Consumer Reports pulls Microsoft Surface recommendation due to reliability issues

Microsoft Surface laptop computers sit on display during an event in New York. Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation of four of the laptops

Consumer Reports pulled its coveted "recommended" imprimatur from all Microsoft laptops and tablets, including the Surface and Surface Book, saying the line up suffered from excessive reliability problems.

"New studies conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center estimate that 25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership", the report reads. Common problems cited include freezing, unexpected shutdowns, and issues with the touchscreen, among others.

Unless some Surface Pro owners who have the device for more than two years says so, the report from Consumer Reports is up for debate. It evolved a new category of 2-in-1 devices during the last couple of years which has somehow brought down the halt to declining PC market sales. Regarding the recommendation, Microsoft does not agree with Consumer Reports, stating that consumers provided different and positive experiences after purchasing the product. "Microsoft's real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports' breakage predictability", a Microsoft spokesman said. The publication added that Microsoft's reliability scores don't necessarily reflect hardware performance in general.

Microsoft's new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro may well prove to be reliable in the future, proving that Microsoft has solved its reliability issue as I believe they have. It seems that the breakage rate was considerably higher compared to other brands. The report does not specify how many users experienced this. "We survey our subscribers every year about numerous products they own". Consumer Reports (CR) has traditionally been part of that fan club, giving various devices a place on its recommendations list. Instead, Microsoft forced Surface Pro 3 owners to pony up $450 for a refurbed unit. A few commented that their machines froze or shut down unexpectedly, while several others told us the touch screens weren't responsive enough.

However, the move by Consumer Report affects more than just those four devices. Apple laptops and tablets came out on top in Consumer Reports' reliability surveys.

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