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New Macbook Pro power efficiency and time remaining (macdaddy.io)
267 points by feelix 131 days ago | hide | past | web | 206 comments | favorite

> Reducing mA (power draw) rather than increasing mAh (power storage) is the most effective way to increase battery life, which would go a long way to explain manufacturers’ obsession with thinness (which, in electrical terms often directly translates efficiency (i.e., smallness)) in their devices rather than just giving us something that endures.

I think it goes the other way; the manufacturers' obsession with thinness (for mostly aesthetic reasons) goes a long way to explain why they're focusing on reducing power draw.

It's great that they are reducing power draw, but by making everything thinner (usually translating into decreased power storage), those gains in efficiency are largely cancelled out when it comes to battery life in real-world usage.

When creating these things, the designers, engineers, and marketing people obviously have some kind of target battery life in mind, and it seems as though the target is always "about the same battery life as the last generation," whereas there's no end to the number of compromises and engineering efforts that go toward cutting 1 mm off one dimension.

And of course, the tech bloggers all go nuts about how thin the newest generation is compared to the last, and people buy computers based on their recommendations.

Aren't these things thin enough already, at least for professionals? Why not go for some truly earth-shattering battery life on one of these laptops? Do people really care more about that 1 mm than they do about potentially hours of additional battery life?

Then, irony of ironies, people put their ultra-thin devices in cases to protect them, carry multiple batteries for them, or external charging bricks, and my favorite... the oversized extended battery.

Throws hands up in air

I can't speak for laptops but I can speak for the utility of having a thin phone and a battery pack that makes it thicker and heavier than it would be if Apple just included a bigger battery:

I've only used my battery pack four or five times in the year and a half I've had my 6s. Most of the time I'm not far away from a plug - either at home, in my car, at work, etc.

But when I travel, a slightly bigger battery wouldn't be enough. I would want twice the battery life - something I can get by using a battery pack - but I probably wouldn't get from a slightly larger iPhone.

If you have to optimize, why optimize for the edge cases instead of the most popular case and give options for those times people need it.

Now that the MacBook Pro has USB-C is there any reason Apple couldn't implement some type of fast-charging technology like you find in smartphones? The OnePlus 3/3T in particular are amazingly fast. [1][2]

Since getting my Pixel XL I have a noticed I rely on external battery packs less as I often have access to a power socket for at least an hour or two when I travel.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbELsT1hfnA

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0SU0Me4Fds

The new MacBook Pro charges very, very quickly, 10 to 80% in 20-30 minutes by my estimation.

I can count on running off the battery all day as long as I can get it plugged in while I fetch a sandwich for lunch.

Do you know if it will slow charge from a low power usb power source?

If I plug mine into a 2 amp usb A charger it says that it is not charging, but does that mean it is drawing zero watts, or only that it is only drawing 10 watts? It would be nice to charge it overnight if only a phone charger happens to be around, or even just slow down the discharge rate while using the laptop.

It does slow charge, i use my external Anker Powercore Plus battery pack with it, while its not able to charge it while running because the MBP draws more Power than the Anker Battery can output it EXTENDS its battery lifetime very noticeably.

While that'd work, I'd advise against it as I feel like that'd needlessly heat the battery and reduce its life.

If that were true, wouldn't it be the job of the computer's battery management system to make sure it didn't happen?

Forcing user to learn all kinds of magic rules for how to "treat their battery" seems very old-fashioned and strange.

No, when providing supplemental power the battery current is lower and therefore has less heating. This will extend the life of the battery.

It does -- I travel with a 12" Macbook and the Google 15W USB-C charger. Take about 3 hours to charge from <10% to full.

Where would one buy this charger? Would be great as a travel charger if it works well, I currently use my iPad charger but a 50% power boost would come greatly appreciated.

I've charged my 15" Touchbar MBP with a 2 amp charger and a USB-A -> USB-C charger. Both used it for overnight charing and while plugged in (when using it plugged in it wouldn't draw battery but it wouldn't charge it either, maybe even drawing battery very slowly).

The reason why USB-C (with Power Delivery) is connected to fast charging with phones is that it allows more power to be transferred via cable than previous USB charging standards. For Notebooks this is not necessarily true, as there was no limitation for power delivered to the notebook before.

What you have to consider with fast charging is that it degrades the batteries faster and produces more heat.

iPad Pros fast charge from the USB-C adaptors.

Or just have an external battery pack that powers any of your USB devices. As you say, this represents maybe 5% of my usage. Most of the time I don't worry about battery, but sure enjoy having a slim phone.

Honest question what do you enjoy about the super slim phone? In the last years have you seen any phone thats too thick to hold or hard to put in pocket or just about don't fit in any place? Why slimmer, I honestly don't understand since it only makes it more slippery, harder to grip, more fragile. I don't see any use for further slimming than making a fashion statement or a notch for the marketing team.

I can understand if someone says they want even lighter.

Lighter is always my main concern, I never really hear other people complain but I often support the bottom of my phone with my pinky when using with one hand (bad habit) - and I definitely feel every extra gram ...

Is that really a bad thing, though? It seems like it gives the consumer a choice between having an ultra-lightweight device, or compromising on that front in favor of more battery life and protection.

I agree with this point, but with laptop battery life, unfortunately the alternatives are all significantly worse than simply having a slightly thicker/heavier laptop. They almost always involve carrying additional devices (needing their own protective enclosures, cables, etc) and require additional cognitive load (Which spare battery is charged? Where did I leave that battery?). A bigger internal battery eliminates all of that. There are very few options (if any) in between.

Exactly. People that do tasks more intensive than watch youtube videos and work on spreadsheets don't need any more battery life so thinness is a priority for regular laptops. People doing intense work use t h i c c laptops

Here's the thing — of you want more endurance you can get extra batteries (and with USB-C you can probably start using interchangeable standard power bricks) but if battery life is adequate you don't need to. How is this worse?

One of the things that has changed my life for the better is switching entirely to devices that can use any USB power brick or USB charger in a pinch. This includes my cameras, tablets, phones, audio gear, and so on. The only remaining outlier is laptops.

Even if devices weren't ultrathin they'd need to be in protective cases. Cases can be damaged and easily replaced. A damaged device is more expensive and less convenient to repair or replace.

As for battery packs, I have multiple devices, but I carry one battery pack that can charge all of them as needed. My phone is much lighter in my pocket for not having to have a larger battery (that I don't usually need), my ipad is easier to handle, etc.

My mom throws her 11" MBA in her purse, and charges it only at night.

I do care about that extra 1mm, when it comes to a latptop. I think most people who buy a laptop to use it on the go care about that. To be entirely fair I care more about the weight reduction than the 1mm.

For instance the new MacBook Pro 13" is my first MacBook Pro, simply because it's the first that is thin/light enough for me to carry around. Before that I had a MacBook Air from 2011. The MacBook Pro is vastly more powerful, but to write code it doesn't help much. It's not like SublimeText was slow on the MacBook Air. It's however night and days when it comes to browsing the web...

