Consumer Reports stands by its 2016 MacBook Pro battery test results

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Date: Friday, December 30th, 2016, 05:29
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

Consumer Reports is standing by its findings regarding the 2016 MacBook Pro battery’s sporadic performance.

The publication’s director of electronics testing, Maria Rerecich, offered the following comment when asked about possible retesting:

In this case, we don’t believe re-running the tests are warranted for several reasons. First, as we point out in our original article, experiencing very high battery life on MacBooks is not unusual for us – in fact we had a model in our comparative tests that got 19 hours. Second, we confirmed our brightness with three different meters, so we feel confident in our findings using this equipment. Finally, we monitor our tests very closely. There is an entry logged every minute, so we know from these entries that the app worked correctly.

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MacBook Pro 2016 Review – It’s going back (Updated)

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 15:41
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Review, Uncategorized

My 2016 MacBook Pro is going back.

I can’t think of the last time I returned a new Mac. I’m a textbook early adopter and have always purchased new Macs (especially notebooks) day and date when they come out.

Like most Mac users on the planet, I eagerly awaited Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro refresh – 500 days in the making. I chose the 13-inch MacBook Pro (over the larger, 15-inch) to replace an aging MacBook Air 13-inch in my fleet.

I ordered mine (MBP 13.3 Space Gray, 256GB, S3136LL/A) on October 27, 2016 and it arrived on November 18, 2016.

My use case

Laptops, like mobile phones, are extremely personal devices. Your mileage will vary.

My 13-inch MBP is primarily for use on my lap. I have a large monitor/keyboard/mouse setup (when I need it) at home and work, so I don’t need the largest screen possible on my laptop.

I also use it on the couch, in my recliner, at the kitchen table, coffee shop, shuttle bus, airplane, train, and Uber. I value light weight over tons of ports. I prefer the 13-inch model over the 15-inch because I commute by bicycle and the 13-inch weighs a pound less:

  • MacBook Pro 13-inch – 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch – 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)

While not quite my “weekend/vacation” laptop (the minimalist MacBook 12-inch would be better there), my MBP13 isn’t my workhorse/power user Mac either (I need discrete graphics for that), so it’s somewhere in between. I’m looking for a MacBook with a better screen to replace my MacBook Air 13-inch.

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Apple leads in holiday device activations, down 5 percent year over year

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 05:45
Category: Android, Hardware, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, News, Samsung, Software

The Christmas gifts have been exchanged, the Chanukah ones are being given this week and it looks like Apple is leading the pack in terms of smartphone activations for the 2016 holidays.

This year, 44% of new phone and tablet activations were Apple devices with Samsung seeing 21%. While Samsung is slowly growing in popularity throughout the holiday season, up 1% from last year, Apple devices continue to be the gift to give. Holding the third and fourth positions for activations are Huawei and LG; which is remarkable, as both manufacturers do not have an individual device within the top 35 devices activated. Their high rank is likely due to the fact that they have wide variety of devices and affordable options (hundreds of phablet and medium phones) for consumers to choose from.

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Apple releases first scholarly research paper, discusses use of artificial intelligence to help improve recognition of images in computer vision systems

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 05:07
Category: Hardware, News, Software

Apple has entered the world of academia.

Last week, the company published its first scholarly research paper with an article covering methods of improving recognition in computer vision systems, marking a new direction for the traditionally secretive company.

The paper, titled “Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training,” was submitted for review in mid-November before seeing publication through the Cornell University Library on Dec. 22.

The article arrives less than a month after Apple declared that it would no longer bar employees from publishing research relating to artificial intelligence.

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Rumor: Apple to debut 5-inch iPhone with dual-camera system, three glass-backed iPhone models in 2017

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Date: Wednesday, December 28th, 2016, 05:19
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Rumor

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There’s word of a 5-inch next-gen going around.

