MacBook Pro users: You’re not crazy, test show battery life is inconsistent – The Denver Post
By Michelle Quinn, The Mercury News
Apple has always counted on receiving Consumer Reports’ recommendation for its MacBook Pro since it launched the high-end laptop line in 2006.
Not this year.
Consumer Reports, the product and review publication, said Thursday that its lab testing of three MacBook Pro models showed lackluster battery life and for the first time, it cannot recommend the product.
Since it went on sale last month, the MacBook Pro has elicited consumer complaints about battery life on Apple’s online forum.
The laptops are supposed to have 10 hours of battery life, but some users found that they could only use the device for three hours before having to recharge.
“I ran the battery down in 3 hours last night only browsing the web,” posted one user. “I wasn’t watching videos, just browsing. Is there something wrong with my laptop?”
For its test, Consumer Reports bought three MacBook Pros from a retail store – the 13-inch model that comes with Apple’s new Touch Bar, a 13-inch model without the Touch Bar, and a 15-inch model. The products’ prices range from $1,500 to $2,800.
Consumer Reports found inconsistent battery life. For example, the 13-inch model with the Touch Bar ran for 16 hours in the first trial and 12.75 hours in the second. By the third trial, it lasted just 3.75 hours.
The same pattern was noted in the 13-inch model without the Touch Bar — 19.5 hours in one trial but 4.5 hours in the next. And again with the 15-inch model, for which battery life ranged from 8 to 18.5 hours. Laptop battery life typically varies about 5 percent from one trial to another, the publication said.
Why should this matter? Consumer Reports points out that the MacBook Pro series did well very well in other measures such as display quality and performance.
But when it comes to laptops, not only does battery life matter but predictable battery life matters. A person using a computer on the go needs to have a sense of how long it will be before the device needs to be plugged into a power source.
Consumer Reports said it contacted Apple and shared its research.The MacBook maker told the publication that “any customer who has a question about their Mac or its operation should contact AppleCare.”