Consumer Reports: 1 in every 4 Surfaces experience a problem within two years

Consumer Reports is pulling its recommended label for Microsoft’s Surface Laptops and tablets, including the newly minted Surface Laptop and Surface Pro.

In a report issued today, Consumer Reports found that in a Survey of over 90 thousand laptops and tablets carried out over a period of two years, Microsoft Surface owners more were likely to run into problems at a rate which was higher than similarly priced competitors like Apple.

In the same report, the firm found “that 25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership.” This means, one in four Surface users ran into problems which detrimentally affected their use of their device from their point of view over the course of two years. According to Consumer Reports, “A number of survey respondents said they experienced problems with their devices during startup. A few commented that their machines froze or shut down unexpectedly, and several others told CR that the touch screens weren’t responsive enough”.

While that may seem like quite a high number of users, consider this. We’ve documented flaws with the past 3 generations of Microsoft’s Surface Pro devices, as well as the Surface Book over the past two years including:

It is not unlikely that an average user might run into one of these flaws with their Surface device at least once. Personally, I ran into heating and battery drain issues on 4 Surfaces used over the course of four years, as well as touch responsiveness problems which cause me to (biasedly), view this report more credibly than say — Microsoft PR

In an emailed statement to Consumer Reports, Microsoft stated “We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.”
Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop and Surface Pro may well prove to be reliable in the future, proving that Microsoft has solved its reliability issue as I believe they have. Nonetheless, with the contentious history of the Surface line and long-term reliability, one would be hard-pressed to fault Consumer Reports for not awarding the Surface Laptop “Laptop of the Year” just yet.

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