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Consumer Reports pulls Microsoft Surface recommendation due to reliability issues

11 August 2017, 12:39 | Gina Pena

Consumer Reports pulled its Microsoft Surface tablet and laptop recommendations

Microsoft Surface laptop computers sit on display during an event in New York. Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation of four of the laptops

The study estimated that about 25% of Microsoft Surface devices will have problems by the end of the second year of owning the product.

But the biggest threat to Surface devices has been the problems faced by some consumers like freezes, a particular hardware not responding, touch issues etc as these issues affect the reliability. "We found that those made by Microsoft were significantly less reliable than most other brands", Consumer Reports Electronics Editor Jerry Beilinson said. "We don't believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation".

In addition, the choice to omit a Thunderbolt 3 from the Surface Pro would be regarded as a bad move from Microsoft because apart from the spec bump, there was nothing different being marketed about the 2-in-1.

"We've found that reliability is a major factor for consumers deciding on what tablet or laptop to buy", Simon Slater, the magazine's survey manager, said in a statement.

However, lab tests performed by Consumer Reports seemed to show the Surface products performing well in many categories. That being said, Consumer Reports carries a lot of weight with its ratings and this report will likely have a serious impact on sales. It appears that they have briefed a few news outlets, and Microsoft, ahead of publication.

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The testing process involves those individuals living with the products for several weeks, putting them through a string of tests using scientific measurements, as well as subjective tests that mimic the user experience.

Consumer Reports has announced it's pulling its recommendations on four Surface systems due to extremely high failure rates. Instead, Microsoft forced Surface Pro 3 owners to pony up $450 for a refurbed unit.

The new studies of laptop and tablet reliability leverage data on 90,741 tablets and laptops that subscribers bought new between 2014 and the beginning of 2017. Frozen computers, unexpected shutdowns and unresponsive screens were noted as complaints. Considering that Microsoft is making a big push into this space, a downgraded rating from Consumer Reports is likely going to impact sales.

What's hugely important to point out here is that Consumer Reports' retraction of its recommendation appears entirely dependent upon subscriber survey answers.



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