Why Consumer Reports Once Again Won’t Recommend Microsoft’s New Surface Book 2

Microsoft and Consumer Reports (CR) have no love for each other of late with CR putting a blanket decision in withdraw recommendations for Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets. The original Surface Book from Microsoft received the "Recommended" rating from CR, only to see it retracted after the publication claimed that its surveys showed that there were issues in as many as 25% of all Surface Book laptops.


With that blanket decision to not issue any "Recommended" ratings to Microsoft devices, this means that new Surface Book 2 won't receive the rating no matter how good it is. CR spokesperson James McQueen wrote, "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."

With the original Surface Book, CR cited "poor predicted reliability in comparison to most other brands" for its original decision to deride Surface tablets and Surface Book notebooks. Microsoft totally rebuked Consumer Reports and its claims on poor Surface reliability in August.

HotHardware's Microsoft Surface Book 2 Hands-On

Microsoft's Surface head Panos Panay wrote at the time, "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%. 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%."

Panay also said that Microsoft's own polls have found that 98% of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book users were satisfied with the devices. We have spent some hands on time with the machine, and watch this space for a full review.