Counter anecdote: I've been carrying around laptops since my 17", 13# Alienware "laptop". Ever since the release of the 13" MBP (the one with the CD drive), a decent backpack or messenger bag has effectively negated every thickness and weight gains from that point on.

Frankly, I'm more annoyed by the bulk and weight of the power adapter than I am about 1mm or 1# off the laptop.

You know why people complain? Because some time ago there was Macbook Air for people who prefer a thin and light machine, and then there was Macbook Pro for people who prefer more powerful machine (in whichever meaning). This separation actually made sense. But now they discontinued Air, and they are trying to make a single line full of compromises.

I recently carried an older 13 inch MacBook Pro around to a bunch of meetings in the city. I could not believe how heavy it started to feel after about a mile of total walking.

I welcome powerful laptops that are as light as possible.

Where are people working that they need a full day of untethered charge? I've never been to a client that didn't provide me with a power outlet.

4 or 5 hours of real world use for a developer workstation is just fine train commuting or sitting in a coffee shop in the morning.

Precisely this. If the 2016 MacBook Pro I bought had been a tad thicker I would not have noticed. But I returned because of the dismal battery life under moderate load. Much worse than the previous generation. Did they even test this machine in the wild?

I on the other hand wouldn't have bought the Macbook Pro, but ended up doing so because it had now become the "Macbook Air with retina" that I'd been waiting on for ages (...although a shitton more expensive).

More battery would be nice, but thinness and espcially weight matter a great deal to me. I literally sometimes don't even have my charger with me, because that small amount of added weight annoys me a great deal. Although I'm probably a bit extreme in that regard.

The battery is 25% smaller. Not enough to go from not dismal to dismal. Likely the integrated GPU kicking in when it shouldn't.

I guess I was hoping the battery would last longer than my 5 year old battery in my older MBP. I was kind of shocked when it didn't.

That sounds like a bug of some sort (hopefully). MacBook battery life had a massive jump in the 2013 version.

The few people I know who upgraded from their 2012/2015 model to 2016 have complained about battery being worse :/

I wonder if all reports of poor battery life are from users of MBP with touch bar. It is interesting that the non-touch bar MBP has a ~10% bigger battery, half the TDP under sustained load and doesn't need to drive the ARM processor + touch bar. Thus better battery life than MBP with touch bar.

I don't really buy the "aren't they thin enough already" argument. I would've said my 15" MBP 2013 is small and light enough, but the 2016 model is notably more livable. The reduction in footprint (which also affects space for a battery) makes it a lot more manageable to spring for the 15". It's a pound lighter than the 13.3" polycarbonate MacBook I had a decade ago!

This is a pretty common rant on HN and other tech enthusiast sites.

My main qualm is your note that tech bloggers love the thinness and that people will buy it based on their recommendation.

A) do most people really read tech blogs to figure out what computer to buy? Or do most people ask the best buy guy or their friend? (I would guess the latter, but I am not super sure so I'm gonna leave it as a question...)

B) many tech bloggers to express their disappointment in manufacturer's obsession with thinness. (Examples: MKBHD, Android Police, maybe even Anandtech)

(On a separate note, I have read way too many tech blogs...)

Regarding your first question, I'm not from a tech related field, and most people around me generally use Google for recommendations. And Google always ranks famous tech blogs higher on the list. So.. I would say yes.

Typically companies produce products that people want to buy. A vocal number of people on the internet keeps saying that everybody wants laptops with a bigger battery instead of thin laptops. Companies are producing thin laptops instead of big laptops with big batteries though, because that is what people are buying. So in reality, people do not want the bigger laptop with the big battery, they want the thin laptop.

If you want bigger laptops, go out and buy the biggest one you can find. If all these people that say they want it do that, you can be sure the market will be flooded with laptops with a big battery.

Apple forces thinness because nobody else does. This differentiates their products. It also forces their engineers to make things smaller before anyone else. That, in turn, keeps them at the forefront of miniaturization.

When the MacBook Air first came out that might have been true, but fitting in a manila folder is no longer that impressive with the ubiquity of ultrabooks. Apple hasn't been aggressive with selling thin the way they were with the Air (back when the Air came out it really was a breathtakingly thin laptop, or at least the marketing made you feel that way)

Apple doesn't even have the thinnest laptop anymore, that achievement is now in HP's hands with the 10.4mm thick Spectre (and before that it was HP's Envy)

Thinner also (usually) means lighter, and a lot of people prioritize light weight over longer battery life.

Yep, they could have put a 99wh battery in it and gave it another ~33% battery life (the 2016 15" tbMBP has a 76wh pack while the 2015 had the 99wh pack). Given that 100wh is the largest you can easily bring on a plane, I'm sure many people would have been happier with "up to 13 hours of battery life" instead of "10" right now.

> Why not go for some truly earth-shattering battery life on one of these laptops?

Interesting to note that there are reports that there was a failed battery design that would have given these latest models even more battery[0]. However, I think your suggestion is more reasonable. If there's less space being used for components, fill it with more battery. Then they could possibly have offered the 32GB of ram they couldn't offer due to battery concerns[1].



Anecdotally, a customer of mine had to replace his MacBook and bought the new one with the OLED strip. He says that the battery lasts about the same as the old one. The only difference he felt is the USB-C connectors and the need to have a dongle for everything. He's not happy about that.

I really do care about weight and dimensions. Before I used to buy the typical 3.5Kg laptops. When you carry an Acer around, you can feel the weight in your backpack, even when you walk around the office to go to a meeting. I switched to a MBA and I feel it like if it was a paper notebook. It is a huge difference. A perfect laptop for me would have the weight an dimensions of a MBA with almost the power of a MBP.

As for battery life, I need enough battery to be able to go to meetings without having to take the charger with me. It's not usual for me to work 8 hours without having a charger near to me. Also, as far as I know, the new Macs with USB-C, can be charged from an external battery pack.

I agree. And thinness to me is more about minimalism than anything else. And that I laude Apple for.

I actually do appreciate a thinner, lighter machine, but with phones and laptops they're at the point where I'd happily take a few extra mm in order to get something more rugged with significantly better battery life.

Everybody always talks about thinness... I would argue that all they want is reduce the cost of the components. The smaller the battery for the same battery life, the cheaper it will be to produce. Everything is about rentability.

I find myself thinking that i recall reading about certain thinkpads (or some other brand) had the option of an attached battery that would fit flush with the laptop bottom.

Thus i find myself thinking about some way to do a combo of frames/cases and batteries so that one can add a frame to a laptop and insert batteries into the frame to extend overall runtime.

The idea of the frames being that if one replace the laptop one only need to replace the frame but continue to use the batteries.

I can only imagine there has been some study of how long between charges people go on average/median. I imagine most people aren't going all day without any chance to charge (the world seems to have gotten more charger friendly) and there are probably lots of weirdos like me who work from home and never take their MBPs anywhere.

well based on weight and size current generation laptops from Dell, Apple, and others, still has being doing a double take when picking up my laptop bag; as in is it in there?

