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Consumer Reports says 25 percent of Microsoft Surface computers will break within two years

  • Consumer Reports says beware before buying a Microsoft Surface laptop or tablet.
  • The magazine says its survey found that 25 percent of the machines present problems within two years.
  • Microsoft says it doesn't think the findings "accurately reflect Surface owners' true experiences."

You might want to hold off on buying a Microsoft Surface tablet or laptop.

Consumer Reports said Thursday it's pulling its recommendation on Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets (including the Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Laptop) because of "poor predicted reliability in comparison to most other brands."

The magazine says its survey found that "25 percent of Microsoft laptops and tablets will present their owners with problems by the end of the second year of ownership." It said its warning applies even to Microsoft's devices that launched just a couple of months ago.

CNBC reviewed the new Surface Pro in June and found that, while it was a powerful tablet that also doubles as a competitive laptop, the configuration options are far more expensive than what most consumers could buy from Microsoft's competitors.

Consumer Reports said that responses to its annual survey revealed that consumers weren't pleased with their Microsoft products during the lifetime of ownership. Frozen computers, unexpected shutdowns and unresponsive screens were noted as complaints.

"While we respect Consumer Reports, we disagree with their findings," a Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC. "Microsoft's real-world return and support rates and customer satisfaction data show we are on par if not better than other devices in the category. We stand firmly behind the quality and reliability of the Surface family of devices and continue to make quality our primary focus."

In a subsequent blog post Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices, said the Consumer Reports survey was "disappointing."

Microsoft is new to the hardware business and has generally been met with favorable reviews of its laptops from consumers and pundits in the industry. Surface revenues were down 2 percent during the last quarter, though there were expectations revenues would increase this quarter with newer models on the market.