Following a public back-and-forth over the veracity of its battery claims, Consumer Reports now recommends Apple’s new MacBook Pro. According to Apple, the laptops used by the consumer product testing agency suffered from a software bug in the Safari browser that was causing battery irregularities in Consumer Reports’ test (though not, Apple says, in normal usage). Apple worked closely with Consumer Reports to identify the issue and then patched the bug. Now, it appears the organization is willing to reverse course.
“With the updated software, the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well, with one model running 18.75 hours on a charge,” Consumer Reports wrote in a post on its website. “We tested each model multiple times using the new software, following the same protocol we apply to hundreds of laptops every year.” The 18.75-hour figure is for the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the new Touch Bar. These results came from its battery test, which involved loading websites in Safari with web caching turned off.
Consumer Reports changed course after Apple says it squashed a Safari bug
Consumer Reports originally said the new MacBook Pro suffered from wildly inconsistent battery life in its test, with metrics ranging from four to as many as 20 hours on a single charge. This led to low overall scores and the first time the organization said it was unable to recommend a Mac laptop. That declaration created a bit of controversy, with many diehard Apple fans and critics alike eager to denounce the company’s new line of laptops as both overly expensive and out-of-touch with the modern needs of professionals.
Whatever your take on the new MacBook Pro, it’s clear Apple was upset with the turn of events. The software update that supposedly fixes the Safari bug is still only available in the latest macOS beta, so it has yet to be released to general consumers. However, the bug is said to only affect Safari’s developer mode, so it’s unclear if everyday users were ever really experiencing a similar issue.
For what it’s worth, Consumer Reports now says that not a single one of Apple’s new laptops falls below 15.75 hours on a single charge. Of course, real-world usage won’t be the same as an in-the-lab battery test, so perhaps take this whole episode with a grain of salt. And maybe ask a friend who owns the product about their personal experience — that’s a more surefire way of figuring out if this new MacBook Pro is for you.