak that Consumer Report applied to its test MacBooks, and all performed well on battery tests - one model even managed 18.75 hours on battery after the update.

In a post on its site, CR stated: "Now that we’ve factored in the new battery-life measurements, the laptops’ overall scores have risen, and all three machines now fall well within the recommended range in Consumer Reports rating."

The software update will be publicly released soon, with beta software users already receiving the update. So if you were hesitant to buy a MacBook after the CR report, you can now reconsider or if you have one plagued with battery issues, a quick fix is getting on the beta or just waiting for the coming update.


Oh, battery, why art thou weak

It seems the new MacBook Pro batteries are so bad, the new MacBooks aren't going to get their usual recommendation from Consumer Reports (CR).

Consumer Reports  typically puts new MacBooks through a series of tests and the results this time seem to have been pretty bad.

So, how bad were the MacBook batteries? CR had three different units tested - the 13in MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and the variation without, as well as the 15in version that comes standard with a TouchBar.

All the units showed different battery life ratings during various tests. Usually at most, the test results would differ by less than five per cent but this wasn't the case this time. The 13in Touch Bar model ran for 16 hours the first test but only 12.75 hours in the second, and a paltry 3.75 hours in a third test.

Similar findings were made in the case of the other two models: the non-Touch Bar 13in model would work as long as 19.5 hours in one test and yet only manage 4.5 hours in another.

CR ran more than three tests - it ran more tests after that and still got the wildly varying results. Even the latest Sierra update (which took away the battery life indicator) did not improve or stabilise the MacBook Pros' battery lives.

It's likely disappointed consumers would wait for 2017 to get a MacBook Pro but bad, news: Bloomberg reports that Apple is unlikely to update the 2017 models by much more than a processor upgrade and perhaps a new processor for the iMac.

Despite Tim Cook's assurance that Apple has "great desktops in our roadmap", there have been concerns that Apple is sidelining its desktops and laptops, concentrating all its focus on the better-selling iPhone and iPads.

Where once MacBooks were the laptops you desired for the best meld of power and portability, the hefty prices and disappointing battery life of the new MacBook Pros might soon be making the Microsoft Surface range look like a better proposition.

If you're one of the Apple-disappointed, check out our review of the latest Surface.

[Source:Consumer Reports]