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Apple's MacBooks sweep Consumer Reports laptop rankings

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Apple's line of MacBook portables currently stand as the top laptops in every related category ranked by advocacy group Consumer Reports.

Across the board, the consumer group lists Apple's MacBooks as the best, The Loop reports. Access to the recently refreshed rankings and scores requires a subscription.

According to the report, the 11-inch MacBook Air scored a 62 out of a 100, besting Gateway's second-place score of 52. HP came in third in the small laptop category with a score of 49.

Apple took an impressive five of the top seven spots in the 13-inch category. The 13-inch MacBook Air led the pack with 76 points, while Sony and Asus took the final two places. The Mac maker took three of the top spots in the15-inch category, though the competition lagged by just three points.

In the 17-inch category, Apple took the top two spots with scores of 80 and 81. However, it should be noted that Apple did not win the 14-inch category, since it doesn't make a laptop that qualifies for the size class.

Consumer Reports declared the late 2010 MacBook Airs best in their respective classes last year shortly after their October launch.



Apple released the latest batch of MacBook Pros in February, adding Sandy Bridge processors and the new high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology.



Last month, the group rated the iPad 2 as the best tablet on the market. "So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced," said Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports. "However, it's likely we'll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market."

The organization sparked a controversy last year after it rescinded its recommendation of the iPhone 4 after testing the device for signal-loss problems. The research group had previously stated that there was "no reason" to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over reception concerns.
post #2 of 37
Well maybe I'm wrong but it does seem like other competitors would have a much harder time competing with the iPad 2's price, since apple makes the OS and the hardware. Not only that but the iPad 2 is simply the best tablet experience out right now IMO! I sure would like to get a new MacBook air. Had anybody test drove the new MacBook airs yet?

EDIT: are the new sandy bridge MacBook airs out yet? :-S
EDIT again!: nevermind a quick google search just let me know how uninformed I am! Scratch the MBA question! Lol
post #3 of 37
The king of rating coffee makers and washing machines is at it again. I mean, does CR even know that Sandy Bridge isn't a real bridge made of sand?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2007 View Post

Well maybe I'm wrong but it does seem like other competitors would have a much harder time competing with the iPad 2's price, since apple makes the OS and the hardware. Not only that but the iPad 2 is simply the best tablet experience out right now IMO! I sure would like to get a new MacBook air. Had anybody test drove the new MacBook airs yet?

EDIT: are the new sandy bridge MacBook airs out yet? :-S
EDIT again!: nevermind a quick google search just let me know how uninformed I am! Scratch the MBA question! Lol

I test drove a MBA at Best Buy(hate that damn place) and it is freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!
I have the first generation unibody aluminum macbook from 2008 before it became the macbook pro. Fu***** insane piece of hardware man. Never a virus, never a shut down. Nothing. The experience is beyond words. Screw the pc.
post #5 of 37
But... but... but.... it doesn't have Blu-ray, HDMI, 21"-Matte Display, USB17, 20TB RAM with 100PetaByte Hard Drive!! It's just an overpriced notebook!

</sarcasm>

Seriously, the competitors just can't touch the entire polished package that the Macbooks have. From the quality construction to the awesome OSX. Oh.. and it'll run Windows too if you must.

Writing this from my late 2010 13" MBA. Absolutely phenomenal machine! Apple earned it!
post #6 of 37
Consumer Reports has *ZERO* credibility. Nothing they say can be trusted at all.
post #7 of 37
This time around, EXCELLENT call by CR. Not because they ranked Apples Laptops the best, but because their overall testing is usually on the money. Yes they get things wrong as we saw with the Iphone4 but hey nobody is perfect.
BOTTOM LINE: Apple rocks!
post #8 of 37
"Even though all of the MacBooks have earned our highest ratings, we cannot recommend them..."
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrob View Post

"Even though all of the MacBooks have earned our highest ratings, we cannot recommend them..."

Exactly my first thought, when I read the article. You beat me there.
post #10 of 37
And so starts the Consumer Reports bashing again. Yawn.

They are one of the most respected organisations in their field. I often refer to their UK equivalent (Which) when deciding what products to buy.

