Consumer Reports won't recommend the Surface Book 2

Based on its updated specs alone, Microsoft's new Surface Book 2 looks to be a solid improvement over its predecessor in nearly every way. However, for Consumer Reports, which recently blasted Microsoft's Surface lineup in its annual reliability study, reliability still remains a concern and it will withhold its recommendation.

In a statement to Hot Hardware, a Consumer Reports spokesperson stated:

We will evaluate the performance of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 once we get it into our labs next month for testing, but we will not be able to recommend it. Our decision to withhold our recommendation of all Microsoft laptops and tablets is still in effect.

According to Consumer Reports' study, the group found that around 25 percent of people with Surface devices would experience problems by "the second year of ownership." Some of the problems reported included unexpected shutdowns, touchscreen issues, and devices freezes. This led Consumer Reports to remove its "recommended" status for all Surface devices.

For its part, Microsoft disputed Consumer Reports' claims, stating that "its return and support rates differ significantly" with Consumer Reports' findings, according to Reuters. In a follow-up response, Microsoft Surface chief Panos Panay further disputed Consumer Reports' findings, stating:

While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings. Surface has had quite a journey over the last few years, and we've learned a lot. In the Surface team we track quality constantly, using metrics that include failure and return rates – both our predicted 1-2-year failure and actual return rates for Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are significantly lower than 25 percent. Additionally, we track other indicators of quality such as incidents per unit (IPU), which have improved from generation to generation and are now at record lows of well below 1%.

According to Panay, satisfaction rates rank at 98 percent among Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book users.

While the Surface Book 2 won't be available until November 16 (with preorders on November 9), we recently got some hands-on time with the device. Only time will tell if reliability issues will be of concern for Microsoft's latest Surface Book, but there are reasons to questions Consumer Reports' claims.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl