Consumer Reports no longer recommends Microsoft Surface devices due to reliability concerns

by Leslie Wood August 11, 2017, 0:26
Consumer Reports no longer recommends Microsoft Surface devices due to reliability concerns

In a fairly short but to-the-point tweet on Thursday morning, Reuters revealed that Microsoft Surface devices have underwhelmed in Consumer Reports' reliability tests.

YONKERS, N.Y. (Consumer Reports) 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 with most other brands. That prediction is based on surveying the company's own subscribers who own current Microsoft hardware, and collating details on any issues they might have encountered. It also claims it can not recommend Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards (ie, the June Surface Pro) or clamshell Surface laptops. The differences were "statistically significant", we're told, which is why Microsoft lost the "recommended" designation.

For example, a number of survey respondents said that they experience problems with their Surface during start-up, others complained that their machines froze or shut down unexpectedly and some said that the touchscreen we're responsive enough.

Building hardware is not a simple task and while Microsoft has had some experience in this segment with the Xbox and a few other devices, they are still relatively new to the game.

In a statement to Consumer Reports, Microsoft defended the reliability of its products.

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Hold off on buying a Microsoft Surface tablet or laptop.

Microsoft also pointed out that the Surface Pro, for example, received high performance and versatility marks in Consumer Reports' laptop lab evaluations. Within the Surface product family, Microsoft also sells the Surface Laptop, which features a traditional clamshell laptop design.

Consumer Reports' lab testing measures how well a laptop or tablet performs for a range of factors, including display quality, battery life, speed, and ergonomics. Frozen computers, unexpected shutdowns and unresponsive screens were noted as complaints.

Altogether, the reliability issues made Microsoft a statistical outlier compared with other brands.

Consumer Reports has conducted its annual reliability study since 1952, starting with cars.

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