As you probably heard, the influential consumer organization Consumer Reports is not recommending Apple’s new MacBook Pro due to inconsistent battery performance. Apple’s marketing honcho Phill Schiller responded by saying that the product-testing magazine’s test results don’t match the company’s own data. 9to5Mac reached out to Consumer Reports to learn more about their findings, here’s what the magazine had to say.
As a quick backgrounder, the magazine found wild discrepancies in the performance of the new MacBook Pro’s battery. The 13-inch Touch Bar-equipped model scored a run time of 16 hours in the first trial, then it dropped to 12.75 hours in the second trial and to a surprising 3.75 hours in the third trial.
The non-Touch Bar 13-inch model ran 19.5 hours on a single charge, but only 4.5 hours in the next trial. The numbers for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar ranged from 18.5 down to as little as 8 hours.
No matter how you look at it, it’s hard to believe that the machines scored almost double the ten-hour battery life advertised by Apple. According to Consumer Reports’ director of electronics testing Maria Rerecich, they won’t be re-running the tests and their testing equipment is indeed working properly.
In this case, we don’t believe re-running the tests are warranted for several reasons. First, as we point out in our original article, experiencing very high battery life on MacBooks is not unusual for us—in fact we had a model in our comparative tests that got 19 hours.
Second, we confirmed our brightness with three different meters, so we feel confident in our findings using this equipment. Finally, we monitor our tests very closely. There is an entry logged every minute, so we know from these entries that the app worked correctly.
Even stranger than the above numbers, Consumer Reports found that running the same tests using the power-hungry Chrome browser (Chrome did not affect overall ratings) resulted in “consistently high battery life” on all six runs.
Rerecich says that Consumer Reports is working collaboratively with Apple to understand the lower battery life findings. “We will report back to our readers if and when there is an update,” she said.
It’s true that the product-testing magazine has thus far rated Apple’s notebooks highly, but it’s also important to remember that Consumer Reports embarrassed itself during Antennagate back in the iPhone 4 days.