I think the battle over thinness and weight was well worth it but the next battle is getting workflow to work in a full touch screen interface similar to the surface pro do and not he half ass move Apple made with that touch bar. Applications and imagination are holding that up. I do not expect keyboards to ever go away completely but pointing devices are another thing entirely

> at least for professionals?

Professional whats? Executives, salespeople, real estate agents, pediatricians, beer distributors - all of these people are professionals, and all of them can and do benefit from smaller and lighter computing power.

Clearly your idea of a professional is someone who is chained to a desk writing code or processing complex 3D graphics. No question those are professional uses as well, but the idea of a 'professional computer user' covers a lot more ground these days than your insular definition.

Please explain to me how complicated and demanding is the workflow of these "salespeople, real estate agents, pediatricians and beer distributors(!)" that you talk about? What exactly is stopping them from getting the smaller 12" MacBook? Or the infinite other ultrabooks available now? Something called the "Pro", and something that costs a pretty penny, shouldn't just cater to the ones out and about and only needing Excel.

I'm a writer, and I consider myself a "pro" in that field. I don't really need the power of the Macbook Pro, but I do need a larger retina screen. The Macbook Pro is really the only laptop Apple makes at the moment that fits my needs.

I'm not sure why people who need high performance are so sniffy and condescending about those who don't. A requirement for massive computer resources doesn't make the work more valuable or respectable. Your moral worth is not linked to the number of processors you require to get your work done.

> Or the infinite other ultrabooks available now?

They don't run MacOS.

You're clearly the target market for these new MBPs, and that's great. Glad you have a machine that fits your needs.

People with more strenuous computing needs are miffed because the MBP used to fit our use case, and now it doesn't. There isn't a single Apple product focused on the high performance market any more, and some of us are bitter.

Imho people are upset at Apple because they are leaving people who do need high performance, but want to stick with MacOS in the cold.

The current laptop lineup is great, and perfect for a wide range of professions, myself included. But there is nothing for the person who wants more power, even if with more weight and cost. The desktop lineup is okay, but 3-year-old models keep being sold at launch prices, and are not practically upgradeable.

Nobody cares if HP comes out with boring laptops one year - because there's always Lenovo, Dell, etc to choose from, and for desktops you can always build your own. But if you want to stay with your software and workflows on MacOS, Apple is the only maker of Macs.

My "suggestion" for Apple would be to give up on the Mac Pro desktop line, take one high-end Dell workstation every year, and test and qualify it to run MacOS. People already build Hackintoshes, so it cannot be too complex compared to designing and building their own hardware.

This would mean that people who want to pay $10-50k, can have a MacOS computer with 44 cores, a terabyte of memory, 4 graphics cards, 8 SSDs in RAID, and so on. Add a generous "Apple tax" to make it worthwhile for Apple, and people who want the power always have one "really maxed out" option. And everyone who complains about laptops not being powerful enough can be told to get a desktop instead.

>I'm not sure why people who need high performance are so sniffy and condescending about those who don't.

I submit that it's because the people in one camp feel that Apple screwed them in order to cater to people in the second camp. The people in the first camp are sick of hearing how the MBP is adequate for the people in the second camp, and are projecting a little bit.

I don't mind that Apple offers very thin laptops that limit battery life, and make it impossible to change harddisks or add memory. The Macbook Air was the first, and it was great as it was. If there is a market for this, whether for professionals or not, they should sell them as much as then can.

I do mind that they don't offer at least one good alternative that is "programmer pro": harddisk can be changed, RAM can be added, battery can be replaced and may be bigger. I really don't mind 5mm or even 1cm extra thickness if that gives me all this for a reasonable price. And the 2012 Macbook Pro (without retina) was offered up til last year, but that was no real option with four year old hardware and still for the same price.

I am a programmer and changing RAM/disk/replaceable batteries are not on my list of things I need for work.

Programmer pro does not need HD replacement and ram replacement. I would say in this day and age, decent keyboard, awesome screen, and fast wifi makes the most impact... I think what you mean is "computer enthusiast" because a pro will get the right tool for the job and get to work. MacBook pros have not been upgradable for a while and I would bet a significant number of "programmer pros" still use them without complaint.

>Something called the "Pro", and something that costs a pretty penny, shouldn't just cater to the ones out and about and only needing Excel.

Do you know of that instant update feature in Excel? It automatically updates cells when you alter one, up to a certain performance point. My MacBook (non anything) stops doing so much faster than when I use a desktop. When I do process a line of heavier formulae I do have to also wait a fair amount longer than when I use a larger machine.

And the pretty penny argument does not really hold up when you are talking about it as a company expense, due to the very favorable tax perspective.

> Do you know of that instant update feature in Excel? It automatically updates cells when you alter one, up to a certain performance point. My MacBook (non anything) stops doing so much faster than when I use a desktop.

Sorry but that has to be one of the most ridiculous benchmarks I've seen in a long time.

It's not a benchmark, he's just saying that even excel users can have a need for powerful computers too

12" may be too small to show stuff to other people sitting around a table, or too uncomfortable on their eyes.

So they'll release a 15" version of the 12" soon enough. The point still stands: if Apple is the only ones making Macs, they need to cater to those who would prefer workstations or gaming rigs as the highest end "Pro" market. If it needs a separate graphics card, it's not for Excel...

I think the ship on gaming macs has sailed. Apple has shown intermittent interest in high end computing, rendering, compilation and so. But the only "gaming" machine they ever produced is the iPad. None of their PCs was even remotely competitive with the competition and I believe they do not care.

I think that the only thing that could "trick" them into making a gaming machine is VR, as it requires similar hardware.

Let's be brutally realistic.

They don't "need" to... We just really want them to.

Time will tell that.

They made their brand exactly by caring about the people they are throwing away now. It's not obvious if their brand will sustain itself without those people.

> What exactly is stopping them from getting the smaller 12" MacBook?

Screen size. I'd personally love a 15" fanless MacBook.

You're conflating a 'professional' as a white-collar job classification, and a 'professional' computer user.

The macbook pro is a computer for professional computer users.

A professional philosophy professor has no need of a macbook pro, a professional video-editor does.

Being a 'professional; in your white-collar classification, doesn't imply that you're a professional computer user.

It's not an insular definition, it's a specific definition.

A professional philosophy professor has no need of a macbook pro, a professional video-editor does.

I don't see why. A philosophy professor might prefer a larger screen and a faster CPU for their web browsing and document editing. And, while a professional video-editor would understandably gripe about it, I have no doubt they could get their work done—if they had to—on a 12" MacBook. Video editors used to get fine work done on Pentiums that offered a small fraction of the performance.

It's not an insular definition, it's a specific definition.

Set by whom? Where?

I'm sure you can find some philosophy professors that will appreciate bigger screens and faster computers; that wasn't the point.

This is about the semantics of the word 'professional' and avoiding confusing a 'professional' in the white-collar-job sense, and a 'professional computer user'.

