Consumer Reports: Don’t buy Microsoft Surface products

Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendation of Microsoft’s Surface line of laptops and 2-in-1s, following a survey of its users suggesting that the machines aren’t reliable enough,” Andrew E. Freedman reports for LAPTOP. “Specifically, the ‘predicted reliability’ is worse than other brands, the magazine says.”

“Following the subscriber survey of over 90,000 readers, Consumer Reports estimated that 25 percent of devices would have issues by the second year of ownership,” Freedman reports. “The issues included freezing, unexpected shut downs and unresponsive touch screens, but the non-profit didn’t list how many of each complaint it got.”

MacDailyNews Take: 90,000 suckers saddled themselves with Microsoft hardware?

Freedman reports, “Microsoft disputes the survey.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Consumer Reports is a garbage when it comes to tech products, but, hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Consumer Reports: Apple’s Macs the most reliable by wide margin – May 26, 2017
Beleaguered Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Surface Book exhibiting nasty freezing problems – March 7, 2016
Apple Macintosh continues to dominate in personal computer customer satisfaction – September 23, 2014
Apple Macintosh continues to dominate in personal computer customer satisfaction – September 17, 2013
Apple sweeps PCWorld Satisfaction Surveys for desktops, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets – December 7, 2011
Apple Mac tops American Customer Satisfaction Index customer satisfaction for 8th consecutive year – September 20, 2011
American Customer Satisfaction Index: Apple Mac dominates for seventh straight year – September 21, 2010
ACSI: Apple Mac again leads Windows PCs by wide margin in consumer satisfaction – August 18, 2009
Study: Apple beats Dell and HP in customer satisfaction – June 26, 2009
J.D. Power: Apple iPhone ranks highest in smartphone customer satisfaction – April 30, 2009
Survey: Apple Mac users report highest level of satisfaction by far – February 19, 2009
ChangeWave: Apple Mac holds its corporate share; clearly leads in corp customer satisfaction – December 31, 2008
ChangeWave: Apple iPhone’s ‘very satisfied’ rating more than double that of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm – December 22, 2008
J.D. Power: Apple iPhone ranks highest in business wireless smartphone customer satisfaction – November 06, 2008
ACSI: Customer satisfaction rockets for Apple’s Mac; rest of Windows PC industry drops again – August 19, 2008
ChangeWave: Mac OS X Leopard satisfaction far outpaces Vista; Apple Mac strong despite PC slowdown – March 26, 2008
ChangeWave: Apple iPhone maintains big lead in customer satisfaction; top choice among likely buyers – February 07, 2008
ChangeWave survey shows big Apple Mac sales, very high Mac OS X Leopard, very low Vista satisfaction – January 17, 2008
ChangeWave: Apple’s iPhone races to huge lead in customer satisfaction – October 18, 2007
Apple Mac desktops, notebooks top PC Magazine’s Annual Reader Satisfaction survey – again – September 18, 2007
Survey: Apple iPhone nabs unprecedented 92% satisfaction rating (plus likes and dislikes) – August 16, 2007
Study: Apple iPhone owners ‘off the charts’ satisfied with device – July 13, 2007
Microsoft’s customer satisfaction drops following Windows Vista launch – May 17, 2007
Apple’s secret ingredient? A large group of very satisfied customers – April 10, 2007
Apple Mac desktops, notebooks top PC Magazine’s Annual Reader Satisfaction survey – again – August 22, 2006
Apple Computer tops PC satisfaction study – August 15, 2006
Apple Mac desktops, portables top PC Magazine’s 2005 Reader Satisfaction survey – August 24, 2005
Apple continues to lead in customer satisfaction, Dell loses more ground – August 16, 2005
Apple Macintosh leads in personal computer customer satisfaction – August 24, 2004
Apple Macs top PC Magazine’s ‘17th Annual Reader Satisfaction Survey’ – August 10, 2004


  1. Consumer Reports is wasting their time and energy giving such good advice, too many stupid people / losers are out there who will buy MS crap and feel good about not being in the Apple camp. LOW CLASS

  2. Now lets hold on a minute folks. When CR blows an Apple evaluation we’re all over them – “Oh, CR is paid off”, “Oh, CR doesn’t know electronics”, “Oh…”.

    If you want to appear intelligent you’re going to give them same level of care to recommendations about other vendors technology as well.

    Now I see how this report is different because it’s relying on owners surveys and such but lets not go all derp on the Surface and not consider the source.

    1. Well hang on this is the organisation that just loved to make an issue of certain Apple products through its ‘exhaustive’ testing systems (since arguably discredited) hen launched yet had to be told by its ‘users’ that their no doubt similar ‘exhaustive testing’ failed to show up what they now admit are serious issues with ‘all’ these Surface products. And hey it might be me but didn’t they sound sheepish, verging on apologetic in having to do this under pressure to save their reputation form falling even further. It seems to me that their lack of fairness and consistency is only made more than clear to the objective and ‘intelligent’ in this particular embarrassing episode. Indeed some would claim that they have been caught with their fingers in the till.

