Consumer Reports recommends MacBook Pro again after bug fix

13 Jan 2017

MacBook Pro Touch ID bar. Image: Peppinuzzo/Shutterstock

Apple has been fighting tooth and nail to get its latest MacBook Pro laptops back in favour with Consumer Reports, and it has now achieved this by fixing a battery glitch in its operating system.

In what was something of a PR disaster for Apple before Christmas, Consumer Reports – one of the most cited product review organisations in the US – decided not to recommend the latest MacBook Pro models for the first time in over a decade.

During its evaluation, Consumer Reports warned potential buyers that while its performance and quality rated very highly during testing, its battery life was found to vary dramatically between the different versions.

In some cases, its battery life would be as short as under four hours, or as durable as up to 20 hours on a single charge.

Apple senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, Philip Schiller, responded to the non-recommendation by claiming that it was working with Consumer Reports to find why it was having issues, seeing as Apple did not find any problems during testing.

Two days ago, Apple announced it had found that Consumer Reports had managed to turn off a supposedly obscure feature of Safari that constantly reloads web pages as if new, therefore draining the battery.

With this bug now patched, Consumer Reports has once again recommended Apple’s range of new MacBook Pros.

Global bug fix in several weeks

The process we followed with Apple is the same process we follow with any manufacturer when we discover a significant problem,” Consumer Reports said.

“We shared our test results with the company so it could better understand our findings and deliver a fix to consumers. Since Apple made a fix, we retested the laptops.

“Now that we’ve factored in the new battery-life measurements, the laptops’ overall scores have risen, and all three machines now fall well within the recommended range in Consumer Reports ratings.”

For customers who had gone ahead and bought one of the new MacBook Pro models, Apple has said that the bug fix is currently available to users of its beta software programme and that a global release will be rolled out to users in a number of weeks.

MacBook Pro Touch ID bar. Image: Peppinuzzo/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic