Consumer Reports changes its verdict on new MacBook Pros

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Custom keys for Photoshop.
Software update sorts out battery issues, says the consumer watchdog.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Consumer Reports has revised its earlier rating for the new MacBook Pro lineup and now recommends the laptops, after a software update fixed battery problems found in testing.

The respected consumer watchdog previously cited the new laptops’ “highly inconsistent” battery life as the reason it couldn’t give out one of its coveted recommendations — the first time an Apple laptop had failed to make the grade.

Consumer Reports slams new MacBook Pros’ terrible battery life

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2016 MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro's battery life problems drag the laptop down.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Consumer Reports just unloaded a mighty smackdown on the new MacBook Pro lineup, citing “highly inconsistent” battery life as the reason the latest Apple laptops failed to earn a coveted recommendation.

It’s the first time the well-regarded reviews organization flunked an Apple laptop. And the test results should give serious pause to anybody who is considering buying a new MacBook Pro.

Fair criticism of iPhone 7 camera might not matter to photographers

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What makes a better sunrise, the iPhone 6s Plus or the iPhone 7s Plus? The photographer sees the difference.
What makes a better sunrise, the iPhone 6s Plus or the iPhone 7s Plus? The photographer sees the difference.
Photo: Cielo de la Paz

I was raised by careful shoppers in a home where Consumer Reports magazine was like a second Bible. Cars, a new washer and dryer, and a vacuum cleaner to handle the then-new orange shag carpeting were not purchased without first consulting this venerable institution of objective product testing.

So I hit the pause button on my excitement for the iPhone 7 camera when I read a Consumer Reports review that claimed the iPhone 7 represents “no major leap in camera performance” from the 6s.

Apple Watch dominates competition in Consumer Reports test

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Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

We’ve already seen the Apple Watch’s durability get tested in some pretty extreme ways. Now Consumer Reports is weighing in with tests of its own and Apple Watch dominated the smartwatch competition.

Both the stainless-steel Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport passed their water-resistance test. The stainless-steel model also stood out for its sapphire display after surviving a test of up to 9 Mohs, just below diamond hardness.

Watch the full test below:

Consumer Reports runs Apple Watch through scientific torture test

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The Apple Watch glass going through a torture test. Screenshot: Cult of Mac
The Apple Watch glass going through a torture test. Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Consumer Reports has a history of being hard on Apple. They famously refused to recommend the iPhone 4 because of a so-called “flawed” antenna design.

To test the Apple Watch, though, Consumer Reports is being harder on Apple than ever. They’ve run a gamut of torture tests on Apple’s new wearable to see just how hard the sapphire display actually is. Here’s a spoiler: You won’t be able to scratch it with anything short of a nuke. And even the Apple Watch Sport’s display is nearly unscratchable (although it can be cracked).

Consumer Reports agrees with Apple: Bendgate is ‘overblown’

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Photo: Martin Hajek/Flickr CC
Suddenly everybody's talking about bendy smartphones. Photo: Martin Hajek/Flickr CC

With Bendgate causing some worrywarts to question the structural integrity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Consumer Reports set out to answer the question: “How much force does it take for a phone to bend — and not bend back?”

The independent consumer-testing outfit took six smartphones — including both iPhone 6 models and an iPhone 5s — into the lab and subjected them to experiments using an Instron compression testing machine. The results are surprising.

Here’s what they found (along with a video showing Consumer Reports’ torture testing).

Apple Beats Out Its Own Tech Support Score From Last Year [Report]

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Apple-Genius-Bar
So patient, so knowledgeable. Swoon!

Consumer Reports, the popular magazine and website for figuring out what consumers think about all sorts of products and services, just published its annual reader survey on computer tech support.

Apple not only claimed the top spot in the list this year, beating out all other computer manufacturers, it got an even better score than it did in last year’s survey.

Consumer Reports: AT&T Once Again Ranked Worst Overall US Carrier While Verizon Remains #1

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You would think that after year’s of continually being ranked the worst US carrier, AT&T would have done something to pull itself from the bottom. Unfortunately, they haven’t. According to Consumer Reports’ latest rankings, AT&T once again holds the title for overall worst US carrier. AT&T shouldn’t feel too bad as not a single major US carrier scored above an overall satisfaction score of 72.

Consumer Reports Says The iPhone 5 Is A ‘Winner’ And Apple Maps Aren’t That Bad

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consumerreports

The advocacy group Consumer Reports wasn’t too friendly toward the iPhone 4, even after Apple offered free bumpers. They didn’t even like the iPhone 4S either. But with the iPhone 5 they’re changing their tune and saying that the iPhone is “among the best smartphones in our Ratings and the best iPhone yet.”

After conducting a series of tests on the iPhone 5, Consumer Reports concluded that the iPhone 5 doesn’t just surpass the iPhone 4S but also a number of other Android smartphones. They even said that despite the widespread criticism its received, Apple Maps is “competent enough.”