Consumer Reports Reverses Its Decision on MacBook Pro


By David Milberg, Entrepreneur and NYC-based Investor

A recent Consumer Reports review of the new MacBook Pro raised a lot of eyebrows. The nation’s premier consumer products reviewing publication had never panned a MacBook before … and now they had, in a big way. Apple was apoplectic.

Consumer ReportsAt the heart of the Consumer Reports’ negative view of the MacBook Pro was the battery life. The publication conducted multiple tests and got wildly differing results on battery life. There were other concerns published, but this was one of the most strident and negative. As the article came out shortly before the holiday shopping season, the report landed doubly hard. Consumers were taken aback, and Apple immediately reached out to Consumer Reports in an attempt to fix the issue.

Apple techs visited Consumer Reports and worked with their folks to analyze the battery tests. After the meetings, Apple released a statement claiming the way Consumer Reports conducted the tests: “…using a hidden Safari setting (that) triggered an obscure and intermittent bug reloading icons … creating inconsistent results in their lab…” Consumer Reports echoed the report in a published statement: “Consumer Reports has now finished retesting the battery life on Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops, and our results show that a software update released by Apple on January 9 fixed problems we’d encountered in earlier testing…”

According to the follow-up testing report, the results from the earlier report were corrected. In the second set of tests, the battery life for the new laptops ranged from nearly 16 to nearly 19 hours.

As major Apple fan Daniel Palmier noted, “The hope now, for Apple, is that the new information will be as – or even more – prevalently published than the earlier reviews. The MacBook has already met with a lukewarm reception, thanks to new features not related to battery life. Some consumers object to the new bar at the top of the keyboard, which replaces the traditional top bar users are accustomed to.

This, of course, is hardly the first time Apple has dared to change things users were used to. That was once a hallmark of Apple products, from the new clickable trackpad to losing the headphone jack too, now, the updated keyboards, Apple has been known to reject convention and push the limits. Typically, what they innovate eventually becomes commonplace and universally accepted by their fans. Evidence of the strength of Mac quality and carefully cultivated consumer loyalty. The current negative rumblings might be just another temporary adjustment period for Apple and their fans, but one thing is sure … the change in the Consumer Reports review removes a huge obstacle in this process.


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