Consumers Reports pulls Microsoft laptop recommendation

Consumer Reports Says 25 per cent of Microsoft Surface Devices Have Problems After 24 Months

The Surface laptop. Sure it looks good but Consumer Reports says it can’t recommend it any more over reliability fears

In a surprise report, Consumer Reports discovered roughly 25 percent of users have struck problems by the end of their next year of possession and surveyed 90,000 tablet and notebook owners.

In a subsequent blog post Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices, said the Consumer Reports survey was "disappointing". Electronics editor Jerry Beilinson told Reuters today that common problems in Microsoft devices included freezing, unexpected shutdowns, and difficulties using touchscreens. Specifically, the decision covers the 128 GB and 512 GB models of the Microsoft Surface Book and the 128 GB and 256 GB models of the Microsoft Surface Laptop.

"Several Microsoft products have performed well in CR labs, including the new Microsoft Surface Pro, which earned Very Good or Excellent scores in multiple CR tests", Consumer Reports said. It claims that the data used by Consumer Reports is not the overall return and fix rates of the Microsoft Surface devices, with the 25 percent breakage rate nothing more than an estimate.

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

Consumer Reports last pulled laptop recommendations in 2015, when ratings were removed for two Hewlett-Packard laptops and one made by Lenovo.

Consumer Reports said its buying recommendation withdrawal applies to several Microsoft laptops as well as Surface two-in-one devices with detachable keyboards. "We don't believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation". It released its first Surface tablet just five years ago.

Apple Inc had the most reliable devices, Beilinson said. Surface revenues were down 2 percent during the last quarter , though there were expectations revenues would increase this quarter with newer models on the market.

'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.

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.

In more recent years, the organization has added laptops and tablets.

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