Consumer Reports Refuses to Recommend Microsoft Surface Book 2

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Just a few days ago, Microsoft revealed details of the Surface Book 2 which is due to launch in November. But before the device is even available, it has been dealt a blow by Consumer Reports. Earlier in the year, the review group said that problems with reliability meant that it was impossible for it to recommend any Microsoft laptop or tablet. Now Consumer Reports says that this extends to the Surface Book 2, meaning that the device will not be recommended.

    The company expressed disappointment in CR's original decision, saying: "We don't believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation." Microsoft is likely to be similarly disappointed with CR’s statement about the Surface Book 2. Speaking to Benzinga, CR’s spokesperson James McQueen said: “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.”
     
  2. StryderxX

    StryderxX [H]ard|Gawd

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    Not sure if CS or any site can recommend the Surface Book 2 at this point since it's even out yet. What I do know is that I purchased a Surface Book when it was first released and it was one of the worst laptops I've ever owned. Unreliable is stating it nicely. Super buggy and literally crashed the first time I booted it out of the box. I've never had that happen to me and I've owned dozens of laptop and desktops throughout my life. I ended up returning the Surface Book after about 3 weeks of torture.
     
  3. Shmee

    Shmee [H]ard|Gawd

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    The Surface Book started out shaky, but it has been my favorite laptop I have ever owned once they updated the firmware. It was pushed out a little too early.
     
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  4. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    I'm curious how they can say that it won't be recommended before it's launched, and concluding this from previous generations. That doesn't sound impartial at all.
     
  5. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I haven’t recommended CS since like for ever so they can keep their recommendations.
     
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  6. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Love my surfacebook. The only thing that has annoyed me is that once modifying the registry to allow full performance of dgpu, on ac, my battery life is shit. Can't imagine that fried the battery, but who knows.

    Was getting 8-10 hours of regular use when I first got it and down to a few hours now. I understand there is degradation, but that is pretty extreme over a year/year and half especially since the battery profile is set correctly and runs on barebones on battery.
     
  7. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    Temperature can permanently affect LiIon battery life - every time it goes as little as 10C over spec It can cut the remaining cycle life by as much as half.

    I don’t know the physical arrangement or temp spec of the battery used here, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that may be a reason why the dGPU was artificially capped.
     
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  8. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

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    I am the disappoint.
     
  9. craigdt

    craigdt [H]ard|Gawd

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    Consumer Reports? Lel
    I didn't know that was still a thing.

    I don't think anyone takes them seriously except those who are 50+ that doesn't know any better.

    Many, many of the "old" trustworthy establishments in our society are becoming less trustworthy and more irrelevant the better that technology gets.

    Government, traditional media, department stores, unions, taxis,etc etc.
    Don't get me started, doggone it.
     
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  10. XenIneX

    XenIneX Gawd

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    Because that’s how you build a reliability history? By looking at previous products in the line and making a judgement call based there-on?

    The same way you can be comfortably certain that any given mid/late-2000s Dell is hot garbage, or any Toshiba consumer laptop, or any Acer computer. You don’t need the model specifics. Eventually, it becomes incumbent upon the manufacturer to prove that they have even a modicum of basic competency.
    Everyone mocks Consumer Reports, right up until they have to buy a clothes dryer or microwave and realize they don’t have clue-fucking-one what they’re looking for.
     
  11. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    I've never purchased anything in my entire life based off the opinion or review of anyone else, that's just silly. I buy a product based on it meeting my needs and requirements and if it doesn't suit them it gets returned.

    People actually read reviews and make buying decisions based on the reviews? Really? I'd say people were probably buying more based on the opinions presented in a review which basically render the review somewhat useless and tainted by the person(s) doing the review itself.
     
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  12. Disco_Stu_04

    Disco_Stu_04 Limp Gawd

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    They're trying to remain relevant and in the spotlight by lashing out at unreleased products made by big name companies like MS and Tesla. Trying to be "first" for reviews/recommendations etc. I find it pathetic.
     
  13. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, and that one firmware update which at least for our model kept it from resuming from sleep for many months until fixed - yikes. I had bought my wife one in the hopes of AVOIDING weird firmware and compatibility problems, but it didn't quite go that way. At least not for a while.

    It's rock solid now, but there were certainly bumps. I'd assume the SB2 would inherit the knowledge and work done.
     
  14. Miikun

    Miikun Limp Gawd

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    It's pretty ridiculous because they knew better in the past than to make any recommendations without relevant facts. They might as well start calling themselves Minority Reports.
     
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  15. darament

    darament n00b

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    Well to say the first model is garbage is one thing. But typically a lot of the bugs get hashed out a few iterations away. How many laptops were out there that had removable spare batteries and whatnot. I don’t think I’ve ever used CR to buy anything. Their testing methods are pretty stupid and dont always have any basis on real world use.
     
  16. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    They are still one of the best choices when it comes to reliability of a product, especially cars and appliances.

    I don't usually agree with their computer evaluations, but based on what I've read about the Microsoft surface line, I'd agree with them.
     
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  17. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Last I could tell, it appeared that CS gives the best recommendations to the companies that pay them the most to do so.

    My parents used to buy based on CS. This was years ago. Pretty much every single thing they bought that was top rated by CS ended up completely breaking or having major issues soon after purchase.

    Basically, I would use it as a steer clear of these products type of publication.
     
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  18. Wrecked Em

    Wrecked Em [H]ardness Supreme

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    I use consumer reports for nothing more than steering clear of anything they recommend.
     
  19. Reimu

    Reimu [H]ard|Gawd

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    I do read reviews, but only as a part to purchasing decision. The only thing that ultimately decides me purchasing decision is the needs/wants, and yes, return policy is a must!
     
  20. MRAB54

    MRAB54 Gawd

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    CR is fake news. Doesn't take a genius to realize that simply by reading their articles.
     
  21. John721

    John721 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I like Consumer Reports, and CR's testing methodologies are good for some products. For just one example, their window AC testing is quite useful.



    Also, from glancing at their wikipedia page, it seems they do headphone testing on a dummy head with test equipment in an anechoic chamber. The only pity is that they don't post the measurements they're gathering online.
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/..._testing_-_headphones_in_anechoic_chamber.tif

    While I don't generally use CR for laptop/tablet reviews (perhaps I should) and I don't know what all has gone on with MS products, I do think CR has it's place. I can see their opinion causing some upset with Microsoft shareholders, though. ;) Just as Bose and Sharper Image have been upset with CR in the past, though, those two went as far as trying to sue them when they saw a review they didn't like.
     
  22. zer0nix

    zer0nix [H]Lite

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    Ba dum tish!
     
  23. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I usually use ifixit and real tech sites.
    Cr would have Lenovo as the best build next to Apple, so I avoid them
     
  24. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Consumer Reports does not take money from companies, they are complete supported through subscriptions and donations.
    They also go out and buy product through the retail channel to avoid companies sending they "cherry picked" products to evaluate.

    I've used them for years, and usually find their reliability ratings accurate.
    Still using the recommended Dryer I bought 33 years ago. I did have to replace the washing machine after 30 years when it developed a unrepairable leak. :eek:
     
  25. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's probably because the ppl who don't have issues with MS Surface line, don't talk about it on forums. So you only see one side of it.

    I've got a Surface 3 and a Surface Pro 3. Zero issues.


    They also have very few employees to test thousands of products, so a lot of the crap they'll test will be nothing more than a bias review just to burn through it and move onto the next product. Also a washer or dryer from 30+ years ago were better built. They all lasted that long, didn't matter what brand you bought. CR could have recommended you anything during that time and the thing would still be working now.

