Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup may be a big seller, but it’s not getting a stamp of approval from Consumer Reports. The outlet is unable to recommend the revamped notebook after discovering battery issues with three different models during lab tests.
Battery life is one of the biggest complaints about the new MacBook Pros (after the lack of traditional USB ports and an SD card slot). Apple says the machines should last around 10 hours in between charges, but users are finding very mixed results.
Consumer Reports ran into the same problem. It tested the 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and a 15-inch model. All three were retail units that any customer can pick up from an Apple store.
“The MacBook Pro battery life results were highly inconsistent from one trial to the next,” reads the report.
In three tests with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the machine lasted 16 hours on a single charge the first time, 12.75 hours the second time, then a measly 3.75 hours the third time. The cheaper 13-inch model lasted 19.5 hours in test one, but only 4.5 hours in test two.
Because of the massive differences between the results, Consumer Reports was unable to provide an average battery life measurement. The average of these readings “wouldn’t reflect anything a consumer would be likely to experience in the real world.”
As a result, Consumer Reports is using the lowest reading for battery life in its final scores. It says this is the only way it can give readers a time frame they can rely on if they plan to use the new MacBook Pro without access to a power outlet.
Consumer Reports concludes that “all three MacBook Pro laptops fail to meet our standards for recommended models.”
This is a surprise for Apple notebooks, which typically do very well in Consumer Reports’ tests. In previous years, battery life has actually been one of their strongest attributes, with last year’s 13-inch MacBook Pro lasting an impressive 19 hours on average.