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      Without knowing more about this, it really looks like an inadequate testing process… John Gruber said it well:


      A friend pointed out the other day that this is where we really miss the old magazine testing labs, like Macworld’s. They’d buy all the various hardware models, test them thoroughly (and document the exact nature of the tests), and copiously report the results. It was a very useful service, and they were trustworthy.

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      I’m honestly really curious as to what the problem is here. It clearly escaped internal testing, but even more interestingly it’s nondeterministic! Laptops with terrible battery life are a dime a dozen, but how often do you get a device with bad battery life sometimes, but great the rest of the time? Not even “some units have bad battery life” or “the device has bad battery life when doing X”.

      The symptoms are bizarre enough that there’s got to be some interesting bug behind it all.

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        I’m honestly really curious as to what the problem is here. It clearly escaped internal testing, but even more interestingly it’s nondeterministic!

        No, it didn’t escape internal testing, their testing methodology is simply crap.

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        I think they said it only happens when using Safari, as they got better results with Chrome. That might be the culprit.

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          John Gruber

          Once our official testing was done, we experimented by conducting the same battery tests using a Chrome browser, rather than Safari. For this exercise, we ran two trials on each of the laptops, and found battery life to be consistently high on all six runs. That’s not enough data for us to draw a conclusion, and in any case a test using Chrome wouldn’t affect our ratings, since we only use the default browser to calculate our scores for all laptops. But it’s something that a MacBook Pro owner might choose to try.

          This is crazy too. Whatever the benefits of Chrome are, everyone knows it’s an energy hog. There is no way that using Chrome should result in better (and more consistent) battery life than Safari.

          I would want to see more complete tests.

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      Gees, what a poorly written article. It feels like an intro or summary to a much longer report, but then it just stops.

      And I don’t usually read Consumer Reports, but is that really all they test on laptops? Just loading ten web pages over and over again until the battery dies? Was the battery life so bad they just didn’t bother testing anything else? It also wouldn’t kill them to summarize the info in a table or chart or something.

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        It is an intro. The actual reports are behind a paywall.

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      I’m looking forward to CES this year (just a few days away!) for the first time since I can remember. Buying an Apple laptop has been the default for me for over a decade, but not anymore.

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      Do people still read Consumer Reports? My only encounter with it so far has been bathroom reading; pretty much every review I hear about is from “CNET & Co.”

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        I find them to be 100% reliable. They are obsessed with reproducibility, which is perhaps unique in the world of “tech review sites”.

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          I trust that their methods are good; I’m just not sure how much business they get, given how ubiquitous reviews from other sites are and how heavily they campaign for their users to become paid subscribers.

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            Well, they don’t take ads, so the begging for subscriptions is a side effect of that.

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      I actually rather like my 13" MacBook Pro w/ Touchbar. I find myself using the Touchbar much more than I had anticipated. To each their own, I suppose.

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        It’s amazing how much people care about certain things other people don’t care about at all. Personally, even though I miss SD card slot and HDMI without dongles, I think the new laptops are a definite improvement.

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      I’m not terribly happy with my new touchbar 13". Keyboard is my main complaint: half-height up/down arrow keys suck. I’ve gotten used to using Caps Lock for Esc. Touchbar isn’t useful as I was hoping it would be although I keep hope it will get better over time.

      The trackpad is ridiciulously too big. The battery life is fine, I’ve never noticed a problem.

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        The trackpad is ridiciulously too big.

        I’ve heard it gets comfy once you’re used to it.

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          I love the bigger trackpad, the old one was never big enough for me.

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        Keyboard is my main complaint: half-height up/down arrow keys suck.

        The keys were the same on older Apple laptops.

        Funny how different people complain about different things. I don’t use the arrow keys at all (what for?? I have a trackpad), if you’d have asked me if they were full or half height, I would not have any idea before looking at them.