Surface laptops regain Consumer Reports recommendation

Last year, Consumer Reports dropped its recommendation for Microsoft's Surface products, citing reliability issues after a survey of 90,000 tablet and laptop owners. Today, Consumer Reports reversed its stance, giving Surface devices its recommendation, with the exception of Microsoft's latest entry in the lineup, the Surface Go.

"Microsoft's reliability is now on-par with most other laptop brands," allowing its products to be recommended, says Martin Lachter, senior research associate at Consumer Reports. The firm says that this is the first year that brand reliability is being included into the overall scores. Owner satisfaction is also a factor being considered in the overall score.

In all, Consumer Reports now recommends the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book 2. Whereas these devices were previously considered separately as laptops and tablets, the firm is now rating the devices purely as laptops "based on feedback from Microsoft."

The only Surface laptop to not score high enough for a recommendation is the recently released Surface Go. The reason for the lack of recommendation largely comes down to computing performance, which falls short compared to other laptops. Maria Rerecich, who heads up electronics testing for Consumer Reports, explains: "We weigh processing power heavily when we're evaluating laptops. A computer that doesn't do well in performance testing isn't likely to get recommended."

The reversal is a big deal for Surface as a brand. When Consumer Reports pulled its recommendation for the line last year, Microsoft quickly issued a statement that strongly disagreed with the evaluation, placing an emphasis on the strong consumer satisfaction ratings it has seen among Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book owners.

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