Consumer Reports stops recommending Surface mobile devices

CNBC Tech Surface Pro review 4

First, Consumer Reports is pulling the "Recommended" status on four systems: The Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB) and the Surface Book (128GB and 512GB) are no longer preferred options. 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 mag claims that the differences in estimated breakage rates between the devices of "most other brands" is "statistically significant".

"We don't believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation", the company said in a statement. It said that some Surface owners had reported startup problems, frozen machines, unexpected shutdowns or unresponsive touchscreens.

A number of survey respondents said they experienced problems with their devices during start-up.

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Microsoft disputed the study, saying the company's return and support rates differ significantly from the Consumer Reports study. 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. Based on those surveys, the failure rate of all Surface laptops with detatchable keyboards is expected to be significantly higher than other devices. The power and form factor of Microsofts Surface line are almost unparalleled but if they can't consistently pump out devices that don't experience immediate defects past the normal wear and tear, I don't think their will be many people that remain loyal to the brand. Since then, the company has released a series of new Surface tablets and laptops, including the well-reviewed Surface Pro, which launched in May.

Consumer Reports published its reliability study today and has already been picked up by most major sites, including Reuters.

The case is created to meet U.S. Military drop-test standards, a goal that UAG prefers for most of its products. Traditionally, Microsoft had limited its involvement with laptops to providing Windows and left the hardware up to manufacturers like HP and Dell.

Consumer Reports' lab testing measures how well a laptop or tablet performs for a range of factors, including display quality, battery life, speed, and ergonomics.

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