Generally speaking, Apple’s Mac line of notebooks and desktops are priced higher than most Windows PCs with lesser brand. You get what you pay for, right? What about Microsoft’s highly acclaimed line of Surface devices; notebooks, tablet hybrids, desktop? Somebody can’t recommend Microsoft anymore.
What Price Quality?
Most notebooks are the same, right? How is that even possible? Prices range from $199 for a very cheaply made Windows 10 device or Google Chromebook to almost $4,200 for a fully tricked out MacBook Pro. I’ve read of other notebooks, particularly gaming models, that are priced even higher.
Do you get what you pay for?
Not if you bought a Microsoft Surface notebook running Windows. Even Consumer Reports doesn’t like what’s been going on at Microsoft these days.
Consumer Reports is removing its “recommended” designation from four Microsoft laptops and cannot recommend any other Microsoft laptops or tablets because of poor predicted reliability in comparison with most other brands.
Microsoft’s real-world return and support rates for past models differ significantly from Consumer Reports’ breakage predictability. We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.
Fair enough. It’s not as if Consumer Reports has a stellar record when it comes to accurate product reviews. Can you say, MacBook Pro?
The problem here is the only hard numbers come from Consumer Reports and Microsoft.
Every generation of Surface surpasses its predecessors in performance and in reliability. Surface return and support rates are in line if not lower than industry average for devices in the same class.
Perhaps, but Consumer Reports has a different perspective. Notice who is on top of the pile.
Trends are trends. Consumer Reports has enough product reviews for overall reliability from enough customers to establish somewhat accurate trends. In this case, Microsoft’s Surface brand is rather crummy compared to industry leader Apple.
For much of the past two years members of the technorati elite politburo have busted Apple’s chops over the lack of innovation in the Mac line, and often point to Microsoft’s Surface as to where the industry and innovation are headed. Uh huh. By Microsoft’s own admission, Surface notebook and desktop sales have been going down for about a year. Customers unhappy with Surface devices spread the word. Consumer Reports reliability scores simply echo the marketplace.
Meanwhile, Apple’s Mac sells at stellar levels despite the overall PC industry trend of downward sales; for about three years. Apple’s Mac sells far more than Microsoft’s entire Surface line, and cheaper Windows 10 notebook-tablet-touchscreen knockoffs erode Microsoft’s presence at the low end of the line.
One can argue that Apple’s Mac isn’t an innovation machine, but the entire industry suffers while waiting for Intel’s latest and late again round of CPUs. Apple seems content to improve the Mac with iterative innovation and keep quality high. The result is record sales. Microsoft’s fancy pants Windows 10 notebook-tablet-touchscreen hybrid looks good on paper and TV commercials, and even with acclaim from Microsoft-sponsored technology websites, hasn’t been able to stem the downward spiral.
Despite the company’s hefty price tags, Microsoft does not build the best notebooks and tablets. Sales over the past year show just that and Consumer Reports agrees.