    Hell, just look at their car reliability testing. Oh wait, there is none. They do a survey from their subscribers. There's no way they can do any kind of long term testing on all the different vehicles on the road.
     
  26. TheOne&OnlyZeke

    TheOne&OnlyZeke 100% Irish

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    I never even heard of this site until they started being a dick about the Tesla Model 3
    Sounds like a bunch of self important asshats to me

    :)
     
  27. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yes and no. There's plenty of information out there these days outside of them and really, appliances have gotten nice and reliable if you buy from a good brand and spend a reasonable bit of money. When I went to get my washer and dryer, I went hard on the research. Bought a CR subscription, and picked a set that were rated pretty good. They have lasted me well so far.

    When I went and got a dishwasher, I did some research but didn't read CR. I guess it factored in a bit since Sears claimed it was a top model. It has lasted me well so far.

    When I went bought a stove+hood/microwave I didn't do a whole lot of research, just looked at goo units form brands I liked and settled on an LG. Sears screwed me out of it and wouldn't do anything, so I went to Home Depot, poked around, and found a GE combo I liked. They have served me well so far.

    I'm not saying they are useless... but I feel that there is not so much point really. All the major brands work hard to build good equipment, at least if you pay a price at which they can, and all the cheap junk is, well cheap junk.


    Also CR really can only accurately rate features and what they think might be reliability based on what happened before. Thing is that is often not valid. Often when problems come up, it is because a company fucked up a particular model(s) and not because they are just generally bad. You don't see those kind of thing until years later, so a reliability report isn't useful. Likewise, after that happens they usually work hard to fix it.

    Good example? The thermal issues with GeForce GTX200 series cards. A large number of them would screw up and stop working after a couple years because of something wrong with the thermal setup in the chip. Big problem, lots of whining, talk of lawsuits, etc, etc. However that wasn't known in testing, nobody who reviewed the card said "This card won't be reliable, it has a bad thermal interface that will fail in 2 years." Likewise that experience wouldn't be an accurate predictor as cards since then have not had that problem, they learned from their mistake.
     
  28. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

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    No, not really. Rather a well built washer/dryer from 30 years ago are the only ones you still see around. The crap ones all broke long ago and are gone. There were plenty of shit appliances built a few decades ago, that was within my lifetime. I had just such a washer and dryer here. The dryer had gotten to the point where it barely dried, took 3 hours on the highest setting to do a load. The washer had a number of issues but the one that finally got them out was it started leaking water all over the place. So out they went, replaced with new ones. Now will these last 30 years? Who knows? They haven't had time to show their stuff.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking things were so much better built in the past. They often weren't. We just only still have the stuff around that was well built (and also usually well maintained). The junk went away.
     
  29. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    It runs Windows 10. What more do you need to know?

    That and the whole issue of Microsoft waffling on their commitment to mobile hardware.
     
  30. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    I can't think of any crap washers and dryers from 30 years ago. I still see plenty of them humming along. Whirlpool, Maytag, Kennmore, Hoover, etc. They probably lasted that long, cause they were actually fairly easy to work on and had replacement parts. Some simply didn't even need maintenance and kept churning along. I think all of them would reach 10-15 years of use without problems, while few others will reach 20-30 years.

    Today's washer/dryers, I don't see lasting nearly as long. Damn near nothing is replaceable and there's so much electronic gadgetry on them. My sister has a Samsung eco washer/dryer and the buttons are already hard as hell to push. I also hate that dryer, as it has no setting for zero heat.
     
  31. Megaslug

    Megaslug Limp Gawd

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    I thought it was bad when they gave totally different scores tot he exact same car with a different badge, badge engineered cars built side by side on the same assembly line with the same engines and transmissions, just diferent trim pieces, and one would be ok or good and the other would be rated poor. Really? Now they are offering an opinion on a device they haven't even touched.
     
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  32. gulguran

    gulguran Limp Gawd

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    That blows, mine has been great but it did take a while. shame they let it out like that.
     
