MacBook Pro’s Consumer Reports Review Finally Says ‘Recommended’ – Forbes

Consumer Reports is finally able to recommend the latest MacBook Pro machines from Apple. Having tracked down the issue that was creating unpredictable battery swings, further testing with a new version of the software shows a consistent battery life that exceeds Apple’s stated ‘up to than ten hours’ endurance. That lifts the review scores into Consumer Reports’ ‘recommended’ range.

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller speaks during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

The issue arose from a bug in the Safari web browser that only applies when the local caching was switched off. Consumer Reports testing regime switches off all caching in web browsers to create a level playing field across multiple laptops from multiple manufacturers.

On tracking down the issue, Apple’s highlighted that this was not a setting that would likely be used in ‘the real world.’ In my view Apple was implying that the test was not valid. Nevertheless the bug has been addressed in the latest build of macOS, Consumer Reports has re-run the tests that the MacBook Pro range previously failed… and they have now passed:

The three MacBook Pros in our labs include two 13-inch models, one with Apple’s new Touch Bar and one without the Touch Bar; and a 15-inch model. (All 15-inch MacBook Pros come with the Touch Bar.) The new average battery-life results are, in order, 15.75 hours, 18.75 hours, and 17.25 hours. We bought the three computers at retail, as we do with other products rated by Consumer Reports, to ensure that we are testing the same models a consumer would buy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook (R) previews a MacBook Pro during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

The bug fix is currently available in the beta release of MacOS 10.12.3. While not publicly available, users who wish to install it can sign up to Apple’s beta software program, with the caveat that other functionality may be impaired because of the nature of beta software.

Online discussions about Apple’s new MacBook Pro machines have seen a number of users worried about the battery life of the expensive laptops. It is unlikely that they are all using the developer mode in the Safari browser and triggering the same bug as Consumer Reports’ testing. No doubt there are more bug fixes and battery issues addressed in the updated version of macOS that will be of benefit.

The public release of the new software is expected in a few weeks.

Now read what the critics thought of the new MacBook Pro and its Touch Bar…

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