Over a year after its stunning put-down of Microsoft’s Surface, Consumer Reports is once again recommending the PCs to readers. Well, most of them.
“Microsoft Surface laptops are now eligible for ‘recommended’ status in Consumer Reports ratings,” the publication writes. “Last year, we removed that designation because of poor predicted reliability in comparison with laptops from other brands.”
This is big news, folks: Consumer Reports is a trusted and reliable consumer advocate, and its recommendations matter. It’s also worth pointing out that Microsoft’s Apple-like response of the time, to fall back on customer satisfaction, which is not an indication of real-world reliability, fell very far off the mark.
And to be clear, those Surface Book and Pro 4 reliability issues were very real. In fact, I coined the term Surfacegate to describe the problems.
But it is very clear that Microsoft’s more recent Surface releases—starting with Surface Laptop, and continuing through Surface Pro (2017), and Surface Book 2—are far more reliable than the Surface Book (1) and Surface Pro 4 that were responsible for Consumer Reports dropping its recommendation in 2017. (Surface Go is too new for me to have an opinion about its reliability.)
But now Consumer Reports has a new set of data to work from: A year later, its readers have responded to newer surveys about the products they’ve purchased. And the data matches my contention about the newer PCs: They are far more reliable now.
“The Surface Pro (2017), Surface Laptop, and Surface Book 2 do score well enough to be recommended,” Consumer Reports proclaims.
However, Surface Go does not. Why? For the reason I’ve told people to ignore the product: Poor performance and battery life.
“Why did the Surface Go fall short of being recommended? Mainly because its performance falls below what consumers can find in a number of other laptops, which can result in some lag when performing tasks like cycling through different windows,” the publication reports.
“We weigh processing power heavily when we’re evaluating laptops,” says Maria Rerecich, who oversees all electronics testing for Consumer Reports. “A computer that doesn’t do well in performance testing isn’t likely to get recommended.”
See? I told you Consumer Reports was credible.