Set by whom? Where?

Well, apple don't define their terms formally in a Dictionary, they're subject to interpretation. I would say they've historically marketed the Macbook pro as a computer for 'professional computer users', not 'professional' in the white-collar vs blue-collar sense of the word.

I see no reason why any of those people benefit from the slightly thinner form of the new mbp than they would benefit from better battery life.

Everyone wants batteries that last longer. How often did you look at your last generation mbp and wish it was thinner?

These people are lugging their laptop around all day, from meeting to meeting, or airport to airport. If you can keep battery life constant at ca. 10 hours, which covers an extended work day, then beyond that most people would prefer to have lighter/slimmer/cooler (less hot) devices than one that runs for 20 hours.

I can agree on lighter, cooler or even smaller (in length/width) but really slimmer? As I said in another thread, what does a slimmer laptop gives you in present day.

For a consultancy job I carry two notebooks around. A company provided Lenovo laptop and Macbook pro. Would love to have a lighter laptop, without resorting to cheap plastic. I don't want a smaller screen as I can't connect external monitors there and my eyes are not that great.

I love the fact that I don't have to carry a charger for the Macbook, even after 2 years of usage it still runs long enough to last a workday.

> even after 2 years of usage

Okay so its not the new Macbook we're talking about here. I think I may have the same one, I bought it in 2014 and I love it. It still takes everything I throw at it, and it connects to everything. Full SSD which I was wary of at first but once you get used to no moving parts - which don't break - it's hard to imagine going back to clunky spinning platters.

I'd be hard pressed to go for the new MBPs though. My 2014 is so light it barely registers as it is. I'd prefer to keep the same degree of connectivity and utility. The new one I'm afraid seems a bit much of show pony.

I'm concerned with the direction Apple's software is taking as well. Others here mention the abandonment of the high end, with regards to photography, video, music etc. but even the middle-ground is a mess. iTunes keeps getting clunkier and clunkier to the point where I'm seriously considering not getting an iPhone because that's the last reason I need to use it at this stage.

I think the Photos app leaves a lot to be desired as well. A lot of people moaned about iPhoto - but to me it seemed way better.

Then there was Yosemite, which is actually the only dark period in my MBP's life. Things would just mysteriously stop working, and regular reboots were fairly common. What particularly stands out is that fiasco around mDnsResponder / Discoveryd - which ironically most acutely affected users with a mostly Apple ecosystem.

Each of these three instances, as well as other notables such as Apple maps, are cases where Apple just couldn't "leave well enough alone"; took something that worked okay and foisted a big steaming pile of dog poo on us instead.

In fairness though the emphasis seems to be on "think different" these days rather than "it just works" but it may as well be "software is hard, lets go shopping".

Sorry, I seem to have gone way off on a tangent here. Though I feel the general sentiment is still OT. Thanks!

I think Apple has devolved into middle aged middle manager computing. Photos of the kids and the holidays are nice, videos are nice, being able to buy music and movies is nice, oh, and maybe some popular games.

Look, it plays Angry Birds and that thing with the cars - what more could anyone want?

And there's a text and presentation editor, and a spreadsheet, because those are super important.

I'd guess there's no one to represent any of the pro user communities in Cupertino any more at the top levels. There's certainly no passion for making beautiful, creative tools any more.

I still like the hardware - the iPad Pro is a favourite in this house, and I'm enjoying a new MacBook - but how I wish someone could give MacOS software like iTunes and Photos a kick up the ass to make it awesome instead of eccentric and annoying.

And how I wish Apple would open up to all the creative communities and start listening to what pro users want, instead of telling us that we don't really need what we used to have and we should - y'know - just get over ourselves.

Bend potential.

Edit: Evidently the downvotes have proven that thinner devices do not lead to increased risk of bend damage.

Sure, if it actually lasted 10 hours in real-life usage, which it doesn't, which they could have prevented by using the 99wh battery instead of the 76wh which was chosen to make it thinner. I'm nearly positive that it would make a 1mm difference in the overall thickness and a small addition weight-wise (LiPo packs are not super heavy).

At least give people a choice. The 17" used to be fantastic as well, and I still miss it. It was big and bulky enough that causal users didn't want it and so Apple didn't have to try to appease them with it as much.

It'd be great if they licensed MacOS again if they're going to give up on the higher end as we've seen with the Mac Pro 0-upgrades-in-4-years zero-commitment-to-the-platform approach they've taken, as we've seen with killing Xserve, with the dual-core-only Mac minis after the 2012 model, with iMacs using all laptop parts...

They message they send is clear: we make computers to do Facebook and some Excel on, not for making movies (FinalCut Pro X dropping tons of pro features), not for photographers (Aperture is discontinued), not for DJs (no more FireWire and 100% USB-C), not for programmers or hacker types (check how old their versions of unix tools are, dtrace locked out with rootless AKA SIP, non-upgradable/repairable hardware, Mac App Store limitations). All the reasons macs sold so well with pros before are basically nonexistent in 2017, and I predict that they'll slowly fade out of the pro scenes. At some point, consumers will notice ("why doesn't every major DJ have the glowing Apple logo on stage anymore???") and they will stop being cool.

I'm pretty convinced that all it would take to usurp Apple is a really solid design like an old IBM or a sturdy Dell with a touchpad that doesn't register your palm half the time, and a chassis that doesn't droop a few mm on one side when you pick it near the corner. Sadly, even today, there are not many options for laptops that don't feel like complete crap compared to any MacBook.

Agreed. I think heat dissipation is often overlooked while making a buying decision.

Regarding overall portability, I think the 13 inch MacBook air is a good compromise. The new 13 inch MacBook pro is about the same weight, but obviously a lot more powerful, and is smaller in dimensions. It's a breeze to work on planes with this machine.

I'd rather see the next iteration of MacBook Pros with better heat dissipation and longer battery life than with 1 mm improvement in thickness.

Thinner implies a better ratio of surface area to volume for dissipating heat. Though, I suppose a laptop could be thicker by including empty space with fans and airflow to exhaust the heat out the sides rather than conducting it through the surfaces touched by users.

Right, also heat dissipation is a function of the processors. I don't think Intel has any processor offerings in the i5 and i7 families which will enable fan-less laptop design. Asus seems to have swapped the Core M processors with the i5 and i7 families in their latest Zenbooks. At 700$ this laptop is a steal.


You don't increase the surface area of a laptop by making it thinner.

Sure the ratio changes, but I'm not sure how that is relevant.

Why would thickness matter for heat dissipation? It's not a block of copper so it's not relevant.

I cycle with my MBP on my back every day. I also develop backend apps using VMs and need processing power. I bought the 15" MBP because this time around it was light enough for me. A year ago I would have got the 13", and been sad that I didn't have a bigger screen or faster machine.

Make of that what you will, but we exist.

Often enough. I've stopped traveling with my MBP in favor of a 12" iPad pro. Likewise, on a day full of meetings, my MBP stays at my desk connected to a giant monitor and I walk around with the iPad Pro. I am not alone from what I have observed.

