Microsoft Surface Devices Fail Consumer Reports Reliability Tests

Leigh Mccormick
August 11, 2017

Among the problems cited in Consumer Reports' recent reliability surveys for laptops and tablets, some owners said their Microsoft devices froze or shut down.

The non-profit organization removed the "recommended" designation for Surface products after discovering that an estimated 25% of Surface owners part of its study experienced "problems by the end of the second year of ownership".

Jerry Beilinso of Consumer Reports said "we survey our subscribers every year about numerous products they own".

However, Microsoft told CNN Tech it doesn't believe the findings accurately reflect Surface owners' "true experiences".

As much as I love my surface book it's extremely frustrating to have to constantly take a trip up to the Microsoft store to get my device replaced when my sister and friends have Macbooks that seem to last them years.

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"We've found that reliability is a major factor for consumers deciding on what tablet or laptop to buy", Simon Slater, Consumer Reports survey manager, told ExtremeTech in an emailed statement.

Others said they had problems starting them up. 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. These products included the Microsoft Surface Pro, which received high marks of Very Good or Excellent. Arguably it's a slippery slope, since more often than not a consumer will own voice themselves if they found a product to be faulty, defective or of poor quality.

As parents and students look for new laptops this back-to-school season, Consumer Reports Magazine is cautioning about one popular brand. Since then, the company has released a series of new Surface tablets and laptops, including the well-reviewed Surface Pro, which launched in May. Frozen computers, unexpected shutdowns and unresponsive screens were noted as complaints.

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

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.

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