More than a year after pulling its recommendation for several Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets, Consumer Reports is reversing itself. But the newer Microsoft Surface Go still isn’t getting CR’s approval.
Last August, the nonprofit consumer publication announced it would no longer recommend a number of Surface models, reporting that approximately a quarter of the machines experience problems within two years of ownership. Both the Surface Laptop and Surface Book were specifically named.
On Thursday, Consumer Reports updated its evaluation of Surface laptop models based on member surveys, and said Microsoft’s laptops “are now eligible for ‘recommended’ status in Consumer Reports ratings.” The update came after a new round of surveys.
“Microsoft’s reliability is now on-par with most other laptop brands,” said Martin Lachter, senior research associate at Consumer Reports, in a statement. That, he said, allows its products to be recommended, including the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book 2.
But not so the Surface Go. Both versions of the new 10-inch model, released in August, have failed to get a CR recommendation due to Consumers Reports’ lab tests, not projected reliability. The problem, the consumer organization said, was performance.
“We weigh processing power heavily when we’re evaluating laptops,” said Maria Rerecich, who oversees CR’s electronics testing. “A computer that doesn’t do well in performance testing isn’t likely to get recommended.”
Consumer Reports said Microsoft declined to comment on the latest findings. However, CR said it did take Microsoft’s feedback into account when re-evaluating the earlier models, and tested and rated the devices as laptops instead of considering some separately as laptops and as tablets.