>> How often did you look at your last generation mbp and wish it was thinner?

Never. Not once. I almost found it comical how thick the old MacBook Pro was to my Retina MacBook Pro. Then after using a new one for a while and going back to my once-thin rMBP 13", it feels as thick as the old generation.

> Professional whats? Executives, salespeople, real estate agents, pediatricians, beer distributors - all of these people are professionals, and all of them can and do benefit from smaller and lighter computing power.

You and the OP highlight a problem here: Apple's offerings in the "pro" segment is too limited to satisfy all different users' needs.

Apple needs to diversify.

I love the new 2016 MBP, and after using it think most of the purported issues are BS.

That said, there is one very real issue that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere: because of how thin they are, many of the minor issues that could previously be fixed in the Apple Store now require sending it out.

I had an intermittently working key on my keyboard and took it in for something I assumed would take half an hour to fix. They told me they needed to mail it in and it would be 4 - 6 days, probably 4. It's now going on day 13.

Fortunately my last one was old enough that it had zero resale value, but for anyone thinking of upgrading I'd highly recommend keeping a backup.

You love your new computer that has been in the shop for 13 days? May I ask, when did you buy it?

It came in early December, and I dropped it off Feb 2nd. So just a few days outside the 40 day RMA window, though had it failed earlier I'd probably still have opted for them to repair it.

I thought that was strange too.

Three fingers drag is buggy on the new trackpad.

Control strip is buggy, especially when using external monitors. The software is not able to adequately deal with external monitors being connected and disconnected throughout the day.

I've noticed this too with the control strip. Eventually the whole thing goes black except for maybe one "button" worth of area, like it missed a redraw or something. Tapping on a black area where you know a button is will redraw that button but you have to close and reopen the lid to get the whole thing normal again.

It also had a kernel panic displayed on the control strip (which is a separate OS) the moment I turned it on for the first time. It was kinda hilarious, the panic text was written sideways on the control strip, and since it's so thin there was a line break every 4-5 characters.

I've found this too - connecting an external monitor messes up some of my Touchbar functionality until I restart the whole laptop.

another solution is to run this command in terminal: killall ControlStrip

Another anecdote: I have two LG monitors on my desk, and frequently connect and disconnect the laptop during the day. I've had no issues with this, the touch bar, or with the trackpad.

really? You've never had 3 finger drag being registered as a two finger scroll?

Compared to my MBA, i can 100% reliability input 3 fingers vs 2. on the new MBP, that reliability rate is about 80%

Really, it does work 100% for me. I just tried it quite a few times. The only way I can make a three-finger drag register as a two-finger scroll is when the third finger is actually not on the trackpad.

I have now had mine in twice with key issues. Out of the box, my 'b' key would type 'bb' about 60% of the time instead of just 'b'. 15-day repair that involved apparently replacing the entire front panel, trackpad, battery, and a few other things.

3 weeks after that repair, my 'o' key stopped responding unless I hit it in the bottom left corner. Took it in and they fixed it in-store. Said that many people are having keyboard issues.

I also had one faulty key, it took 14 days to repair. They needed to replace half of the macbook. The whole top body panel with keyboard, batteries, trackpad and whatever else, because everything is glued together. When I got the macbook back, enter key was not working properly, fortunately it started working the next day.

There are couple of software glitches and I'd choose non-TB option if there was any for 15 inch, otherwise it's great laptop.

I've had the same intermittent key issue on my keyboard since I got it. Opened a support ticket with Apple days after I received it but still haven't send it in. Joel Spolsky had the same issue[1], TWICE [2]. If there's anything wrong with these machines, it's the keyboard, not the things everyone who doesn't even own one thinks it is.

[1]: https://twitter.com/spolsky/status/815245283818733569 [2]: https://twitter.com/spolsky/status/815245490010787840

Yeah the space between the keys is wide enough that dust from the air can get in between them, but too narrow to get it out. And the precision levels seem to be high enough that that's all it takes to cause this issue. (At least according to the other folks experiencing this on Reddit.)

It's a shame because I really like the feel of typing on it, but if it keeps breaking that's a huge issue.

I sloshed a bit of coffee on my keyboard, first such fck-up in over fifteen years. They want $620 to rub wipe the coffee off and put the keys back in place (they sent a photo). I'm praying that tomorrow morning I can talk them into mailing it back to uncleaned but still disassembled and let me pop them back in place....

Did they tell you that they were going to just wipe the coffee off and put it back together? I used to do Apple repairs and the $620 sounds in line with a full upper clamshell w/ keyboard replacement. Just "rub wiping" the coffee off wouldn't be satisfactory since you can't reach all of the places that the coffee penetrated, even with a full keyboard teardown.

I just had the full upper clamshell plus the keyboard replaced of my MBA 2013. Cost me ~$320. They even threw in a free battery replacement.

Curious if anyone else had constant sleep/wake failures?

I otherwise love the computer, but when I sleep it overnight it inevitably shuts down and has to restart in the morning. I'm sending in the crash report daily just in case they actually use them and maybe it'll get fixed.

Not a huge deal since computers boot so fast and I always save things, but it's still annoying.

It could be due to a specific USB device. I had the issue once with what seemed to be a USB-C to USB-A adapter and a high power draw device. Many others have reported issues with external drives.

More anecdata because facts are sparse... My 15" late 2016 MBP will not properly wake from sleep when I use my Dell USB 3.0 dock. I need to test further but it may be more directly due to the monitor plugged into the dock.

EDIT: on the topic of the article, my battery life is great, the whole computer is great EXCEPT for having to keep activity monitor open to keep an eye on which GPU I'm using. the discrete GPU will burn through a whole charge in 3.5 hrs. Some apps will call for it without actually needing it, like reading a pdf in Adobe Acrobat. If I kill off any apps calling the dGPU, battery life is fine, albeit not exciting. I keep the full MS Office suite running, Google Earth Pro, a dozen or so tabs open. Frustrating but hoping it will be fixed on a software update.

I agree that the heavily load dependent battery life is a pain, but one suggestion is to get iStat Menus. The CPU usage widget can show a icon to indicate if the integrated (i) or discrete (A) GPU is being used.

I have literally no USB devices that I use regularly, and none that are plugged in overnight while it's sleeping.

Yeah, I'm having similar issues. Also having issues with multiple monitors. For some reason, one of the monitors will just flicker on and off or won't register at all.

Yes. It's very annoying because my sessions and apps are open exactly how I want them. Anyone have a solution?

I'm still always amazed Apple doesn't offer better support packages for professional users, given that they clearly are in the premium market. Something like "we'll swap your SSD in a loaner device if we can't fix it immediately" sounds like it wouldn't be too expensive to implement.

Apple doesn't really support "professional" in the "enterprise" sense. E.g., here(1) is Lenovo's options for service agreements for the standard public. It outlines standard levels offering on-site tech support and the possibility of international support. I've worked with firms that have had a strict 12 hour on-site tech to service whatever broke (a 3 million dollar z12 or a 300 dollar Ideapad) in the SLA negotiated into the package of a bulk buy.

