Consumer Reports Pulls Recommendation for Surface Laptops

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Consumer Reports is no longer recommending Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets.

The publication on Thursday removed its “recommended” rating for Microsoft’s Surface Laptop and the Surface Book. This applies to both 128GB and 512GB storage options.

This is the first time in two years Consumer Reports removed a laptop recommendation when it pulled ratings for three Hewlett-Packard models and a Lenovo laptop due to repair histories.

Consumer Reports recently conducted a survey of nearly 91,000 people who bought new laptops and tablets between 2014 and the beginning of 2017. The study estimated that about 25% of Microsoft Surface devices will have problems by the end of the second year of owning the product. These problems could include a laptop randomly shutting down.

That finding applies to Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro and the Surface Book, in addition to Surface laptops with clamshell designs.

“Microsoft is relatively new to the hardware business, and this is the first year we’ve had enough data to estimate predicted reliability for the company’s laptops,” the publication said in the report.

The publication, known for unbiased product testing, said it can’t recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets due to “poor predicted reliability” compared to other brands.

Some survey respondents reported problems with their Microsoft devices during the start-up phase. Others said the touch screen was not responsive enough or that the devices froze or shut off unexpectedly. The report does not specify how many users experienced this.

Microsoft launched its first Surface tablet in 2012. Most recently, the company unveiled the Surface Laptop, a portable option for students, and updated the Surface Pro, a laptop with a touchscreen.

However, Microsoft told CNN Tech it doesn’t believe the findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ “true experiences.”

“Microsoft Surface Pro is designed and built with performance and reliability in mind. Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability,” a Microsoft spokesman said.

Microsoft also pointed out that the Surface Pro, for example, received high performance and versatility marks in Consumer Reports’ laptop lab evaluations.

The publication said “a number of Microsoft products” have performed well in its lab tests but noted predicted reliability is also important to consumers.

Apple remains the most reliable laptop and tablet brand, according to Consumer Reports’ survey.

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