In contrast I never trust comments in forums like this as they are rarely objective and unbiased.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

Just to chime in on the matte display thing.

For the record, the last iMac I bought was back when they had a matte display and I won't buy another as long as they only have glossy displays. The glossy display physically hurts my eyes and I can't use it for very long.

On smaller devices, the glossy display isn't really a big deal to me. iPad has a glossy display and I love it. I suppose the reason for the difference is that you can easily move the smaller device to get a good viewing angle. So on a MacBook Air, I think a glossy display would be less of an issue than on the iMac.

If you can't tilt the monitor, move your desk, dim the lights, alter the angle of the light source, close the blinds or adjust your chair, in your case you are right.

Glossy displays don't hurt your eyes, its the 'relative' intensity of the light that all monitors emit or reflect. There are rooms in my home that I can't watch TV in the day time. But for shaving with my straight razor, they are equally terrible in at night.

As many ergonomist and lighting/office designers will tell you, most working environments are poorly designed for using computers. Great for working on paper, not so on monitors; glossy or matte. Ever notice how bright the outer offices are and how much nicer it is to take your laptop and work on it in the boardroom; that is the room with comfortable chairs, vertical blinds and dimmer switches.
post #12 of 37
The reception issues were a design flaw Apple overlooked. Which was of course blown out of all proportion. Still real though. A matte option on some of their computers like the iMac would be nice. There's a very vocal group who would gladly pay extra for this. And the group is not small. Blu-Ray is not going to happen at this stage - Steve sees Blu-Ray as a bag of iTunes.

Making excuses for glossy displays, telling people to redesign their room/office or move their screen to what feels like a weird location are not good options, not even practical sometimes. Like the MacBook Pros the iMac needs an antiglare option.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Consumer Reports has *ZERO* credibility. Nothing they say can be trusted at all.

So true. As many people on these forums have convinced me, CR is incompetent and doesn't have a clue what they are doing. Therefore I can only conclude that MacBooks must be total crap computers.

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The reception issues were a design flaw Apple overlooked. Which was of course blown out of all proportion. Still real though. A matte option on some of their computers like the iMac would be nice. There's a very vocal group who would gladly pay extra for this. And the group is not small. Blu-Ray is not going to happen at this stage - Steve sees Blu-Ray as a bag of iTunes.

Making excuses for glossy displays, telling people to redesign their room/office or move their screen to what feels like a weird location are not good options, not even practical sometimes. Like the MacBook Pros the iMac needs an antiglare option.

Stop trying to add rational objectivity to this discussion. That sort of talk isn't welcome here.

[But for the record, I agree with you.]
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The reception issues were a design flaw Apple overlooked. Which was of course blown out of all proportion. Still real though. A matte option on some of their computers like the iMac would be nice. There's a very vocal group who would gladly pay extra for this. And the group is not small. Blu-Ray is not going to happen at this stage - Steve sees Blu-Ray as a bag of iTunes.

Making excuses for glossy displays, telling people to redesign their room/office or move their screen to what feels like a weird location are not good options, not even practical sometimes. Like the MacBook Pros the iMac needs an antiglare option.

The thing is, most people moaning about glossy screens never really compared them to matte screens at the same time in the same room.

I can tell you by real experience, that matte screens suck almost at the same level. In a room with badly designed lighting the matte screen (in my case a matte Apple Cinema display) shows a terribly bad contrast and like with my glossy screen, I start fumbling with the blinds, trying to change the viewing ankle and so forth.

In my opinion this whole pro and contra glossy screen is very subjective. In my case I still prefer the glossy screen, since it out beats the matte in terms of brightness and contrast as well as color saturation. But of corse it's sometimes irritating to see my own face all the time.- Well I can live with that.

Where you are right, is that Apple should consider to have the option to order a matte screen for a reasonable price difference.
post #16 of 37
deleted
post #17 of 37
wait... gateway is still around???
post #18 of 37
The old matte displays were nice. The glossy screens though have come a long way and are much better then days of old. Apple used to give a choice. Leads me to believe not enough people choose matte screens to justify Apple providing that option anymore.

Moreover, video looks much better on the newer glossy screens. I guess both you and Apple are out of luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

If Apple wants me to buy an iMac, they can make it so I don't have to rearrange my furniture to use it. That was the case with the old matte displays, at least for me.