    2. I’ve been a critic of CR for a very long time. I used to produce reviews for a major media company and would often then (later) compare how others had reviewed the same product/service.

      My problem with CR certainly wasn’t that “they were paid off” or “don’t know electronics” or other such silliness. My problem with CR is that they don’t adequately review products for people looking to buy that specific type of product.

      Instead, what they do is survey and make editorial decisions to form a list of criteria that the products are going to be judged against.

      The flaw in this is that one product that fills a unique niche is going to get a poor review despite the fact that it’s an incredibly great product for what it’s intended to be.

      CR also fails to realize that a quality/price ratio isn’t linear, and that for many people paying not only a higher price, but a higher ratio will be worth it. That’s why CR has traditionally missed the mark on most premium product reviews.

      CR can also by myopic when it comes to any flaw and how it will actually impact a user in any practical way, as opposed to the perception.

      Case in point, the iPhone 4…

      I admit that it deserved a footnote of some kind that noted that if you were someone who didn’t want to use a case/bumper and someone who needed to death grip the phone when using it in low signal areas, the antenna design may be an issue for you.

      However, to give it a “do not buy” made no sense for most people, especially when the 3G/3GS as well as other phones had even worse antenna grip issues that CR never even mentioned.

      As far as the Surface…

      This just seems like another screw up for CR (as well as Microsoft). How did 25% of their audience who had the product have problems without CR having noticed the issues during the review? Isn’t the thorough and rigorous testing specifically supposed to protect their audience from being in that position? How did CR not ever go to a Microsoft store and see how faulty the demo equipment was on a regular basis?

      TL;DR: This report both shows the problems with the Surface as well as the problems with CR in not identifying these issues before their audience made their purchasing decisions.

        1. Come on Sean, you have written your fair share of leftist politics on this site. For you to act like a pot calling the kettle black is disingenuous.

          If you have not noticed, the political stories always garner the most eyeballs and responses.

          It’s all good and all opinions are welcome. You should remember that …

        1. Interesting observation.

          Yes, the Mac stories are fewer, but I believe it has more to do with Apple and writers chasing shiny objects than it has to do with MDN …

    1. Actually CR was wrong.

      Their readers who purchased the Surface corrected them by reporting that 25% of them had issues by the second year.

      Had CR warned their audience during their initial review, they would’ve have gotten it right.

    1. I have a response…. the surface laptop is a MacBook Air clone with nice cloth on the palm rest. Never, ever, trust a review which gives Microsoft products glowing reviews, the company has a long history of paying off reviewers and astroturfing, and the verge is particularly susceptible to that (just look at some of their amazon “reviews”)

      All that being said, it looks like a decent laptop. But it will fail just like any other Windows based machine because of the same problems. The fact that CR amended their recommendation based on consumer feedback is a big step forward for them and one thing they have never afforded apple in the same respect.

    2. When a site notes other options, or “contenders” and the list of “the bad” items fpr a laptop are really bad, or inexcusable, it’s hard for me to see the article as credible. With that said, I’ll assume the Surface is a pretty good product as it’s their #1 (The Verge).

    3. Novad, Rarely, Rarely are opinions like that viable. Reviews from CR said their “new” review was based on users responses.

      NOW, look at who reviewed it. What do they do with the reviewed hardware? How often do they actually keep and use the same computer for over a year? Nope, they change computers every year or earlier. They review it NEW and don’t wait for problems to crop up.

  3. While I wouldn’t be surprised by problems with the Surface, I have very little faith and trust in Consumer Reports. I will admit to checking out their ratings from time to time on products I am planning to buy, but find their approach to covering a category of products to be far from complete or useful. Its another data point to add to my research.

    CR has a tendency to hyper-focus on the wrong issues and to miss what matters to consumers.

    All the same, I had to use a friend’s brand new Dell laptop the other day. I was flabbergasted at how hard and unintuitive a user interface it is to use – that includes hardware and OS. After becoming a Mac user in 2016, I have no idea how I was able to live as a Windows user before that. It will be a long time before I own another MS product again – including software or hardware. They have become completely irrelevant to my life. Zero interest in the Surface, except to comment about it, here…lol.

  4. Any reviews anywhere for the Surface Studio? Outside of the MS ass-kissing, tech world?

    As a graphic artist I have an intense interest in it. It’s just the type of art tool I need… although as someone who has (on occasion) had to use Windows, I am loath to think I might be compelled to buy one.

    Although I think Apple is right about hybrid OS devices like MS Surface PCs, they have show us that it’s possible to incorporate touch into a PC, i.e., touch based trackpads, MacBook Pro with touch bar, etc.

    So… why not something (like the Surface Studio) that allows us artsy-fartsy types to use iMac/Apple displays as input devices under Mac OS?

    And, to be clear, I am not talking about something that runs a combo/hybrid, PC/mobile OS mess like the Surface does.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.