Apple’s MacBook Pros gain Consumer Reports’ recommendation after retest

Apple’s laptops are back in good graces with Consumer Reports.

After retesting all three of the company’s newest MacBook Pro models, the product review service has upgraded its ratings of each and given them its “recommended” stamp of approval.

The move comes two days after Apple announced it would release a software update that would address a battery problem Consumer Reports identified in its previous testing. Last month, Consumer Reports announced it couldn’t recommend the computers because of their inconsistent and sometimes lackluster battery life.

“With the updated software, the three MacBook Pros in our labs all performed well,” the product review service said in a statement. “The laptops’ overall scores have risen, and all three machines now fall well within the recommended range in Consumer Reports ratings.”

On the group’s 100 point scale, the two new 13-inch MacBook Pro models — one of which features the company’s new Touch Bar and one that doesn’t — both received a 75-point score. Consumer Reports gave the 15-inch model a 74.

The top-rated laptops in the 12- to 13-inch category, Sony’s Vaio Z and Vaio Z Flip, each scored an 81. In the 15-inch category, the top rated computers are Sony’s older MacBook Pro with a Retina screen and Samsung’s Notebook 9, each of which scored a 77.

In its previous tests, Consumer Reports found that the battery life on the new MacBook Pros varied wildly. On one test, the 13-inch model with a Touch Bar lasted 16 hours. In another, it lasted just 3-3/4 hours. Likewise, the 13-inch model without a Touch Bar lasted 19-1/2 hours in one test and just 4-1/2 hours in the next.

The organization’s results echoed the complaints of some owners of the new laptops, which Apple unveiled in October.

Per its normal policy, Consumer Report contacted Apple to alert the company to its results. Apple told the organization that the method Consumer Reports used to test the laptops triggered a bug in the Safari web browser, which led to the poor results. Consumer Reports re-tested the computers after updating them with Apple’s software fix, which the company plans to release soon to the general public.

Photo: Members of the media photograph the new Apple MacBook Pro laptop during a product launch event in October a the company’s Cupertino headquarters. (Stephen Lam/Getty Images)


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  • sd

    “The top-rated laptops[…] In the 15-inch category, the top rated computers are
    Sony’s older MacBook Pro with a Retina screen and Samsung’s Notebook 9”

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Sony has provided several components to Apple over the years, but they’re not assembling entire systems for them, are they?