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Apple’s MacBook Pro With TouchBar Could Have Battery Troubles

December 5, 2016, 3:59 PM UTC
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks under a graphic of the new MacBook Pro during an Apple media event in Cupertino
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks under a graphic of the new MacBook Pro during an Apple media event in Cupertino, California, U.S. October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2QR68
Beck Diefenbach — Reuters

The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar might be suffering from battery problems that doesn’t allow it to stay on nearly as long as Apple has promised.

Owners of the laptop have taken to forums across the Internet to complain that the computer is lasting between three and six hours on a single charge before its battery needs to be recharged. Those who are playing video games on the MacBook Pro or using other resource-intensive apps are saying the battery life falls towards the bottom of the range.

The affected users, who are posting their stories on Apple’s Support forum as well as Reddit, say the problem is affecting both the 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models.

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Apple announced the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar at a press event in October. The computer comes in 13- and 15-inch variants and comes with a glass touchscreen above the keyboard, called a Touch Bar, that lets users interact with on-screen software. It’s also the first Mac to deliver Touch ID, a fingerprint sensor that unlocks the software and allows users to make secure payments via Apple Pay.

Apple (AAPL) has touted the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar as its latest and greatest innovation and it’s generally received positive reviews. But because it’s a notebook computer, battery life matters.

The battery life users are complaining about is notably anemic compared to Apple’s own estimates. Apple says both the 13- and 15-inch models can offer up to ten hours of battery life on wireless Internet surfing. The company’s listing promises up to ten hours of iTunes movie playback.

Forum reports would suggest that Apple’s computer is, in certain cases, actually performing at less than 50% compared to Apple’s promises.

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However, other posters have had quite a different experience. Some Reddit users, for instance, say their batteries are lasting much longer than ten hours when they’re working on non-resource-intensive tasks like working in productivity software or surfing the Internet. It appears the trouble crops up for some users when they’re watching videos or performing other sophisticated duties.

For its part, Apple hasn’t responded to the MacBook Pro’s owners reported troubles, and it’s unclear whether it’s widespread or limited to certain people engaging in certain activities.

The news comes just days after Apple announced that it would fix defective iPhone 6s batteries at no charge. The company has said, however, that few iPhone 6s owners will have battery troubles.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar’s battery woes.