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Consumer Reports pulls “recommended” rating of Microsoft Surface products

by Danny Zepeda | August 10, 2017

Consumer Reports today withdrew its “recommended” rating of four Microsoft Surface products due to “poor predicted reliability.” The Microsoft Surface line that includes the Pro, Book and Laptop, has been lauded for its premium design and appealing aesthetic, but in the long run, they might not be the best products to invest in.

To come to a decision, Consumer Reports conducts a survey through its subscriber base and the products they purchase. This specific survey focused on 90,000 Microsoft products purchased between 2014 and early 2017. The results revealed that a whopping 25-percent of Microsoft laptops or tablets will result in some problems for their owners within the first two years of ownership.

Upon its findings, Consumer Reports pulled its “recommended” rating of four Microsoft laptops: Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB) and Surface Book (128GB and 512GB).

“Microsoft’s estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than most other brands’,” clarified Consumer Reports of its decision. “The differences were statistically significant, which is why Microsoft doesn’t meet CR’s standards for recommended products. The surveys are conducted annually.”

The “statistically significant” part stands out the most. Consumer Reports didn’t get into specifics about how other computers rated, but it sounds as if the Microsoft’s computers experience many more issues than the norm, resulting in the change of recommended rating. The report also mentions Microsoft is relatively new to manufacturing its own products. This may be playing a role in the low reliability of its computers.

Microsoft issued a statement to Consumer Reports, saying “Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability. We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.”

For the second time in a less than a year, Consumer Reports isn’t recommending a big-name brand’s computers. You might remember that upon the launch of the new Apple MacBook Pros last year, it didn’t give them a “recommended” rating upon its initial review due to poor battery tests.

Eventually, the two sides worked together to fix the issue that resulted in Apple finding a bug inside Safari that was impacting battery life.


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Danny Zepeda

Danny's interest in writing began with tech, which influenced his career path in college. After graduating from Vanguard University, he began to...Danny's interest in writing began with tech, which influenced his career path in college. After graduating from Vanguard University, he began to...