The reviews magazine says the machines didn’t deliver the promised battery life.
Consumer Reports said Thursday that it can’t recommend Apple’s latest MacBook Pro line because of concern over the machines’ battery life.
It’s the first time the magazine has withheld a recommendation for one of the company’s laptops.
“The laptops did very well in measures of display quality and performance, but in terms of battery life, we found that the models varied dramatically from one trial to another,” Consumer Reports said in a blog post.
The magazine said it tested three different models of the MacBook Pro that it bought at retail stores and found that battery life varied widely even on the same machine when used from one test to another. For example, it said that in its testing, the 13-inch model with Touch Bar lasted 16 hours in its first trial. 12.75 hours in a second and just 3.75 hours in its third test. Other models showed similar inconsistency.
The findings line up with customer complaints, the magazine said.
“Apple says that these computers should operate for up to 10 hours between charges, but some consumers in Apple’s support forums reported that they were only able to use their laptops for three to four hours before the battery ran down,” Consumer Reports said.
In a recent software update Apple removed from the main display a clock icon that showed an estimate of remaining battery time amid complaints the figures varied widely from actual battery life.
An Apple representative wasn’t immediately available for comment, but told the magazine that customers with concerns should contact Apple’s customer support.
The battery issues are among several complaints users have had over the new design, with the other chief complaint being the lack of different ports on the machines, resulting in the need to use an adapter or dongle to connect everything from an iPhone to a flash drive.