Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware IT

Consumer Reports Pulls Microsoft Laptop Recommendation (go.com) 126

The breakage rate for Microsoft's Surface devices is significantly worse than for other manufacturers' laptops and tablets, Consumer Reports said, adding that it was removing its "recommended" designation for Surface products. From a report: The consumer advocacy group said Thursday that it can no longer recommend Microsoft laptops or tablets because of poor reliability compared to other brands. Microsoft said the findings don't accurately reflect Surface owners' "true experiences." The consumer group says Microsoft machines have performed well in laboratory testing. But a subscriber survey found start-up and freezing problems. The devices losing their "recommended" status are the Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and Surface Book (128GB and 512GB versions).
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Consumer Reports Pulls Microsoft Laptop Recommendation

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's "Consumer Reports"
    • It's "Consumer Reports"

      Where was that sentiment when they were accusing Apple of battery-life issues in the 2016 MacBook Pro?

      • Huh? They forced Apple to fix the issue, even though it only occurred when you had the cache turned off in Safari. They obviously have some pull.

        • Huh? They forced Apple to fix the issue, even though it only occurred when you had the cache turned off in Safari. They obviously have some pull.

          They didn't "Force" Apple to do ANYTHING.

          Your explanation presumes the fact that Apple didn't WANT to find/fix that Safari Bug.

          Gimme a break, HATER!

  • by Noishkel ( 3464121 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @10:53AM (#54983063)

    One of the first reports I remember reading about the Surface was just how much the NFL hates them. There is many videos of team members loosing their cool and hurling the things across the field.

    But hey, let's all be honest. Microsoft's hardware has NEVER been good. Be it laptops, tablets, or media players. This is just one more example of this trend.

    • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @10:59AM (#54983121)
      Their ergonomic keyboard was amazing, back when they still made it.
      • Well fair enough. I never hard one of those, although I did have a Microsoft Sidewinder once, and it did work well for a while before finally dying.

        But even then, it says a lot that only their most basic hardware seems to work instead of their flagship products.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft keyboards and mice might be decent, but they have never been on par with Logitech.

        • by green1 ( 322787 )

          Having used both, I disagree. Microsoft mice are pretty much exactly on par with Logitech (though I find them a bit more ergonomic) they won't compete with a custom high end brand, but they're good solid consumer grade stuff.
          Microsoft's ergonomic keyboards on the other hand were top notch, better than what Logitech puts out.

          (as I sadly type this on a horrible Dell keyboard, but at least I have a Microsoft mouse)

          As a general rule I've found Microsoft to be pretty good at hardware, even if they couldn't code

          • Nothing beats the ergonomics of the Microsoft mouse though. Most of the other mice are too small and don't support my hand very well.
            • by green1 ( 322787 )

              I may have been less clear than I intended on that point, I meant to make it clear that I find the Microsoft mice more ergonomic than the Logitech mice, but that they are otherwise very similar quality products. I will note however that ergonomics is somewhat subjective, I have a co-worker who swears by her Logitech mouse, whereas I find it too small, of course she's also a full foot shorter than I am, and likely has somewhat smaller hands too, so that may account for the different preference.

          • by Scoth ( 879800 )

            Love my Microsoft keyboards. I'm still using the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro I bought new circa 2001 at work, and a new-in-box one I got at a thrift store a couple years ago at home (replacing an original '95 Microsoft Natural). They fell off the wagon a bit when they released that line that had cursor keys in a + instead of inverted T, but otherwise they've been great.

        • by NoZart ( 961808 )

          This might be different today. Logitech has now for a few years built their mice with the shoddiest switches possible. I had 3 different logitech mice starting to act up on left click after 3 months and be broken after 6 (and no, i don't play diablo or starcraft)

          • Yep, and the worst thing is they used (use?) the crappy switches even on pretty expensive mice/trackballs where you would expect something better. Freaking ridiculous
      • by DanJ_UK ( 980165 ) *
        They still make the natural keyboard.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Their mice are okay as well. And the newer keyboards are fine... A bit over-priced for what they are, but decent.

      • Their ergonomic keyboard was amazing, back when they still made it.

        Yes... but unreliable as all Hell. I think I owned about ten of them. They'd randomly short-circuit and go completely dead, or start repeating keys endlessly, or enter "p#z" when you typed "t". I like the layout (which was originally an Apple design, but they dropped it for a hideous chiclet-key setup because "think outside of sanity" or something)... but good Lord, the failure rate was 100% over the course of a year or so.

      • I liked their ergonomic keyboards and mice when they came out and used them for a while. Then I just got away from using them and forgot about them altogether. About the thing that they brought out that I tried and actually liked.

    • Well... no. MS actually made pretty good mice. For a while the joke was even that MS must've bought their hardware division because it worked way too well to be an internal product.

      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        I agree, I also loved their ergonomic keyboards. As a general rule I find MS to be quite good at hardware. Too bad they pretend to be a software company, because that's obviously not their strong suit.

      • Some years ago, I had a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse. It felt good to my hand, and it worked rather well, even with my Macs... but it didn't have a power switch.