  33. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    I love Windows 10. I have had zero issues
     
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  34. ccmfreak2

    ccmfreak2 Limp Gawd

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    As software engineers, my coworkers have been very unhappy with their Surface Books. One manager (who still writes code on a daily basis) left his phone ontop of his closed surface book at home one night. The heat from the phone mixed with the heat from the surface caused warping in the case. Others around the office have noticed their screen separating from the case, peripherals seemingly disconnecting/reconnecting to the dock (such as their headsets while in a meeting), not enough USB ports, the lower-end core i7 6600U is simply not powerful enough for enterprise lvl development, that coming from a +$2000 pricepoint, and construction that is just plain not durable enough. Those with multiple devices to work on will use their Surface Books as last-resort devices, turning back to their Dells and MacBooks instead when possible.

    Yeah, I don't blame Consumer Reports to be skeptical. But to flat out say, "We won't recommend it even if we like it," is... rather biased.
     
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  35. Sycraft

    Sycraft [H]ardness Supreme

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    See the problem is that you are suffering from the confirmation bias I mentioned: You only see the examples of the ones that did last today, not the ones that broke and got thrown out. You'd need to see numbers as to how many were sold, and how many are still in service to have any real kind of information. Also you don't know if the stuff today will last because, well, it hasn't had time. My washer/dryer has only had like 6 years, that's all it has been around for. Will it last 30? We won't know for 24 more years.

    Also make sure you are comparing like to like. Check what those appliances cost, in today's dollars, and compare them to a similarly priced one. Don't go and compare something that was $2000 in 2017 money to a $300 cheapie and expect similar quality.
     
  36. GT98

    GT98 [H]ard|Gawd

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    its not like buying a white box appliance is rocket science either. If anything, you're better off checking out reviews by people on different websites and seeing how they like/dislike it...people who are pissed off at the product are far more inclined to bitch about it online and other places.
     
  37. GT98

    GT98 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Part of the reason is they aren't as complicated (i.e. you can upsell these things with new bells and whistles) as washers/dryers of today. More parts, more often than not, mean more things to break.

    My parents have a Maytag Neptune washer and dryer and they had issues over the years (one of the first front loader washers) and he had to pull the whole thing apart to replace a bearing in it, where the vast majority of people would have been like fuck it, time for a new one.

    I got a HE Top loader washing machine since my wife and I didn't care for the front loader we had in our old house. Outside of the idiots at Home Depot not installing it right (the drum wore a hole in the pan we had under it-they replaced it for free), its been flawless.
     
  38. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Based on personal experience, the auto reliability results (based on the survey) are excellent.
    I (and other family members) have had great luck with cars that where rated highly. My last couple cars I've driven for over 10 years with no serious problems doing nothing but oil, tires and brakes.
    Many years ago I bought a new car that was rated "average" and it had more problems than every other car I've own combined over the past 30+ years. Luckily I bought the extended warranty, as they paid out several times on major problems.

    Sometimes they do make mistakes.
    I bought a new refridgerator 20 year ago. The brand was rated highly, but the company had just started making refridgerators. CU rated the it high on reliability based on the brands other appliances. After 3 years, they changed the rating to poor, and the brand was now at the bottom reliability ratings for refridgerators. I had multiple problems with it over the years, lucky I was able to do the repairs myself, so it didn't cost me much. These were problems due to poor design/low quality parts being used. I finally gave up and replaced it a few years ago.

    .
     
  39. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    The i7 6600U was part of the scam. Since when is an i7 a dual core CPU?
    We had some software developers who wanted that model because it had a fast i7. I had to explain to them that the quad core i5 laptops I was buying where significantly faster.
     
  40. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    The problem is what good is a reliability rate on a new car? How can they rate something they hasn't even been on the road long? I'm sure the surveys might be alright for those shopping for used cars, but I'd take it with a grain of salt for anything new. It's pretty much just them guessing, based off prior cars for anything new.