According to a Consumer Reports survey of over 90,000 tablet and
laptop owners, an estimated 25 percent of those with Microsoft
Surface devices will experience “problems by the end of the second
year of ownership.” This failure rate is the worst in the industry
by far among mainstream PC makers, the publication says, and as a
result, it is pulling its “recommended” designation for all
Apple led the industry by a long shot. But that’s as it should be. Apple products tend to cost significantly more because they’re made better. Or put another way, Apple benefits greatly in a survey like this because they don’t make any low-end laptops. I’d love to see the results of a similar survey that only looked at laptops that cost $1000 or more. I think Apple would still come out on top, but I would also bet that the reliability of PCs in that price range is way higher than these results that include all machines sold.
But that’s why these results look particularly bad for Microsoft: the Surface lineup is priced and specced more like Apple’s lineup: $800 starting price for the tablet, $999 for Surface Laptop, and $1499 for Surface Book. My first thought when I looked at these reliability numbers is that it didn’t seem fair for Consumer Reports to single out Microsoft when they were just 1 point behind Toshiba and 3 behind Dell, but Toshiba and Dell sell millions of astoundingly low-priced craptops. Dell’s lineup starts at just $179.
Microsoft had benefited from a curiously skewed series of
positive editorial stories in mainstream publications because of
its perceived innovation with PCs compared to Apple. I dispute
that view, actually, and have wondered aloud how any PC maker
could be called an innovator when they just released their first
laptop in 2017.
The Verge, last week: “The Best Laptop You Can Buy Right Now (2017)”. Bonus points for the sub-head: “Get a laptop that’ll last.”
★ Thursday, 10 August 2017