Consumer Reports: Don't Buy a Microsoft Surface Laptop or Tablet

DF-1

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my surface pro 2 does a hard restart when i plug in or out the keyboard about 40% of the time, and the pens eraser got screwed and had to be replaced twice.

it's also trying to install the same firmware for years from windows update with no success.
 

Methadras

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Someday and I don't know when, someone is going to make a tablet worth a shit. I really hope so.
 

BulletDust

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Last edited:

heatlesssun

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The number of calls I get from people wanting me to repair the things, I just give them Microsoft's number. Bloody horrible devices to repair and the overly fragile screen's crack if you fart on them.

Don't know who you're deriving this. A Surface Pro is very large tablet with a lot of glass so there is a lot more of it to break and as tablet it's much more prone to being dropped while in use than a conventional laptop. The most sever drop I've had of a Surface device was my Surface 3 non-pro. About three feet on square on a corner with the Type Cover on. I have a skin on the back and the damage was pretty minor, the corner is fell on got dented and scratched but not badly, the screen was fine.

But sure, if you dropped this type of thing on a hard surface screen first I'm sure the results will often not be good.
 

htpc_user

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I have a Surface RT. Man, does that thing suck. It is sooooo slow. The storage is almost full just from updates, and I've removed all apps that I had on it. I can't free up any more space so it's stuck in limbo.
 

Jim Kim

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The number of calls I get from people wanting me to repair the things, I just give them Microsoft's number. Bloody horrible devices to repair and the overly fragile screen's crack if you fart on them.
Well the original problem was a broken usb port but the screen cracked in the process of opening up the surface.
I have a Surface RT. Man, does that thing suck. It is sooooo slow. The storage is almost full just from updates, and I've removed all apps that I had on it. I can't free up any more space so it's stuck in limbo.
So you have a 5 year old tablet that sucks. Bet I'm not the only one who thinks buying an RT device was not the smartest choice anyone could make.
 

BulletDust

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Well the original problem was a broken usb port but the screen cracked in the process of opening up the surface.

The screen cracks so easily I'm surprised gravity alone doesn't crack it when you lay it down.
 

BulletDust

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Don't know who you're deriving this. A Surface Pro is very large tablet with a lot of glass so there is a lot more of it to break and as tablet it's much more prone to being dropped while in use than a conventional laptop. The most sever drop I've had of a Surface device was my Surface 3 non-pro. About three feet on square on a corner with the Type Cover on. I have a skin on the back and the damage was pretty minor, the corner is fell on got dented and scratched but not badly, the screen was fine.

But sure, if you dropped this type of thing on a hard surface screen first I'm sure the results will often not be good.

The glass used is incredibly thin, probably in an attempt to make the device sleeker, and the amount of adhesive used to bond the screen is out of this world. Personally I'd prefer a little more bulk and durability.
 

heatlesssun

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The glass used is incredibly thin, probably in an attempt to make the device sleeker, and the amount of adhesive used to bond the screen is out of this world. Personally I'd prefer a little more bulk and durability.

Bulk might be ok for a conventional laptop but not a device like a Surface Pro that is meant to be carried in one hand while in use such as writing on it while standing. There are ruggedized Windows tablets out there and if you think Surface devices are overpriced take a look at those.
 

BulletDust

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Bulk might be ok for a conventional laptop but not a device like a Surface Pro that is meant to be carried in one hand while in use such as writing on it while standing. There are ruggedized Windows tablets out there and if you think Surface devices are overpriced take a look at those.

The device can still be used as a tablet. The biggest problem is the use of x64 hardware necessitating the use of a heatsink/fan meaning the glass has to be made thinner as an extra .03 of a mm is just too much for the average consumer to handle.
 

heatlesssun

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The device can still be used as a tablet. The biggest problem is the use of x64 hardware necessitating the use of a heatsink/fan meaning the glass has to be made thinner as an extra .03 of a mm is just too much for the average consumer to handle.

For a pen enabled device thin glass is an important factor in reducing pen parallax. Whatever the issues are with the Surface line a lot of thought and input has gone into the device for many years as they really are just modern implementations of the Tablet PC concept from over 15 years ago like all modern 2 in 1s. Minimizing weight and reducing the thickness of pen contact to display have a real impact on these kinds of devices, it's not only bling.
 

swatbat

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For all of the surface pro 3 and 4 units my company has deployed the highest failure rate is from people dropping them and destroying the screens. We have also had a few die where people plugged in third party shit ac adapters that fried them.

The docks have caused some issues. Had to warranty a few of them.

Now on the software side we have had some weird issues but the firmware updates have fixed most of them.
 

hmz

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The best hybrid device I've ever owned is the SP4.

I haven't touched a better engineered Windows device. It's that good.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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I still have 5x Dell Venue 8 pro tablets that work just fine... the batteries have held up amazingly well over the last 3 years of use. My Venue 11 Pro was in the Dell Shop once and it too has held up very well...


AS for CR article, this is unusual for Microsoft as their hardware is typically top notch build wise....
 

Vader1975

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Microsoft has a very long history of horrendous hardware manufacturing. Thus I stopped buying any hardware from them long ago. They screwed us over for years so what is new about this?
 

sparks

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microshaft would NEVER release anything that is not top notch and the greatest..Just ask them
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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I still have 5x Dell Venue 8 pro tablets that work just fine... the batteries have held up amazingly well over the last 3 years of use. My Venue 11 Pro was in the Dell Shop once and it too has held up very well...


