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Consumer Reports pulls Surface recommendation due to reliability problems

Published Aug 10th, 2017 3:33PM EDT
Microsoft Surface Failures
Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft wants to lock you into its Surface ecosystem with an interesting upgrade promotion, but maybe now’s not the time to buy a Surface laptop or desktop. Instead, considering a Mac might not be a bad idea, especially if you plan to use the device for more than a couple of years.

The breakage rate of Surface devices is significantly worse than other laptops and tablets, Reuters explains, citing a new Consumer Reports study.

The non-profit organization removed the “recommended” designation for Surface products after discovering that an estimated 25% of Surface owners part of its study experienced “problems by the end of the second year of ownership.”

In total, the company surveyed 90,000 tablet and laptop owners, but it’s unclear how many of them were Surface holders.

“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,” Consumer Reports’s Jerry Beilinson told Reuters. He added that the study found Apple’s devices to be the most reliable.

The comparison with Apple’s Mac is only to be expected given that Microsoft pitches its Surface devices as computers capable to rival MacBooks and iMacs both when it comes to performance and product quality.

Among the Surface problems owners discovered, Consumer Reports that Surface devices can freeze or unexpectedly shut down, and owners experience touchscreen issues.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft doesn’t like the findings.

“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.

Interestingly, Microsoft’s newly unveiled Surface upgrade program allows owners to upgrade after 18 months. By enrolling in it, one could avoid the problems that appear by the end of the second year of ownership, if that’s still a thing.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.