MacBook Pro fails to earn Consumer Reports recommendation for first time

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  • Reply 61 of 164

    sdw2001 said:
    Consumer Reports sucks and ruined its reputation years ago.  They rate several superb products on tests that don't make sense.  It's like measuring how a fish climbs a tree with a lot of their stuff.  
    That's hardly what they did in this case. If anything the test was much less demanding than what many users will do with it.
    And yet it far out performed any PC laptop.  You Apple haters have no honor, you will just lie lie lie
  • Reply 62 of 164
    I guess Apple just needs to take out more ads in Consumer Reports then. Worked for Toyota. 
    Consumer Reports doesn't take ads. 
    And yet they still totally fail to be objective.  They have been a joke for many years.
  • Reply 63 of 164
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,694member

    Consumer Reports has had a political agenda against Apple for several years and they have no creditability.... at least with people who understand what the LP in LPDDR mean.
    Hmm, that's funny because they regularly recommend Apple products highly and generally rate their support as the best.  No credibility according to anyone but you?
    singularitydaclooaknabi
  • Reply 64 of 164
    I just want to add that I  have a 15" new MacBook Pro and love it.

    I was very skeptical before I bought it, but needed one as my previous laptop was 7 years old.  The new machine is great.  And the keyboard, which I dreaded, is wonderful.  Really accurate, and my typing has improved with less effort.  And the touch Bar is nice, but has a way to go.

    CR may be right about the battery, but the machine is superb !
  • Reply 65 of 164
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,717member
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    tmaymacplusplusanomebrucemcpscooter63mattinoz
  • Reply 66 of 164
    jkichline said:

    I'm loving my new 2016 tMBP 13".  Sorry.  I don't think this is a failure aside from those that want to find fault in it.  I just opened it today at about 2:30 PM and have been setting it up and haven't plugged it in for long (just long enough to check out the USB-C power cord.  It's now 11 PM at night and the battery isn't dead yet.  I also had to transfer 65 GB of data from iCloud and install apps and of course Spotlight was running too.  I've been doing some compiling in Xcode and terminal too so not light work, but not video encoding either.  Now I haven't been using it continuously that whole time, but so far it's holding it's own.  I want to run the battery down and then charge it fully (it had about 88% charge new) and then give it a fair battery life test.
    I'm glad for you. Unfortunately too many instances of battery and graphics issues for me to take the plunge right now. Many users, including CR are reporting erratic battery life.  That combined with the new info from the Bloomberg article tells me Gen 2 of this new lineup should be much improved.
    macpluspluspscooter63
  • Reply 67 of 164
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    For the first time ever, Consumer Reports has denied Apple's MacBook Pro lineup -- all three machines -- of recommended ratings, saying battery life inconsistencies are too concerning to ignore.




    In a post to the official Consumer Reports blog on Thursday, the magazine said that while the new machines earned high marks in display quality and performance, they were found lacking in terms of battery life. Specifically, the battery performance of models tested "varied dramatically" during trials.

    "Complaints about MacBook Pro batteries have been popping up online since the laptops first went on sale in November," the publication says. "Apple says that these computers should operate for up to 10 hours between charges, but some consumers in Apple's support forums reported that they were only able to use their laptops for three to four hours before the battery ran down."

    Consumer Reports ran a series of tests on samples of Apple's latest laptops, a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar. Battery life performance was scattered across the board for each machine.

    The publication arrived at wildly different numbers for the 13-inch model with Touch Bar, finding the laptop ran for 16 hours, 12.75 hours and 3.75 hours in three consecutive tests. Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar fared only slightly better, running for 19.5 hours in one test only to die in 4.5 hours in the next. Battery life for the top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar vacillated from 18.5 hours to 8 hours.

    For its tests, the publication started with a fully charged machine with screen brightness set to 100 nits, then downloaded a series of ten pre-selected web pages over Wi-Fi using Safari. The trial runs until the laptop shuts down. All machines were operating on the latest version of macOS Sierra during a first series of tests, then updated to macOS Sierra 10.2.2 in second set of evaluations, with both evaluations bearing similar results.

