Consumer Reports changes Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets to “not recommended”

Consumer Reports:

Consumer Reports is removing its “recommended” designation from four Microsoft laptops and cannot recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets because of poor predicted reliability in comparison with most other brands.

To judge reliability, Consumer Reports surveys its subscribers about the products they own and use. 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 decision by Consumer Reports applies to 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.

Take this change with a grain of salt, give the experts a chance to dig through the methodology. But no matter the ultimate resolution, this certainly gives a black eye to Microsoft’s Surface brand.



  • Caleb Hightower

    I think anyone with half a brain would be dissatisfied with the Surface. Even if your a PC-only die-hard, its tough to justify this purchase based on the price/device lifespan alone. People would be better served just buying a Lenovo Carbon laptop.

    • Sigivald

      I have at least half a brain, and run both OSX and Windows all the time at home.

      My only problem with my Surface 4 Pro is that Microsoft can’t farkin’ manage sleep/wake properly.

      Apart from that, it has roughly Apple-level build quality, and it’s a fine piece of hardware.

      (If Apple finally decides that a laptop can have a touch screen, I’d be perfectly willing to replace it with a MacBook Pro, though.

      But not until then.)

  • Bill Belichick beat CR to the same conclusion in 2016.

  • Dana Pellerin

    I had a Surface Pro 2 and it developed a hazy yellow line down the left side of the screen after about 6 months. And then there were network issues, sleep/wake issues, the list goes on and on. Worst device I’ve ever used.

    • Janak Parekh

      The sleep/wake issues alone should have been enough to force Microsoft to recall the whole product. It’s really unacceptable, in 2016+, to have this kind of ridiculous instability. (I tried to get my dad a Surface Book as he wanted a good Windows tablet+laptop experience, and he returned it, because he couldn’t get the thing to wake up half the time.)

  • Mo

    I’ll bet Sinofsky’s glad to be far away from this.

    We visited a local Best Buy a couple of months ago (while buying our first Blu-Ray player, as it turns out). Had a look at the Microsoft hardware on display.

    While the big-ass Surface Studio was impressive for several reasons (none of which had to do with Windows), their laptops seemed somewhat interesting, but a bit fussy. In the “our-target-market-doesn’t-know-what-it-wants-and-neither-do-we-so-let’s-pile-on-the-ideas” sense.

  • drx1

    I’ve seen an older Surface in action … running the Intel i5 CPU, so it was really a Windows 10 “laptop” … maybe like an iPad Pro, only much, much stranger. I think Microsoft could have done a real touch OS for larger “computers” – they did have something good – there if only half baked (still in W10).

    Windows 8 was an over reaction to the “post PC” era. Apple’s lack of “Pro” support in 2013 and beyond was also a similar over reaction. The new iMac Pro looks promising, yet … Some people may want to view/edit/use 8K video .. I know its fairly new and H.265 was only (seemly) introduced in 10.12x, yet one can dream.

    Maybe Microsoft should stick to software and nick-nacks?