Apple working with Consumer Reports to pin down inconsistent MacBook Pro battery test results

On December 22nd, Consumer Reports said it could not recommend the MacBook Pro — a first for a Mac laptop. It caused a stir! Consumer Reports’ reasoning was simple: it got wildly inconsistent battery test results every time it tried to test multiple versions of the laptop. Its test is one that’s pretty common across the industry, loading up web pages one after another:

For the battery test, we download a series of 10 web pages sequentially, starting with the battery fully charged, and ending when the laptop shuts down. The web pages are stored on a server in our lab, and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We conduct our battery tests using the computer’s default browser—Safari, in the case of the MacBook Pro laptops.

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The Fix Is Out: Product Repairs Get Tougher in New Age of Obsolescence

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Mike Tyran, a nurse living near Corpus Christi, Texas, bought a used Apple iPod in 2010 and tried to repair it after the battery wouldn’t charge.

But when the inveterate “fixer” attempted to open the white-and-chrome rectangle, he was stumped.

“I had worked on old tube radios … (which) had diagrams (and) … schematics. I know where the wiring goes and I know how to open it,” said Tyran, 56, a former heavy diesel mechanic. “I looked at an iPod and I had no idea how to open it … because there were no screws.”

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