    Apple declined to comment on Consumer Reports' findings, saying only that customers who have an issue with their new Mac should contact AppleCare.

    Following the official test phase, the magazine ran each laptop through the same procedure, but swapped out Safari for Google's Chrome browser. Interestingly, Chrome achieved "consistently high" battery life scores in the two test runs.

    The development comes just over a week after Apple removed Mac's time remaining battery life indicator with the release of macOS Sierra 10.2.2. AppleInsider learned the change was made in part to quell concerns of inordinately short operating uptime.

    Despite Consumer Reports' assessment, a source familiar with the matter earlier this month said Apple is not seeing widespread problems that would cause excess battery drain. Indeed, AppleInsider's own tests found the battery performance of 15-inch model with Touch Bar, 13-inch model with Touch Bar and 13-inch model without Touch Bar all met Apple's advertised numbers.
    Clueless as usual. seems they're more about the feels than the actual engineering and real world reasons.
  • Reply 68 of 164
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    sdw2001 said:
    Consumer Reports sucks and ruined its reputation years ago.  They rate several superb products on tests that don't make sense.  It's like measuring how a fish climbs a tree with a lot of their stuff.  
    That's hardly what they did in this case. If anything the test was much less demanding than what many users will do with it.
    If you want a massively fast GPU in a small machine your battery life will go down fast, that's it. Everything is just fracking whining.
    Maybe they should trigger the GPU rarely and then people can whine about performance sucking.

    I simply find this kind of thing utterly devoid of common sense.
  • Reply 69 of 164
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,717member
    This is a really odd problem. The machine behaves differently between successive tests?

    Reading the report, the tests seem fair and reasonable so I don't think anyone should have a problem with them deciding not to recommend the laptop. It's odd that this site don't see the same results (though testing laptops like this is probably not their area of expertise). And it is also weird that Chrome does not cause the same issue with the battery. It could point to a problem with Safari I suppose.

    Time for a little baseless speculation:-)

    We know that Apple's interest in Machine Learning is mainly under the hood. They are looking at using AI to prolong battery life, so I'm wondering if what we're seeing is a byproduct of that. The fact that the results vary wildly between successive runs makes me think that maybe the machine is remembering details of the previous tests and making adjustments to the battery usage to compensate for the unnatural test patterns. It's not just a question for making sure the laptop runs for as long as possible on a single charge; they will also be trying to preserve the overall lifespan of the battery and this could also be causing some problems.

    It could be that unusual usage patterns (such as those found in battery tests) could be causing problems for the software. If this is the case then we could be looking at a situation where Apple machines will always exhibit this strange behaviour under test, unless Apple takes the rather worryingly Samsung-like approach of detecting when the machine is being tested and adjusts the battery usage accordingly.

    This could also be related to the problem with the battery remaining indicator that Apple slyly removed a few days back. The software is trying to predict the battery life remaining based on usage patterns and is getting it wrong. Or maybe it is getting it right, because of the way it is seeing the machine being used.

    What I would like to see is the tests run again using completely fresh machines that haven't any usage data to work from.

    In any case, I don't think there is anything wrong with the batteries; it sounds like a problem with the software.

    Definitely one to keep an eye on.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 70 of 164
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Apple should focus more on Mac and release new products each year, as with iOS. Do not forget Mac Pro with Apple Thunderbolt Display.
    brucemc
  • Reply 71 of 164
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,717member
    appex said:
    Apple should focus more on Mac and release new products each year, as with iOS. Do not forget Mac Pro with Apple Thunderbolt Display.
    Not enough people are buying machines like this to make it worthwhile releasing them each year; otherwise, they'd do it.
    tmay
  • Reply 72 of 164
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,796member
    More people would buy them if they cost a bit less, at a better intersection of supply and demand.

