Apple's first 2016 MacBook Pro design failed tests, leading to poorer battery

MacBook Pro 15
Malarie Gokey/Digital Trends
Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro machines have been flying off the shelves since they were announced in October, but that doesn’t mean everyone is happy with them. They are thinner, lighter and have the new Touch Bar, but they also have smaller batteries, fewer ports, and a few other compromises.

In fact, enough Apple fans complained that the company felt the need to defend a few of its decisions. As it turns out, Apple meant to make some users happier by including more battery capacity in the new MacBook Pros but simply weren’t able to do so in time, Bloomberg reports.

Apparently, Apple was working on a design that fit higher capacity batteries precisely shaped to fit the MacBook Pro chassis, but the design didn’t make it through testing. Apple made the fateful decision to fall back on a previous design using more standard square batteries, a decision that required pulling in staff from other Mac projects to finish the machines on time.

The decision’s impact was widespread. Work on other Macs was affected by the loss of key personnel. The new MacBook Pro took a step back in battery life as capacity was reduced due to the machine’s thin design. And an unrelated bug in the software that provides battery life estimates caused Apple to remove the battery meter in MacOS Sierra 10.12.2.

The Bloomberg report uncovered a number of other interesting tidbits. For example, the team working on the 12-inch 2015 MacBook looked at two different designs, one lighter design known as “Stealth Fighter” and one heavier design known as “Stealth Bomber.” The delay in making everything fit inside the eventual tiny chassis pushed the MacBook’s introduction from 2014 to 2015. The 2016 MacBook was intended to include a Touch ID fingerprint scanner and additional USB Type-C port, and users instead got rose gold and a processor bump.

Apparently, all of the issues around the MacBooks’ design decisions and its place in Apple’s product mix are taking a toll on engineers and other staff, as many have left the company or moved on to other product teams. That might have something to do with CEO Tim Cook’s recent internal memo to employees stressing the company’s commitment to Mac desktops. In the increasingly competitive high-end notebook and desktop market, Apple can’t afford to rest on laurels that are no longer quite as impressive as they once were.

Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Smart Home

Knock, knock. Who's there? With a video doorbell, you'll never have to guess

When it comes to knowing who's at your door before you actually open it, there's nothing better than a video doorbell. Plus, you can "answer" the door even if you're not home. Here are some of our favorites.
Smart Home

These accessories take your already awesome Instant Pot to a whole new level

If you're familiar with the Instant Pot, you know that this bad boy acts as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, cake maker, egg boiler, and a lot more. Here are some must-have accessories to make Instant Pot cooking even better.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.

Amazon takes $300 off Intel Core i7 Surface Pro 6 in latest sale

If you're looking for savings on the Surface Pro 6, Amazon is the place to shop. It currently is discounting the Intel Core i7 variant of Microsoft's latest 2-in-1 by $300, though no Type Cover is included.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Don't keep typing the same thing -- learn to copy and paste with these shortcuts!

Looking for useful Windows keyboard shortcuts? The most common are the cut, copy, paste and undo shortcuts compatible with all kinds of tasks. They can save you an awful lot of time if you learn how to use them.

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.