        Who designs a wireless mouse and doesn't include a bloody on/off switch?

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )

      Actually the Zune as well as keyboards and mice were always great.

      Supposedly the issue for the NFL are mostly due to issues with wireless in the stadiums /shrug

    • One of the first reports I remember reading about the Surface was just how much the NFL hates them. There is many videos of team members loosing their cool and hurling the things across the field.

      But hey, let's all be honest. Microsoft's hardware has NEVER been good. Be it laptops, tablets, or media players. This is just one more example of this trend.

      This is more because of how crappy the wireless data and communications systems are at NFL Stadiums than how the Surface performs. The NFL league office runs these things and they can't even get team communications systems right. The device gets the blame when WiFi sucks....

      As for the conclusion of Consumer Reports, don't confuse their reliability reports with actual reliability issues (i.e. poor design or poor hardware). The reason why I say this is because Consumer Reports includes user issues and comp

    • I have a Surface Book, and previously my only experience with Microsoft hardware was joysticks, mice, and keyboards. The latter were all great. No problems.

      The Surface Book is a fantastic idea, but the reliability is poor. I've gone through 2 already, and the one I have now has a line down the middle of the screen with some colors. I'm going to be back to getting a cheapo laptop in the future.

    • They made what is still the best mouse ever designed.
    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      I also remember how the NFLK issues was about the software and network issues more than about the device itself.

    • by xonen ( 774419 )

      But hey, let's all be honest. Microsoft's hardware has NEVER been good. Be it laptops, tablets, or media players.

      I don't agree. Their OEM keyboards and mice were excellent. Too bad they don't make that corded mouse anymore, it's the only one that fit in my (large) hands.

      Most Logitech items with 'moveable' parts (like buttons) are either too small and/or break easy, the only reasonable quality items being the discontinued G15 keyboards and webcams. Most other brands are even worse, or tend to target 'gamers' with a lot of bling and lights, mouse buttons at inconvenient places and plain weird shapes..

      All i ask from a mo

    • Microsoft's hardware has NEVER been good.

      Their mice and keyboards have always been excellent.
      XBOX isn't bad.

  • I agree (Score:5, Funny)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @11:01AM (#54983131)

    It does not adequately reflect owners' experience and is by no means what the owners of the devices would say. But CR refused to include expletives and obscenities in its report.

    • Is a Consumer Reports subscription worth it for $35/year? Without expletives and the kind of hard-hitting commentary great minds like those at the The Rolling Stone are willing to lay down, I'm on the fence.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Is a Consumer Reports subscription worth it for $35/year?

        I vote "no". They have recently become obsessed with graphic design and color commentary while minimizing actual quantitative testing. Like my local Fort Worth newspaper, they have become more and more content free. I won't resubscribe.

      • If you are buying a lot of high priced things in the next year: appliances, electronics, etc. Like if you are about to furnish/buy a home.
    • To be fair to Microsoft, some of the complaints of the NFL was not that the tablets broke down but that they lost network connectivity at crucial points. Now that might be more of a problem with networking and not setting up a robust wireless network with tens of thousands of fan phones creating interference. And yes some teams did say the tablets also broke down too.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    A system that's a band-aid on a a band-aid on a band-aid for 36 years to the the point that it's mostly made of fossilized band-aid carved into the shape of a tablet OS isn't as reliable as a tablet OS originally built around 10 years ago for a tablet-like device? I'm stunned.

  • But a subscriber survey found start-up and freezing problems

    Can't blame the other vendor for this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by David_Hart ( 1184661 )

      So, you don't own a smart phone... or a modern flat panel TV... or a.....

      I'm not saying that you are wrong or that I don't respect your stance. I too prefer buying products that can be repaired. But there are very few modern electronics that are repairable today. We are only tricking ourselves with tear-down videos, etc., into thinking that it's worth doing. For the vast majority, it just isn't worth it.

      Practically every time I repair a phone, tablet, laptop, etc. it ends up costing me more in parts a

      • by Khashishi ( 775369 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:53PM (#54984983) Journal

        And that's a big problem. Repairability and recycleability are related. If you can't take it apart, you can't recycle it. Sure, for now, we can always just throw it in a landfill and mine more minerals for new ones, but how long is that going to last?

      • So, you don't own a smart phone... or a modern flat panel TV... or a.....

        He might and still fix them. You could also fix your smartphone. It's on ifixit.

        Practically every time I repair a phone, tablet, laptop, etc. it ends up costing me more in parts and time then it would be to buy a new one...

        Umm Every time you repair anything, it should be because the cost of getting parts or repairing is cheaper than buying a new one. (Ex: Phone is $699, camera is $25 -> should repair, laptop is $799, mobo is $500 -> might not be worth repairing)

  • by garryknight ( 1190179 ) <garryknight AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 10, 2017 @12:14PM (#54983695)

    They have been ignoring Surface Owners' "true experiences" for something like two years now. The Surface Pro 3 came with two different battery types. After a firmware update in September 2015 (I think it was) one type of battery simply stopped working for a large number of owners. Many posts were made on the Microsoft forums about it and some of the MSVPs tried in vain to help. Then posts started being deleted from the forum. The only thing I remember a MS spokesman saying was that it wasn't due to the firmware update. Just a coincidence, apparently. A 'fix' was issued at some point but most of those people affected said it didn't work for them.

