Microsoft firmly ‘stands behind’ the Surface family’s ‘quality and reliability’

On paper, that “new” Surface Pro is pretty great, albeit perhaps a little too similar to a predecessor about to turn two years old. The “ultimate” Surface Book doesn’t look half bad either for its advanced age, while the newer Surface Laptop is still somewhat confusing in scope and target audience, but definitely a decent enough performer at $999 and up.

Most reviews and real-life quality tests have also been kind to Microsoft’s in-house computer hardware lineup, though it’s not always relevant for the everyday consumer to simply run a few benchmarks, play some games, watch a couple of movies and move on to the next big thing.

What you can rarely tell from using a gadget just a week or two is its long-term reliability. Enter Consumer Reports, which gave a “recommended” rating to a number of Surface products based purely on theoretical lab performance, cancelling the assessment after comprehensively judging reliability in a series of new studies.

A staggering 25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets owned by Consumer Reports subscribers were found to “present problems by the end of the second year of ownership”, which is obviously a much higher estimated breakage rate than “most other brands’.”

But the Redmond-based tech giant strongly disagrees (well, duh) with the American nonprofit organization’s findings, arguing its own “predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25 percent.”

Furthermore, another important indicator of quality, namely incidents per unit (IPU), is allegedly at “record lows of well below 1 percent”, proving the Surface family “delivers great experiences to our customers and fans.”

Finally, Microsoft invokes solid customer satisfaction scores (98 percent for both the Surface Pro 4 and Book) as additional evidence of the two’s dependability.

As always, the objective truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and Surfaces are likely not the most or least reliable devices in the world.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).