If Apple isn't all that concerned about whether or not I buy an iMac, fair enough. I'm not all that concerned about buying one myself. There's plenty of other things to spend my money on.
post #19 of 37
Also glossy screens have improved since this debate began. I suspect Apple doesn't give an option anymore for two reasons. One it buys the glossy screens in bulk, so the matte option is going to cost more. Two when it last gave people an option, people didn't elect matte screens, and it had to sit on unused parts inventory eating the cost.

It is also interesting to note that Windows converts (e.g. those accustomed to glossy screens) significantly outnumber the Mac faithful who stuck with Apple through the hard times (e.g. those used to the matte screens). Not to long ago, Apple was lucky to sell 800, 000 Macs a quarter. Now it is over triple that number.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

In my opinion this whole pro and contra glossy screen is very subjective. In my case I still prefer the glossy screen, since it out beats the matte in terms of brightness and contrast as well as color saturation. But of corse it's sometimes irritating to see my own face all the time.- Well I can live with that.

Where you are right, is that Apple should consider to have the option to order a matte screen for a reasonable price difference.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

The old matte displays were nice. The glossy screens though have come a long way and are much better then days of old. Apple used to give a choice. Leads me to believe not enough people choose matte screens to justify Apple providing that option anymore.

Moreover, video looks much better on the newer glossy screens. I guess both you and Apple are out of luck.

1. Consummer Reports dont mean that much. Just as movie critics opinions don't mean much. Both are tools to get a head start on forming your own opinion.

2. Apple still gives a choice on matte screens on their laptops. They did remove that option at one point but started making them again after, it seems, that market required them too. The big complaint lately is no option for people who are in the market for an iMac. I've always bought towers, and never bought an Apple monitor. Point being... there are choices there although maybe not to suit everyone.

3. You might think video looks better on a glossy screen. I didnt buy a plasma and went for an LCD because of that very reason. I can't stand reflections and no matter how many people tell me that I have to move my head, neck or place my TV properly will ever convince me otherwise.
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's line of MacBook portables currently stand as the top laptops in every related category ranked by advocacy group Consumer Reports.

Across the board, the consumer group lists Apple's MacBooks as the best, The Loop reports. Access to the recently refreshed rankings and scores requires a subscription.

According to the report, the 11-inch MacBook Air scored a 62 out of a 100, besting Gateway's second-place score of 52. HP came in third in the small laptop category with a score of 49.

Apple took an impressive five of the top seven spots in the 13-inch category. The 13-inch MacBook Air led the pack with 76 points, while Sony and Asus took the final two places. The Mac maker took three of the top spots in the15-inch category, though the competition lagged by just three points.

In the 17-inch category, Apple took the top two spots with scores of 80 and 81. However, it should be noted that Apple did not win the 14-inch category, since it doesn't make a laptop that qualifies for the size class.

Consumer Reports declared the late 2010 MacBook Airs best in their respective classes last year shortly after their October launch.



Apple released the latest batch of MacBook Pros in February, adding Sandy Bridge processors and the new high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology.



Last month, the group rated the iPad 2 as the best tablet on the market. "So far, Apple is leading the tablet market in both quality and price, which is unusual for a company whose products are usually premium priced," said Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor at Consumer Reports. "However, it's likely we'll see more competitive pricing in tablets as other models begin to hit the market."

The organization sparked a controversy last year after it rescinded its recommendation of the iPhone 4 after testing the device for signal-loss problems. The research group had previously stated that there was "no reason" to forgo buying an iPhone 4 over reception concerns.

That is why when you adhere to a good company and their products are very well constructed and customer service is excellent you have the makings of great gear and a great company behind you.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The king of rating coffee makers and washing machines is at it again. I mean, does CR even know that Sandy Bridge isn't a real bridge made of sand?

As an Apple fanboy and a Consumer Reports subscriber, I agree with you 100%.
Their reviews/ratings are great for washing machines and dishwasher detergent.
However, with personal computers, they suck.
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

The thing is, most people moaning about glossy screens never really compared them to matte screens at the same time in the same room.