    I had a good look at these last night. Have to say they look very sweet.  A pity these weren't the new form factor for a new MBA and they also had as a MBP a fatter, super powerful laptop that isn't performance and battery life constrained, and handle a bigger battery and grungier discrete GPU.
  • Reply 73 of 164
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,059member
    Rayz2016 said:
    appex said:
    Apple should focus more on Mac and release new products each year, as with iOS. Do not forget Mac Pro with Apple Thunderbolt Display.
    Not enough people are buying machines like this to make it worthwhile releasing them each year; otherwise, they'd do it.
    In 2015 Apple sold more Macs than at any other time in a pre-iOS period. That justifies updating them on the usual upgrade rate. If Apple were still only a Mac manufacturer it would be a very successful company and having millions ploughed into it in R&D. The 'problem' is that iDevices are more interesting for the company and that is where the focus is.

    Selling new Macs that are really late 2015 models is absolutely criminal from a purely business perspective. 

    If they can't keep the Mac business how it should be, perhaps it's time to make it  independent and give it some focus of its own, away from the iDevice division.
    DonvermomacpluspluscgWerks
  • Reply 74 of 164
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    Well according to that Bloomberg article, Apple engineers were working on a new battery design for these machines but it wasn't ready in time for the holidays and marketing wanted something to go out so they had to revert to an older design with smaller battery.
    But the battery life is 1 hour more than previous models, right?
    Sounds like the battery design would have been similar to what they did for the MacBook.
    Would or should? The 12" MB came out with stepping in the aluminum casing so that layers batteries could advantage of more room without affecting the cases rigidity. I didn't see any of that in the breakdown of the new MBPs.

     
    Well the story made it sound like they were going for an approach like this but were having issues so had to revert to older design to get out in time for Holidays. Apple is usually on the mark when it comes to battery life I hope they weren't being a little shady with their tests here.
  • Reply 75 of 164
    farjamed said:
    jkichline said:

    I'm loving my new 2016 tMBP 13".  Sorry.  I don't think this is a failure aside from those that want to find fault in it.  I just opened it today at about 2:30 PM and have been setting it up and haven't plugged it in for long (just long enough to check out the USB-C power cord.  It's now 11 PM at night and the battery isn't dead yet.  I also had to transfer 65 GB of data from iCloud and install apps and of course Spotlight was running too.  I've been doing some compiling in Xcode and terminal too so not light work, but not video encoding either.  Now I haven't been using it continuously that whole time, but so far it's holding it's own.  I want to run the battery down and then charge it fully (it had about 88% charge new) and then give it a fair battery life test.
    I'm glad for you. Unfortunately too many instances of battery and graphics issues for me to take the plunge right now. Many users, including CR are reporting erratic battery life.  That combined with the new info from the Bloomberg article tells me Gen 2 of this new lineup should be much improved.
    Supposedly the latest software update fixed graphics issues. But Apple told Ars Technica there was nothing in this release to improve battery life. So I don't know if that means Apple doesn't think there's an issue (or doesn't think it's software related) or does know but doesn't have a fix yet.
  • Reply 76 of 164
    I guess Apple just needs to take out more ads in Consumer Reports then. Worked for Toyota. 
    Consumer Reports does not run advertisements. They rely entirely on subscriptions for funding. You may be thinking of Consumers Digest.
    edited December 2016 singularity
  • Reply 77 of 164
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,717member
    entropys said:
    More people would buy them if they cost a bit less, at a better intersection of supply and demand.

    I had a good look at these last night. Have to say they look very sweet.  A pity these weren't the new form factor for a new MBA and they also had as a MBP a fatter, super powerful laptop that isn't performance and battery life constrained, and handle a bigger battery and grungier discrete GPU.
    How do you know people would buy them if they cost a bit less? PC manufacturers have been seeing the same decline for years, and their machines are as cheap as chips. 

