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?