Consumer Reports is restoring its coveted “recommendation” designation for Microsoft Surface laptops that it pulled back in August 2017. At the time, Consumer Reports said the “predicted reliability” of the Microsoft machines compared to most other brands was worse by a “statistically significant margin.”

The publication now indicates that Microsoft’s older models, including the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and Surface Book 2, scored well enough to be recommended. One important change that impacted Consumer Report’s decision is that the machines were tested and rated as laptops, while a year ago some models were evaluated as laptops, some as tablets.

The reliability evaluations are based on membership surveys.

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While Microsoft will presumably cheer this latest development with the older computers – it didn’t immediately comment on the findings – it won’t be pleased that the Surface Go, which was introduced in July for $399 on up, was not recommended. Consumer Reports said its “performance falls short below what consumers can find in other laptops.”

If there’s a small silver lining here, it’s that Consumer Reports said Microsoft wasn’t alone on that metric, with a number of other 10- and 11-inch laptops also exhibiting relatively weak processing power. In fact, Consumer Reports recommended only two models out of 10 in that size category: the Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6 (64GB) and the Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C2W3.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to unveil new Surface computers at a press event on Oct. 2. Whether these latest entries eventually earn Consumer Reports’ endorsement is something to keep an eye on months from now.

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