Consumer Reports does not recommend buying Microsoft Surface laptops or tablets.

The authoritative magazine and independent test lab Consumer Reports removed the "recommended" icon from four Microsoft laptops and refuses to recommend any other Microsoft laptops and tablets because of their "poorly predictable reliability compared to most other manufacturers." The projected breakdown rate for Microsoft hardware is higher than most others, and the difference is a statistically significant value.

As it turned out, the predicted level of breakdowns of Microsoft equipment in a two-year period is 25% . At the same time, the manufacturing company set a warranty period of 1 year in those countries where laws do not oblige manufacturers to set a minimum warranty period of 2 years, as in the EU (this is nothing, Microsoft has a 90-day warranty for Microsoft Elite gamepads).

Consumer Reports magazine conducted a survey among its subscribers about a variety of products that they own and use. A new study by Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed that among all the products stand out Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets. In about 25% of cases, they begin to cause problems to their owners by the end of the second year of operation. Most of the respondents named problems during the download, some mentioned unexpected hangs or shutdowns, and some others - about the slow operation of the touchscreen.

Previously, Microsoft products received quite good Very Good or Excellent marks on the results of testing in the laboratory, where the quality of the display, battery capacity, speed and ergonomics are checked. But besides all the above, the reliability of technology is also important to many users. Moreover, reliability is a factor No. 1, that is the most important factor when choosing a tablet or laptop.

To determine the reliability of different models of technology, the Consumer Reports National Research Center regularly conducts user surveys: readers send their estimates for hundreds of thousands of products. In the last study of the reliability of tablets and laptops, the owners of 90,741 laptops and tablets purchased new between 2014 and the beginning of 2017 participated. Predicted reliability is a projection of how the new models from each manufacturer will work, based on the statistics of the data collected on the old models.

Consumer Reports's decision not to make recommendations for the purchase relates to Microsoft devices with removable keyboards, such as Surface Pro released in June, as well as Surface Book and Surface laptops of traditional design.

Four notebook models are deprived of the recommendations: Surface Laptop (versions 128 GB and 256 GB) and Microsoft Surface Book (versions 128 GB and 512 GB). “Microsoft relatively recently started manufacturing equipment, and this is the first year when we have enough information to predict the reliability of this company's notebooks,” the official press release said.

Microsoft itself strongly disagrees with the findings of an independent laboratory and user survey results: “In the real world, the number of returns and the level of support for past models differs significantly from the prediction of Consumer Reports breakdowns,” she said in a statement to the editor. “We do not believe that these findings accurately reflect the actual experience of Surface owners or improvements in performance and reliability that are made with each generation of Surface.” Microsoft tracks various quality indicators, including “the number of incidents per device (IPU, incidents per unit). So, with each generation, the IPU rate was constantly decreasing, and now it is much lower than 1% . According to an IPSOS survey commissioned by Microsoft, 98% of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book owners are satisfied with these devices.

Nonetheless, independent analysts agree that if a company is just starting to produce equipment, there may be problems: “The reality is that Microsoft has very little experience in producing some of the newer categories of products and this can cause risks of production problems,” says Jan Dawson, Senior Analyst, Jackdaw Research.

Over the past 80 years, Consumer Reports has been published monthly by a non-profit organization, the US Consumer Union. This is a unique magazine of its kind, which does not publish ads on its pages, does not accept product samples from companies, and prohibits the use of the results of its tests to promote products. All this is done for one thing: to preserve maximum objectivity, independence and impartiality of testing, which is carried out in 50 specialized laboratories. The annual budget for the purchase of goods by secret buyers in retail stores and tests is about $ 21 million.

Annually, about 1,000 consumer electronics products are tested in approximately 20 categories in the Consumer Reports laboratories, including televisions, mobile phones, computers, digital cameras, e-books, laptops, etc. Top selling products are trying to test immediately after it becomes available. They are bought in stores by secret buyers.


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