I can tell you by real experience, that matte screens suck almost at the same level. In a room with badly designed lighting the matte screen (in my case a matte Apple Cinema display) shows a terribly bad contrast and like with my glossy screen, I start fumbling with the blinds, trying to change the viewing ankle and so forth.

In my opinion this whole pro and contra glossy screen is very subjective. In my case I still prefer the glossy screen, since it out beats the matte in terms of brightness and contrast as well as color saturation. But of corse it's sometimes irritating to see my own face all the time.- Well I can live with that.

Where you are right, is that Apple should consider to have the option to order a matte screen for a reasonable price difference.

Knowing Apple, they would rather work on a glossy screen with very good anti-reflective property than offer a choice of glossy and matte.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkstar2007 View Post

Well maybe I'm wrong but it does seem like other competitors would have a much harder time competing with the iPad 2's price, since apple makes the OS and the hardware. Not only that but the iPad 2 is simply the best tablet experience out right now IMO! I sure would like to get a new MacBook air. Had anybody test drove the new MacBook airs yet?

EDIT: are the new sandy bridge MacBook airs out yet? :-S
EDIT again!: nevermind a quick google search just let me know how uninformed I am! Scratch the MBA question! Lol



Writing is a passion of mine and I'm constantly on the move. I bought the 11 inch Air shortly after it came out and it has been wonderful. I keep it in a black suede jacket and tote it around in a leather, ten inch tall man purse and hardly feel the weight. I've experienced a tremendous difference in portability between the 11 inch Air and my old white macbook. There seems to be a threshold between one and three pounds where you forget that you're carrying something around with you. Sadly, I now dress with a man purse, but I always, always have my Air with me. The solid state drive is fantastic. I reboot once a week or so, but otherwise keep it in sleep mode. Lift the lid and you're up and running in less than two seconds. Fantastic. It's not as "instant" as an iPad, but it's amazing how my laptop habits have changed simply because there is no long delay before I can get an idea down. In the subway, out in Yosemite, in my car...I've never loved a computer more. Also great is the full sized keyboard, which is the same size as my Apple wireless keyboard. I touch type, so this is vastly preferable. When I'm done using it, I simply shut the lid. The battery keeps for days and days while asleep, and I still get about seven hours of life if all I'm doing is writing. I charged it two days ago and noticed it took about two hours to get full charge...maybe more. Pretty good, I'd say. If you're looking for portability, ease of use, lightness to the point of being a psychological non-presence, but still want a full fledged computer, the Air is a rockstar. I don't even think of it as a laptop...it's just too different.
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

And so starts the Consumer Reports bashing again. Yawn.

They are one of the most respected organisations in their field. I often refer to their UK equivalent (Which) when deciding what products to buy.

In contrast I never trust comments in forums like this as they are rarely objective and unbiased.

The are one of the only operations that do what they do as a not-for-profit operation, and that field is embarrassingly small. So to be one of the most respected organisations in their field is not the accolade you seem to think it is. I have had mixed results following their guidance on products, and I give fora comments (especially snarky ones ) the weight they deserve based on the past history of the commenter in the forum. But then silly me, I don't necessarily EXPECT objectivity or lack of bias in forums like these, unless the commenter has demonstrated those traits in the past in their comments.

However, when I am in a familiar forum with other professionals with whom I share both expertise and history - their opinions weigh an order of magnitude higher than CR.
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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

The reception issues were a design flaw Apple overlooked. Which was of course blown out of all proportion. Still real though. A matte option on some of their computers like the iMac would be nice. There's a very vocal group who would gladly pay extra for this. And the group is not small. Blu-Ray is not going to happen at this stage - Steve sees Blu-Ray as a bag of iTunes.

Making excuses for glossy displays, telling people to redesign their room/office or move their screen to what feels like a weird location are not good options, not even practical sometimes. Like the MacBook Pros the iMac needs an antiglare option.



