Consumer Reports Now Recommends 2016 MacBook Pro After Safari Fix

Consumer Reports has retested battery life tests for the 2016 MacBook Pro and now recommends the laptop, after previously noting it could not, due to battery life concerns. After the results were made public, Apple started to immediately “work” with Consumer Reports to understand their battery tests.

The first MacBook Pro test resulted in inconsistent battery life, due to a Safari bug, but after installing the macOS Sierra patch (build 16D25a; build 16D30a was released today), Consumer Reports saw improved results:

With the updated software, the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well, with one model running 18.75 hours on a charge. We tested each model multiple times using the new software, following the same protocol we apply to hundreds of laptops every year.

The first round of tests from December saw Consumer Reports turn off Safari’s cache for their tests, which Apple said did not simulate real-world settings, but more importantly it “also triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons which created inconsistent results in their lab.”

Here are the three 2016 MacBooks tested with battery life results noted, after the Safari bug patch:

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: 15.75 hours
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: 18.75 hours
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar: 17.25 hours

Here’s how Consumer Reports conducted their tests:

For the battery test, we download a series of 10 web pages sequentially, starting with the battery fully charged, and ending when the laptop shuts down. The web pages are stored on a server in our lab, and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We conduct our battery tests using the computer’s default browser—Safari, in the case of the MacBook Pro laptops.

During the tests, we set each laptop screen to remain on. We use an external meter to set the display brightness to 100 nits—a typical level you might use indoors or out. And, we turn off any automatic brightness adjustment in the laptop’s settings.

The macOS Sierra update should be available to the public “in a few weeks,” according to Consumer Reports.

Anyone able to get battery life hours as stated by Consumer Reports with their 2016 MacBook Pro?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • johnnygoodface

    Apple said: “Consumer Reports uses a hidden Safari setting for developing web sites which turns off the browser cache. This is not a setting used by customers and does not reflect real-world usage.” I think CR is trying to get white paws by making us believe that Safari’s bug was causing the battery issue.

    The real issue is that CR should NOT have disabled Safari’s default settings to do their tests. Indeed one of the best feature of Safari is its performing cache, which by design is there to prevent battery degradation.

    Apple was not faulty, CR was. And they should have publicly presented their excuses to Apple! A little humility goes a long way. CR is banned for me.

  • No it was a bug. Apple was faulty. CR should of been able to do whatever they wanted and not of had such issues. Don’t back Apple up on this, they deserved this negative PR. Maybe now they will take the Mac seriously…

  • You’re Fired

    As a long time apple user (15 years) I dont recommenced it at all. wait for the next generation. this is one is to be avoided.

  • You’re Fired

    windows logo as an avatar, and talking about Mac?!! hmmm ???? a Microsoft spy?

  • You’re Fired

    Still, it’s apple’s fault.???? ? ????

  • Salinger

    No, it was a bug in the Safari code.

    CR tries to make its test as uniform as it can across all platforms and operating systems. They’re not an Apple laptop tester, they test all laptops. They treat all laptops the same and try to make all tests equal, as they should; apples to apples (no pun intended).

    The setting CR changed allowed the MBP to be tested on-par with other Windows and Linux laptops etc. If there hadn’t been a bug in the Safari code, this issue would never have arisen. Even Apple admits it was a software bug in Safari.

    CR didn’t change its test the second time around, Apple changed corrected the bug. CR ran the same tests it did previously, just now without flawed Apple software.

  • johnnygoodface

    Oh! Gimme a break! The only thing that matter to CR was the chance to discredit Apple the first chance they got! That was an easy way to make good money! And don’t tell me it’s not their job to report possible bug to the company they’re testing, when in fact it’s exactly the role they’re taking when running benchmarks! Those bad results were so obvious that they couldn’t think in their right mind that Apple would ship such a bad product and must have suspected something else. But no!! Instead of talking with Apple about it before make a big bang out of it (and making a lot of $ out of it and gaining fame) they went all speed ahead and discredited the laptop! There’s something called respect, and acting like CR did made me see them as a company looking for sensationalism instead of the truth.

  • Salinger

    The first chance they got? LOL This is a magazine run by a non-profit organization that is so averse to being biased or influenced that they don’t even accept advertising. They’ve recommended every Apple MBP since its inception. Trying to say they’re out to get Apple is just over the top fanboyism.

    I will absolutely tell you it’s not their job to investigate why a product performs badly or erratically, it just tests them and gives the results using the standardized testing they’ve used on previous MBP’s and every other laptop. The only obligation they have is to ensure their tests are unbiased and fair, which they were. It’s up to the manufacturer to troubleshoot their own products, and fix problems if they’re found; As Apple did. They had a BUG IN THEIR SOFTWARE. It is NOT CR’s obligation to debug Apple software.

    CR immediately shared their testing methodology with Apple upon first request, and thanks to that Apple found THE BUG IN THEIR SOFTWARE.

    Are you honestly saying that whenever an independent test finds a problem with a product, they should quietly and behind closed doors go to the manufacturer first and allow them the chance to quietly fix it so that consumers will be none the wiser? Unbelievable!