Report claims 25 per cent of Microsoft Surface devices have problems after 24 months.

Consumer Reports, the non-profit organization providing unbiased product ratings and reviews since 1936, has said it is removing its “recommended” status for Microsoft Surface products. The company has said that the breakage rate for Microsoft Surface devices is significantly worse than for other manufacturers’ laptops and tablets.

Consumer Reports Says 25 per cent of Microsoft Surface Devices Have Problems After 24 Months

The Surface laptop. Sure it looks good, but Consumer Reports says it can’t recommend it any more over reliability fears.

“These conclusions are based on our breakage rate estimates for laptops by the end of the second year of ownership, gathered from subscribers’ experiences with 41,304 laptops purchased new between 2014 and the first quarter of 2017,” the non-profit publication writes. The move by Consumer Reports to stop recommending Surface devices is a significant blow to Microsoft’s hardware business. Many of the reliability problems appear to be software related. According to Consumer Reports, the Microsoft devices were found to freeze, unexpectedly shut down or have issues with their touchscreens, said Jerry Beilinson, electronics editor at the consumer goods testing publication

90,000 users

The non-profit publication surveyed 90,000 tablet and laptop owners and found that an estimated 25 per cent of those with Microsoft Surface devices would be presented with “problems by the end of the second year of ownership,” the newly released report reads.

“Apple stands out as being the most reliable laptop brand. Microsoft, on the other hand, is less reliable than most other brands. Due to its comparatively higher breakage rate, Microsoft laptops cannot be recommended by Consumer Reports at this time,” Consumer Reports concludes.

“If you are very concerned about how long your products are going to last, it might be better for you to go with a brand that has a higher predicted reliability,” Beilinson said.

Surface models affected

Consumer Reports pulled its recommended rating on the Surface Laptop (128G and 256GB versions) and the Surface Book (128GB and 512GB). The ratings move also applies to Microsoft devices such as the Surface Pro, which only launched in June.

Surface maker begs to differ

Microsoft has of course disputed the study, stating that the company’s own return and support rates differ significantly from the Consumer Reports study. “We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation,” the company said in a statement.

You can read the full Consumer Reports report here.