    The problem is twofold: PC performance hit a wall,  and for the majority, the PC they bought three years ago is still fast enough today. 
  • Reply 78 of 164
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,717member
    farjamed said:
    jkichline said:

    I'm loving my new 2016 tMBP 13".  Sorry.  I don't think this is a failure aside from those that want to find fault in it.  I just opened it today at about 2:30 PM and have been setting it up and haven't plugged it in for long (just long enough to check out the USB-C power cord.  It's now 11 PM at night and the battery isn't dead yet.  I also had to transfer 65 GB of data from iCloud and install apps and of course Spotlight was running too.  I've been doing some compiling in Xcode and terminal too so not light work, but not video encoding either.  Now I haven't been using it continuously that whole time, but so far it's holding it's own.  I want to run the battery down and then charge it fully (it had about 88% charge new) and then give it a fair battery life test.
    I'm glad for you. Unfortunately too many instances of battery and graphics issues for me to take the plunge right now. Many users, including CR are reporting erratic battery life.  That combined with the new info from the Bloomberg article tells me Gen 2 of this new lineup should be much improved.
    Supposedly the latest software update fixed graphics issues. But Apple told Ars Technica there was nothing in this release to improve battery life. So I don't know if that means Apple doesn't think there's an issue (or doesn't think it's software related) or does know but doesn't have a fix yet.
    I'd be surprised if they had enough information to fix this as yet. 
  • Reply 79 of 164
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    You know he was trying to prove a point. Of-course he knows the difference between playing the piano and typing on a keyboard.

    As a new owner of the Macbook Pro, I fully agree the new keyboard is absolutely horrible, even after 3 weeks of use. It's noisy, the lack of travel is super annoying and the Touch Bar is nothing more than a gimmick (because you type blindly and don't look at a keyboard, and now miss actual function keys). 
    cgWerks
  • Reply 80 of 164
    dacloo said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    henryb said:

    In addition to battery issues, the latest MacBooks have the WORST keyboards of any laptops available today. There is hardly any key travel - it is like typing on a virtual screen on an iPad. Imagine, if Yamaha Pianos reduced the travel of their piano keys - there would be an outrage. Creative people - including writers using a keyboard - need to feel and touch the keys to connect with their work. Apple's obsession withy thin-ness is making their machines unusable. Don't get me started on their removal of the physical home button on the iPhone. Apple is waging war on tactility - and will lose millions of customers as a result. People love to touch, feel and experience things. It is core to being a human being.

    This has got to be the most hilarious comment of the day so far.

    If you don't the difference between typing on a keyboard and playing a piano then I can't help you.

    And I won't get you started on the removal of the physical home button on the iPhone because the button is still there, it just happens to be touch sensitive. 

    I'm always amazed at people who come here and insist that Apple will lose millions of customers if they don't do this or if they remove that. 

    The problem with people who spew this argument is that they are invariable talking about themselves, and making the mistake of assuming that everyone wants what they want. It's a very narrow point of view in my opinion. 

    Apple is not standing still and neither is its customer base. The youngsters starting to use computers professionally today have grown up with narrow travel keyboards and touch sensitive screens, so that is who Apple is catering for. You think that Apple should carry on making keyboards and screens and fitting ports for the middle-aged? 

    Will Apple lose millions of customers; doubtful. Most of Apple's customers live outside forums and are younger and more adaptable than the whiners who hang around here. They'll lose customers, but they'll gain more.

    And of course, in twenty years time, the new old faces will come here and complain how Apple has dumped Thunderbolt 5 ports and gone completely wireless, and now all their twenty-year-old thunderbolt drives, barely large enough to hold a million mega hi-def movies, are now obsolete.

    You know he was trying to prove a point. Of-course he knows the difference between playing the piano and typing on a keyboard.

    As a new owner of the Macbook Pro, I fully agree the new keyboard is absolutely horrible, even after 3 weeks of use. It's noisy, the lack of travel is super annoying and the Touch Bar is nothing more than a gimmick (because you type blindly and don't look at a keyboard, and now miss actual function keys). 
    I too have a new Macbook Pro 15" with touchbar. I don't think the touchbar is a gimmick at all. I use it often. To each is own I guess, I also like the keyboard. Just because you dont like something, doesn't mean its horrible. Well, except polka music is horrible. 
    Soli
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