Consumer Reports magazine today said that it now recommends Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro, after initially saying that it could not recommend the laptops.
There is a backstory to this. Apple reached out to Consumer Reports after the magazine made its initial ruling, which appeared under the bold headline “New MacBook Pros Fail to Earn Consumer Reports Recommendation.” One issue was that battery life was inconsistent — and sometimes very short — across multiple tests.
Working with CR to understand their battery tests. Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data. https://t.co/IWtfsmBwpO
— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) December 24, 2016
But then, earlier this week, iMore and other publications published statements from Apple indicating that Consumer Reports had used a “hidden Safari setting for developing websites which turns off the browser cache,” and had inadvertently caused “an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons, which created inconsistent results in their lab.”
Apple then released a new beta build of macOS Sierra that fixed this issue. From there, Consumer Reports went through its tests again and found that the computers’ batteries were lasting longer. As Consumer Reports says today in an article under the Consumer Reports byline:
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.
This amounts to a public relations coup for Apple, which has dealt with a variety of complaints about the MacBook Pro and even chose to remove the indication in macOS Sierra of how much longer the battery will last.