Consumers Reports pulls Microsoft Surface recommendations

Geronimo Vena
Agosto 12, 2017

The non-profit publication surveyed 90,000 tablet and laptop owners and found that an estimated 25 per cent of those with Microsoft Surface devices would be presented with "problems by the end of the second year of ownership", the newly released report reads.

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.

"The reality is that Microsoft has very little experience in some of the newer categories it's entering very rapidly, which may expose it to more risk of problems in manufacturing", said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. "Due to its comparatively higher breakage rate, Microsoft laptops can not be recommended by Consumer Reports at this time", Consumer Reports concludes. Microsoft said the findings don't accurately reflect Surface owners' "true experiences".

"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", Beilinson said in the interview. HP and Asus, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, had breakage rates of 20 percent, while Lenovo, Dell, and Toshiba had rates of 21 percent, 22 percent, and 24 percent, respectively.

Consumer Reports said its buying recommendation withdrawal applies to several Microsoft laptops as well as Surface two-in-one devices with detachable keyboards.

Microsoft disputed the study, saying the company's return and support rates differ significantly from the Consumer Reports study.

The consumer group says Microsoft machines have performed well in laboratory testing. "Based purely on lab performance, the Surface Pro is highly rated when used either as a tablet or with a keyboard attached".

CNBC reviewed the new Surface Pro in June and found that, while it was a powerful tablet that also doubles as a competitive laptop, the configuration options are far more expensive than what most consumers could buy from Microsoft's competitors.

However, "c$3 onsumers tell us that reliability is a major factor when they're choosing a tablet or laptop", according to Consumer Reports survey manager Simon Slater.

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