Consumer Reports removes recommendation for Microsoft's Surface

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Consumer Reports has withdrawn its recommendations for Microsoft's Surface laptop and 2-in-1 range, citing concerns about reliability after polling owners.

Consumer Reports said it was removing its "recommended" designation for Surface products.

In Microsoft's most recent quarter, Surface sales were down 2% on the year to $20M.

The 128GB and 256GB versions of the Surface Laptop and the 128GB and 512GB versions of the Surface Book are losing their recommended status due to poor predicted reliability relative to their competitors, the release said.

But as Consumer Reports notes, the reliability of Apple's laptop and tablet products are consistently the most highly rated by its readers.

In a statement to Reuters, Microsoft (of course) came out swinging, saying that their return rates and customer support rates differ greatly from what Consumer Reports survey found.

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For example, a number of survey respondents said that they experience problems with their Surface during start-up, others complained that their machines froze or shut down unexpectedly and some said that the touchscreen we're responsive enough. Seen in the graphic above, the difference was significant, and Dell, Toshiba, and Microsft fell to the bottom with 22%, 24%, and 25% rates.

"If you are very concerned about how long your products are going to last, it might be better for you to go with a brand that has a higher predicted reliability", said Jerry Beilinson, electronics editor at the consumer goods testing publication.

Apple was found to have the most reliable devices.

Microsoft took issue with the results. And, before that, earlier in the month some Surface Pro owners experienced hibernation issues with the brand new Surface Pro. Because of this, Consumer Reports can not recommend the devices. While a fix was issued for this, there is also an ongoing issue where some users are experiencing backlight bleed on the new Surface Pro devices. The Surface still remains one solid device, and firmware fixes for reported issues have been relatively timely.

We'd love to hear about your Surface device problems, or the lack of them, and how Microsoft has responded if you've tried to get them fixed.

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