The decision applies to Microsoft devices with detachable keyboards.
The four laptops losing the "recommended" status are the Surface Laptop (128GB and 256GB versions) and the Surface Book (128GB and 512GB) versions.
CR said Microsoft's estimated breakage rate for its laptops and tablets was higher than that for other brands.
The publication quoted Microsoft as saying that its real-world return and support rates for past models differed "significantly" from the CR's breakage predictability.
“We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation," the company said.
The lab reports from CR measure how well a laptop or tablet performs, taking into account factors such as display quality, battery life, speed and ergonomics.
"Several Microsoft products have performed well in CR labs, including the new Microsoft Surface Pro, which earned Very Good or Excellent scores in multiple CR tests. Based purely on lab performance, the Surface Pro is highly rated when used either as a tablet or with a keyboard attached," the publication said.
But, it added, many prospective customers also cared about reliability.
CR said its new studies of laptop and tablet reliability used date on 90,741 devices bought between 2014 and 2017.
"A number of survey respondents said they experienced problems with their devices during start-up. A few commented that their machines froze or shut down unexpectedly, and several others told CR that the touch screens weren’t responsive enough," it said.