Microsoft: 2018 Brand Report Card

Microsoft's inability to move up from sixth place this year was not due to lack of attempts. The company has a limited alignment, but all its products are solid and obtained good review scores.

Introduced a new size in its Surface Book line (and finally added USB Type-C), as well as the Surface Laptop. But the new entry-level configurations were outdated at launch, coming with Core m3 processors with little power, and Microsoft's technical support did not fare well on the web or phone, often giving incorrect answers.

Microsoft's Key Strengths

  • Good products: Surface's alignment obtained very good results in our tests, obtaining scores of 4 out of 5 in all areas and three Editors & # 39; Choice awards.
  • Innovative forms of computing: You want a tablet? A removable? A laptop? A power? Microsoft offers a little bit of everything in its Surface line so you can get the type of device that best suits your lifestyle.

Microsoft's Top Weaknesses

  • Need to pay a lot to get the good: While Microsoft introduced some lower-cost models this year, they come with smaller processors, such as Intel's outdated and less powerful Core m line. If you are in the market for a Surface Pro, you will still need to pay more for a keyboard.
  • Support needs to work: Microsoft gave us incorrect answers on the phone, and it was not much better on the web.

Best rated Microsoft laptops

Best for creative professionals: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15 inches)
Best tablet: Microsoft Surface Pro
Best for students: Microsoft Surface Laptop [19659012]

Reviews (34 / 40)

Although Microsoft makes only a handful of expensive laptops, everything the company manufactures is pretty good. We reviewed the four Microsoft products in the last year, and each received a 4-star rating, while three received the Editors & # 39; Choice awards.

The 13-inch Surface Book 2 and the 15-inch version featured a large 2-in-1 crowd offering powerful discrete graphics in sleek, detachable designs. Introduced in 2017, the Surface laptop showed the world that Microsoft can make an innovative cover design, while the Surface Book is still the standard by which other combinations of Windows tablet and keyboard are judged.

Design (12/15) [19659011] If you want something fresh, take a look at the Surface Laptop. Available in Burgundy, Cobalt Blue, Platinum and Gold Graphite, the system is elegant and easy for the eyes. Our favorite feature is the Alcantara keyboard console, which feels much better than its medium-soft touch finish. Unfortunately, this system lacks a C-type port with a vision of the future.

The Surface Pro retains its revealing support foot, but now opens to 165 degrees more, which makes the screen easier to draw. But this laptop still lacks USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Both the 13-inch Surface Book 2 and the 15-inch model have the gray magnesium frame with that polarizing fulcrum hinge, but we like that Microsoft has added a USB Type-C port.

Support and Warranty (14/20)

Microsoft's telephone technical support disappointed us in our Tech Support Showdown, giving incorrect answers on how to use the company's Surface Pen and protect against the vulnerabilities of Meltdown and Specter. Neither the representatives of Microsoft's social networks nor its virtual assistant turned out to be a worthy replacement.

On the positive side, Microsoft is one of the two companies (the other is Apple) with real physical stores where you can get official technical support from the manufacturer of laptops. If you are too far away from one of Microsoft's stores or need to send a laptop to an installation, the company also covers shipping both ways.

Innovation (8/10)

Microsoft had a great year with its hardware. The biggest innovation of the company was the launch of Surface Laptop, the first Microsoft clamshell. It also updated Surface Book with USB Type-C and added a new 15-inch variety with a GTX 1060 GPU.

The company also squeezed more battery life in Surface Pro, although that machine remained virtually the same if it was not A) Yes. [19659004] Value and Selection (9/15)

Microsoft offers only four laptops: Surface Laptop, Surface Pro and Surface Book 2 in 13 and 15 inch varieties. That covers a wide range of form factors, including removable 2-in-1, a cover and a laptop that maintains a GPU in the base. However, if you want an affordable laptop or one that can play, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Surface Laptop and Surface Pro are the cheapest deals from Microsoft, starting at $ 799 with a Core m3. For a Core i processor, you must spend at least $ 999, and powerful options will take you over $ 1,000. With Surface Pro, you must still buy the keyboard separately.

The Surface Book 2 offers a lot of versatility, but that has a high price. It starts at $ 1,499 for the model with an integrated GPU, but for a GTX 1050 in the 14-inch version, you must spend at least $ 2,300. The ready laptop for 15-inch VR starts at $ 2,500.

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