Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendations for Microsoft’s Surface products, citing an industry-worst failure rate.
Reliability is one of the hardest things to cover off when reviewing hardware.
It’s no accident that Apple, which sits at the top of the reliability league table lends hardware to journalists for extended review periods. That makes for better reviews on two counts.
First, you can dive a lot deeper into the product and use it more like a buyer would. I often wait until a month or more before writing about Apple kit. I write about my experiences using the product in real, everyday work.
There’s no need to run through artificial tests which is what happens when you only have something for a few days. A longer test means a better understanding of quirks and nuances, and what they mean in practice.
Testing for reliability
Second, you get a better feel for reliability. If you use a computer for a couple of months without a glitch, there’s a good chance it will last for 12 months or longer without a problem.
A third benefit of extended review periods, is that a reviewer can find something they are so comfortable with, that they are happy to spend their own money on. It’s because I spent quality time with Apple hardware I chose to buy that brand later.
Something similar happened when I borrowed the HP Spectre. I loved it so much that I’m writing this post on mine.
I didn’t see anything wrong with the review Surface Book. But I only had it for a little over a week. I did notice a minor hiccup with the Surface Pro 3, but didn’t write about it at the time because it happened once and just may have been user error. A longer review might have shown me it was a device problem.