Japanese rumor site Mac Otakara, which tends to have a pretty reliable track record, has reported, via a Taiwanese supplier, that a 5-inch iPhone 7 with the unique vertical dual-camera system may be introduced as the medium-sized lineup for the iPhone 7 models.

Earlier this month, Mac Okatara reported that the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus would retain the aluminum design of the iPhone 7. However, the report said the new phones would come in an all-new red color. Multiple reports have stated that there will be three new iPhone models in 2017, including updated 4.7- and 5.5-inch models with LCD screens and a premium model with an OLED display and glass casing.

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Apple says it will work with Consumer Reports to isolate potential battery issues found in 2016 MacBook Pro

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Date: Tuesday, December 27th, 2016, 05:08
Category: battery, Google, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Software

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Following up on Consumer Reports refusal for the first time to recommend the 2016 MacBook Pro due to inconsistent battery life, it looks like Apple will be working with the publication to try to sort out potential issues with the battery.

“Working with [Consumer Reports] to understand their battery tests,” Apple Vice President of Worldwide Marking Phil Schiller tweeted. “Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data.” Apple claims its internal testing has seen the new MacBook Pro providing up to 10 hours of battery life when watching iTunes movies or browsing the web.

Consumer Reports’ test has come under scrutiny since publication of the non-recommendation. The tests were conducted by opening a series of 10 web pages sequentially on Safari. This tests’ inconsistency had the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar registering 16 hours, 12.75 hours and 3.75 hours of battery life. A 15-inch MacBook Pro ranged from 18.5 hours to 8 hours of battery life.

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Consumer Reports cites varying battery performance on 2016 MacBook Pros, holds back recommendation on new notebooks

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Date: Friday, December 23rd, 2016, 05:08
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Touch Bar

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Consumer Reports feels there’s an issue with the 2016 MacBook Pro battery.

The publication, which has reviewed the notebook, Consumer Reports explained that while the new models held up well in terms of display quality and performance, the battery life issues were too big of an issue to overlook.

The organization tested three MacBook Pro variants: a 13-inch Touch Bar model, a 15-inch Touch Bar model, and a 13-inch model without the Touch Bar. The general consensus was that “MacBook Pro battery life results were highly inconsistent from one trial to the next.”

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iFixit publishes full teardown of AirPods, reveals possible charging case flaws

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Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016, 05:18
Category: AirPods, Hardware, News

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The cool cats at iFixit have just published their full teardown of Apple’s new wireless AirPods along with the charging kit that arrives with the unit. Through the teardown, iFixit cites a multitude of closely knit components within the AirPods, along with a few “quality issues” within the charging case that may be the reason for the months-long delay of the wireless headphones.

The teardown began by separating the speaker portion of the AirPod from the rest of the device, uncovering a miniature coaxial cable and two IR proximity sensors, which allow the AirPods to detect whenever they’re inside an ear, and play/pause music accordingly.

iFixit cited a “waterfall of glue” inside the base of the AirPod that essentially surrounds the charging point for the unit.

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Apple lowers prices of assorted USB-C adapters until end of March, 2017

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Date: Wednesday, December 21st, 2016, 05:18
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, USB-C

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If you thought Apple’s USB-C adapter prices were a bit steep, there’s a price break until the end of March, 2017.

Apple on Friday lowered the prices for many of its USB-C adapters, which are necessary for users who want to connect their devices to the new laptop.

The new MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, which have a different connector than that of USB-A devices and cables like the iPhone sync cable. That means you need to buy an adapter. Depending on your devices, you may need to buy several adapters.

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Leaked internal Tim Cook memo hints at additional desktops in Apple’s roadmap

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Date: Tuesday, December 20th, 2016, 05:02
Category: Hardware, iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, Rumor

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Sometimes the internal leaked documents offer a pretty interesting look ahead.

In an internal post leaked to an employee message board, Apple CEO Tim Cook assured employees that the company is still committed to the Mac and that “great desktops” are coming. Apple’s desktop computers haven’t seen an upgrade in at least 433 days.

Within the message, Cook offered the following reassurance:

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