‘Consumer Reports’: just say no to Microsoft Surface devices

Oh, that’s gotta hurt: Consumer Reports is removing its “recommended” designation from four Microsoft laptops and cannot recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets because of “poor predicted reliability in comparison with most other brands.”

To judge reliability, Consumer Reports surveys its subscribers about the products they own and use. New studies conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center estimate that 25% of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership. This applies to Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro released in June and the Surface Book, as well as the company’s Surface Laptops with conventional clamshell designs.

The four laptops losing their previous recommended status are the Microsoft Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and Microsoft Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions). Microsoft is relatively new to the hardware business, and this is the first year CR had enough data to estimate predicted reliability for the company’s laptops.

Microsoft’s estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than that ofmost other brands.The differences were “statistically significant,” which is why Microsoft doesn’t meet CR’s standards for recommended products. 

In a May CR survey of 83,000 readers, Apple was dubbed the most reliable company when it comes to laptops and desktops. CR also highly recommends the iPad as a choice for tablet consumers.