AS for CR article, this is unusual for Microsoft as their hardware is typically top notch build wise....
sad to say all of the Dell 8 Venu pro have gone the way of the dodo bird...as of 2019
 

t1337duder

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Working as a repair technician, there was very little we could do at our store with most of the Surface laptops and tablets. Apple products are even more repair friendly (which is saying a lot). Giving Microsoft any incentive to try to control any percentage of the hardware market seems like a big mistake. Every instance you give big tech companies an inch - they will take a mile.
 

Mazzspeed

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Bring the pain, I'm planning on getting a i5 Surface Pro 7+ and want to see if I can take a fan meant for the i7 line and put it in the i5s that don't come with one.
You may as well just smash it with a hammer, as chances are that's going to be the end result. They wern't built to be repaired (which obviously covers modification). As someone stated above, Apple devices are infinitely more repairable.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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sad to say all of the Dell 8 Venu pro have gone the way of the dodo bird...as of 2019

Well this thread was from 2017, so...

You necroed a five year old thread just to tell someone who posted five years ago that a product that existed five years ago was discontinued 3 years ago.

Good job :p
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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Well this thread was from 2017, so...

You necroed a five year old thread just to tell someone who posted five years ago that a product that existed five years ago was discontinued 3 years ago.

Good job :p
uh read post #62,63

There's a front page again, or we're talking about the forum root?

Yes there is but I was referring to the front page of the tech news sub forum
 

The Mad Atheist

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You may as well just smash it with a hammer, as chances are that's going to be the end result. They wern't built to be repaired (which obviously covers modification). As someone stated above, Apple devices are infinitely more repairable.
It'll be interesting to see if MS just left the fan off or if they added some thermal mass to the i5 line to compensate. :sneaky:
Only issues I see running into is getting the screen off, sourcing the screws, or just getting the whole cooling assembly from a i7 machine. I see no reason having a different chassis fabs for the CPUs.
 

Lakados

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I've got a ton of Surface Pro's here going all the way back to the Pro 2's and we've only had one fail and that was because it got dropped, and not normal dropped, slipped out of their hand walking up a set of hotel stairs so right down the middle went 2 floors onto concrete. The screen shattered, the case bent, but it still booted enough for data recovery and Microsoft replaced it under the Accidental Damage part of the hardware warranty that comes standard with the Education purchase plan. Only had to pay the $40 CAD for Canada Post Express Post and the box to put it in.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Working as a repair technician, there was very little we could do at our store with most of the Surface laptops and tablets. Apple products are even more repair friendly (which is saying a lot). Giving Microsoft any incentive to try to control any percentage of the hardware market seems like a big mistake. Every instance you give big tech companies an inch - they will take a mile.

I can confirm, Surface tablets are absolutely miserable to repair. Any repair you do will have a replacement screen and digitizer built into the cost because one or both are going to almost always break getting into the thing, no matter how careful you are. Why do they break so easily? Because Microsoft thought it would be a stellar idea to have a non-uniform adhesive pattern that goes well into the screen area. You have to use tons of guitar picks and spudgers to slide along multiple adhesive strips.

Parts for them are also hideously expensive. The display is glued to the digitizer, so they have to come together. Nobody makes charge ports, so you have to be VERY lucky and find one on ebay for insane prices. The one I repaired, the charge port was $70 and the screen was $150-200. I ended up shattering the digitizer because I didn't keep the adhesive hot enough, it contracted on the edge of a guitar pick and the whole thing blew up in my face. It's why you always wear eye protection working on mobile devices with tempered glass.
 

TheOne&OnlyZeke

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I can confirm, Surface tablets are absolutely miserable to repair. Any repair you do will have a replacement screen and digitizer built into the cost because one or both are going to almost always break getting into the thing, no matter how careful you are. Why do they break so easily? Because Microsoft thought it would be a stellar idea to have a non-uniform adhesive pattern that goes well into the screen area. You have to use tons of guitar picks and spudgers to slide along multiple adhesive strips.

Parts for them are also hideously expensive. The display is glued to the digitizer, so they have to come together. Nobody makes charge ports, so you have to be VERY lucky and find one on ebay for insane prices. The one I repaired, the charge port was $70 and the screen was $150-200. I ended up shattering the digitizer because I didn't keep the adhesive hot enough, it contracted on the edge of a guitar pick and the whole thing blew up in my face. It's why you always wear eye protection working on mobile devices with tempered glass.
Exact same thing happened to me. the screen blew up
Fucking annoying
 

Jim Kim

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Working as a repair technician, there was very little we could do at our store with most of the Surface laptops and tablets. Apple products are even more repair friendly (which is saying a lot). Giving Microsoft any incentive to try to control any percentage of the hardware market seems like a big mistake. Every instance you give big tech companies an inch - they will take a mile.

Well I replaced the SSD on my old 6 year old Surface Pro 3... WITH A DREMEL

Not me, The Flying Penquin.
 

ManofGod

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Well, with my experience with Microsoft hardware in the past, I would not be surprised if they are correct. Mind you, I never buy anything that Consumer Reports is selling but in this case, a broken clock is right at least twice a day.
 

Lakados

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Having purchased and supported a few hundred surface pros to date I can say this with some degree of certainty. They are not meant nor designed with the consumer in mind, they are designed for corporate, who will be buying the extended warranties who purchase them in bulk and assign them out, and if they have issues either retire them if they are out of warranty or have them warranty repaired. There are exceedingly few things that you can do to them unless you are set up to work with them and equipment like them. The simple act of delaminating the screen to replace it or removing the bonding layers to open it requires some pretty beefy hardware and any attempts to rig something up are likely just to cause more damage than not. That said failures on them for us have been exceedingly rare, and have exclusively been the result of the user mostly dropping them into or onto something, they are slippery little things especially if you grab them between stacks of paper as you run between locations. We started issuing bags alongside them and immediately saw a decrease in incidents with them.
 
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