Consumer Reports removes recommendation for Microsoft's Surface

Estimated Breakage Rate Image from Consumer Reports via ZDNet

Consumer Reports is withdrawing its recommendation for four Microsoft laptops and tablets after a survey showed that a quarter of them pose problems for their owners after only two years. "Laptops and tablets ... made by Microsoft were significantly less reliable than most other brands".

Problems included device freezing, unauthorized shut downs, and touchscreen failures.

The Surface devices serve as a face for the company and exemplify how Microsoft's manufacturing partners can build hardware around the Windows 10 operating system.

It also launched its first true laptop in May, aiming to compete with Apple.

Consumer Reports also said that it "cannot recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets" due to reliability issues.

The publication gauges reliability by surveying its subscribers about the products they use and own.

Microsoft Surface has been an industry redefining product since its inception. Regarding the recommendation, Microsoft does not agree with Consumer Reports, stating that consumers provided different and positive experiences after purchasing the product. That being said, Consumer Reports carries a lot of weight with its ratings and this report will likely have a serious impact on sales.

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

But as Consumer Reports notes, the reliability of Apple's laptop and tablet products are consistently the most highly rated by its readers.

Keep in mind that Microsoft is relatively new to the hardware business, and this is the first year Consumer Reports had enough data to estimate predicted reliability for the company's laptops.

The mag claims that the differences in estimated breakage rates between the devices of "most other brands" is "statistically significant".

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. According to the details provided, Consumer Reports states that it is hard to give a recommendation to this product due to the number of reliability complaints received from it.

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