Tested: The truth behind the MacBook Pro’s battery life

“Read professional reviews of Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup, and you’ll come away thinking the new laptops have great battery life,” Gordon Mah Ung writes for PCWorld.Dive into a customer forum, though, and the upshot will be exactly the opposite: The new MacBook Pros have ‘piss poor’ battery life.”

“From Laptopmag to The Verge and Notebookcheck.net, the vast majority of reviewers have lauded the MacBook Pros for good battery life,” Ung writes. “My own tests agreed.”

“I ran smack into a problem that’s likely at fault for many of the confusing battery life issues with the laptop, at least in macOS Sierra 10.12.2. On occasion, the laptop’s discrete GPU would just get stuck on and consume power even when it wasn’t used,” Ung writes. “I found after triggering this bug that I could kill the laptop in just 206 minutes, or a scant three and a half hours of basically idling with Safari open, Wi-Fi on, and eight websites loaded… The Sierra 10.12.3 update seems to have fixed the problem.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As always, even with the bug swatted, battery depends on what you’re doing with your Mac. As Apple’s own disclaimer clearly states, “Battery life varies by use and configuration.”

Consumer Reports now recommends the new MacBook Pro – January 13, 2017
Consumer Reports’ deck-stacking, or incompetence, exposed – January 11, 2017
Consumer Reports’ weird MacBook Pro battery test results due to use of obscure Safari developer setting – January 10, 2017
Consumer Reports stands by its weird MacBook Pro battery test results – December 29, 2016
Consumer Reports says do not buy Apple’s new MacBook Pro, citing erratic battery life – December 23, 2016


    1. Except, as usual, you couldn’t be more wrong. And thank god, you’re not an engineer designing mobile devices.

      Laptops used to be an inch thick with much, much larger batteries and yet only lasted a fraction of the time they do now. The entire system needs to be designed to be efficient. What drives that? The desire to make things thinner and smaller; more mobile. If you want your device to last longer, you can always get an external battery to charge the device.

      1. Whatever… Back when laptops were an inch thick and only lasted a fraction of the time…. IT WAS DIFFERENT battery chemistry.

        Imagine a thicker MacBook Pro (Only a little) with the newest battery technology, optimized hardware and OS. Perfect combination. Much longer battery life, still not the thick chancy bricks of yesteryear. Please Apple, beef up those anorexicly thin laptops, use the space for more battery, and give a real pro laptop with 32 gig of RAM. And thats only the 15 inch model. Go bigger battery and RAM for an all new, all pro 17 inch

  1. I bought two of the new 13″ pros, one with the touch bar. Running only Pages for writing, with occasional emails coming in, I get 3 and a half hours. I am running the latest update. I called Apple, got passed up to an expert, ran it on safe mode, got same result (I have only one non-native program, Express Scribe). Basically, Apple dismissed it. Piss poor indeed.

    1. Did you migrate from an older machine? I ran into a very similar issue with some background tasks that carried over. But since a fresh install everything has been fine.

  2. We all know that there are folks at Apple who read this forum from time to time.

    There are folks on this forum who often ask for a slightly thicker device that has a decent battery as a result.

    When will the bozos who read that here report it up the chain and make it happen?

    If they would just build a machine 1/16″ thicker, (I’m guessing here, but given how small it is in the first place, I bet that would about cover it) that would probably be enough battery to run *with the bug described above* for a full day, and everyone would be elated. Only a handful of people would complain about the added thickness/weight. Instead they build a machine that everyone complains about for its short battery life. How is that a good move?!

  3. No one is coming away thinking the battery life is good from a MacBook Pro. It is hideously god awful. Email Internet search and music listening five hours tops. Returned mine eight days later. To pay that kind of money for this piece of crap Apple should be embarrassed.

  4. The battery life is not great, and it does vary quite a bit.
    The previous generation MBP was much longer and more consistent than this latest model. I do hope an update improves things because it’s otherwise a fantastic computer.

    1. I think Apple is getting off lightly for releasing a fashion laptop and then having the gall to put a Pro label on it. It is not fantastic, it feels like a disposable computer. In fact, it is. No way to replace or upgrade anything on it at all. Good luck with data recovery in the field after your first accident.

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