There does seem to be some kool-aid drinking when it comes to glossy displays. I have no strong opinion either way, but I prefer staring into my work monitor (a Dell) to staring into my imac. Call me crazy. I work at a computer all day, and then I write for several hours at home as well. I easily spend 12 work hours every day staring at LCD displays. Neither hurt my eyes, but glare and reflection are annoying. Even if the lights are off, I prefer looking at the dell. I'm so close to neutral, however, that I'd rather read on my iPad than a kindle simply because it has other features I like. When Apple makes a matte screen (if ever), I'll be knocking. I honestly don't see the purpose of a gloss screen. I hear many arguments that matte doesn't make things better, but I haven't heard any arguments in favor of a glossy screen. I suppose it looks cool on the showroom floor and when people walk into my living room, but sometimes it seems melodramatic. I prefer subtlety and utility over pomp. But, like I said...I'm nearly neutral, and there may well be advantages to the glossy screen I'm unaware of...maybe I'll google it.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

But... but... but.... it doesn't have Blu-ray, HDMI, 21"-Matte Display, USB17, 20TB RAM with 100PetaByte Hard Drive!! It's just an overpriced notebook!

</sarcasm>

Seriously, the competitors just can't touch the entire polished package that the Macbooks have. From the quality construction to the awesome OSX. Oh.. and it'll run Windows too if you must.

Writing this from my late 2010 13" MBA. Absolutely phenomenal machine! Apple earned it!

100 peta drive
wow
lol
good one dude


from my mbp 15' 2011 model 2.3ghz
peace

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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


It is also interesting to note that Windows converts (e.g. those accustomed to glossy screens) significantly outnumber the Mac faithful who stuck with Apple through the hard times (e.g. those used to the matte screens). Not to long ago, Apple was lucky to sell 800, 000 Macs a quarter. Now it is over triple that number.

Say what!! I don't recall seeing a glossy screen at work (where we use windows) for at least 15 years.

If the reflection on a glossy screen is bright enough your eyes will continually change focus from what is on the screen to the reflection and it does hurt after a few hours.

At home my daughter has a mac mini. We didn't buy the imac because of the glossy screens.

I agree with one of the other posters, the glossy screens look good in the show room but aren't appropriate for most uses. By most, I mean those uses where perfect contrast and true color display aren't really necessary.
post #29 of 37
Great job Apple for besting your competitors in all categories.
This a testament to the quality of your products, all your products.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

In my opinion this whole pro and contra glossy screen is very subjective. In my case I still prefer the glossy screen, since it out beats the matte in terms of brightness and contrast as well as color saturation. But of corse it's sometimes irritating to see my own face all the time.- Well I can live with that.

True, it is very subjective. I know some people who crank up the contrast and saturation on their photos because they think it looks better. In my opinion, their "better" is my "unnatural." Some people want the images on their screen to "pop". I want mine to look real.

I think another reason glossy sells better is because it looks better on display in a retail store. A similar phenomenon was seen in the whole plasma vs. LCD debate for HDTVs. They are very equal today, but a few years back LCD took off in sales. But at the time, few people who did careful comparisons would have claimed LCDs were better. They just looked better in the showroom because the brightness was cranked way up, far brighter than you'd use in your home. So people bought them because they looked better in the store.

Ironically, one of the major claimed negatives about plasma screens still is that they are glossy compared to LCD's matte screens, and so were prone to reflections. So why is glossy bad for my TV but good for my computer? I'm much more likely to be using my computer in a well lit room (so I can see my papers and other things on my desk) than I am to be watching TV.

Finally, as many know, the MacBook Air has a glossy screen, but less glossy screen than the iMac. They iMac used to also have the less glossy screen. So why did Apple make the screen even more glossy?
post #31 of 37
deleted
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

Knowing Apple, they would rather work on a glossy screen with very good anti-reflective property than offer a choice of glossy and matte.

Are they working on it now?
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Dude, please.

Apple sells the superior anti-glare screen for an additional $150.

It used to be their standard.

We all know why they switched.

Let's try to keep it real...

Amazing. I haven't heard one kid complain about glossy screens. But then, I gather they seem more grown up than most of the complainers here.
post #34 of 37
deleted
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Try reading sites beyond AI:
http://www.google.com/search?q=petit...+glossy+screen

Try reading from the experts not a bunch of bloggers: http://www.google.com/search?q=best%...utf-8&oe=utf-8
post #36 of 37
apple now has to make a great desk top


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post #37 of 37
FWIW, It looks as though they were second in the 13".

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