New MacBook Pro with Touch Bar owners are reporting worrying battery issues

Some users who bought the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar are finding that the battery life of the notebook is falling considerably short of Apple’s claimed up to 10 hours of usage.

Now, of course battery life is always going to be a rather variable beast depending on exactly what you’re doing with the laptop, but some folks posting on the MacRumors forums and Reddit are claiming well below par longevity from their MacBook Pro.

For example, MacRumors reports that its forum denizen Aioriya has the fully loaded 13-inch model and claims that with just light use – web browsing mainly – the battery is only lasting around five or six hours or so.

Aioriya makes a further post in which he or she notes trying various battery-saving methods (including ‘recalibrating’ the battery) and observes that with moderate use, six to eight hours is more of a realistic expectation than Apple’s official figure of 10 hours.

Aioriya says that most of the battery drain appears to be coming from Safari, and further observes: “I have a feeling if I weren't babysitting my computer's battery usages and worked under a much heavier load I wouldn't get more than 3 hours or so.”

Funnily enough, the latest post is from another user (Bxs) who did run a heavy workload – albeit on the freshly released non-Touch Bar model – and found that this drained the battery fully after two and a half hours.

Rumblings on Reddit 

As mentioned, similar complaints aren’t just on MacRumors but also Reddit, where user Azr-79 claimed a battery life of three hours and 40 minutes with ‘normal’ usage (namely surfing, watching clips on YouTube and doing software development work).

Another Reddit poster, Dantz, claims a six hour life with just light web browsing (in Safari) and brightness on 50%. Someone else, Clementt, chimes in on that thread saying that light browsing gives them a seven hour battery life, and there are certainly some others in the same boat. That’s really not impressive for light usage.

That said, there are many others who are perfectly happy with their battery life, and indeed many reviewers who have taken the new laptop for a test drive and haven’t found Apple’s official figures out of line (or at least not by much).

It seems to be a case of an unfortunate few – and we only need look at Microsoft’s Surface devices to see that battery issues are potential hazards that can affect a small number of unlucky folks.

Or it could simply be something pertaining to the configuration of these poorly performing laptops. Have you got yourself a new MacBook, and are you finding problems in this respect? As ever, let us know in the comments section below.

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).