Microsoft Surface beats Apple iPad in JD Power tests

The Surface tops other tablets as well in user satisfaction

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Credit: Martyn Williams

History repeats itself as Microsoft, late to the tablet party and needing a few revisions to make Surface a success, has beaten all of its tablet rivals in the JD Power 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study. It's the first time Microsoft has topped the charts since the survey was first introduced by JD Power.

Overall, Microsoft scored 855 out of a possible 1,000 points, narrowly beating Apple with 849 and Samsung with 847. JD Power said Microsoft was the top performer in three areas: pre-loaded applications, internet connectivity and availability of manufacturer-supported accessories. 

“The Microsoft Surface platform has expanded what tablets can do, and it sets the bar for customer satisfaction,” said Jeff Conklin, vice president of service industries at J.D. Power in a statement. “These tablet devices are just as capable as many laptops, yet they can still function as standard tablets. This versatility is central to their appeal and success.” 

Microsoft Surface users love accessories

It noted that owners of Microsoft's Surface tablets "have the highest incidences of accessory use, which underscores the device's versatility."

The survey found 48 percent of Surface owners use a stylus with the Surface, compared with an industry average of 27 percent; 51 percent use a physical keyboard versus a 14 percent average; and 27 percent use a mouse versus 6 percent for the average. 

Microsoft achieved the highest ratings in two other areas: variety of input/output connectivity and amount of internal storage available.

JD Power also highlighted some insights about buyers of Surface tablets:

  • Surface owners are more likely to be early adopters of new technology.
  • Microsoft has "a higher proportion of younger customers" among its tablet-owners, compared with those of Apple's iPad, Samsung's Galaxy tablets, and other rivals.
  • Microsoft customers are "notably more likely to consider productivity features as important."
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