    Last year sometime my typecover (the soft keyboard) simply stopped working for no reason. I turned the machine on with the typecover attached and it would no longer respond to anything I did with the keyboard. It wouldn't even light up. I posted about it on the MS forum and was advised to try several 'fixes' that I'd already tried and which hadn't worked. Then others started posting about non-working typecovers, too, and I discovered some that failed before mine did. My typecover is now the most expensive screen protector I've ever owned. And I now have to lug around a mini Bluetooth keyboard as well.

    I still think the tablet part is one of the best 'laptops' around (but only with the BT keyboard) but I wouldn't ever buy another Surface Pro.

  • Great reliability. I ended up with a Surface 3 at home... Windows 10 on Surface is a great thing, but the unit? It's now been deader than Elvis twice and I'm pretty sure it will be replaced with an iPad.
  • From the Verge article [theverge.com]:

    "Most recently, the company has rolled out the Surface Laptop — the line’s first traditional laptop PC — and an upgraded, more powerful Surface Pro. Neither of those products had yet been released at the end of the Consumer Reports survey period. Instead, Microsoft’s standing was likely hurt by bugs and crashes that affected past devices like the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book."
  • I'm sure that a large anonymous donation from Microsoft will make the "do not recommend" turn into a "Recommended A+++++++" just like it did for Apple's Macbook Pro.
  • ... ack! While I love my Surface Pro 3, it is fragile, broken, and just not even a good hardware experience for the price paid.

    On the other hand I have an iPad w/ Retina Display (iPad v4) that is still working after having been literally thrown into the street and broken. My Surface fell from a 1ft distance and shattered, needing to be replaced!

    I agree with Consumer Reports! Don't buy a Microsoft product. Even the Surface accessories, for their price, are cheaply made and prone to breakage.

  • Surface 4 is a POS (Score:4, Informative)

    by cpotoso ( 606303 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:03PM (#54984549) Journal
    Really. It is. New machine, battery lasts barely 3-4 hours doing SIMPLE stuff (windows has the worst power management possible). Even in SLEEP MODE it manages to deplete a battery from 100% to 40% overnight (did I mention that windows has the worst power management possible?). Touch interface and pen randomly stop working (requiring a reboot). To top it off, machine fell from 20 cm to a wooden floor and the screen shattered, costing hundreds of $ to repair. MS had always complained that windows was unreliable because they worked with so many brands and models, but they can't even get their own sh*t to work.
    • Really. It is. New machine, battery lasts barely 3-4 hours doing SIMPLE stuff (windows has the worst power management possible). Even in SLEEP MODE it manages to deplete a battery from 100% to 40% overnight (did I mention that windows has the worst power management possible?). Touch interface and pen randomly stop working (requiring a reboot). To top it off, machine fell from 20 cm to a wooden floor and the screen shattered, costing hundreds of $ to repair. MS had always complained that windows was unreliable because they worked with so many brands and models, but they can't even get their own sh*t to work.

      Change the settings so that WiFi and Bluetooth are turned off when it is put to sleep. By default these are left on when in sleep mode and drain battery life. Mine lasts 4 to 6 hours no problem.

      Also, have you updated the drivers?
      https://www.microsoft.com/en-u... [microsoft.com]

      • by cpotoso ( 606303 )
        And at the same time my ipad and my macbook air constantly do wi-fi updates and all and never ever would drain 60% of the battery being sleep overnight. Neither does my iphone, or my android tablet or my android phone. Sorry, it is just MS cr4p. And yes, all drivers are up to date. Nice design (the kickstand is cool) but otherwise horrible machine.
    • (windows has the worst power management possible)

      Wait. Windows had good power management? When was this?

  • by mikeabbott420 ( 744514 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:52PM (#54984969) Journal

    But that's all I use it for because the battery life is terrible, especially if any networking is turned on. I use an ancient 'New iPad' for trivial browsing and watching video in bed. That thing can make a charge last.

    When I bought the surface I had visions of using it for note taking in meetings and a variety of other things but the battery issue makes it more trouble than it's worth.

  • Say it ain't so! Microsoft has never, ever done such a thing.
  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @04:11PM (#54985871)

    The Surface is clearly not a good purchase. It has Windows 10 on it.

  • I served on a jury yesterday and one of the fellas in the jury pool was at the same table as me while we all waited in the jury pool room. He was using a Surface and, as I had been looking into them at Best Buy the last time I was there, I asked him how he liked his. In short: he didn't. It was provided by his work and, because he worked on government contract stuff, he was required to use like 3 VPNs and one of those every changing RSA keys to access stuff. He lamented that was constantly having to shu
  • I have a surface book. The one with the gpu in the keyboard. Cost almost $3k. The keyboard stopped detaching about two months after warranty expired. I had to pay $600 to have it fixed. I like the regular surface devices, but would not buy another surface book.

PLUG IT IN!!!

Working...