Just over a year ago, Consumer Reports dinged Microsoft's Surface laptops for poor predicted reliability. But on September 27, Consumer Reports announced the organization is restoring the "recommended" status designation for most -- though not all -- Surface-branded hardware.
"'Microsoft's reliability is now on par with most other laptop brands,' allowing its products to be recommended," according to a prepared statement from Martin Lachter, senior research associate at Consumer Reports.
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Consumer Reports' overall scores include brand reliability and owner satisfaction based on a survey of Consumer Reports' members. This is the first year brand reliability is included in the overall score.
Consumer Reports pulled its "recommended" rating for the Surface Laptop last year, even though the data it gathered by surveying 90,000 users didn't include the Surface Laptop, as it was released in the summer 2017. (Consumer Reports' data covered PCs that were released between 2014 and first quarter of 2017, which was prior to the date when Surface Laptops began shipping.)
Consumer Reports did not give the recently released Surface Go tablet its recommendation, however. The Go is the only one of the Surface family not getting that designation; Surface Pro, Surface Laptop and Surface Book 2 are all getting the nod.
"The Surface Go isn't receiving a CR recommendation, but that's based on the results of lab testing, not member survey data," Consumer Reports said. Consumer Reports is classifying the Go as a two-in-one laptop, even though, to me, it's more of a tablet with an optional keyboard. (Consumer Reports also now designates the Surface Laptop, Surface Pro and Surface Book 2 as "laptops.")
Consumer Reports said the Go fell short "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 such as cycling through different windows."
Consumer Reports' move comes just days before Microsoft is expected to announce refreshed versions of the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro during its October 2 "Fall Event" in New York City.