Consumer Reports, the consumer watchdog and product reviews outlet, has rescinded its recommendations on all Microsoft Surface products, citing long-term reliability issues.
More specifically – and, arguably more importantly – the move was made in response to annual subscriber surveys between 2014 and early this year citing “two-year breakage rates of 25%.”
“New studies conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center estimate that 25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership,” the report reads.
This motion includes both the brand new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop devices launched mere months ago. Of course, a Microsoft representative provided Consumer Reports with a public statement via email.
“Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability. We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.”
What’s hugely important to point out here is that Consumer Reports’ retraction of its recommendation appears entirely dependent upon subscriber survey answers. Said subscribers – from a total of 90,741 surveyed between 2014 and early this year – have reported issues during device startup as well as freezing and random shutdown problems.
This retraction does not appear to be based on actual testing from within the Consumer Report labs.
Now, the outlet says as much in its report of this stripping of recommendations, and expresses deep trust in its subscribers. Furthermore, how could something like this have come from lab testing? It would be practically impossible.
Also, we all know that the Surface line has earned its licks for all of the above listed issues – not that we personally have experienced many during our time reviewing Surface products and since. Albeit with varying speed and success, Microsoft has addressed most if not all of them through the years.
But, no matter how you slice it, Consumer Reports made this ruling based on the findings of its own readers, not those of its analysts and editors. So, take all of this how you will with that information, and maybe with a grain of salt.
- Surface continues to sit pretty in our best laptop rankings