A good litmus test between "professional" and "premium consumer device" is 1: do you have a direct line to a domestic tech who can address your issues (i.e., generally not having to waste your time with a level 1 service tech, but directly reaching someone who is at least semi-competent and capable of authorizing work orders and/or warranty claims in the ERP) or an option to buy an SLA, 2: does the company offer a mil-spec and/or pre-authorized GSA listed items, 3: does their financing dept offer 3 (or 5, depending on how your organization decides to do their depreciation) year equipment lease schedule ?

[1] https://www.lenovo.com/images/products/services-warranty/dat...

Maybe with previous models, but considering the new MBP SSD storage is soldered in I don't think that would be practical.

You can't say you love the new MBP and that you recommend that anyone that buys one has a backup computer in the same comment...

The need for a backup computer is related to Apple's service, which is (currently) bad. I'm not defending that, but it's different than the product itself.

Stockholm syndrome.

That's bad. I am nowhere near an Apple Store and needed a repair on my 2014 rMPB. Apple overnighted me a box. I packed it and it was picked up that evening around 8pm on a Wednesday. They got the computer fixed and back to me by Friday morning. I would be very unhappy to wait 13 days.

When I bring my 2016 MBP into the office, it runs out of battery near the end of the day, and I have to plug it in for those final 2 or 3 hours. Very satisfied.

My colleague with a new Surface Book has been shaking his fist at me, wishing he hadn't listened to the FUD and left the Applesphere. Apparently he gets frustratingly bad battery life on his SB. (To be fair, though, the SB's display ejection hardware is just plain cool...)

We're programmers, BTW, writing server-side software mainly using Go, running several ancillary services locally on our dev machines using Docker to ease the development process. I'm thoroughly pleased with my 2016 MBP's battery life considering these workloads.

Seriously, why would battery life even matter if you are sitting in the office all day??

With that said, SB can easily do 10-12 hours once you turn off the always-on camera:


> Seriously, why would battery life even matter if you are sitting in the office all day??

Do you people chain yourselves to your desk the entire day? My office has a the "open-office" trend, which pretty much prompts me to leave and to go various parts of the office during the day, or maybe even the library, and only come back in for meetings.

I don't know what's worse for a dev, being chained to a desk all day or the constant movings and chatter in an open office when you're trying to concentrate.

> My office has a the "open-office" trend, which pretty much prompts me to leave and to go various parts of the office during the day, or maybe even the library, and only come back in for meetings.

To me this sounds as you don't really have proper working offices. Maybe that is the problem you need to solve, instead of trying to maximize the battery life of your laptop?

I can change the battery life of my laptop by buying a different laptop.

I can't change my office layout without switching jobs.

I'm wondering, why don't you run your MBP plugged in all the time? I assume you just sit with it somewhere.

Also I'm wondering why you use Mac or Surface to programm server side stuff? Wouldn't a Linux on a cheaper/more powerful laptop be better for such work?

Aldo, doesn't docker on mac and Windows use an expensive linux virtualization layer?

I think OP would get much better battery time if he used a proper Linux machine.

What do you mean by "considering these workloads"? It sounds like a fairly light workload.

Compiling codebases, bringing services up/down in Docker containers, testing client-server workflows, etc.

These activities, especially when repeated throughout the day, can be quite computationally-expensive, taking a significant toll on the machine's resources. These aren't light workloads, they are fairly heavy.

I think a lot of people are talking about the new MBP as if they had one. It's 2017 and a too many power users still base their opinion simply on specs divination -- that is, theoretical musings about this and that component will perform. Especially with Apple, it should be clear that the whole thing is much more complicated than a 1+1 based on a spec list.

I think that's been clear to anyone without their head in the sand for a while now.

It's the same with iOS vs. Android. Early Android proponents did nothing but talk up the specs and the "customizability". The reality is, iPhones have always had such great hardware/software integration that they made using touch screens feel like you were interacting with the UI physically. You press a button, the phone almost immediately responded. A lot of this was the use of capacitive touch screen, but there was a lot more to it. It took years for Android to get close to this point, and I honestly think Apple still does it better.

Why do I need 4GB of RAM on my phone, when 1GB runs every app I want it to and gives me a lag free experience in the rest of the OS?

Don't even start....

This must be a troll

I'd love to hear a contrasting opinion.

Based on my (admittedly unusual) workloads, the effective charge time of the 2016 is awful. I already only get 4-5 hours out of a 2014 MBP. I bought a 2016 and only managed 3 1/2 hours. Maybe they've improved that with some software fixes, but it's still a non starter. So I returned it.

I know I'm not a typical user, but I get much better battery life (with lower productivity) out of my windows laptop. Which was not the case when I switched to Macs years back.

Are you controlling for the screen having a higher maximum brightness?

I thought I was getting much worse battery life on my new MBP compared to my old one, but then I paid attention to screen brightness - when I level match the screens to the same level of brightness, I get the same battery life as my older one.

I'm used to just jamming the screen to 100% brightness, so I've had to get used to keep it around 70% or so.

Mac laptops these days are built with backlights strong enough to compete with daylight. In typical working conditions, 100% is way overkill.

For max long term comfort, your display should be no brighter than the ambient light levels. Otherwise--if the display is way brighter--your pupils will have to contract when you look at the screen, and dilate when you look away. Your pupils are controlled by muscles and like any muscles, they can get tired.

I have a 2012 MacBook Air and I rarely have the brightness over 50% indoors. And the new MacBook Pros have way brighter screens.

Sitting in my living room right now, my iPhone is at about 15% brightness.

In a dark room I find the minimum brightness much too bright. Weird feature to wish for, but I think they need to crank the minimum brightness down by at least 25%.

Check out brightness control:


It works as long as I disable flux.

I've wanted a "lower minimum brightness" option on every apple product I've owned... with the exception of an iPod shuffle which has no screen.

You can hold option-shift while adjusting the brightness (or volume) to get quarter increments. However it looks like it doesn't have any effect below the 1st level for brightness.

If you open System Preferences, it has a handy little brightness slider. Just Option-<brightness> opens the right pane.

Agreed. There is a setting that inverts colors, which darkens most text areas in websites and apps. It screws up pictures though, obviously.

That's surprising. I actually think it's too dark, and always find myself cranking up the brightness everytime I switch workplaces.

He means in a dark room at night. I have the same complaint. When all other lights are turned off at night, the MacBook Pro screen, at minimum brightness, is still way too bright for my taste.

Flux should help in those dark situations :-)

Same here. It was weird at first, but now I almost always use ~70-80% screen brightness now. Going full brightness starts to hurt if you're in a dark room too.

To be honest no, I didn't. But I also don't generally change my screen brightness. So I'm not sure I ever even checked what it was at on the 2016.

The new display gets a lot brighter, and physics means it'll take power to do it. At full brightness most of the idle power usage is running the backlight.

