Microsoft Surface Devices Fail Consumer Reports Reliability Tests

CNBC Tech Surface Pro review 4

Jeniece Pettitt

"Due to its comparatively higher breakage rate, Microsoft laptops can not be recommended by Consumer Reports at this time", the publication notes.

In its polling, Consumer Reports said that roughly 25 percent of Surface tablet PCs will have breakage problems within its first two years.

This decision specifically deals with Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards, such as the new Surface Pro released in June and the Surface Book, as well as the company's Surface Laptops with conventional clamshell designs.

Consumer Reports said the study was based on data from 90,741 tablets and laptops that subscribers bought new between 2014 and the beginning of 2017. So whether you believe that MacBooks and iPads are innovative, they are indeed the most reliable products of their kind.

The report, which covers two versions each of the Surface Laptop and Surface Book, said the devices showed "poor predicted reliability in comparison to most other brands". The differences were "statistically significant", we're told, which is why Microsoft lost the "recommended" designation.

Problems included device freezing, unauthorized shut downs, and touchscreen failures.

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Building hardware is not a simple task and while Microsoft has had some experience in this segment with the Xbox and a few other devices, they are still relatively new to the game. "Microsoft's real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports' breakage predictability", a Microsoft spokesman said.

Microsoft initially refused to service these systems at all, breaking a promise the head of Surface had made about MS offering a $200 battery replacement plan.

"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.

The case is created to meet U.S. Military drop-test standards, a goal that UAG prefers for most of its products. Apple laptops and tablets came out on top in Consumer Reports' reliability surveys.

I'm still waiting on the original report from Consumer Reports.

Altogether, the reliability issues made Microsoft a statistical outlier compared with other brands.

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