Consumer Reports pulls recommendation for Microsoft Surface laptops

Pablo Tucker
August 10, 2017

Consumer Reports is removing its "recommended" designation from four Microsoft laptops and can not recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets because of poor predicted reliability in comparison to most other brands. Recommended ratings have been pulled for both the 128GB and 256GB Surface Laptop along with the 128GB and 512GB Surface Book. In all these years, we've seen four generations of the Surface Pro, a Surface RT model, the introduction of Surface Book, a Surface Studio all in one PC, and more recently a new Surface device dubbed the Surface Pro.

When Microsoft held an event a year ago, everybody thought that they were going to announce the Microsoft Surface Smartphone but that did not happen.

However, the move by Consumer Report affects more than just those four devices.

Common problems cited include freezing, unexpected shutdowns, and issues with the touchscreen, among others.

According to a Consumer Reports survey of over 90,000 tablet and laptop owners, an estimated 25 percent of those with Microsoft Surface devices will experience "problems by the end of the second year of ownership".

Altogether, the reliability issues made Microsoft a statistical outlier compared with other brands. Consumer Reports bases its predictions for reliability on historic reports from older devices, then uses that to project how new hardware will hold up. "Based purely on lab performance, the Surface Pro is highly rated when used either as a tablet or with a keyboard attached", the release said.

Microsoft disagrees with the Consumer Reports findings.

Though it shouldn't go down without a fight, Microsoft is up against some pretty stiff competition with this Consumer Reports study. In a statement emailed to USA TODAY, Microsoft said, "Surface is designed and built with performance and reliability in mind".

"If you are very concerned about how long your products are going to last, it might be better for you to go with a brand that has a higher predicted reliability", Consumer Reports electronics editor Jerry Beilinson told Reuters.

However, lab tests performed by Consumer Reports seemed to show the Surface products performing well in many categories.

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