I had the same experience. I bought a 2016 MacBook Pro and with my usual work load of a VM, IDE and browser with 20+ tabs open battery life was worse than my 2011 MBP with its original battery. So I returned it. First apple return in 23 years.

I get a pretty good runtime out of my 12" MB, and, I found that the tools Apple provides to diagnose power usage were pretty god. Every time I see a complaint like this I always wonder what the cause is...

My particular crime? Heavy VM use with multiple concurrent OSes and server processes.

Not sure what OSes you are using... but in the past, running a windows VM would be the main power drain of any laptop I'm using.

When I run Windows in Parallels it DESTROYS battery life. I'm lucky to get 2 to 2 1/2 hours on my current MBP if I have my full toolchain and Windows running.

Huh. I develop on a beefy server, and give everyone who works with me beefy servers, too.

I'm often highly mobile with unreliable connectivity (think back country Alaska/Washington/Missouri/etc). Remoting is not a reliable option while traveling. Now when I'm working from home, I have other workstations I can connect to. And if the connectivity on the road is decent, I do have equipment I can connect to.

However I generally find my most productive workflow is all local. Which is why I was doubly disappointed by the lack of upgrades to 7th gen i7 and 32GB of RAM. The battery life loss under load was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Have you ever considered carrying a battery? You have the classic use-case for having one.

Actually I have been looking to buy one for extra on the road capacity. Really I'm just trying to decide what my work machine(s) will be moving forward. I think I'm going to limp by with my current MBPro and Dell Precision combo until the next MBPro refresh is out.

what brand/model is the windows laptop? they are usually worse than mbp in battery life so i'm curious.

You mean the battery life is less than for the previous generation, or that it takes longer to charge?

While Apple seems to improve idle power efficiency, not much is or can be done about high CPU workloads, but decreasing battery capacity doesn't help at all.

My 2012 MPBr shows ~94Wh capacity from System Report. I know they've changed battery sizes several times since then - down to ~75Wh, then more again.

That's actual life. I never manage more than five hours while working on my current 2014 MBP 15". The loss of additional time under load on the 2016 was a deal killer for me.

Are you using VMWare Fusion by chance? I've noticed lately in my 2 year old MacBook Pro that it just slays the battery when running, even when VMs are idle.

Amazing news for someone who's about to pull the trigger on the non-touch bar 2016 MBP.

I considered many other options but couldn't find a company with similar build quality and reputation for high quality in the mobile workstation space.

My only concern was the battery, it seems to perform at a high level.

Do not mistake power efficiency for long battery life. Power efficiency doesn’t mean all tasks use little power and you will always have a long battery life. Apple’s power efficiency shines in idle mode. When you put light but constant strain on the machine, e.g. with IDEs and compile-on-save, battery life goes down quickly, no matter how efficient.

Choose wisely. A MacBook Pro (Mid 2014) still has roughly the same performance as a 2016 model but is much, much cheaper. I recommend you pick a used 2014 or 2015 model in good condition. Saves you a lot of money (> $1000).

Everyone talks about the downsides of the new MacBooks. No one talks about about how they reduced the size of the internal battery by 30%, effectively added a second screen, improved overall performance, and still kept the same battery life.

Wait, all anyone has talked about is how they have done all that... with the exception of the "same" battery life.

A lot of people feel it ... isn't the same.

or... arguably kept the 'same' battery life as previous devices, but added more battery draining 'stuff'.

I had one, and returned it, partially for battery life. I'm doing a lot of development (intellij/phpstorm/virtualbox/etc). The battery life wasn't bad - at heavy use, I could get perhaps 6 hours of 'real' usage, but... It was $3700, which was a bit much for my blood given the battery shortcomings (and a few other reasons). But mostly price/performance relative to my workload. For $1200/less I got an approximately similar 2015 model with more battery, and a slightly heavier weight.

I'd trade in a few ounces to get back user serviceable memory and hd/ssd upgrades.

agreed. the thinness was/is 'nice', but... would prefer hd swapping and memory mods.

if price went down based on thickness, maybe it would be more welcomed...

*I was incorrect and noted normal macbooks, not MBP. Normal macbooks are terrible in price to performance, MBP is better, ignoring all the other things about it.

When I say MacBooks... I mean the MacBook Pros. As in, what this article is talking about. Apple never reduced the size of the MB battery by 30%. Or added a second screen. Or kept performance they same (they improved performance gen-over-gen with the MB). Use your head. Apply some context.

That is correct in this case, ignoring the other issues with buying an Apple device.

> effectively added a second screen

Powering a main screen versus a screen 1/15th of the size hardly qualifies as "effectively... a second screen"

> improved overall performance

Is it possible newer components are more optimized to draw less power for the same or more performance?

Let's not call the touchbar a "second screen". Yes, it is. But it's just that - a touch bar/ status bar.

Most commentary around 5th vs 6th generation is that it's pretty much identical.

Apple gets bashed every time they release something, remember everyone making fun of the iPad, or even the iPhone?

> reduced the size of the internal battery by 30%

I'll talk about that. Keep the battery the same damn size and give us more battery life.

> effectively added a second screen

Plenty of people have been talking about the touch bar.

> improved overall performance

If it didn't do that the world would have a new source of non-coal energy, Mac fans screaming at the top of their lungs!

What Apple lacks is the moment is coherency. The iPhone comes with a headset and charging cable that won't work with a Mac. When I plugged my earphones+remote into an iMac and the remote worked, that was magical. This is just silly.

The Mac Pro was resurrected and promptly abandoned. iMacs are MIA. Apple stuff doesn't work with other Apple stuff. More "it just works" please.

GP is raising attention to the fact that battery life hasn't decreased, not that people aren't paying attention to the other features. Sure, people talk about the smaller battery, screen, and performance increases. But it's an achievement that these were added without absolutely gutting the MacBooks' battery life.

What? Battery life has decreased considerably. People and tests show exactly that. I don't think there's any testing that shows that battery life is the same as in the 2015 model.

Even this article:

> It’s also in line with people reporting that under high load the new MBP lasts a shorter amount of time than the earlier models.

Have had one since November and this mirrors my experience. YMMV, but I find that the 2016 MBP charges quite a bit faster than the 2015. For me, I prefer the faster charging over the slight increase in overall battery life, with the added bonuses of the '16 using a standard charging cable. Anyone with a newer Android phone (and soon, airport shops and convenience stores nationwide) can hook you up with a spare MBP charger in a pinch. External USB-C batteries are also easily available and add as much portable charging capacity as you want to buy. Anyone serious about needing to travel with their laptop will probably find it easier to keep a '16 MBP charged than before.

I have an older MBP. Hunting down processes and especially tabs in Safari or Chrome that cause the CPU to spike and to drain the batteries becomes a daily routine. A routine I don't like.

Is there a program that watches excessive CPU usage and battery drain over time, warns me and points me directly to the possible culprit and advices me to take action. For example to close a specific tab in Safari. I would even let the program automatically close Safari tabs for certain websites.

