Microsoft Surface branded “unreliable”
An American consumer watchdog has warned that Microsoft’s Surface laptops and tablets offer poor reliability in their first two years of use. According to Consumer Reports, 25% of Surface-branded devices suffered from breakages or other technical faults within two years of purchase, leading the watchdog to withdraw its “recommended” status. Microsoft’s breakage rate was higher than those of most other brands, it said.
Microsoft denied the report, saying its own return and support rates show that its devices last longer than similar hardware. Consumer Reports’ data was based on details of more than 90,000 devices bought since 2014, with owners reporting frozen machines and unresponsive touchscreens.
How will it affect you?
Consumer Reports said the survey applied to the most recent Surface Pro and Surface Book, and that the faults affected devices with detachable keyboards as well as standard clamshell designs. The watchdog’s own tests gave Microsoft Surface devices high scores for battery life, performance and value, but said it was clear that reliability was an issue. Anyone shopping for a new device should bear this in mind, although Microsoft refutes the report.
What do we think?
Microsoft’s Surface devices are lovely pieces of hardware, but for the relatively high price, we need more than just good specs and nice design. Most people expect their laptop to last longer than two years, so PC makers – Microsoft included – need to consider longevity. Few tech reviewers do long-term tests, so we only get an idea of how good a laptop is when it’s brand new, making this Consumer Reports research very welcome. We hope the watchdog shares figures on a wider variety of devices so that consumers can get a better idea of which manufacturers make the most reliable products.