“Macs tend to fare second best in Consumer Reports testing, partly because the magazine lives in ignorance of the differences between Apple’s computers and Windows boxes,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “But they’ve always been recommended, until recently. I can quibble about the way the tests appear to emphasize features over performance, usability and reliability. In fact, I have.”

“It all started when CR reported wildly divergent battery life results, ranging from 3.75 hours up to 19 hours over three tests for each product. The latter is way more than Apple’s estimates, which range up to 10 hours,” Steinberg writes. “The inconsistency didn’t make sense, and thus marketing VP Philip Schiller posted a tweet — the new normal for getting the word out nowadays — saying that the results didn’t jibe with Apple’s own field tests.”

“Now CR’s tests are intended to be consistent from notebook to notebook. It involves downloading 10 sites from the company’s in-house server until the battery is spent. So just what was going on here, and was the test deliberately designed to leave Safari — and Macs — second best?” Steinberg writes. “Well, that’s debatable, but to achieve consistent results, CR turns off caching on a browser. With caching on, the theory goes that the sites would be retrieved from the local cache, which presents an anomalous situation since different computers — and operating systems — might do it differently. On the other hand, it would also be using the computer normally, not in an artificial way.”

“How can such a test possibly produce results that in any way reflect what a typical user would encounter?” Steinberg writes. “CR should have realized something was amiss as soon as the battery life normalized with caching on. They could have reached out to Apple before the results were published for clarification. As it was, CR got a boatload of publicity for its decision not to recommend the MacBook Pros. Of course, that result will soon be changed if all goes well.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Consumer Reports is, was, and has always been a joke when it comes to testing anything remotely associated with tech to say nothing of devices running the world’s most advanced operating systems. They don’t get the Mac (or the iPhone or the iPad) and they never will.

As Hanlon’s Razor states: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Consumer Reports is an anachronism for grandma to use to reassure herself that she bought the right vacuum cleaner (even though she didn’t unless she bought a Miele – which she almost certainly didn’t since she’s a Consumer Reports subscriber).

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