The goal would be to optimise battery usage in the most user friendly way.

for chrome, The Great Suspender does an alright job if you have a lot of sprawl and an internet connection stays available.

I will attribute this to Intel's advances and focus in low power processors, not much credit goes to Apple in my mind.

The Macbook pro 2014 used Haswell processors which are notably more power hungry on idle than Broadwell and its successor Skylake, as Intel really focused on power draw with Broadwell.

Why is it reasonable to make claims about the current draw going down without discussing voltage?

There are only two useful figures here: power drawn from the battery (probably mW) and time the battery would last at idle. The current is meaningless unless you know that the voltage (current voltage, not nominal voltage) of the batteries on the systems being compared are the same. Given that battery voltage changes during a discharge cycle, this is far from a given even the batteries are completely identical.

If Apple really wanted to halve battery current, they could just change the cell configuration to double the voltage. Bingo!, except the laptop won't actually run any longer on a charge.

Very happy to hear that idle is better. Very unhappy to hear that usage is worse.

I would prefer not to think about my usage patterns and just sit back knowing my new laptop (2016 mbp) is always better than my old (2015 mbp) one in all cases.

The first generation "Retina" machines were not without their drawbacks either, but those were ironed out quickly enough. If you update every single year you'll be intimately aware of these problems. If, like most, you're on a 3-5 year cycle it's largely irrelevant.

People used to buy cars every two to three years as well, but now it's common to retain them for a lot longer unless you're leasing.

If you are on a 3–5 year cycle it is relevant because you would be stuck with it for 3–5 years. Unless you like the hassle of migrating to your new MacBook Pro, test it for a week, and then return it. If you are unlucky, you can’t migrate back because the newly upgraded macOS, iTunes library or Photos library is not compatible with your old macOS, iTunes library or Photos library. So you won’t be able to migrate back or open your libraries.

You have 14 days to decide you don't like it and take it back, no penalty, which is nice. Plus if you're on a 3-5 year cycle skipping a year is no big deal.

It's also unlikely you're OS locked on a 3-year old machine. My 2012 MacBook Pro still runs current versions of macOS.

The article defines "usage" as "high load". That could still mean that any fixed workload is handled better on the new MBP than the old version.

I'm pretty sure that the new CPUs are more efficient – in terms of power/workload – than the previous generation.

That would mean the new MBP is <= 25% worse for a given workload. Maybe somebody knows the numbers for the CPUs, but previous generations improved efficiency by 10-30%.

Until you steam a video or play a game, like Civilization or XCom (from 2012). Then the battery just dies at a near 1% per minute rate. "Great battery! ... until you actually go to do something that uses power." I did a side by side test and the battery on my new MBP lasts the same as my 2013 MBP for streaming conference calls -- under 2 hours for both. (I had them call each other with cameras aimed at each other while both streaming Netflix.)

Have you updated the OS? I found battery to be a problem on my 15" until 10.12.3, wherein it's much improved.

It's 76Wh in 2016 vs 99Wh in 2015 -- a 24% smaller battery. To have the same battery time, it must draw 24% less current than it did with the 2015 model.

Secondly, we should always compare watts instead of amps unless we know the batteries have the exact same voltages.

For example, for a battery life of 18h it must draw 4.2W on average (76Wh/18h). I don't think that's possible because only the 2016 MacBook uses that little power -- 4.1W (41Wh/10h).

Let's compare the numbers quoted by the author:

619mA * 11.1V = 6.87W

430mA * 11.1V = 4.77W

So it's the difference of about 2 watts between the 2015 MBP and the 2016 MBP, or roughly 30% less consumption.

> I’m impressed that the new MBP will happily sit at a 500 mA power draw for long stretches of time.

It's virtually useless to tell people the amount of current something is using without also mentioning the voltage. I don't know why the author is discussing this in terms of current instead of watts.

5W isn't overly impressive for a laptop. My 2012 Dell (admittedly without retina display, but with 5 year old components) idles in Linux at ~7W with the brightness at 50%. If you close the lid to turn off the display, this will drop to 5W.

So, 5 years, a HDPI display, and Apple is down to 5W.

Anyone with a Dell XPS 13 or XPS 15 who can comment on power consumption? I'm not overly impressed by this number from Apple, it seems par for the course for Intel hardware over the past few years.

The biggest problem for laptop battery life is Windows. My Dell came with Windows 7 and I wouldn't get 3 hours on the 6 cell battery (65Wh). I installed Linux on it and now I can get 6-7 hours comfortably.

Maybe Windows 10 has improved this somewhat, but Windows 7 is terribad for laptop battery life.

Cant wait for the new round of MBPs. This one just seems like a catastrophe... I can deal with the butterfly keyboard, anemic CPUs, and USB-c and even the outrageous price. Just not all as a package!

Interesting, and nice to hear a little good news for once about the new MBP's, heh.

I actually am thinking about upgrading my old MBA, and have considered the non-touchbar MBP. At this point, though, I'm not sure if I should be waiting for Kaby Lake. Does anyone have stats on how much that should improve performance or battery life? It's likely the next revision of MBP, maybe later this year (?), will support the newer processors, right?

With mine, on the plus side I am getting about 14 hours a day of work - that's connected to WiFi, using a Citrix VDE for about 9 hours, along with local office suite, email, browsing, iTunes, etc.

On the negative side, if I'm playing Civ 5 whilst plugged in the battery is still discharging - albeit very slowly. I'm not sure what would happen if it actually got to zero. I assume it would switch off, despite being plugged in?

I suspect that 'BatteryTimeRemaining.c' is used in both iOS and OSX builds. It seems unlikely that a MacBook would have an extra battery pack.

If it's plugged into a UPS (silly, but possible), it sort of does!

Why is the power draw measured in milliamps, wouldn't watts be more appropriate? The voltage of the battery drops as it discharges, so 500mA when it's fully charged isn't the same as 500mA when it's nearly empty. Unless that is taken after the voltage has been regulated, but in that case again why are we measuring the capacity in amp-hours instead of watt-hours?

The suggested Battery Guru app is cool - running it now on my Air. Just found charging the phone increases the draw from 450 mA to 1200 roughly https://macdaddy.io/mac-battery-guru/

Its very efficient _at doing NOTHING_. Start using CPU and its 1 hour max.

The overwhelming majority of the time, most users' CPUs are idle. Idle drain matters.

Macbook Pro used to be for Power Users, not 'most users'. Power users do not drop $3K on a laptop to let it sit idle, they compile stuff, run multiple VMs, convert videos etc.

I ordered the 2016 MBP w/touchbar and had it completely die within 2 weeks. Just came back from lunch and it wouldn't power on. I don't think this has been as widespread of an issue as low battery performance. It was a bummer because I have been using macs for quite a while and really like to develop on them but now I am having doubts on getting another one. Would probably prefer a MacPro if they ever updated them.

One of my friend had the same problem, took him several weeks to deal with it, this might be a quality control issue.

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